November 2014

November 2014

November 2014
photo by Randy Swallows
Fresh off of its win at the 2014 World Championships of 8-Way Formation Skydiving, the U.S. Army Golden Knights turn in another gold-medal-winning performance at the USPA Nationals at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois.

November 2014 | Volume 55, Number 11 | Issue 661 more »

Game Changers

After World War II, skydiving took off when returning veterans, many of whom served in airborne units and related fields, yearned to once again feel the rush of adrenaline as they exited an airplane. The passion they experienced while making static-line-deployed jumps made them hunger for more excitement. These early skydivers used modified military surplus equipment to participate in the blossoming sport. In the 1950s and ’60s, military B-4 containers, C-9 round canopies, 24-foot twill reserve canopies, pilot chutes, ripcords, helmets and boots saw heavy use at drop zones around the nation. Many jumpers didn’t particularly like military surplus equipment because it was bulky and uncomfortable, so a few started designing new equipment just for recreational skydivers. The equipment revolution began diminishing every aspect of military influence and changed skydiving forever. Here are some of the most original and dynamic inventions since that time. more »

Half Reverse Eagle

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructors Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Vince Arnone. For more information visit more »

Harness Condition Issues



What harness condition issues should I keep an eye out for? more »

Rules and Recommendations

It seems like a simple enough idea: Skydivers should follow USPA’s rules and recommendations, which have proven to make skydiving safer. After all, not following them has been the cause of almost every skydiving fatality. However, skydiving attracts a unique bunch of people, and whether it is due to sheer ignorance or “rules are for other people” arrogance, jumpers don’t always follow the rules and sometimes ignore the recommendations. And periodically, it leads to tragedy. more »

Using Cue Words for Efficient Practice

Cue words can help you become a more effective coach or instructor. A cue is simply a short command given during the practice section of a dirt dive to guide your student’s performance. The effectiveness is in its brevity. Here is an example: more »

Tales from the Bonfire - To Jump or Not to Jump When Weather Looms


by Kelly Demele | D-30691 | Riverview, Florida

It's been four years since my skydiving accident. August 21, 2010, was a typical hot summer day with accumulating clouds and a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. Nine of us rode to altitude in a Skyvan, so we couldn’t see anything below us on the way up. When the green light came on, someone yelled, “Go! Go! Go!” and we lifted the door and chunked the 9-way out. Ultimately, this is where we should have checked below us and asked, “Do we jump? Or do we ride the plane down?” But hell, we are skydivers, of course we wanted to jump! more »

Profile - Kim Winslow | D-28140

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201411According to her friends, when Kim Winslow started skydiving, she “took to it like a duck to water.” Now, more than 10,000 jumps later, Winslow is a professional skydiver who loves taking tandem students on their first skydives. She also trains military personnel, competes in 4-way vertical formation skydiving, organizes world record jumps, flies camera, instructs AFF students and is a Big Sister with Sisters in Skydiving, a tunnel instructor and an FAA Senior Rigger. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Carlyn Burczyk


by Carlyn Burczyk | A-65295 | Levittown, New York

At the beginning of 2012, my boyfriend, Michael, and I started working at a local drop zone doing photography and video editing, and we both began jumping later that season. That October, Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island, New York. At the time, Michael and I lived in an apartment on the water, and it flooded from the storm. Everything was completely drenched, but most of it was still salvageable. The next day, we returned just in time to see the fire department shoveling through our destroyed belongings. We found out that the corroded outlets had sparked a fire and torched almost everything we owned. Anything that wasn’t burnt in the fire was either melted or completely smoke damaged. We had nothing left. more »

Gearing Up - November 2014


Every few years a membership association must assess whether to increase member dues and by how much. Inflation is always at work increasing the cost of doing business by raising the cost of printing, paper stock, postage, travel, etc. And every few years, an association will need to replace printers, computers and servers and update software. In fact, USPA has raised member dues six times since 1983, an average of just under every five years. The last increase was in 2009—five years ago. Let me end the suspense: USPA is doing well financially and there is no current need to consider increasing dues. But USPA’s finances weren’t always blue skies. more »