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 »

Canopy Collision Decisions

Canopy Collision Decisions

All skydivers—no matter what discipline they pursue—learn how to avoid canopy collisions. Yet collisions remain one of the most likely ways to die in the sport. Part of the problem is that not everybody knows how to correctly perform emergency procedures after a collision, and the procedures are not common sense. You can only learn them on the ground. more »

A Look at USPA Finances

A Look at USPA Finances

The annual audit of USPA for 2016 completed in August 2017 reported sound fiscal management and accountability measures. more »

Decision Making

As adult human beings, we make approximately 35,000 decisions a day … 35,000! That’s a ton of decision making! If you’re a skydiving coach or instructor, a lot of those decisions involve the safety and wellbeing of skydiving students, and hopefully, your decisions are based completely on those considerations.  more »

Observer/Expectation Bias

A jumper puts on his rig, boards an airplane and exits the plane at 10,000 feet for a formation skydive with three other jumpers. Soon after the exit, one of his teammates points out that his chest strap is flapping in the wind. It is unthreaded and trailing uselessly behind his back. At deployment time, he manages to hold the two main lift webs together with his left hand and deploy with his right. He lands otherwise uneventfully. The jumper was sure that he checked his chest strap when he went through his multiple gear checks. So if he really checked his gear, what happened? more »

Gearing Up

Ed Scott

From the first jump, all skydivers know the value of being prepared. We train, retrain, review the Skydiver’s Information Manual, practice in a hanging harness, perform gear checks before every jump, read incident reports to educate ourselves, seek out experts and take myriad other steps to be as prepared as possible for any skydiving eventuality. Doesn’t it make sense that we should also prepare for other eventualities, even bad skydiving outcomes? That’s where life insurance and accident insurance come in, with the goal of preparing your loved ones for your untimely departure or severe injury. Life insurance and accident/disability insurance are different, and you need to know those differences in order to get the protection that best serves your needs. more »

Profile - Craig O’Brien | D-19294

By Brian Giboney

Craig O’Brien, D-19294, is a world champion skydiver, world-class freefall photographer and Hollywood stuntman and camera flyer. In the late 1990s, O’Brien and his then-soon-to-be wife, Tanya, formed the skysurfing team Firestarter. With Tanya on the skyboard and Craig flying camera, they were virtually unbeatable in national and world competitions. Later, O’Brien began working in Hollywood. His credits include filming and doing stunt work on “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Iron Man 3,” “Godzilla,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Bucket List” and many other movies, as well as commercials, documentaries and other productions. more »

Gearing Up

Recent and long-time members alike will know the name of Clint Vincent, one of the association's longest-serving employees. He's actually served two 10-year stints at USPA; the first from 1985 to 1995 and the second between 2007 and 2017. Sadly but deservedly, Clint is retiring from USPA at the end of this year. more »

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

By Niklas Daniel of AXIS Flight School

USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements state, “No skydive may be made in violation of the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] regulations.” Not all countries have cloud-clearance regulations, but jumpers in the U.S. must abide by those found in Federal Aviation Regulations 105.17, which places joint responsibility for adherence on the jumper and the pilot. Though falling through clouds poses no health risks in and of itself, clouds can hide potential dangers—such as aircraft and other jumpers to collide with—that do. (Not to mention that jumping through the rain and hail that often come with clouds can be really unpleasant, anyway.) And under canopy, air conditions near clouds are often turbulent, which poses particular danger if you’re flying in a canopy formation. more »

Mixed Formation Skydiving Block 10 (Flat Stairstep)

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by David Wybenga. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at more »

Seatbelt Usage

Has this happened to you?
You’re hot loading a full turbine aircraft, and you’re one of the last on. You scrunch onto that last seat on the straddle bench and scramble to find your seatbelt just as the door shuts, only to discover that someone at the front of the plane skipped a belt. What do you do?
a) Nothing. What are the chances of a plane crash, anyway?
b) Nothing. Seatbelts don’t really save lives.
c) Quietly share a seatbelt with someone next to you and wonder if it’s legal.
d) Shout, “Stop the plane!” and reorganize so that everyone has the correct seatbelt and endure the inevitable teasing and new nicknames. more »

Gaining Experience

Good judgment comes from experience, but for many, a lot of their experience comes from bad judgment. Regardless of whether you are just getting started in teaching skydiving by gaining a USPA Coach rating or have been at it for years and are receiving an Instructor Examiner rating, working toward a goal and earning a new rating is a challenging process that requires hard work and dedication. It is the end of one process (preparing and completing a certification course) and the beginning of another (the real-world environment). You have proven you deserve the rating with your knowledge and flying skills, but now is when learning really begins. more »

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