Showcase

99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

Given that wind conditions change constantly, being able to properly read and compensate for them is an important skill set for students and competition pilots alike.  more »

Finding the FLOW

Finding the FLOW

What Four High-Profile Accidents Can Teach Us About Finding the Ideal Mental State for Survival more »

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Most jumpers have a difficult time remembering the cloud clearance regulations, but understanding the reasons for the different altitude requirements can help you remember the necessary information. more »

Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

Winter comes for all of us, whether you’re of the Great House of Chicagoland or the Great House of Perris. While the season’s arrival clearly hits the Lords of the North hardest, every skydiver in the 50 Kingdoms needs to maintain at least some awareness of cold-season strategy. more »

Gearing Up - July 2010

EdScott

Now that we are well into the 2010 skydiving season, we can report on a USPA initiative that is a success on a couple of different levels. In late 2008, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a special report that looked at 32 fatal jump-plane accidents over the previous 28 years. The NTSB concluded that many DZs and jump-plane operators were not performing required aircraft maintenance, so it issued a couple of recommendations to the FAA and USPA to do something about it. (The NTSB also recognized that there are many operators who perform exemplary maintenance.) While the NTSB has no regulatory authority, it can (and often does) capture the attention of Congress and the media by holding hearings and press conferences when its recommendations are ignored. In order to be proactive, USPA’s board of directors directed staff to develop a workable plan to comply with the NTSB’s recommendations. more »

Stowing the Slider

Q:
What should I do with my slider after I deploy my main canopy? more »

Water Training

You hear it at almost every water-training session: “Why do I have to jump in a pool with this old parachute? I’m never going to land in the water, but if I do, I know how to swim!” And so goes the argument from jumpers who don’t truly understand how serious of a problem a water landing can be. Although water landings are not as common as they once were in the days of less-maneuverable round parachutes, they still happen enough for the training to be important. A proper water-training session should serve as an educational tool for each participant and not just a routine to be drudged though so that the jumper can check off that box to get his license. A USPA Safety & Training Advisor, Instructor or Instructor Examiner should conduct a thorough training session and log it in the jumper’s log book once it is completed. more »

Flying Camera

In the 1950s and ’60s, when skydivers first started using video and still cameras in freefall, they carried large, heavy cameras, separate tape decks and heavy batteries (often mounted on the camera flyers’ chests). All this equipment, along with the bulky parachutes, ensured that most jumpers were happy to be in the video and leave the use of awkward equipment and resulting sore necks to the few skydivers who were both very experienced and really interested in videography and photography. more »

Steering Lines and Toggles

This jumper was unable to clear the toggle from his right steering line when he initially released his brakes. After several attempts at pulling the toggle in different directions and at different angles, the toggle finally slipped free from its cat’s eye (the opening in the steering line). The remainder of the canopy flight was uneventful.

The jumper reported that the cat’s eye in the steering line had always been somewhat snug around the toggle, and as time went on, the fit seemed to get tighter. more »

Building Castles in the Air—An Overview of Canopy Formation

Canopy formation (CF) skydiving, also known as canopy relative work (CRW or “crew”), is a discipline of technical ability that is largely misunderstood. Some perceive the discipline as being extremely dangerous, but the small, dedicated group of jumpers who practice it are rewarded by becoming better, safer canopy pilots. CF jumpers generally channel their interest in one of two directions: recreational CF (which includes parabatics) or competition. CF is also the only remaining discipline for which USPA offers performance-based awards—the 4-Stack, 8-Stack and Canopy Crest Soloist (for docking eighth or later on a formation) Awards. more »

The Secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part Two - Evidence of Absence

A single man, an immense amount of cash, four parachutes and a jump from an airliner. Where does the largest manhunt in the United States lead when authorities don’t have a clue as to who the suspect might be? more »

Profile - Richard “Rickster” Powell | D-11302

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20106Richard “Rickster” Powell is a professional test jumper for Performance Designs (PD). He has jumped all over the world but is now based at Skydive DeLand in Florida. Powell’s canopy piloting skills have been featured in advertisements and movie productions, including Norman Kent’s film “Willing to Fly.” He is also a skilled camera flyer who has flown camera for 4-way formation skydiving (FS) and skysurfing teams in national and international competitions. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Heidi Barker

HSCML20106

by Heidi Barker | USPA #231673 | Boise, Idaho

October 7, 2007, and May 4, 2008: two dates that changed my world and my life forever.

May 4, 2008, was Michelle’s 23rd birthday and our first without her. For weeks in advance, Rich and I discussed and danced around the issue of what to do on that day. We quietly and tearfully fought through the pain of the loss of “Mitchy.” When the day arrived, there was still no plan in place. It seemed strange to even contemplate the notion of some kind of celebration. With no decision made, Rich decided that he would go fishing for a few hours. I stayed at home, wondering what to do. more »

Gearing Up - June 2010

EdScott

As this magazine hits mailboxes, just about a month remains in the effort to collect enough proxies from USPA members to have a quorum of 10 percent at the General Membership Meeting called for Friday, July 16, at 7 p.m. in Nashua, New Hampshire. The purpose of the effort is to change USPA’s by-laws to allow the use of online voting in future elections of the board of directors. The current board believes that the use of an online-voting process could increase member participation in board elections, which in recent years has averaged only about 10 percent of the total membership. more »

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Staff

Ed Scott
Publisher

Elijah Florio
Editor in Chief, Advertising Manager

Laura Sharp
Managing Editor

Colby Walls
Graphic Designer

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