Administrative Professionals

Most skydiving instructors would call themselves skydiving professionals, and most have the excellent teaching skills and air skills needed to be a pro. However, rating holders also need to be knowledgeable about the Federal Aviation Administration regulations and USPA requirements to really achieve pro status. more »

Choosing the Right Goal

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Sherpa are credited with being the first to summit the world’s highest mountain, Sagarmatha, or as we know it, Mount Everest. But that’s not true. There were undoubtedly several who reached the summit before them. However, they were the first to summit and return back down safely.

Setting just any goal won’t do. Choosing the right goal is crucial. more »

Public Jumps

Performers often hear “Break a leg!” before the start of a performance, but it’s not really what a skydiver wants to do during a demo. Almost all of us have thought about making a demo jump of some sort, whether jumping into a party out in the middle of nowhere or jumping into a 70,000-seat NFL stadium. Landing your parachute in front of a crowd of non-skydivers is a lot of fun, and who wouldn’t want to have a chance to be a rock star for a day? But jumping into places outside of your regular drop zone can be tricky. Demos require proper planning and execution—including adherence to Federal Aviation Administration Regulations and USPA Basic Safety Requirements—to ensure that the jumps are successful. more »

Dislodged Handle

During a formation skydive, the videographer noticed that this jumper’s reserve-ripcord handle had dislodged from his harness. As the videographer moved into position to warn the jumper about the handle, the group reached its breakoff altitude and the jumper tracked away and deployed his main canopy without incident. He later said that he could feel the handle flapping against his side right after the exit. more »

Belly-To-Back Backflip Transition

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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. more »

Head-down Side-slides

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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. more »

Misrouted Cable

Drop zone personnel discovered this misrouted yellow cutaway cable while disconnecting a demo canopy from a jumper’s rig. (A correctly routed cable would pass through the other side of the locking loop, avoiding friction and interference.) The jumper had connected the canopy to the rig himself and was responsible for misrouting the cable. The number of jumps made with the riser in this configuration was not reported. more »

Forgery

You completed all of your license requirements and are ready to send the form to USPA … but wait! You didn’t get the Safety and Training Advisor’s signature on your license application. Bummer. You really want to get that license sent in and processed in time to make those helicopter jumps, but the S&TA is not available. Well, nobody is watching, so you forge the S&TA’s signature and send in the license application. After all, nobody really checks that stuff, right? Wrong. more »

Enjoying the Flight

One of the great things about being a tandem instructor is the longer canopy flight that comes with making tandem jumps. On hot and busy days, it provides a chance to relax in cooler air, breathe deeply and spend a few minutes providing up-close canopy training to the student. It’s also nice to enjoy the clearer airspace and limited canopy traffic for the entire descent. Pulling the drogue release around 5,000 feet leaves a tandem pair with most canopy traffic far below and only other nearby tandem canopies to worry about during the descent. It also provides more time and altitude to deal with any canopy problems. An easy day. more »

Exiting a Half Rebel (MFS Random Formation N)

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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. more »