At its summer 2018 meeting, the USPA Board of Directors adjusted the requirements for students obtaining A licenses to align with requirements for Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale Certificates of Proficiency.
Gear damage happens in many ways: from normal wear and tear, sliding in landings, dragging rigs across the packing floor, etc. Surprisingly, one item that can cause significant damage is the keeper, the elastic band with which you stow your chest or leg straps.
Brought to you by Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP (rhythmskydiving.com). Additional instructional materials are available by downloading the Rhythm apps: Rhythm Skydiving 101 and Rhythm Skydiving 401.
Attitude plays a vital role in skydiving, for both students and more experienced jumpers. And although we are not airplane pilots, as skydivers we share many issues in common with pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration long ago identified five hazardous attitudes of aircraft pilots that can often lead to accidents. Skydivers can also be affected by those same five dangerous attitudes and their consequences.
North Central Regional Director and AFF Instructor Examiner Michael Wadkins geeks the camera while evaluating instructor candidates Connor McCauley and Constantin Mircea Moisei during an AFF rating course at Skydive Twin Cities in Baldwin, Wisconsin.
Jumping with a video camera has many challenges, many of which are not obvious to those who decide to start jumping with one. The danger of an entanglement between the camera and parachute equipment is just one in a long list of hazards to consider.
Brought to you by Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher of Modern Skydiving Concepts at Skydive DeLand in Florida. Photo by Gustavo Cabana. More information about MSC’s courses and seminars is available on the group’s Facebook page.
It’s a good idea to inspect your rig carefully at least once before each jump. If you pack for yourself, you need to inspect the critical parts of your rig each time.
In the early 1990s, a skydiver reported that an automatic activation device saved his life. This jumper experienced a main parachute malfunction and pulled his cutaway handle but never pulled his reserve ripcord.
“The Front Office” answers questions about jump pilots and piloting. You’ll learn what pilots do behind the scenes to make your favorite time of week happen, and you’ll get a one-of-a-kind view from the one seat in the airplane you never get to be in.
You asked, we listened! Finally, you can now renew your membership and ratings online at the same time with one payment!
As an AFF instructor, it’s important to present clear, measurable, succinct and, of course, correct goals for your students, particularly during this initial phase. Do you know what those goals are?
On containers using a throw-out deployment system, the elastic or nylon spandex (Spandura) bottom-of-container pilot-chute pouch—aka the BOC—is arguably one of the most important and visible components.
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.
There have been five skydiving fatalities in the U.S. as of May 15 of this year. Four of those involved spinning malfunctions. To raise awareness of this problem, USPA is initiating an educational campaign: Don’t Delay, Cut Away!
Skydivers and fighter pilots share a unique characteristic: Both can eject from their aircraft. They also share a common reason for fatal accidents: a delay in the decision to do so. In fact, according to the U.S. Air Force, it’s the single most common cause of fighter pilot fatalities. Similarly, in the past few decades, failure to cut away and pull the reserve ripcord in time has been a major factor in skydiving deaths.
If you were to experience a pilot-chute-in-tow malfunction, how would you respond? Now ask yourself, are you confident that your response is correct?
Local, state and federal agencies exercise minimal control and supervision over skydiving, recognizing that those most capable of regulating skydiving are those who do it. At the very core of this system is the USPA Safety and Training Advisor, an unpaid volunteer appointed by the USPA Regional Director serving that drop zone.
The USPA incident reporting system has been due for a significant overhaul for some time now, and it is getting one. USPA members reported 4,277 reserve rides and 2,147 injuries that required medical care in 2018, but USPA received only 29 incident reports. Sit back for a moment and imagine the lessons lost to the skydiving community when all it would have taken is for each of those jumpers to have spent 10 minutes filling out a short report.
Density altitude, to put it blandly, is pressure altitude corrected for non-standard temperature. What that means in English is that the air is the equivalent density (thickness) that you would find at x-thousand feet on an average day. So, if you are at a sea-level DZ with a density altitude of 4,000 feet, it will feel as if you are actually at an elevation of 4,000 feet.
Instructors Anastasis Sideris and Dimitris Sourlis exit with a Category C AFF student at Skydive Athens in Kopaida, Greece.
Recently, USPA has received several reports of jumpers who experienced a difficult time shearing the Velcro of their cutaway handles during spinning, high-speed, line-twist malfunctions. During these types of malfunctions, the risers are crossed and the main lift web is forced tightly against the torso, making it more critical than ever to perform the proper cutaway technique.
There are plenty of misconceptions about designated evaluators, those jumpers who assist AFF instructor examiners by performing currency and course evaluation jumps. Quiz yourself to see how your understanding stacks up to reality.
Cognitive tunneling, which often manifests itself as target fixation in skydiving, is one of the principal causes of accidents that involve human error. Cognitive tunneling is the mental state in which your brain focuses on one thing and, as a result, does not see other relevant data. This perceptual blindness causes our attention to overlook even the most obvious clues to problems that are right in front of us. Metaphorically, a mind’s focus can be either like a floodlight that dimly illuminates a large area or like a spotlight that provides intense clarity on a single subject.
The term “rigger” comes from sailing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration Parachute Rigger Handbook, the only place clean enough and big enough for riggers to work on parachutes in the early days was upstairs in an aircraft hangar, hence the term “rigging loft.”
During a USPA Tandem Instructor Rating Course during the Red Bull Fly Girls event at Skydive DeLand in Florida, rating candidate Katie Hansen and a faux student perform a mock exit.
Several changes that came out of the February 1-3 USPA Board meeting in Dallas, Texas, affect USPA rating holders.
(More articles being added every day!)
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