Feature

Skyjacker—The Richard McCoy Jr. Story

Skydivers have a special ability the general public just doesn’t have. Unfortunately, that special ability can be used in devious ways...

He planned a skydive that he thought was brilliant—every aspect of the jump was meticulously orchestrated. But it was a skydive so dangerously ill-conceived that it changed his world forever and left him running for his life. more »

25 Ways to Become a Better Canopy Pilot

Lots of people decide to quit skydiving because of their canopy skills—they’re afraid of injury or perhaps just the embarrassment of a bad landing. And statistics show that the most hazardous part of a skydive begins once a jumper is under a fully functioning canopy. But don’t let a lack of knowledge or skill keep you from the sport that you love—there are many ways to improve your confidence and safety under canopy. Even the people who win medals and dazzle crowds will tell you that they, too, have room for improvement. more »

Mark Your Calendars: 15th Annual Safety Day

Even though many of us are currently stuck on the ground, suffering through freezing temperatures and howling winds, drop zones around the country are gearing up for springtime and Safety Day, which takes place this year on March 12. Some drop zones choose a different date, so check with your local DZ or the listings under the Safety tab of the USPA website. In some areas, it may even be possible to have a “safety month” by attending several Safety Day events on different weekends at various drop zones. more »

Thinking on your Feet—Improving Your Sit-Fly

photography by Brianne Thompson

Whether you are just learning to sit-fly or have simply hit a plateau in your learning curve, fine-tuning your basic head-up body position is worth the time. Many jumpers, even those for whom sit-flying initially came easily, find themselves stuck in place or unstable if they try to move from a neutral position to drive forward or take a dock. This article explains the basic mechanics of the sit orientation and offers solutions to common problems. more »

Learning to Spot in a GPS World

The Skydiver’s Information Manual (SIM) defines spotting as “selecting the correct ground reference over which to leave the aircraft, selecting the course for the aircraft to fly and directing the pilot on jump run to that point.” For better or worse, the modern-day GPS (global positioning system) device found in nearly every jump airplane today has changed the way most jumpers spot. The pilot now largely handles what used to be a manual process that a skydiver performed on every load. more »

Landing Patterns: A Call to Action

The winter boogie season is upon us, and many of us are starting to count down to when we’ll take that road trip to warmer weather. We are thinking about packing lists, specialty jumps, good friends from distant places and costume parties galore, but in all this preparation, how many people are thinking about the more challenging aspects of boogies? Canopy-related incidents are on the rise in our sport, and boogies—with their unfamiliar environments and lots of canopy traffic—tend to create the kind of situation in which canopy accidents happen. more »

The 2010 USPA National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting

September 1-4 | Skydive Spaceland, Rosharon, Texas

For the second year in a row, the best swoopers from across the country gathered at the swoop park at Skydive Spaceland in search of the title of National Champion of Canopy Piloting. The Rosharon, Texas, drop zone hosted the 2010 USPA National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting September 1-4, attracting 50 competitors—36 in the open class and 14 in the advanced class. more »

High Original Genius: Charles Broadwick and His Backpack Parachute

High original genius is always ridiculed on its first appearance, most of all by those who have won themselves the highest reputation in working on the established lines. Genius only commands recognition when it has created the taste which is to appreciate it.

—James Anthony Froude more »

Tracking—Theory and Application

photos by Niklas Daniel

Tracking is an area that jumpers, regardless of skill level, need to continually practice and improve. Even those who have made thousands of skydives often need to go back and hone the basics, since many will have formed inefficient habits over the years. more »