September 2013

September 2013

September 2013
photo by Raymond Adam
Jarod Orrell carves head down during the Wetter Hotter Americanner Summer Boogie at Skydive Atlanta in Thomaston, Georgia

September 2013 | Volume 54, Number 9 | Issue 647 more »

Hard Openings

Chances are that any jumper reading this has either experienced a main canopy that opened hard or will at some point in the future. Although the definition of a hard opening is very subjective (what one person may consider a hard opening, another may call normal), it is actually possible for a parachute to open so hard that it can cause severe physical trauma or even death. The range of possible injuries is wide, from minor strains and pulled muscles to broken necks and backs to torn aortas. more »

Slim - The Little-Known Life of Charles Lindbergh

Mention the name of Charles Lindbergh in aviation circles, and to a lesser extent in skydiving, and you get instant recognition. He is perhaps the greatest and most well known aviator since the Wright Brothers. His historic flight in May 1927 as the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean made him a world-famous celebrity. Several years later, his infant son was abducted and killed, and the kidnapper was arrested, put on trial, found guilty and executed. This story was front-page news of gargantuan proportions. Fame also followed Lindbergh in the days prior to World War ll when he visited Germany and paid adulation to Hitler’s modern air force. And although he faced much negative publicity, his legend as an aviator continued, even to this day. more »

Steeped in History

The USPA Board of Directors last met in Fredericksburg, Virginia—the boyhood home of George Washington and the current home of USPA Headquarters—in 2006. Only seven of the current 22 members of the board were at that meeting, and most of the board members seated since then had never visited the 8,340-square-foot USPA building. The July 26–28 Fredericksburg meeting afforded these board members the opportunity to visit and meet all 15 members of USPA’s staff. more »

Head-Down Turns

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 or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook. more »

Closing-Loop Maintenance

While changing out a slightly frayed closing loop, an A-licensed jumper discovered that the knot on his main closing loop was pulling through the washer. This closing loop came with the jumper’s new custom rig, and the manufacturer had installed it. The consequences of a loop pulling through a washer range from a horseshoe malfunction to a premature deployment while climbing out of the aircraft. more »

A-License Cards

USPA has offered two versions of the A-license card for more than 13 years, yet some rating holders are still confused about who can sign for the various items listed on them. The answer depends on which card you decide to use. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Alisha Backus


by Alisha Backus | D-32390 | Fern Park, Florida

When a person constantly witnesses emotional or physical abuse, it can take its toll. My parents went through a nasty divorce that took several years. Luckily, my mother is an amazing person who taught me compassion, which is hard to find these days. Through this time, she kept me grounded. more »

Profile - Bill Von Novak | D-16479

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20139Bill von Novak is an instructor, formation skydiving competitor and big-way world record holder, load organizer for events such as the former World Freefall Convention in Quincy, Illinois, and a demo jumper who organized the massive T-Mobile demo jump into San Francisco in 2009. However, with all his achievements, von Novak may be best known as a forum moderator, particularly the incidents forum, on more »