I’m guessing that most readers were impressed by the flaming canopy on the cover of the March Parachutist, but I’m not one of them. It’s hard for me to believe that you’d sanction this kind of lunacy, especially on the cover of the Safety Day issue! But hey, that’s just me.
While reading the March magazine, I noticed that the Collegiates will no longer include classic accuracy. It’s a passing. It made me recall when, a few years ago, the U.S. Army Parachute Team leadership got out of classic. I also remembered when those APT guys set all kinds of accuracy records. At least classic is still pretty strong in Europe.
Today’s fast-paced communication has changed the way we view our world and ourselves. To receive a million views or thousands of followers or thousands of likes seems to be a top priority. And people need to come up with original ideas faster than ever to stay ahead of the pack. But what happens when these ideas or stunts break the law or violate safety policies or jeopardize our sport?
Thank you, Ed Scott, for your “Gearing Up” in April’s Parachutist. We need to report our incidents so we can understand potential problems and deal with them early. Our personal influence on safety can have an overall impact of reducing injuries in the sport. It isn’t the rules; it’s the behaviors. With the fatality rate being less than 1 per 100,000, we need to focus on near misses. Incident reporting increases our opportunity to get ahead of our injuries and fatalities.
I read your editor’s note in the March Parachutist (“Letters—Helmet Effectiveness”) about there being no standards for skydiving helmets and feel the need to make an observation. Surely, where an organization does not have knowledge about something, then usually it looks around to find someone who does.
I have been a USPA member since 1969. This month’s cover is the most dramatic photo I’ve seen. I did a double take when I pulled the magazine from my mailbox. Well done to stuntman Eric Salas!
That’s an awesome cover photo (March Parachutist) of Eric Salas’ flaming canopy! Really gets your attention. But I was calmed and reassured when I saw your full-page ad “Safety Day is March 9” on the very next page. Does this mean you no longer recommend things such as smoking while jumping? (Didn’t we tell you not to carry lithium batteries in flight? But carry a fire extinguisher at all times. And no flare guns allowed when competing with other stacks.)
We all know how rigid most organizations and corporations are. Although they say, “We value your feedback,” individual comments rarely go anywhere, and a satisfaction rating just gets tossed into an average for some corporate board meeting. Recently, I wanted to see how USPA reacted to feedback and if it would even change something based on it.
The January issue of Parachutist made a big deal about celebrating 100 years of freefall skydiving and Leslie Irvin’s key role in it. I’m not saying he didn’t play a key role, but a recent article in AOPA Pilot and a letter to the editor in its February issue by Bruce Smith, grandson of James Floyd Smith, suggests there is more to the story.
I am very concerned about the conclusions stated in “Incident Reports” in the February issue of Parachutist. Although I agree that nobody should skydive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, I find it concerning that so much of the conclusion was dedicated to the issue of the THC content in the jumper’s body when the death was officially ruled a suicide.
Thank you so much for publishing “We’re Not Here for Tandems” (by Annette O’Neil, February Parachutist). That title alone was eye-opening and impactful. I am proud to see that our organization takes racial (and other discriminatory) issues seriously and is active in working to combat racial bias in our sport. I am a white guy with a black son, and I hope my son grows up to be a skydiver and can be part of Team Blackstar.
The following statement in “Incident Reports” in the January 2019 Parachutist stood out to me: "The vast majority of helmets used for skydiving offer very limited head protection." The report further stated that severe trauma is very likely even when wearing a helmet in certain collisions.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen very experienced skydivers walking around munching on snacks between jumps with all their gear on but their leg straps hanging straight down instead of being around their legs. It’s the cool look, I guess. But forgetting that last step at the last moment would certainly be fatal, in my humble opinion.
As trustees of the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame, we would like to thank the members of the USPA Board of Directors for their vision in providing continuing support. While USPA and the Museum & Hall of Fame have different purposes, one place where their missions clearly align is in promoting skydiving.
You have just passed through 2,000 feet en route to the deck at terminal velocity. You are wearing a piggyback system and have a total malfunction of the main parachute. What would you do?
It appears to be almost mandatory that the person who announces a jump over the radio must garble the name or location.
I just began my 41st year of skydiving at age 82. I have been current throughout all those years, rarely missing a single month. I once went 34 years and 11 months without a miss until a bicycle crash sidelined me for three months. However, I notice myself becoming more apprehensive every time I drive or fly to the jump center, and I do not know why and wish to stop being that way.
At the recent USPA Board of Directors meeting, the board voted to give $25,000 per year for the next six years to a yet-to-be-constructed skydiving museum. I am concerned as to why the board voted for this extraordinary amount of skydivers’ dues to be spent in this manner.
Recently, a well-known drop zone updated its packing pricing schedule as follows:
Square footage of canopy:
100 to 199—$7
200 to 299—$8
Wingsuit training is multi-faceted and requires both freedom and flexibility to change with the rapid development of suit design, competition formats and flying styles.
We've learned through the years that repeated exposure to high altitudes without supplemental oxygen is dangerous and harmful to humans.
I certainly hope to see Chas Hines' articles continue, and I encourage every licensed skydiver out there to go take a flying lesson or two, if for no other reason than to appreciate the workload a jump pilot has to endure.
I truly miss the sport and its inherent camaraderie, but above all, I often think of those whom Tom named and the many close friendships formed during decades of jumping in Southern California.
(More articles being added every day!)
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