November 2012

November 2012

November 2012
photo by Cheryl Brown
USPA #244108
Robert Waspe prepares to land his canopy as the morning sun rises behind dissipating clouds at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida.

November 2012 | Volume 53, Number 11 | Issue 637 more »

Starting a Tradition: The First 8-Woman Star

The year 1969 was a happy time to be skydiving. Relative work (now called formation skydiving) was uniting the men and women of the sport as they had never united before. Jumpers were frolicking in the sky, at times laughing out loud in freefall from the ultimate joy of flying free—together! Everything was new. more »

On the Line: Succeeding in 4-Way

Part 6 of 6—Putting It All Together

Committing to a 4-way team requires a great deal of dedication and sacrifice. Unfortunately, many teams begin their training thinking that if they jump a lot they will advance quickly. This is not the case. Making a lot of jumps without a clear training plan will frequently result in a team feeling like it is just spinning its wheels. The members are putting in the effort but not seeing results. The team may advance in bits and pieces, but the pieces don’t fit together, and the points don’t add up. more »

Foundations of Flight—Rear-Riser Stall

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Niklas Daniel. more »

Closing-Loop Length

Following a routine reserve repack, a senior rigger closed the main container and found that the main closing loop was more than two inches too long. The long loop made it easy to close the container and insert the curved closing pin, but it also allowed the main container flaps to spread apart. This meant there was almost no tension on the closing pin, which could easily have led to a horseshoe malfunction or premature deployment. more »

Pull-Out Pilot Chutes



How do pull-out pilot chutes work, and how do they differ from the standard throw-out system? more »

Avoiding Tail Strikes

It seems like it should be a simple enough process to exit an airplane without striking the tail. After all, jumpers make approximately 3 million skydives each year in the U.S., and nearly all of those are uneventful. Yet several times a year, we hear about jumpers who are injured (or, on rare occasions, killed) after striking the tail of an airplane in flight. Almost without exception, tail strikes occur during solo exits. more »

Changes to Licenses and Ratings Rules

USPA has adopted new guidelines that will take effect in 2013 regarding the USPA A license, as well as which licenses will be accepted for USPA instructional ratings. The USPA Board of Directors approved the changes during its summer board meeting in Minneapolis. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - Backward Main

by Shaun Briggs | C-38996
Spanish Fork, Utah more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Nancy Fichtelberg


by Nancy Fichtelberg | USPA #247308 | North Brunswick, New Jersey

All of my life I have been afraid of so much: roller coasters, heights and even flying in airplanes! If I was a passenger in a car, I would tell the driver to slow down. I was not much of a daredevil, to say the least. I never had a hobby or had anything that I loved doing. I was the mom of four daughters who meant the world to me, but they were grown and had their lives to live. My husband and I had a home that was becoming empty. more »