February 2011

February 2011

February 2011
photo by Andrey Veselov
At the 10th anniversary of the Kaleidoscope Dives in DeLand, Florida, 107 jumpers fly the signature formation of the event, a 10-pointed star.

February 2011 | Volume 52, Number 2 | Issue 616 more »

25 Ways to Become a Better Canopy Pilot

Lots of people decide to quit skydiving because of their canopy skills—they’re afraid of injury or perhaps just the embarrassment of a bad landing. And statistics show that the most hazardous part of a skydive begins once a jumper is under a fully functioning canopy. But don’t let a lack of knowledge or skill keep you from the sport that you love—there are many ways to improve your confidence and safety under canopy. Even the people who win medals and dazzle crowds will tell you that they, too, have room for improvement. more »

Mark Your Calendars: 15th Annual Safety Day

Even though many of us are currently stuck on the ground, suffering through freezing temperatures and howling winds, drop zones around the country are gearing up for springtime and Safety Day, which takes place this year on March 12. Some drop zones choose a different date, so check with your local DZ or the listings under the Safety tab of the USPA website. In some areas, it may even be possible to have a “safety month” by attending several Safety Day events on different weekends at various drop zones. more »

Differences in Reserve Parachute Systems



Do all reserve parachute systems work about the same, or are there real differences? more »

Dislodged Reserve Ripcord Handle

A jumper on a 4-way freefly skydive inadvertently dislodged this jumper’s reserve handle while reaching for a grip on exit. Jumpers should use caution when taking grips to help prevent this scenario. more »

Profile - Sally Hathaway | D-17133

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20112Sally Hathaway, D-17133, has medaled in formation skydiving at a number of USPA Nationals and has achieved an impressive four women’s 4-way formation skydiving world championships. Hathaway jumps at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Florida, and makes her living in the world of skydiving—she’s a USPA AFF Instructor and Coach Examiner; an FAA Master Rigger and owner of Paragone Rigging; and a wind tunnel coach at SkyVenture in Orlando, with more than 1,000 hours in the tunnel. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Matt Feeser


by Matt Feeser | USPA #213775 | York, Pennsylvania

My journey into the sport of skydiving was a little different than most. Like many people, skydiving was something I always said that I wanted to do, but it seemed to be something I just kept talking about rather than doing. Although for me, skydiving is a bit more difficult than for most people. more »

Gearing Up - February 2011


The year 2010 ended with 21 U.S. skydiving fatalities, 70 percent of which were canopy related (meaning the jumper successfully deployed a parachute but did not survive the landing). Earlier this year, USPA decided to gather industry experts for a Canopy Safety Summit (see page 23 for participants) and created a web page to solicit ideas and comments from all sources for consideration by the group. more »