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 »

Worn Gear Repercussions

A jumper with approximately 100 jumps experienced a premature main-canopy deployment soon after exiting the airplane. He was in a back-to-earth orientation when the main pilot chute escaped from its bottom-of-container pouch and extracted the main canopy.
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I Just Earned My A License … Now What?

After months of hard work, countless trips to the drop zone and a painful financial commitment, you are finally the proud recipient of a USPA A License. In the blink of an eye, you have graduated from being a carefully guarded and supervised student to a licensed skydiver under the watchful eye of … well … nobody. So, now what?  more »

Expert Advice in the IRM

The Instructional Rating Manual (as well as the Skydiver’s Information Manual) is a continual work in progress. Every two years, USPA publishes the new manual, which include all the changes the USPA Board of Directors adopted since its last release. Some of the changes are significant and some are very small formatting or typographical edits. Where do these suggested changes come from? They come from you, the USPA member. Some come from students who are new to skydiving and others come from experienced coaches, instructors and examiners. more »

Avoiding Deployment Collisions—Group Separation

Last month, “Safety Check” addressed the issues of finding clear airspace for your main canopy deployment and avoiding the other jumpers within your group. This month, “Safety Check” addresses the issues surrounding separation between groups. more »

Foreign or Military License and Rating Conversions

As a USPA Instructor or Instructor Examiner, you may need to help a skydiver who holds foreign or military credentials obtain a USPA license or rating. USPA does not have a process for automatically converting non-USPA licenses or ratings into USPA licenses or ratings, but shortcuts are available in some circumstances. more »

Reserve Ripcord Placement

While opening a container to start a reserve repack, a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger found that the reserve ripcord was positioned on the top-reserve-flap grommet, pressed between the pin and the top of the grommet. more »

Head-Down Fall-Rate Changes In The Shelf Position

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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 »

Avoiding Canopy Collisions - Breakoff Separation

As skydiving continues to progress—with jumpers now enjoying a wide variety of disciplines and piloting faster canopies—it has become more challenging to find clear airspace at deployment time. Since 1999, 11 jumpers have died in canopy collisions. Additionally, there were many instances of collisions that resulted in injuries or cutaways, although the exact number is unknown.  more »