February 2012

February 2012

February 2012
photo by Dawie du Plessis
USPA# 190345
In the Himalayas, Bill Booth jumps from 30,000 feet with Mount Everest as his backdrop.

February 2012 | Volume 53, Number 2 | Issue 628 more »

Leap Year 1912

"It is only by strenuous and hazardous preparation that the aviator can fit himself to his vocation," an early aviation journalist observed. "He needs an extraordinary combination of active energy, courage, decision of purpose, a quick eye, clearness of judgment, the utmost presence of mind and great physical dexterity." more »

Preparing for Safety Day

The Macarena, Tickle Me Elmo dolls and mullets were all fads from the ’90s that became extinct soon after introduction. When USPA announced that an event called Safety Day would take place for the first time on March 15, 1997, some jumpers believed that this was a concept destined to fade away as other fads would. Now, looking back over the 15 previous Safety Day events, this could not be further from the truth! Since the first Safety Day, USPA members have continued to flock to the annual event around the globe in huge numbers each year. Skydivers truly enjoy the day. And thanks to the clever minds of many USPA members, new games and useful resources continue to add value to the event. This year, Safety Day falls on March 10. (Some drop zones use a different date, so check with yours to verify.) more »

The Escher

Brought to you by guest author Andy Malchiodi at Skydive Elsinore in California. Photos by Montana Powell. more »

Foundations of Flight—Two-Way Vertical Transitions (aka “Over-Unders” or “Burble Hopping”)

Axis Flight LogoBrought to you by Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy with Thomas Hughes of Arizona Airspeed. Photos by Niklas Daniel. more »

Worn Lines

Some of the suspension lines on this main canopy have serrated edges, which indicates that it is time to reline the canopy. Different lines on the same canopy will wear at different rates. (The line at the top of this photo shows the most extensive damage). Generally, the lower part of the steering lines is where the most wear will occur, followed by the outside lines of each line group. As the slider grommets slide down the lines during deployment, the grommets generate heat, which wears out the lines over time. This heat can also cause significant shrinkage of Spectra® and Dacron® lines. more »

Instructional Rating Renewal Seminars

Each year, USPA requires all instructional rating holders (which includes USPA Coaches, as well as Instructors) to participate in a Rating Renewal Seminar. The Skydiver’s Information Manual describes this as “a meeting of USPA instructional rating holders to exchange information, introduce and discuss new ideas, and to develop, improve or assure the quality of skydiving instruction.” more »

Preventing Premature Brake Releases

A premature brake release on one side of your main canopy during deployment can cause a mild inconvenience, a fatal accident or anything in between, depending upon a variety of factors. But regardless of how well your canopy handles it, a premature brake release will affect controllability right after deployment, which increases the potential for a canopy collision with another jumper. A brake release can also lead to a malfunction that requires you to cut away and deploy your reserve; it can even lead to a fatality if you do nothing to bring the canopy under control. Indeed, several fatalities over the past few years occurred after jumpers experienced brake releases on one side of their canopies during deployment but did not correctly handle the problem. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - 20 Years, Four Months and 10 Days

by Sandy Reid | C-6557
Master Rigger and President of Rigging Innovations more »

Gearing Up - February 2012


Just as no skydiver would board an aircraft knowing the pilot is under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, then by the same standard, no skydiving student or novice should be entrusted to a coach or instructor who is similarly impaired. All of skydiving's working professionals—the thousands of coaches and instructors working with students each day at drop zones across the country—must agree that chemical or alcohol impairment while skydiving is not an option. more »