October 2013

October 2013

October 2013
photo by Norman Kent
Jumpers enjoy a formation skydive during the Summerfest boogie at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois.

October 2013 | Volume 54, Number 10 | Issue 648 more »

The Birth of Skydiving Photography

It took no small amount of nerve to begin skydiving in the 1950s, when the stable delay was still in its infancy and round canopies landed you less than gently. But what took real nerve back then was trying to capture skydiving on film while everyone was still learning how to skydive. Today, skydivers with GoPros record every imaginable frame of weekend geeking, uploading routine jumps to YouTube just minutes after landing; everyone seems to be a camera flyer. They have no idea how hard it was a half century ago. more »

Outfacing Head-Down Carve

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 »

Unintended Consequences

There is no doubt that skydiving is safer now than it has ever been in the past. Better equipment, better student training, advanced coaching and easy access to wind tunnels have combined to allow skydivers to rapidly improve their aerial skills. But are we now seeing fatalities and injuries caused in part by our new technologies? Lack of altitude awareness, poor canopy control and lack of action or improper action during emergencies have made up a large percentage of the fatalities so far this year. We as a community need to reverse this trend. more »

Locked Toggle

After an otherwise uneventful main canopy deployment, a tandem instructor using a United Parachute Technologies system was unable to release a toggle because the steering line had locked itself onto the soft part of the toggle below the grommet and steering line attachment point. He performed emergency procedures, and he and his student landed safely under the reserve canopy. more »

Foolish Risks

Maybe it is boredom, maybe it is ignorance of the rules and the additional danger placed on all of the participants, or maybe it’s just a case of trying to be cool and awesome. But each year, tandem manufacturers and USPA hear of tandem instructors who have violated the rules created to make tandem skydiving as safe as possible. more »

Profile - Mary Goetsch | D-9749

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201310Mary Goetsch comes from a family with a rich skydiving history. Her parents, Philip and Carol, were active demo jumpers, competitors, instructors and early proponents of the AFF program. In fact, Goetsch started jumping before she was born: In 1964, her mother made 24 jumps while Mary was still in the womb. In the 1980s, Mary began jumping on her own and now carries on the family tradition as an active demo jumper and instructor. She is a USPA Safety and Training Advisor, Coach Examiner, and Static-Line and AFF Instructor Examiner and holds a PRO rating. Additionally, Goetsch is a private pilot and an FAA Master Rigger, as well as a BASE jumper. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Adam Martin


by Adam Martin | B-36896 | Gilbert, Arizona

Starting with the death of my grandfather in December of 2009, my life began to spiral out of control. Over the next two years, I allowed the events happening in and around my family to lead me into a very deep and dark place. After the divorce of my parents and the death of my grandmother, I really didn’t think life could get any worse. How wrong I was! On December 2, 2011, my father, whom I was living with, took his own life. more »

Gearing Up - October 2013


At its summer meeting, the USPA Board acted to change the Basic Safety Requirements by increasing the minimum deployment altitude for C- and D-license holders from 2,000 feet to 2,500 feet. The 2,000-foot container-opening-altitude minimum has been in place since 1966, a time when parachutes generally opened quickly. more »