Photo by Gustavo Cabana | USPA #80952

Franck Eloffe carves around a hybrid (Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher and Steve Curtis on their bellies with Pepijn Swint and Tom Feng hanging) during Tsunami Skydivers Exotic Boogies’ Party on the Playa 2019 in Tambor, Costa Rica.

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Leadership, Generosity and Passion—Patricia “Pat” Thomas Receives the 2018 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award
Features | April 2019

Leadership, Generosity and Passion—Patricia “Pat” Thomas Receives the 2018 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

By Jessie Thompson

If you ask Patricia Annette Thomas (whom most simply call “Pat”) about her greatest life achievement, she will unhesitatingly say it is her family, then quickly change the subject. However, if you persist, she might share some stories from the myriad wonderful moments in her life.

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Learning from Incident Reports
Gearing Up | April 2019

Learning from Incident Reports

By Ed Scott

If your words could save a skydiver from injury or worse, would you speak up? Of course you would. In fact, such conversations probably happen every day at DZs everywhere. Whether such discussions occur after a gear check, when reviewing a dive plan or while discussing jump run or winds or a landing pattern, sharing knowledge and correcting misconceptions are a vital part of safe skydiving.

Author: Ed Scott
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Building a 100 in Freefall
100 years of Freefall | April 2019

Building a 100 in Freefall

By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP


USPA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of freefall on April 28 and is encouraging skydivers to submit photos of themselves making 100-shaped formations in the sky, so it’s the perfect time to learn how to make one.

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It All Started in Dayton
Features | April 2019

It All Started in Dayton

By Ann Armstrong-Ingoldsby

Many people know that the Wright brothers developed their flying technology in Dayton, Ohio, even though their first flight was in North Carolina. But what a lot of people don’t know is that Dayton continued as a hub of aviation innovation long after the Wright brothers’ time there. By World War I, the U.S. Army Air Service was located in the city at McCook Field, where the development of aviation technologies—including the parachute—thrived. The field, named for the McCook family (Union General Alexander McDowell McCook, his seven brothers and five cousins all fought in the American Civil War), was the home of the first military aviation research facility in 1917 and the first intentional delayed freefall skydive on April 28, 1919.

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Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents
Features | April 2019

Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents

by USPA Director of Government Relations Randy Ottinger

Tragedy struck the skydiving community in 2018 when a Cessna 182 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing the pilot and three skydivers and leaving the lone survivor with serious injuries. According to the National Transportation Safety Board Preliminary Report: “A witness that was in a park outside the airport watched as the airplane climbed after takeoff on the accident flight. The witness said that the airplane was about 150 feet over the runway when the engine stopped. They watched as the wings of the airplane rocked left and right before the airplane pitched down and collided with the ground.”

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Training, Mentoring and Inspiring—Rob Laidlaw Receives the 2016 USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service
Features | April 2019

Training, Mentoring and Inspiring—Rob Laidlaw Receives the 2016 USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

By USPA Vice President Sherry Butcher

Rob Laidlaw, D-32405, has an extensive skydiving resume, and his name is synonymous with innovation in skydiving training and advanced coaching. He began skydiving in 1973 at the age of 19 in Manitoba, Canada, and since then has made more than 18,600 jumps.

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Contributions and Innovations—Mark Baur Receives the 2018 USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service
Features | April 2019

Contributions and Innovations—Mark Baur Receives the 2018 USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

a USPA Staff Report

Mark Baur, D-6108, is a USPA Lifetime Member who made his first skydive in 1978. By 1979 he had earned all four licenses and USPA issued them all—A through D—in March of that year. Over the years, Baur earned nearly all possible USPA instructional ratings: He was a Coach Examiner and AFF, Tandem and Static-Line Instructor Examiner. Although he no longer holds instructional ratings (he stopped using his last rating—AFF Instructor—at the end of 2018), he continues to mentor local instructors at his home DZ, Skydive Twin Cities in Baldwin, Wisconsin.

Author: USPA Staff
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CF World Team Sets Two World Records
Photos | March 2019

CF World Team Sets Two World Records

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USPA Protects Member Data
Gearing Up | March 2019

USPA Protects Member Data

By Ed Scott

Recently, USPA began to make changes to its data policies, due in large part to a law—the General Data Protection Rule—passed by the European Union in 2017. Effective last May, the law required organizations worldwide to take steps to safeguard the personal data of the citizens and residents of the 28 EU countries. Moreover, the law mandates that individuals have control over how, when and if organizations share their personal data. Violations can result in large fines. Personal data is defined as any data that can uniquely identify an individual … such as a membership or license number.

Author: Ed Scott
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Real Talk About Skydiving With a Cold
Features | March 2019

Real Talk About Skydiving With a Cold

By Annette O'Neil

As a skydiver, you probably take the advice of doctors on health questions involving skydiving with a few grains of salt, right? I mean, if it’s important enough that you’re actually going to bother asking somebody outside of the internet, your fate seems predestined.

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Banish Unsightly Wrinkles Forever—How Packing Affects the Lifespan and Appearance of Your Container
Features | March 2019

Banish Unsightly Wrinkles Forever—How Packing Affects the Lifespan and Appearance of Your Container

By Riley Marshall

Have you ever noticed how two containers with the same number of jumps on them can look vastly different? This is a result of many factors, which you should take into account every time you use your rig.

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Skydiving Fatalities Hit Historic Low
Gearing Up | February 2019

Skydiving Fatalities Hit Historic Low

By Ed Scott

How safe is skydiving? Very safe? Somewhat safe? Not safe at all? Safety experts will say that the question really is, “What is skydiving’s level of safety?” or in other words, “What is the level of risk?” Even then, we must focus the question more to ask, “Risk of what? Death? Injury?”

Author: Ed Scott
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The Front Office | Spins
The Front Office | February 2019

The Front Office | Spins

By Chas Hines

“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.

Author: Chas Hines
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Foundations of Flight | Head Switching
Foundations of Flight | February 2019

Foundations of Flight | Head Switching

By Axis Flight School

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

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We’re Not Here for Tandems— Team Blackstar Fills the Blanks in Skydiving’s Greater Story
Features | February 2019

We’re Not Here for Tandems— Team Blackstar Fills the Blanks in Skydiving’s Greater Story

By Annette O'Neil

In the fabric of stories that makes up the history of skydiving, there’s one notable place where the material dwindles into a frayed edge: the part that weaves in skydivers of color. If you’re not so sure about that, I’ll just put it this way: Google “the history of African-American skydiving.” The first hit is for Team Blackstar.

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Article rating: 3.0