March 2012

March 2012

March 2012
photo by Mike McGowan
Ben Barringer, cadet wing commander at the U.S. Air Force Academy, bears down on the tuffet during the open classic accuracy event at the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships.

March 2012 | Volume 53, Number 3 | Issue 629 more »

Bigger, Bolder, Safer

photos by Jeff Nebelkopf

In April 2010, fundraising and outreach organization Raise the Sky organized Project XRW (which stands for “extreme relative work”) to bring together the most highly skilled athletes in canopy piloting and wingsuiting to explore the interaction between the disciplines. After experiencing a growth of knowledge and several safe projects in various locations, Project XRW kicked off an expansion phase in January against the backdrop of Skydive Sebastian’s unspoiled Florida coastline and cloudless sky. The founding team members invited select highly experienced wingsuit pilots to join the group in flying with PD Factory Team canopy pilots Ian Bobo, Jessica Edgeington and Jonathan Tagle under their Performance Designs Velocity 71 parachutes. more »

Visual Gear Check and Common Mistakes

In order to promote safety, we've decided to allow all pages of this feature to be downloaded. You can find all files within.

Foundations of Flight—Kiting

Axis Flight LogoBrought to you by Axis Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Niklas Daniel. more »

Soft Links vs. Regular Links



Should I get the fabric loop-style connector links or the steel ones to connect my canopy to the risers?

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Crossing the Line

Just as they would expect as a patron of any other business, skydiving students expect to show up at a drop zone and find a professional staff that treats each customer with courtesy and respect. Unfortunately, some skydiving instructors may not always behave that way, crossing a line that turns a student’s first-jump experience into an event that makes them feel frightened and vulnerable due to real or perceived sexual harassment. It is essential that skydiving instructors and coaches treat all students appropriately and professionally. more »

Removable Deployment Systems

Back in the early days of sport parachuting, jumpers considered the slider unusual and perhaps even a bit dangerous. But in the 1970s, parachute designer Greg Yarbenet pursued the idea to help slow the severely hard openings that were common at the time. As the story goes, he started by placing his wedding ring around the lines on a toy parachute. Liking what he saw, he played with the design and created a full-sized fabric slider that had D-rings at the corners. Eventually, designers modified the design to incorporate grommets at the inside of the fabric edges, which helped reduce entanglements, giving us the design still in use today. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - Show Jump

by John Vanderschrier | D-2626
Grafton, Ohio more »

Gearing Up - March 2012


As I write this, we’ve just closed the books and run the numbers on 2011. Notwithstanding the sputtering economy, USPA continues in good shape. Membership activity remained high in 2011, with respectable numbers of skydivers joining, renewing and earning licenses and ratings. We ended the year with the highest total membership count—33,515—in nine years, 3,027 more than the recent low point in late 2005. Some 5,959 new skydivers joined USPA in 2011, and we issued 5,944 licenses—the most since 2003. more »