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Thumbs Up—Skydive Kentucky
Featured Art | March 2018

Thumbs Up—Skydive Kentucky

by Willard Gahart

“Thumbs Up—Skydive Kentucky” 
Charcoal drawing
Drawing of Jeff McGrady during Leap of Faith Jump Day at Skydive Kentucky in Elizabethtown.

Willard Gahart

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March 2018
Covers | March 2018

March 2018

Cover

Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468

Team 6-Way and Chill (Douglas Hendrix, Nick Jayakar, Stephanie Krar, William Savage, Alex Teskey and Andrew Yin) from the University of Connecticut builds a round during the 6-way formation skydiving event at the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships at Skydive Lake Wales in Florida.

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January 2018
Safety & Training Featured Photo | January 2018

January 2018

by James Hatch

PHOTO BY James Hatch | D-21729

Coach Carlye Bartolomeo (right) helps student Lauren Pfeifer work on her freefall skills.

Author: James Hatch
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Mixed Formation Skydiving Block 10 (Flat Stairstep)
Foundations of Flight | December 2017

Mixed Formation Skydiving Block 10 (Flat Stairstep)

Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

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

Author: SuperUser
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Logan Donovan | D-31751
Profiles | December 2017

Logan Donovan | D-31751

by Brian Giboney

Logan Donovan, D-31751, is an Ivy League-educated software engineer who is using her skills to benefit skydiving. Along with being a competitive canopy pilot and national canopy piloting judge, she created the Control Tower scoring system used to judge CP events around the world. Donovan has medaled numerous times in Northeastern Canopy Pilot League and Florida Canopy Piloting Association meets. In September, she earned her first medals at a USPA Nationals.

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Seatbelt Usage
Safety Check | December 2017

Seatbelt Usage

Has this happened to you?
You’re hot loading a full turbine aircraft, and you’re one of the last on. You scrunch onto that last seat on the straddle bench and scramble to find your seatbelt just as the door shuts, only to discover that someone at the front of the plane skipped a belt. What do you do?

Author: SuperUser
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Anastasia Uglova | A-84045 | Rwanda
How Skydiving Changed My Life | December 2017

Anastasia Uglova | A-84045 | Rwanda

How Skydiving Changed My Life

“What on Earth—or in the sky—was I doing?” I asked, staring at RwandAir’s confirmation email for my flight to the Kenyan coast to begin AFF. Instead of the excitement that accompanies a trip to white-sand beaches and warm waters, I felt trepidation. Fear.

Author: SuperUser
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The Rating Corner | December 2017

Gaining Experience

Good judgment comes from experience, but for many, a lot of their experience comes from bad judgment. Regardless of whether you are just getting started in teaching skydiving by gaining a USPA Coach rating or have been at it for years and are receiving an Instructor Examiner rating, working toward a goal and earning a new rating is a challenging process that requires hard work and dedication. It is the end of one process (preparing and completing a certification course) and the beginning of another (the real-world environment). You have proven you deserve the rating with your knowledge and flying skills, but now is when learning really begins.

Author: SuperUser
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Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance
Features | December 2017

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Most jumpers have a difficult time remembering the cloud clearance regulations, but understanding the reasons for the different altitude requirements can help you remember the necessary information.

Author: SuperUser
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Clint Vincent Retires (again)
Gearing Up | December 2017

Clint Vincent Retires (again)

Recent and long-time members alike will know the name of Clint Vincent, one of the association's longest-serving employees. He's actually served two 10-year stints at USPA; the first from 1985 to 1995 and the second between 2007 and 2017. Sadly but deservedly, Clint is retiring from USPA at the end of this year.

Author: Ed Scott
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Container Lock
Keep An Eye Out | November 2017

Container Lock

A jumper flying her wingsuit attempted to deploy her main canopy at 3,500 feet. A few seconds after she threw her pilot chute, she saw the pilot chute trailing behind her, so she pulled her reserve ripcord. The reserve deployed and was fully inflated by 2,000 feet. The main canopy remained in the container after the reserve deployed.

Author: SuperUser
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What kind of hardware is best for my rig?
Ask A Rigger | November 2017

What kind of hardware is best for my rig?

When choosing a new or used rig, the metal hardware used in the 3-ring assembly and for harness adjustments matters a lot. Inattention to this detail can make or break a good used gear deal. If you’re getting new gear, some of those great sales and discount deals might be due to hardware choice.

Author: SuperUser
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Winter Is Coming
Features | November 2017

Winter Is Coming

Winter comes for all of us, whether you’re of the Great House of Chicagoland or the Great House of Perris. While the season’s arrival clearly hits the Lords of the North hardest, every skydiver in the 50 Kingdoms needs to maintain at least some awareness of cold-season strategy.

Author: SuperUser
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Canopy Collision Decisions
Features | November 2017

Canopy Collision Decisions

by Steve Smith with contributions from Greg Jack and Jules McConnel

by Steve Smith with contributions from Greg Jack and Jules McConnel

The original version of this article appeared in the July/August/September 2017  issue of Australian SkydiveR Magazine. 

All skydivers—no matter what discipline they pursue—learn how to avoid canopy collisions. Yet collisions remain one of the most likely ways to die in the sport. Part of the problem is that not everybody knows how to correctly perform emergency procedures after a collision, and the procedures are not common sense. You can only learn them on the ground.

