Gearing Up - October 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, October 2014

EdScott

Working to enhance skydiving safety is inarguably USPA’s most important mission. The association’s slogan sums up USPA’s primary purpose: “Supporting safe skydiving and those who enjoy it.” Over the past few decades, skydiving’s safety record has substantially improved, even though there’s been a large increase in jump activity. But we know that if this safety trend reverses, USPA and the skydiving community will face an antagonistic media and a concerned public, which would dampen activity, cause skydiving to become a target for increased governmental regulation and raise skydiving’s cost. more »

Gearing Up - September 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, September 2014

EdScott

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 »

Gearing Up - August 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, August 2014

EdScott

USPA has nearly always had a set of Basic Safety Requirements (or the equivalent with a different name) that applies to all skydivers and affiliated drop zone operators. And for just as long, the association has had a disciplinary process for dealing with those who don’t comply. Section 1-6 of the USPA Governance Manual describes the process for dealing with BSR violations and other infractions that may cause people to lose their memberships, licenses or ratings for various periods of time. Among those infractions are submitting forged or falsified applications or documents, engaging in conduct as a skydiver that brings public contempt, endangering oneself or others through negligent conduct and jeopardizing the well-being of USPA. more »

Gearing Up - July 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, July 2014

EdScott

To the general public, skydiving and BASE jumping are similar sports. Of course, they are not. Skydiving has an array of Federal Aviation Regulations that apply—Part 65 to riggers, Part 91 to jump pilots, Part 105 to jump pilots, skydivers and operators—along with USPA Basic Safety Requirements and Skydiver’s Information Manual recommendations. BASE jumping? Not so much. more »

Gearing Up - June 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, June 2014

EdScott

Technology has changed the sport of skydiving in myriad ways over the years and nearly always in ways that have made it better. As skydiving equipment such as parachutes, harness-and-container systems and altimeters have evolved, so have video cameras. Cameras are now lightweight, portable and inexpensive, and they are capable of producing high-quality, high-definition images even if the user has little photographic expertise. All of this has made them prevalent at just about every DZ. more »

Gearing Up - May 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, May 2014

EdScott

In the article “Truffer’s Legacy” on page 36 of this issue, you’ll read about the very generous way that Mike Truffer gave back to the sport he loved so much, via arrangements he made prior to his untimely death last year. The former USPA staffer, Parachutist editor and board member actually spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Parachute Team Trust Fund as an endowment that would grow over time to financially help U.S. Team members meet the cost of competing at world meets. And in his will, he provided for the Team Trust Fund, a cause to which he had encouraged others to donate, truly walking the walk. more »

Gearing Up - April 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, April 2014

EdScott

At what age should a person be allowed to skydive? At its most recent meeting, USPA’s board of directors decided the age should be 18 effective May 1. Anyone under 18 who has made a jump prior to that date may continue skydiving as long as they acquire a USPA A license by the last day of 2014. Anyone under 18 who is already licensed by May 1 can continue skydiving without condition. more »

Gearing Up - March 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, March 2014

EdScott

In 1996, Patti Chernis, a Northwest jumper who won election to the USPA Board that year but perished on a skydive before taking her seat, advanced the idea of the skydiving community spending a day early in each season to focus on safety. In 1997, USPA Safety Day—a day when DZs host seminars, demonstrations and discussions about how to enhance each skydiver’s level of safety—began. more »

Gearing Up - February 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, February 2014

EdScott

As this is written, the year 2013 has just ended. As always, the new year provides a time for reflection on events of the previous year. For USPA that includes a final tally of U.S. skydiving fatalities and a review of their underlying causes. Not lost on us here is that each of these was fully a tragedy for the families and friends of those taken by a sport they so loved. Their inclusion as statistics isn’t meant to diminish their lives, but instead is intended to help the rest of us learn and survive. more »

Gearing Up - January 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, January 2014

EdScott

They were quickly dubbed the “Miracle Eleven”—the nine skydivers and two pilots who escaped virtually unscathed from a mid-air collision between two jump planes in formation over Superior, Wisconsin, in November. It is clear that providence was smiling on all 11 that day, with the nine skydivers landing under their main canopies, one pilot landing under his emergency rig’s round canopy and the other pilot landing his damaged plane on the runway. And no one on the ground was injured. more »