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Striving for Zero—The 2019 Fatality Summary
Features | April 2020

Striving for Zero—The 2019 Fatality Summary

By Jim Crouch

This annual summary looks at each 2019 fatality and places it in an appropriate category.

Author: Jim Crouch
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Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents
Features | April 2020

Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents

By USPA Director of Government Relations Randy Ottinger

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.

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Planning for 2020 and Beyond—The USPA Board of Directors Winter Meeting
Features | April 2020

Planning for 2020 and Beyond—The USPA Board of Directors Winter Meeting

A USPA Staff Report

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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How Do Parachutists Think About Risk?
Features | April 2020

How Do Parachutists Think About Risk?

By Jeremy Sieker

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?”

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Doing the 50—The Very Elite Group That’s Landed in Every State
Features | April 2020

Doing the 50—The Very Elite Group That’s Landed in Every State

By Doug Garr

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.

Author: Doug Garr
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Jump-Run Emergencies—What You, the Jumper, Can Do to Keep Body and Soul Together
Features | April 2020

Jump-Run Emergencies—What You, the Jumper, Can Do to Keep Body and Soul Together

By Annette O’Neil

Let me ask you this: When was your last aircraft emergency?

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Adventures in Paradise
Features | April 2020

Adventures in Paradise

A Parachutist Pictorial

Author: USPA Staff
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Blue Skies, Betty Hill
Features | March 2020

Blue Skies, Betty Hill

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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2020 Vision for Safety
Features | March 2020

2020 Vision for Safety

By Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld

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.

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Drive and Dedication—Kirk Knight, D-6709, Receives the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service
Features | March 2020

Drive and Dedication—Kirk Knight, D-6709, Receives the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

A USPA Staff Report

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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Incident Reporting
Features | March 2020

Incident Reporting

By USPA Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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Super SIS
Features | March 2020

Super SIS

A Parachutist Photo Essay

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.

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Raising the Next Generation: The 2019 USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships
Features | March 2020

Raising the Next Generation: The 2019 USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships

By Southeast Regional Director Alixandra Hubbard

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.

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Skydiving Progresses at Naval Academy
Features | March 2020

Skydiving Progresses at Naval Academy

By Mike Schultz

For the past several years, the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team has been in a building phase, and 2019 was a banner year.

Author: Mike Schultz
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Study Break
Features | March 2020

Study Break

A Collegiates Pictorial

Author: USPA Staff
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Cleared for Landing
Features | February 2020

Cleared for Landing

A Parachutist Pictorial

Author: USPA Staff
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Wet and Wild—The 10th FAI World Cup of Canopy Piloting
Features | February 2020

Wet and Wild—The 10th FAI World Cup of Canopy Piloting

By USPA Staff and Head of Delegation Karl Meyer

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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Chasing Gold—JaNette Lefkowitz Tells the Whole Epic Tale
Features | February 2020

Chasing Gold—JaNette Lefkowitz Tells the Whole Epic Tale

By Annette O’Neil

JaNette Lefkowitz starts by saying, “There’s just so much to it, so many stories leading up.”

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Wingsuit Accidents: Identifying and avoiding the Most Common Errors
Features | February 2020

Wingsuit Accidents: Identifying and avoiding the Most Common Errors

By Matt Gerdes

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.

Author: Matt Gerdes
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Mentor Extraordinaire: USPA Awards Thomas Jenkins, D-7707, the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service
Features | January 2020

Mentor Extraordinaire: USPA Awards Thomas Jenkins, D-7707, the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

By Christy West and Scott Latinis

Tom Jenkins always saw the value of structured competition and record performances in driving skydivers to become more skilled while also having fun.

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Pink Skies, Pink Ribbons
Features | January 2020

Pink Skies, Pink Ribbons

By Gulcin Gilbert

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.

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A Great Trip— Ray Ferrell, D-5748, Receives the 2019 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award
Features | January 2020

A Great Trip— Ray Ferrell, D-5748, Receives the 2019 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

By USPA Executive Director Ed Scott

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.

Author: Ed Scott
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Skydivers’ Town—DeLand, Florida, Celebrates 60 Years of Jumping
Features | January 2020

Skydivers’ Town—DeLand, Florida, Celebrates 60 Years of Jumping

By Mike Johnston

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.

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Small Steps, Giant Leaps—Five Jumpers Make Parachuting History
Features | January 2020

Small Steps, Giant Leaps—Five Jumpers Make Parachuting History

By Shannon Pilcher

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.

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Dynamic Duo—Two Teams Set Sequential World Records at Perris
Features | January 2020

Dynamic Duo—Two Teams Set Sequential World Records at Perris

A USPA Staff Report

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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Flock and Flow
Features | January 2020

Flock and Flow

Article and Photos by Michael Brewer

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.

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Normalizing Excellence: Planning for Safety Day 2020
Features | January 2020

Normalizing Excellence: Planning for Safety Day 2020

A Parachutist Special Section

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.

Author: USPA Staff
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Smile for the Camera
Features | December 2019

Smile for the Camera

A Parachutist Pictorial

Author: USPA Staff
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The 2019 Wingsuit Flying World Cup—The Spirit of World Competition
Features | December 2019

The 2019 Wingsuit Flying World Cup—The Spirit of World Competition

By Scott Callantine

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.

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United Nations—The 2019 FAI World Cup of Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events
Features | December 2019

United Nations—The 2019 FAI World Cup of Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events

A USPA Staff Report with contributions from Skydive Arizona Marketing and Events Coordinator George Hargis

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. 

Author: USPA Staff
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