Tandem Emergency Procedures

After the five different tandem instructor examiner standardization meetings (four in the U.S. and one in Europe) that Tom Noonan of United Parachute Technologies conducted for hundreds of examiners in 2015, it became obvious that some examiners had forgotten critical information regarding emergency procedures. Tandem instructors must study and practice emergency procedures to the point where they respond instantly and correctly to every type of malfunction 100 percent of the time, but some of the examiners at the meetings were not at that level. Additionally, a few of the incident reports filed with USPA in the last couple of years show that tandem instructors did not perform emergency procedures correctly when faced with actual emergencies.  more »

Torn Main Canopy Rib

A cell on the left side of this main canopy is deformed due to a large tear in one of the ribs near the tail. When the photographer noticed the bulge in the photo, he researched older photos of the same canopy and found that the problem had worsened over time and started when another jumper owned the canopy five years earlier. The current owner reported that the canopy was prone to opening off heading but never noticed anything else unusual about how it opened and flew in the more than 200 jumps he put on it. Because of the location of the damage and bulge, the jumper couldn’t see the defect when he was packing or flying the canopy. more »

Exiting a Double Spock (MFS Random Formation B)

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Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Aerial photo by Seth Studer. Ground photos by David Arnett. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com.

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Climbing Onto a Camera Step

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

Mis-rigged Reserve System

When the owner of this Skyhook-equipped Sun Path Javelin rig arrived at a boogie, he made arrangements with a rigger for a reserve repack since his last repack had been more than 180 days prior. Skyhook-equipped rigs incorporate a reserve ripcord that is separate from the reserve closing pin, and the reserve static line attaches directly to the reserve closing pin. The rigger at the boogie discovered that the previous rigger had not routed the reserve ripcord correctly—he had not installed it on the reserve closing pin—during the previous repack. more »

Wingsuit Rules and Recommendations

As the popularity of wingsuit flying continues to expand, the discipline is advancing at a rapid rate in many areas. Its training programs, suit designs, competitions and records are all progressing. But like every emerging discipline that came before it, wingsuiting has experienced a few hiccups during its advances and seems to be suffering from some growing pains. more »

Supervising the Fledglings

At nearly every drop zone around the country, skydiving students receive careful attention and helpful guidance to ensure that they progress toward completing their training and earning their USPA A licenses as safely as possible. And then, just as their little feathers are blossoming, we toss them out of the nest and hope that they have learned to fly well enough to stay out of harm's way. more »

Back-Fly Turns (Heading Changes)

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

Master Rigger Mistakes

The owner of this rig (who is a drop zone owner and rigger) picked it up after a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger employed by the drop zone had repacked it. The owner noticed that the reserve flaps were closed in the wrong order. Even more bizarrely, the master rigger had renumbered the reserve container flaps by writing new numbers on the flap edges with a black magic marker. The rig owner brought the errors to the attention of the rigger, who was indifferent and unconcerned about the mistake.

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Weather Woes

Unless you live in Southern California, you’ve probably heard a joke about your local weather that goes something like, “If you don’t like the current weather, just wait an hour, and it will change!” There are very few places in the world with consistently sunny, warm and perfect skydiving weather. As jumpers, we don’t have to hold PhDs in meteorology, but we still need to understand the basics. Knowing what weather to look out for can prevent an injury or fatality.

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