This annual summary looks at each 2019 fatality and places it in an appropriate category.
Piloting a jump plane is among the most demanding of flying jobs, with multiple takeoffs and landings in a variety of conditions and with a variety of loads, as well as the need to refuel often throughout a day.
The USPA Board of Directors held its third meeting of the 2019-2021 term in Phoenix, Arizona, January 31-February 2. The board welcomed newly seated Central Regional Director Charles Crinklaw and elected Al King to fill the vacant national director seat.
The question of how to best manage and avoid risk is at the heart of any extreme sport. For skydivers this takes many forms: “What are the highest winds I should jump in at this location?” “Should I be jumping with a group this big?”
The 50-staters are indeed an exclusive group, and each has a unique story peppered with meeting dozens of new people while traveling thousands of miles across the continent.
Let me ask you this: When was your last aircraft emergency?
On December 16, just days before the start of the USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships at Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales, beloved DZ Manager Betty Hill succumbed to cancer after a battle of 20 years.
Over the last two years, the skydiving fatality rate in the U.S. has reached record low levels. Overall, skydivers across the globe are also doing a better job with safety. (Thank you all for that.) But when even one of us is lost or injured in a skydiving accident, it is one too many.
As chief judge at the 2019 USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships at Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales, Kirk M. Knight chose to receive USPA’s prestigious Gold Medal for Meritorious Service—bestowed on him by unanimous acclaim of the USPA Board of Directors earlier in the year—at the banquet following the event.
USPA tasks each Safety and Training Advisor with filing an incident report when a skydiving death occurs, but S&TAs are not the only people who can file a report, and a death is not the only reason for filing one.
Amy Benton and Chazi Blacksher of The Working Girls event organizing team, along with a team of heroic volunteers, created the wonderful superhero-themed Super SIS Weekend at Skydive Arizona in Eloy January 24-26.
The 2019 USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships, held December 26-January 1 at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales, was bittersweet, as longtime DZ manager and valued member of the skydiving community Betty Hill lost her 20-year battle with cancer shortly before the event.
For the past several years, the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team has been in a building phase, and 2019 was a banner year.
Afternoon rains, gusty winds and low clouds greeted the competitors who arrived at Skydive Pretoria in South Africa in the weeks before the 10th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Cup of Canopy Piloting.
JaNette Lefkowitz starts by saying, “There’s just so much to it, so many stories leading up.”
Wingsuits add massive amounts of potential to skydives. A wingsuit flyer is able to fly farther and at much higher horizontal speeds than is possible on any other type of jump.
Tom Jenkins always saw the value of structured competition and record performances in driving skydivers to become more skilled while also having fun.
Around the world, October is the month dedicated to breast-cancer awareness. For many years, the skydiving community marked this month with Jump for the Cause, an event that brought women together to raise money for breast cancer research and set women’s world record formation skydives.
It was a delightful early November evening in DeLand, Florida, when 30 or so friends and family members gathered to honor Raymond E. Ferrell as USPA presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
On December 26, 1959, Dr. John Gaffney (“Doc” to his skydiver friends) led the Central Florida Sky Divers Club to the DeLand Municipal Airport to jump from a Tri-Pacer flown by the airport manager, Bob Lee.
On Sunday, October 27, five parachutists safely landed at 20,200 feet MSL (with a density altitude of 22,700 feet MSL) on the West Col in the Nepali Himalayas.
October 2019 proved to be a banner month for sequential skydiving, as two separate groups of jumpers achieved world-record performances, one in full-break sequential formation skydiving and the other in canopy formation skydiving.
Halloween is all about chocolate, taking candy from strangers and, apparently, flying really fast parachutes at one another—at least for attendees of the debut Flock and Flow camp, held at Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina, during Halloween weekend.
Each year, Safety Day is the second Saturday in March (this year, that’s March 14). It marks the beginning of a new season, and even in poor weather, jumpers flock to this event, their minds filled with fresh ideas and expectations of the warm summer days ahead.
When a competitive skydiver earns a U.S. Parachute Team patch and the opportunity to represent their country at a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale world skydiving event, they are bound to have an amazing experience.
During the first week of October, you could hear a variety of languages anywhere on the drop zone: Chinese in the boarding area, French on the packing mats in the hangar, Norwegian around the pool, German at the mock-up and Russian at the manifest window.
(More articles being added every day!)
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