August 2013

August 2013

August 2013
photo by Niklas Daniel
Justin Price photographs Todd Love (bottom center) flying a 9-way with a group of world champion skydivers to celebrate earning his A license at Skydive Arizona in Eloy through the Operation X-Wing Program.

August 2013 | Volume 54, Number 8 | Issue 646 more »

Operation X-Wing

Aquestion that every skydiver gets is, “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” A typical answer (after the “no such thing as a perfectly good airplane” discussion) is, “Well, it’s cheaper than therapy!” more »

When Less is More

Around the drop zone, you’ll hear jumpers referring to minimum-altitude-loss turns by a variety of names: flat turns, braked turns, elevation turns or depression turns. The intention behind making all these types of turns is the same, namely, to perform a necessary heading change with the smallest amount of altitude loss possible. Technically speaking, the aim is to achieve the primary effect of yaw (heading change) with minimal roll (bank) and pitch (nose-attitude) change, while controlling any resulting effect (surge). more »

Exiting an Open Accordion

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Brianne Thompson at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Assistance provided by Sandy Radsek and Kim Winslow of Arizona Overdrive. Air photos by Niklas Daniel; ground photos by Mark Kirschenbaum. For more information visit or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook. more »

It Takes a Village

There is an old proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The skydiving community could easily adapt this to, “It takes a village to raise a skydiver.” For someone to progress as safely as possible and become a competent skydiver, it takes a lot of help and guidance from a variety of people. Instructors teach basic freefall and canopy survival skills, and coaches teach basic group freefall skills. But once a jumper is licensed, he no longer has a structured path to follow and generally relies on advice from informal mentors. more »

Stowing Excess Line


When packing, does it matter how I stow the excess suspension line before I place the main bag in the tray and close the container?

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Line Stows

A videographer captured this image showing one bight of suspension line releasing early during the deployment of a tandem main canopy. The line-stow band may have broken as the main bag lifted out of the container, or the bight of line may have been too short for the stow to hold it securely during the deployment sequence. This type of packing error can lead to hard openings and malfunctions, although in this case, the main canopy opened without incident. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for packing and maintenance can help ensure proper main canopy deployment. more »


Imagine an instructor holding a bottle of water. He asks a student if he is thirsty, and the student replies, “Yes.” The instructor then pours the water into the palm of his hand and tries to hand it to the student. Of course, the water goes everywhere. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jason Christensen


by Jason Christensen | A-61244 | Carver, Minnesota

With a simple “three, two, one,” I was out the door and the adrenaline in my veins rushed as quickly as the cool wind. I had bungee jumped off the Grand Canyon and record-high cliffs in Québec, and I had motorcycled for years, but none of those experiences came close to my first skydive. Most people said I was absolutely insane to actually want to jump out of a plane. They might be right, but they don’t know what they’re missing. more »

Profile - Tom Deacon | D-27911

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20138Tom Deacon is a quiet and unassuming skydiver whose truckload of instructional ratings does the speaking for him. He has trained thousands of skydiving novices and is also an instructor examiner who runs Professional Skydiving Services, a company that provides skydiving instructor training and certifications to civilians and military personnel. Additionally, Deacon is a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger. As a 4-way formation skydiver, Deacon’s latest goal is to medal at the 2013 USPA Nationals with his team, Arizona Overdrive. more »