April 2013

April 2013

April 2013
photo by Randy Swallows
Mark Randall hangs from a skid in preparation for a helicopter jump at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida

April 2013 | Volume 54, Number 4 | Issue 642 more »

It's All About Perspective - Improving Your Skydiving Through Mindset

From their very first jumps, skydivers hear ridiculous things from non-skydivers such as, “I would never skydive. That’s crazy.” Yet the same skydivers may look at these non-jumpers and think, “Why are you sitting on the sidelines of life? What is holding you back from experiencing the best that life has to offer?” more »

Lessons to be Learned - The 2012 Fatality Summary

Canopy landings and malfunctioning main parachutes were the two most common causes of the 19 skydiving deaths in the United States in 2012. However, there are lessons to be learned from every skydiving mishap. Sharing the circumstances in which these tragedies occurred helps the rest of us avoid these situations. This article will take a look at the year as a whole and try to identify the mistakes that skydivers in the U.S. made that resulted in death. more »

Spinning a Sidebody Piece Backward

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructors Brianne Thompson and Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Travis Mills. For more information visit axisflightschool.com or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook. more »

Windy-Day Tips

Springtime weather often means windy weather, and while skydivers are often grounded when the winds are too strong or gusty, there are plenty of days when the wind picks up but remains at a reasonable level and we can continue to jump. However, we have to stay sharp and pay attention, especially under canopy. more »

Bent Reserve Pin

While visiting a drop zone that was not his home DZ, a jumper gave his equipment to a rigger for a routine inspection and repack. When performing the inspection, the rigger noticed some problems with the reserve pin. The pin, which should be straight, had a noticeable bend, as well as numerous abrasions along its shaft and on its eye. It was also difficult to move, even side to side. The investigating rigger suspected that the bend was from the previous rigger using a positive-leverage device that allowed him to use an excessive amount of force when tightening the closing loop. The scratches on the eye were likely due to the previous rigger using pliers in order to get a better grip on the pin for insertion. The scratches along the shaft may have been due to the use of pliers or from the pin rubbing against the grommet on which it sat. more »

New Instructors

Earning an instructional rating in any discipline is always a great accomplishment. A jumper who proves that he has the teaching ability and air skills necessary to pass the certification course and work with students has already exhibited hard work and commitment. However, the jumper should really consider achieving the rating as just the starting point. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Gary Holden


by Gary Holden | D-31444 | Cincinnati, Ohio

This adventure all started around my 60th birthday, in March 2009, while talking with my co-worker, Abby, who has the same birthday as I do (though I’m 30 years older). We were trying to come up with something special to do. I mentioned that I would like to jump out of an airplane before I got too old to do it. Abby said that she had always wanted to do it, too, and we made a pact: I would do it if she would. So in June, we made our first tandem skydives. I was hooked! Then we made two more, one in July and one in August. In September, we started the AFF program at Start Skydiving in Middletown, Ohio, but ran out of good weather before the end of the season and had to finish the following year. more »

Profile - Nicole Smith | D-32007

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20134Nicole Smith, D-32007, recently accomplished the mission of jumping in all 50 states. The accomplishment is all the more impressive since she completed her journey a little more than a year after a serious car accident required her to undergo eight months of grueling rehabilitation. Smith shares details of her skydiving odyssey, which has inspired countless people to make the most of life, on her blog at temptphate01.tumblr.com. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - Much is Required

by Tammy Ritzheimer | D-14937
Highland, Illinois more »