September 2012

September 2012

September 2012
photo by Gustavo Cabana
USPA #80952
A group of jumpers exit a Dornier aircraft over Prostejov, Czech Republic, during the annual Vector Festival

September 2012 | Volume 53, Number 9 | Issue 635 more »

Taking The Long Way Home

If you’re interested in organizing a cross-country jump at your DZ, there are several steps you’ll need to take to make it a success. A good organizer delegates—and getting help with some of the chores will make a big difference—but you should still plan on one to two hours of ground prep for working out the details with manifest, the pilot and your fellow jumpers. more »

On the Line: Succeeding in 4-Way

Part 4 of 6—Block Training with Stage Drills

When training to improve your team’s block formations, it’s important for the members to understand what the technically perfect move is for each. Understanding it is fairly simple. However, even the best teams whose members have thousands of jumps together don’t perform the blocks perfectly every time. But by understanding the blocks, your team can execute them well, even if they are less than technically perfect. more »

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Tales from Skydiving in the '60s: Part I

Do you think you have it bad, having to constantly reassure coworkers who know you’re a skydiver? Or answering the same questions over and over again to friends and family who don’t really understand what skydivers actually do? Imagine what it was like in the 1960s, when skydiving was a new sport. Today, almost every other stranger we run into has made at least one jump or knows someone who has. Parachutists back then—there were only about 4,000 to 8,000 in the entire country—really had some explaining to do. more »

Foundations of Flight—Back-Flip Transition From Sit to Head-Down Daffy

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

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

Helicopter Jumps

Most skydivers—even if they’ve never had a flying lesson—generally have quite a good understanding of airplanes. After several hundred (or thousand) takeoffs and rides to altitude, jumpers tend to pick up a fair amount of knowledge as if through osmosis. However, helicopters are fairly uncommon around drop zones. Even fixed-wing pilots who are skydivers don’t fully understand how they work, and the average skydiver understands them even less. Since only a handful of skydivers also pilot helicopters and since only a few helicopter pilots have experience flying jumpers, educational resources are scarce and misconceptions are abundant. more »

3-Ring System Maintenance



How should I maintain my 3-ring system and cutaway cables? more »

Worn Webbing

A master rigger took these photos of a worn leg strap and sent them to the rig’s manufacturer, Rigging Innovations, for an opinion as to whether the strap needed replacement. (This type of damage often occurs when harnesses come into contact with asphalt or other abrasive surfaces during less-than-graceful landings.) The manufacturer recommended grounding the rig until the strap could be replaced because the damage went over the selvage edge (the edge of the webbing that is woven in a way that prevents it from fraying or unraveling). If the damage had not gone over the selvage edge, the strap would not have needed immediate replacement and the manufacturer would have recommended that the owner simply keep an eye on it. more »

Safe Piloting

Very few coaches and instructors are also airplane pilots, but we still need to learn about the proper operation of the machines that take us to altitude. After all, we spend a lot more time riding in aircraft than we spend in freefall or under canopy. As rating holders, we play an important role in ensuring that the drop zone is operating as safely as possible, and that should include the jump planes and how they are flown. more »