Safety Check

Christmas Cameras

So Santa dropped a shiny new GoPro under the tree, and you are just dying to start jumping with it, right? Well, dying to jump with it could literally be the case, so be sure you are ready for the added challenges before you slap that thing on your helmet on the first warm day of the season. Jumping with a video camera involves challenges, many of which are not obvious to those who decide to start jumping with one. USPA recommends that anyone jumping with a camera hold at least a USPA C license (200 jumps), but jump numbers are not the only consideration. Before you start, check out Section 6-8 of the Skydiver’s Information Manual, which includes lots of helpful information. more »

Spotting

For many jumpers, spotting means looking to make sure the green light is on before tossing themselves from the door without so much as a look down to see where they are above the planet. Many seem so trusting of the green light that even if a pilot were to fly five miles out to sea and turn it on, it’s likely they would just blindly bail out and go for a swim. Thankfully, our jump pilots are not that cruel. more »

Specialty Jumps

Specialty jumps—whether from a helicopter or balloon or with a raft or other inflatable toy—are skydiver favorites. And while these jumps are always good for excitement and giggles, they also require a little extra vigilance to keep the level of safety where it needs to be. more »

Logging Jumps

If you make a skydive and don’t make a note of it in a logbook, did the jump really take place? Sure it did, but how do you prove it years from now when you need to show proof of your jump numbers for a license or rating? more »

Aircraft Knowledge

A group of 24 jumpers boards a Twin Otter and the last one to board can’t find a seatbelt. So two jumpers share a belt so everyone is belted in for takeoff. The jumpers think this is OK, and the pilot has no idea what’s happening because he can’t see what is going on in the back of the plane.
The left main tire on a Cessna 182 is bald. In spite of complaints to the drop zone owner from the Safety and Training Advisor, the DZO and pilot continue to fly the airplane load after load. The tire finally pops. Luckily, it blows while the plane is taxiing to the runway.

How much do you know and understand about the airplane you jump from every weekend? more »

Public Jumps

Performers often hear “Break a leg!” before the start of a performance, but it’s not really what a skydiver wants to do during a demo. Almost all of us have thought about making a demo jump of some sort, whether jumping into a party out in the middle of nowhere or jumping into a 70,000-seat NFL stadium. Landing your parachute in front of a crowd of non-skydivers is a lot of fun, and who wouldn’t want to have a chance to be a rock star for a day? But jumping into places outside of your regular drop zone can be tricky. Demos require proper planning and execution—including adherence to Federal Aviation Administration Regulations and USPA Basic Safety Requirements—to ensure that the jumps are successful. more »

Forgery

You completed all of your license requirements and are ready to send the form to USPA … but wait! You didn’t get the Safety and Training Advisor’s signature on your license application. Bummer. You really want to get that license sent in and processed in time to make those helicopter jumps, but the S&TA is not available. Well, nobody is watching, so you forge the S&TA’s signature and send in the license application. After all, nobody really checks that stuff, right? Wrong. more »

Mastering Consistent Landings

Mastering the basics of canopy control is one of the most important aspects of learning to skydive. It is also the skill that usually takes the longest for students and newly licensed jumpers to develop. It is a great feeling for skydiving instructors when a younger jumper finally becomes a great canopy pilot rather than a passenger going for a ride to wherever the canopy happens to be pointing. more »

An Intelligent Approach to Technology

A jumper with approximately 100 jumps flew his canopy too far downwind to land in the main landing area. After landing uneventfully in another area of the airport, he explained that he did not turn onto his base leg in time because he was waiting for his audible alarm to beep as his signal.
During a 2-way skydive, a jumper with approximately 500 jumps who planned to deploy at 4,000 feet instead deployed at 2,000 feet. He had been waiting for his audible altimeter to beep but finally realized that he was not wearing his helmet for the skydive, so his audible device was not there.
A jumper with approximately 150 jumps was on an airplane fiddling with his GoPro camera just before exit when another jumper pointed out that his chest strap was not threaded properly through the friction adapter.
A first-jump student did not respond to instructions provided via radio while he was under canopy. After he landed uneventfully, staff discovered that he did not respond to the radio commands because he was busy talking to a friend on his cell phone during his canopy descent. more »

Wingsuit Rules and Recommendations

As the popularity of wingsuit flying continues to expand, the discipline is advancing at a rapid rate in many areas. Its training programs, suit designs, competitions and records are all progressing. But like every emerging discipline that came before it, wingsuiting has experienced a few hiccups during its advances and seems to be suffering from some growing pains. more »