Author: SuperUser
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T.J. Hine | D-13580
Profiles | November 2017

T.J. Hine | D-13580

by Brian Giboney

T. J. Hine started skydiving in 1985, and his love for the sport and its people continues today. A well-known formation skydiver at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, Hine has set many state, national and world big-way records and has medaled in 8-way and 10-way at the USPA Nationals. As one of his colleagues said, “T. J. has always balanced his work and his passion for skydiving. His longevity and enthusiasm in the sport inspire many to keep going.”

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Paul Herrick | D-6835 | Jupiter, Florida
How Skydiving Changed My Life | November 2017

Paul Herrick | D-6835 | Jupiter, Florida

How Skydiving Changed My Life

In 1962, on a demo for a company picnic—a water jump in Palm Beach, Florida—I was nearly arrested by the Secret Service for "trying to assassinate President Kennedy." As an aeronautical engineer at Area 51, I volunteered to test eject from the Mach-3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane in June of 1964. (Lockheed, the Air Force and the CIA turned down my offer.) My crop-duster tow plane caught fire and was out of control and going down in flames when I bailed out at 700 feet and landed in a tree next to the forest fire started by my crashed airplane.

Author: SuperUser
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The Rating Corner | November 2017

Your First Priority

An ever-increasing number of tandem accidents are attributable to the use of handcams, either as a direct or indirect cause. Sadly, the mistakes leading to these accidents are easy to see in high-definition video, as the tandem instructors continue filming with a straight left arm even as the world around them is going to hell.

Author: SuperUser
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Safety Check | November 2017

Wingsuit Collisions

Hard-impact freefall collisions resulting in serious injuries and fatalities were once a common issue with formation skydivers and freeflyers, and now they’re an issue with wingsuiters. Modern wingsuit flying—which now has had more than 20 years to develop training methods and equipment and build a foundation of knowledge—cannot truly be considered a new discipline any longer, but it continues to struggle with injuries and fatalities from collisions in freefall, as well as collisions with the aircraft on exit.

Author: SuperUser
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Foundations of Flight | November 2017

Sit-Fly Fall-Rate Changes (Leg Mechanics)

Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

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.

Author: SuperUser
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The Growth of the AAD Fund
Gearing Up | November 2017

The Growth of the AAD Fund

USPA’s Airport Access and Defense Fund started in 1991 with the primary purpose of helping DZs fight governmental decisions that unfairly or illegally interfere with or negate skydiving operations on airports. As it has been from the start, one condition of using the fund is that winning the battle would set national precedent so that other DZs and skydiving in general derive future benefit. The AAD Fund is entirely dependent on donations from skydivers, who give about $20,000 annually. The fund has now grown to just over $344,000. 

Author: Ed Scott
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A Look at USPA Finances
Features | October 2017

A Look at USPA Finances

by USPA Executive Director Ed Scott

The annual audit of USPA for 2016, which Rogers & Co. of Vienna, Virginia, completed in August 2017, reported sound fiscal management and accountability measures. In 2016, revenues of $3,486,623 exceeded expenses of $3,467,585, leaving USPA with an operational excess (not including investments) of $19,038. USPA had a total excess of $218,957 after including investment gains, interest and dividends.

Author: SuperUser
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Article rating: 3.5
The Brave New World of Parachute R&D
Features | October 2017

The Brave New World of Parachute R&D

How Computer-Aided Design Drives Innovation

Have you ever thought about how parachute designers take an interesting idea and turn it into a real-live piece of nylon? As you might imagine, the story of a canopy is never as simple as scratching down some math and heading over to a cutting table. Since the first parachute designer put his idea to paper, the process has been as much about the people manning the pencils as it has been about the parachute that’s born of the process. And in the last scant handful of years, the story has taken on another plotline entirely.

Author: SuperUser
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Jen Domenico | D-22977
Profiles | October 2017

Jen Domenico | D-22977

by Brian Giboney

Jen Domenico, D-22977, is a women’s world record holder and has been a member of USPA for 21 years. As a big-way skydiver, she coordinated many P3 events with Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld at Skydive Perris in California. She’s also an active 4- and 8-way formation skydiving competitor.

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Conor Murphy | B-46253 | Albany, California
How Skydiving Changed My Life | October 2017

Conor Murphy | B-46253 | Albany, California

How Skydiving Changed My Life

There’s a moment that happens in skydiving where my mind calms and the only thing that exists for me is the present moment. I always have some nerves as I climb to altitude. The objects of my anxiety run the gamut from second-guessing gear checks and dive flows to unfounded fears of disappointing strangers.

Author: SuperUser
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The Rating Corner | October 2017

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.

Author: SuperUser
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Safety Check | October 2017

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.

Author: SuperUser
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Head-up to head-down shelf transition
Foundations of Flight | October 2017

Head-up to head-down shelf transition

Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

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.

Author: SuperUser
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Article rating: 1.0
How do I know if my brakes are rigged and adjusted correctly?
Ask A Rigger | October 2017

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.

Author: SuperUser
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Bag Lock Malfunction
Keep An Eye Out | October 2017

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. 

Author: SuperUser
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Article rating: 3.0
USPA involvement with Wind Tunnel Industry
Gearing Up | October 2017

USPA involvement with Wind Tunnel Industry

At its July meeting, USPA’s board of directors approved a resolution that, eff ective November 1, USPA “will not use association resources to support the sport of ‘indoor skydiving,’ except to nominate international judges to such IPC [International Parachuting Commission] events as appropriate. USPA will seek to encourage, foster and cooperate with any emerging national governing body for tunnel flying.” As a result, effective next month, USPA is officially out of the wind-tunnel business. 

Author: Ed Scott
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Article rating: 5.0
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