July 2014

July 2014

July 2014
photo by Cheryl Brown
USPA #244108
Tommy Dellibac lands during the zone accuracy event while on his way to winning the open-class overall gold medal at the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting.

July 2014 | Volume 55, Number 7 | Issue 657 more »

Blue Skies or Gray

On iffy-weather days, you’ll see them sitting in folding chairs with icy beverages in hand exchanging knowing glances and wry smiles as much younger jumpers with untested immortality head to the plane. They’re the guys who say, as a thunderstorm advances, “It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground.” They’re the one’s who’ve been there, done that and lived to tell about it. And every summer, without fail, they set up their chairs right before the stormy weather moves in, and they pull their jumpsuits back on right after the danger has passed. more »

Relative Glide

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Illustrations by Niklas Daniel. For more information visit axisflightschool.com. more »

Dirty Containers



Can I get my dirty container cleaned? more »

Grommet Damage

While performing a routine canopy inspection at a local rigging loft, a rigger found damage to the slider’s brass grommets that friction from the Technora lines of the canopy had caused. Although stainless steel grommets can show similar wear, grommets made of brass, such as this one, are softer and likely to wear more quickly. Metal rapide connector links, which connect risers to canopy lines, can also cause grommet damage when the slider comes down over the links on opening. Rigs that use this type of connection method should have bumpers installed over the links to prevent damage. more »

Dropped Cameras

Almost 14 years ago, I received a call from an angry man who had been working peacefully in his garden when “one of those surfboard things smacked into my yard 10 feet away from me!” As it turns out, a new skysurfer lost control in freefall and released his board, which proceeded to smack into the ground next to the unsuspecting gardener. The small parachute that was supposed to deploy if the jumper released the board had failed, and the board hit the ground with a pretty strong impact. more »

Procedure Versus Style

As an instructor, you’ve probably been there: The first-jump course students are still in the classroom, and it’s late afternoon already. “He loves to hear himself talk,” another instructor murmurs in your ear. “True,” you think sarcastically to yourself, “but at least he covers the information, unlike some people I know.” more »

Profile - Blake Robinson | D-15810

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20147Like many in the 1990s, Blake Robinson started jumping after the release of the movie “Point Break.” In contrast to the rule-breaking, bank-robbing characters in the film, Robinson became a respected drop zone manager who runs Skydive San Diego in Jamul, California, by the book. Robinson is a USPA AFF and Static-Line Instructor, Tandem Instructor Examiner, Safety and Training Advisor and PRO-rating holder. In addition, he’s an FAA Private Pilot and Senior Parachute Rigger. He uses his myriad skills and knowledge to create the safest environment he can. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Mike Horan


by Mike Horan | D-881 | Carrabelle, Florida

A short leave from the U.S. Marine Corps in mid-September 1964 had me traveling to East Moriches, New York, home of the Long Island Skydivers. That Sunday morning I wandered around the drop zone looking for a sign of activity. The day was cloudy, windy and starting to mist … no day for skydiving. I then noticed a young man crawling out of his bed—a red, white and blue canopy—in the hangar. I asked him if he was a jumper or a pilot, and he said, “Yeah, I suppose so. I need some food,” and we climbed into his car. He said his name was Jim. more »