Bag Lock Malfunction

This bag-lock malfunction occurred when one of the packing tabs on the canopy entangled with the last closing-stow band on the deployment bag. Although this is a very unusual malfunction, jumpers can help avoid it by making sure that the stows are not near the packing tabs when closing their deployment bags. 

How do I know if my brakes are rigged and adjusted correctly?

The length between the “cat’s eye” (the opening in the line where you set your brakes before packing) and the steering toggle can greatly influence whether you have smooth flights and great landings. An incorrect brake length can hamper ideal performance from your canopy, and the causes vary. Working with your rigger, you should be able to address any issues without spending a lot of money. more »

Head-up to head-down shelf transition

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Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photo by David Cherry. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com. more »

Aircraft Emergency

It took almost 25 years of skydiving, but I finally experienced an aircraft emergency as a skydiver. Actually, I would not even classify it as a true emergency, since the engine loss happened at 13,000 feet. As a pilot myself with many hours in this King Air, I knew what was going on and I had a good idea of how the pilot who was flying was going to handle the situation. But seeing how everyone reacted was interesting. Some looked nervous, and some seemed confused about what to do. more »

Instructional Rating Changes

At the July USPA Board meeting in Seattle, Washington, the Safety and Training Committee spent most of its meeting time discussing the instructional rating process. The results were multiple changes, some of which went into effect immediately and others of which will come into play at a later date. more »

Back-Fly backward Drive

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Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photo by David Cherry. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com. more »

Misrouted Pud Bridle

A jumper using a pull-out pilot chute (known as a “pud”) experienced a total malfunction due to a misrouting of the main-closing-pin bridle. The jumper could extract the pud’s handle but couldn’t extract the pin due to the misrouting. The jumper pulled her reserve ripcord and landed uneventfully under her reserve parachute. more »

Breaking the Links in the Chain

Survey information provided by members of USPA indicates that “Incident Reports” is one of the most important and widely read sections of Parachutist magazine. Apparently, we all see the value in learning from these reports in hopes of avoiding a similar situation on our own skydives. Skydivers are not unique in learning through this type of process. Airplane pilots, BASE jumpers, scuba divers and all sorts of people who participate in potentially dangerous activities study accident information. An entire government agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, is dedicated to investigating accidents in every form of transportation, all in the name of discovering their true causes and developing recommendations for avoiding them in the future. So it is not unusual at all that you would want to read “Incident Reports” for educational purposes. more »

Putting Your Name on the Line

Instructors and instructor examiners are responsible for lots of things when working with license and rating candidates. One of the most important and often overlooked tasks is the verification of license and rating requirements. Every USPA license requires the candidate to complete a minimum number of jumps and amount of freefall time. Every USPA rating requires a minimum number of jumps and amount of freefall time, and the candidate must hold a license of a certain level or higher. Every new examiner rating requires a minimum number of total jumps, student jumps and evaluation jumps. In other words, there is a lot to verify! It is important that the instructor or instructor examiner verifies these requirements through logbook entries or even drop zone manifest records to make sure that the candidate has met the jump number, freefall time and other requirements. more »

Back-Fly Forward Drive

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Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by David Cherry. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com. more »