Safety Check

Turbulence

Impossible to see and difficult to predict, air turbulence is a real hazard for skydivers of any experience level. Thankfully, most encounters with turbulence under canopy occur high enough above the ground that they result in nothing more than a light bump. But occasionally turbulence close to the ground can lead to a scare or even injuries from a hard landing. more »

Do Your Homework

It’s safe to say that it’s extremely important for aircraft pilots to have a thorough understanding of all of the systems on their airplanes that affect the safety of their flights. After all, if a pilot is unfamiliar with his equipment and takes the wrong action in an emergency, it could be fatal. The same is true of skydivers and their equipment, but you would never know it judging from the approach some jumpers take toward their gear. more »

Wingsuit Tail Strikes

Avoiding the tail of the airplane when exiting is one of the most basic safety considerations when wingsuiting, yet year after year experienced wingsuit pilots continue to strike the horizontal stabilizers of the aircraft they’re jumping from. Any side-door airplane—whether a Cessna 182, a Twin Otter or anything in between—presents a risk of a tail strike to wingsuiters and even non-wingsuited skydivers. more »

Advice from a First Responder

As the summer skydiving season gets into full swing, take some time to think about your response to an emergency situation or injury. There are a few things that untrained responders can do to make the medical responders’ jobs easier when they arrive. more »

Avoiding Canopy Collisions

Do not fly your canopy into another canopy. It seems like a fairly easy-to-follow concept. Yet somehow, we continue to see fatal accidents due to canopy collisions each year, not to mention a lot of near-misses. Every single collision is avoidable. Every. Single. One. But creating safer skies requires some effort on everyone’s part. more »

Spring Wind Hazards

With warmer spring temperatures replacing winter’s frigid air, jumpers need to be especially vigilant about safety when it comes to winds and wind-related hazards. Undoubtedly, it was a sunny but very windy spring day when someone came up with the old adage, “It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground!” more »

Risk

When a reporter recently asked me, “Is swooping more dangerous than other types of skydiving?” I was stumped for the right answer. I thought of saying, “Well, it can be,” or, “Sometimes it is,” or, “Depends on who’s doing it,” but none of those were good responses. more »

How Well Do You Really Know Your Emergency Procedures

So, you think you’re a badass? How well do you know your emergency procedures? more »

Danger Areas

An informal survey that Parachutist conducted years ago showed that most members read the “Incident Reports” section of the magazine first. Skydivers often say that they read these reports every month to learn from the mistakes of others and become safer skydivers. Yet, despite this focus, jumpers are still making the same six types of fatal mistakes. Over and over and over again. more »

That Little Voice

It is probably safe to say that all of us have a little voice inside our heads (some of the skydivers I know seem to have seven or eight) that helps us make decisions. Usually, that voice does a pretty good job of reasoning with us and keeping us on the right path. Making educated decisions and using good judgment to stay safe often comes down to learning to trust the guidance of that inner voice. more »