A Low-Cost Life Saver

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Light Box

TRICKSOFTHETRADE20101-1Light tables can be a real help when working with canopy fabric, but they're a little bulky, especially for a rigger who works out of varying locations. Here's a more portable option: a light box. Just find, buy or make a plastic or glass box that will be big enough to light a worthwhile area, but small enough to fit inside most canopy cells. Install some small lights on one half of the interior of the box. LED lights are probably best, since they're highly shock resistant and give off almost no heat. A set from a big box store costs around $10. The top surface of the box can be translucent plastic for most purposes, but would have to be made of sturdy glass if any hot knifing will be done on it. A clear piece of glass or plastic can be made translucent by spraying a very light coat of white paint on the inside surface, which will help brighten and even out the light. more »

The Reasons for the Rules

While every skydiving fatality is a tragedy, tandem student and instructor fatalities are doubly so. But the truly tragic part is not just that two lives are often lost in a single accident, it is the fact that most, if not all, tandem fatalities to date could have been avoided by sticking to standard procedures. A trained, professional tandem instructor controls a tandem jump from the ground training to landing, but in spite of that, tandem fatalities have been on the rise over the last five years. more »

Performing a Wingsuit Gear Check

With the rise of popularity of wingsuiting, even if you’ve never flown a wingsuit, you may be in the position to give a gear check to someone wearing one. Although many of the techniques go back to the basics of skydiving, others are particular to the discipline. Adding to the confusion is that wingsuit design varies by brand and model, and suits can be rigged differently depending on how the container is designed or due to jumper preference. So if there is ever any doubt as you go through the following steps, consult the manufacturer. more »