February 2013

February 2013

February 2013
photo by Rolf Kuratle
On his way to winning the overall gold medal for canopy piloting, Curt Bartholomew competes in a distance round during the 2013 World Parachuting Championships at Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

January 2013 | Volume 54, Number 2 | Issue 640 more »

Too Big To Fail

Organizer Bill Halsey looked at the new jumper joining the vertical-formation dirt dive and said, "Where should I put you?" The new jumper, jumpsuit tied loosely around his waist, put his hands on his hips, shrugged and casually answered, “You can put me anywhere. I can fly any slot.” more »

Foundations of Flight—Back Tracking

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

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

Travel Tips

Most jumpers tend to stick with one drop zone, especially during their student training days. Everything about the drop zone becomes second nature. The local jumpers, manifest procedures, airplanes, and the layout of the landing area, airport and surrounding land become “oh, so familiar.” But eventually, almost all jumpers end up going to new and unfamiliar locations. Whether it is a visit to a nearby drop zone during a weekend of normal jump operations or a long trip to a boogie or other special event, it is fun and exciting to head out for new adventures. But it can also be intimidating, especially if you are new to the sport and leaving the nest for the first time. A little planning and preparation will go a long way toward making your experience fun and painless. more »

Line Over

This tandem pair experienced a line-over malfunction during main canopy deployment. Jumpers can avoid this type of malfunction by taking care that the suspension and steering lines remain centered while they are packing. During a PRO pack of any canopy—sport or tandem—the lines will tend to move away from the center and toward the sides and nose of the canopy when the packer wraps the tail. This increases the risk of the lines looping around part of the canopy. To prevent this from causing a line-over malfunction, the packer should feel inside the canopy after wrapping the tail to make sure the lines are still centered and move them back toward the center if necessary. more »

Psycho Pack



What is a “psycho pack”? more »

Full Supervision

Coaches and instructors are responsible for supervising students throughout the entire training process, skydive and debrief. While USPA’s certification courses simulate and evaluate these skills pretty well, much of the focus is often on ground training and freefall skills. Of course, the courses can’t cover every possible scenario and can only place strong emphasis on so many items, but we shouldn’t forget that one of our most essential responsibilities as rating holders is to make sure our students remain out of harm’s way while on the ground. This can be a bigger challenge than you might think. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Samantha Hopkins


by Samantha Hopkins | B-36043 | Vernon, Connecticut

I waddled my way to the edge of the plane door with a strange man strapped to my back. I thought to myself, “What did I sign myself up for?” My tandem instructor screamed, “Out! In! Out!” and as quick as that, I was plummeting to the earth at 120 mph. I didn’t know that this moment would be the beginning of an unforgettable journey. more »

Profile - Ori Kuper | D-31267

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20132Ori Kuper is an Israeli citizen who works at Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, Texas. He’s a talented photographer and videographer who has covered several USPA Nationals, record jumps and other events. Parachutist frequently showcases his work, and his photos have appeared on the cover, as well as in the annual USPA Skydive Calendar. Along with his photographic talent, Kuper is an instructor, a canopy piloting and formation skydiving judge, a freeflyer, a swooper and recipient of the Chesley H. Judy Safety Award. more »

Gearing Up - February 2013


The early 1970s were pivotal years for competitive skydiving, with formation skydiving just beginning to supplant style and accuracy as the primary competitive discipline. What we now call 4-way formation skydiving (then called 4-man relative work) made its first appearance at the U.S. National Championships in 1970. Ten- and 8-way competitions quickly followed 4-way. The First World Parachuting Championships in Relative Work occurred in Germany in 1975. By the time William H. Ottley (WHO or Bill to his friends) became USPA’s executive director in 1978, 4- and 8-way formation skydiving were the premier competitive disciplines. more »