April 2011

Foundations of Flight—The Barrel Roll

Axis Flight LogoBrought to you by Axis Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brianne Thompson. more »

April 2011

April 2011
photo by Luis Rotundo
Thomas Schwarzer hangs from an Antonov AN-2 aircraft over the white sands of uninhabited La Tortuga Island, Venezuela.

April 2011 | Volume 52, Number 4 | Issue 618 more »

Rigger Rodeo Finals

Tag: April 2011, Extra, PIA, VASST, Videos

Online content related to the PIA feature in the magazine.

(Courtesy of VASST Training) more »

Skyjacker—the Richard McCoy Jr. Story - Part 2

In the first of this two-part series (Parachutist, March), skyjacker Richard McCoy Jr. had just extorted $500,000 and leapt from a commercial airliner in flight...

The sensation was nothing like the three night jumps McCoy had made in the past; he felt as if he were falling from a tall building. Then the blast of freezing air hit. McCoy later said that it practically tore his head off. more »

Setting the Pace—The USPA Board of Directors Meeting

The newly elected USPA Board of Directors met in Reno, Nevada, February 11-13 for the first meeting of its term. The tone and pace of the first meeting after board elections is often difficult to predict, but the change in group dynamics is generally related to the amount of turnover. The 2011-2012 board welcomed five new members, though two—National Director Jan Meyer and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Tony Thacker—returned after brief absences. The first-time board members—National Director Rich Winstock, North Central Regional Director Merriah Eakins and Southeast Regional Director Eric Florio—proved to be quick studies, making their presence and opinions known early. more »

Time to Regroup—the 2010 Fatality Summary

On a formation skydive, when things don’t go as intended, the jumpers regroup. Assess the situation and move on. Bring order to the chaos. more »

Canopy Damage

A jumper with about 400 jumps experienced a hard opening on his 170-square-foot non-elliptical main canopy with a wing loading of approximately 1.3:1. When he looked up at the canopy, he discovered that a few of his suspension lines had broken, but the canopy itself seemed to be intact. After a controllability check to make sure that he could turn and flare the canopy, he decided to land it. Unfortunately, the landing was a lot harder than he expected, resulting in a broken ankle and a trip to the hospital operating room for repairs. He later said he didn’t realize that he was in trouble until he was too low to cut away safely. Even though everything seemed OK during the controllability check, the canopy was actually descending more quickly than normal, and the jumper’s landing flare did not slow his descent properly. He said if he had it to do over again, he would have cut away and deployed his reserve. Chalk one up for the school of hard knocks—another lesson learned in a painful way. more »




When choosing a harness-and-container system, how much do you need to know about the harness portion of the system, and are all the different options just upgrades? more »

The Category E Aircraft Briefing

Once students are in Category E of USPA’s Integrated Student Program, they have been around long enough for instructors to introduce them to additional information about aircraft operations. The Category E aircraft briefing is designed to impart the information about jump airplanes that students will need to know once they are independent A-licensed skydivers (and Category E students will soon be wrapping up their license requirements to become just that). more »

Profile - Curt Bartholomew | D-29202

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20114Curt Bartholomew is a relatively new jumper who became a force in canopy piloting both nationally and internationally in 2009, his first year of competing. Bartholomew took first overall in 2009’s Canopy Piloting Circuit™ Championships. He also placed sixth overall in the 2009 USPA National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting, securing himself a spot on the 2010 U.S. Team for the World Canopy Piloting Parachuting Championships. His goal is to become a world champion canopy pilot, and based on his recent success, there’s a good chance he will. more »