June 2013

June 2013

June 2013
photo by Zach Schroedel
Ted Chen flies his wingsuit at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, California.

June 2013 | Volume 54, Number 6 | Issue 644 more »

The 2013 Drop Zone Operators' Conference

Every two years, USPA invites drop zone owners, operators and staff for a one-day conference filled with all the latest information and ideas for safely and successfully operating a DZ. USPA’s 2013 Drop Zone Operators’ Conference was the biggest and best yet, with a record-high 133 registered attendees March 25 in Daytona Beach, Florida. more »

Season of Change

The newly elected USPA Board of Directors met in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 22-24 for the first meeting of its term. The election produced a 32 percent turnover on the board, and the new board’s election of the six officers that make up the Executive Committee produced a 50 percent turnover with three new officers. And of the three returning officers, only one, Vice President Randy Allison, retained his previous seat. more »

Back-Fly to Sit-Fly Transition

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

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

A Letter from Skydive Arizona S&TA Bryan Burke

Every Safety Day, Skydive Arizona in Eloy tries to combine practical safety exercises in the daytime with a more generalized, thoughtful look at safety trends during an evening presentation. The latter element has always been my job and my passion. I’ve been a Safety and Training Advisor since they were known as Area Safety Officers, and although I only have a few thousand jumps, I’d be willing to bet good money that I’ve seen more jumps than anyone alive. The downside to my job is the 25 fatalities I’ve worked over the last two decades and the hundreds of serious accidents. I want to do everything I can to reduce that, and education based on solid facts is my best tool. Most of those accidents were preventable. more »

Power Lines

This student, who had seven jumps, found himself in power lines after running into them while attempting to land his parachute. He waited for assistance as stated in Skydiver’s Information Manual Section 5-1. The power company got him down safely but had to cut a few of the canopy’s suspension lines to do so. more »

The 2013 AFF Standardization Meeting

It’s a safe bet that on March 30, there was not a single AFF Instructor Rating Course being conducted anywhere in the world. That’s because every current AFF Instructor Examiner was in the same room in Daytona Beach, Florida, attending the biennial AFF Standardization Meeting. Members of this dedicated group traveled to the meeting from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South America and all parts of the U.S., including one examiner who drove 50 hours almost non-stop from Arizona to make it on time. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - James Hilliard


by James Hilliard | B-35434 | Lincoln, Nebraska

In 2007, at the age of 23, I moved to a new city to be closer to family and finish college. Before moving, I hadn't given much thought to how I would support myself in this new location. Pilot certificates filled my wallet, and I already had a couple years of experience working as a flight instructor. Therefore, I knew my best chances for finding work would be as a pilot. Internet searches led me to the local drop zone. more »

Profile - Matt Hoover | D-29246

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20136Jumpers best know Matt Hoover as a wingsuiter and skydiving photographer. Publications worldwide have printed more than 200 of his photos, and CNN, NBC and the Discovery Channel have aired his videos. Hoover was a member of the photography team for the 2009 68-way U.S. Record for Largest Wingsuit Formation, as well as the 2012 100-way Guinness World Record for Largest Wingsuit Formation. more »

Gearing Up - June 2013


On April 10, President Obama presented his proposed 2014 budget to the U.S. Congress. Within the 227-page document is one paragraph describing a new $100-per-flight user fee for turbine aircraft (piston and public aircraft exempted) flying in controlled airspace (defined as airspace in which air traffic control services can be provided, such as Class E airspace that begins at either 700 or 1,200 feet above the surface for most of the U.S.). Aviation user fees have been proposed before, but never with enough detail to be able to conclude that turbine jump planes would pay $100 for each and every load flown. Could the administration seriously propose charging $2,500 or more per day per turbine jump plane? USPA posed that question the very next day in a letter mailed to the White House. So far, we’ve received no response. more »