September 2014

September 2014

September 2014
photo by Iwan Van Der Schoor
Mark and Nancy Lichtle exit a helicopter for a demonstration jump into Lake of the Pines, California, to kick off the community's Fourth of July parade.

September 2014 | Volume 55, Number 9 | Issue 659 more »

Choosing (and Using) a Reserve: The Seven Cells Between You and the Cold, Hard Ground

When your mentor tells you, “My main canopy is a toy. My reserve is my parachute,” it’s not just semantics. That square of orange (or white or red...) nylon is not the curvy little plaything that co-stars in all your GoPro footage. It’s not pretty. It’s not built for style. And it’s definitely not an aspect of your gear to think of only in annoyance when your repack date comes up. It’s built to save your butt, which makes it a vital part of your career as a skydiver. It’s your parachute. Make sure you get a good one and, just as vitally, learn how to fly it. more »

Five Things to Ask Yourself Before Downsizing

It's a topic that nearly all skydivers face at some point in their skydiving careers: downsizing. And it's a discussion that the Performance Designs staff has had with numerous skydivers of all experience levels over the years. Now, with the majority of incidents in skydiving occurring under fully open (and fully functional) canopies, it’s that much more important to talk about when it is and is not appropriate to downsize. more »

Vertical Formation Skydiving Block 4

Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brandon Atwood. For more information visit more »

Slider Stows



What are the different methods for stowing my slider? more »

Wingsuit Flights: Communicate, and Don't Forget the Pilot

Wingsuiting seems to be one of the main reasons skydiving students show up at the drop zone these days, and it’s likely that the inspiration of horizontal flight is a trend that will continue. Although wingsuiting presents specific challenges—most significantly, the addition of horizontal navigation in freefall and a larger surface area to control—it is also driving the growth and popularity of our sport, and it’s not going away. The most effective ways to promote safety and avoid incidents during wingsuit jumps require communication between skydivers, drop zone owners and managers, Safety and Training Advisors, manifest staff, aircraft loaders and jump pilots. more »

Creating an Emergency Grid System

Four years ago, Chicagoland Skydiving Center relocated from its longtime home to its current location in Rochelle, Illinois. The drop zone had a challenge on its hands: It needed to educate a new community about skydiving and establish an effective system of communication with the police, emergency medical services and fire department. more »

Profile - Maxine Tate | D-31547

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20149Although currently best known for her skill in canopy piloting, Maxine Tate is a multi-faceted skydiver who is also accomplished in formation skydiving, canopy formation skydiving and instructing. A U.K. citizen and London School of Economics graduate, Tate now lives in Florida and combines her managerial and skydiving talents as the general manager of Flight-1, which promotes canopy flight education and includes Flight-1 Sport, Flight-1 Military and the Performance Designs Factory Team. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Chad Hall


by Chad Hall | D-33207 | Baytown, Texas

Just over a year and a half ago I wandered into Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, Texas, with my family and some friends to do a tandem jump. My son, William, had just turned 18 a couple of months before, so I gave him a tandem skydive as a present. That jump was incredible! We were both in love with freefall, so I asked the manager, Jason Hyder, if I could do my second tandem and also my first solo on that same day. He said, "If you go pay for it, I will make it happen." I promptly returned to manifest and paid for the second tandem, ground school and first solo. I also gave my son a second tandem. more »

Gearing Up - September 2014


Many of us often think about things we can do to help others, or even change lives. Donating to a good cause, lending a hand at the local food bank or homeless shelter, being a mentor to a kid who doesn’t have one or assisting people in any of a thousand other ways makes us feel good. Inherently, we like assisting our neighbors, people in our community and others who are simply less fortunate than we are. Invariably though, we struggle to find the time to help or to come up with extra money for a cause. But you can perform a one-time act that takes only minutes, costs nothing and cannot only change lives, but can also save lives: You can register to be an organ donor. more »