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    Brandon Kendrick | A-77981 | Boca Raton, Florida

    Published on Saturday, July 1, 2017

    Brandon Kendrick | A-77981 | Boca Raton, Florida

    How Skydiving Changed My Life

    Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of flying. I would have dreams that were so vivid that I could feel the zero-G sensation as I flew in my sleep. As a boy, I would climb onto the roof of my house and jump off with a towel stuffed in the back of my shirt, yelling, “Superrrrrmaaaannnnn!” Thankfully, I never broke any bones, because the secret would have been out, and my parents would have killed me once they learned of my dangerous hobby! No matter how much I tried to hide it, though, all the early warning signs were there that I was an aviation addict.

    I grew up in the country and would climb the tallest trees I could find. I’d ride the biggest, baddest roller coasters with (of course) no hands! I won a contest for a free helicopter ride when I was 7 years old, and after Dad took me to my first Blue Angels air show, things really got bad. I think being an ’80s baby is to blame for the I-wanna-fly seeds planted in my brain. I mean, what do you expect from a child who has stuff like “Hook,” “The Jetsons,” “The Rocketeer,” “Top Gun” and “Back to the Future” to watch? Did anyone else ask Santa Claus for a flying Delorean? I’m still waiting on mine!

    Now on to what finally got me to jump: my uncle, Vince Kendrick. To Florida Gators football fans, he was a living legend. The year 1972 was the first year that the University of Florida allowed black athletes to play football. He became the team's first black captain in 1973. After his college years, he was drafted to the Atlanta Falcons as one of the first blacks to play in the National Football League. The Falcons eventually traded him to the newly created Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he scored the team’s first-ever touchdown. After his NFL career ended by injury, he returned to the University of Florida as a running backs coach, making history once more as one of the first black assistant coaches at a major college program in the historically racially segregated south.

    Despite all his accomplishments, he did not enjoy being in the spotlight. However, right before he passed away last year, he asked me to do something that shocked me. He asked me to send a letter about him to shows like “Oprah” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” so that people would remember him. But if nobody else does, I will always remember how much he inspired me.

    In our family, I am the seventh person so far to attend UF as a student and the fourth student athlete. I studied mechanical and aerospace engineering (huge surprise there!) and joined the football team just in time to become a member of Head Coach Urban Meyer’s first national championship team at UF. Today, there are countless minorities who use their athletic gifts as vehicles to get college educations funded. A select few are paid millions of dollars to play the sports they love. Thanks to people like my uncle who were at the forefront of change, skin color is no longer the barrier to entry for college or athletics that it was such a short time ago.

    I looked for a way to honor my uncle’s memory and the barriers he broke that would speak way louder than words … and I found it! Thanks to Skydive Palatka, I made some history myself by becoming UF's first black national champion football player to become a licensed skydiver! We celebrated with a memorial jump in my uncle’s UF jersey. Fingers crossed, maybe eventually I’ll get to do a stadium jump into the Swamp (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at UF). I procrastinated, but I couldn’t shake the dream of flight. And I promise, livin’ it beats dreamin’ about it! Go Gators, and blue skies!

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    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Evaluations Forms PDF (fillable)   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
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    A-License Proficiency Card (1 page) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    A-License Progression Card (ISP; 2 pages) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
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    Application: Canopy Formation Award PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
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    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
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    Miscellaneous

    2013 DOT Opinion on Taxes PDF   (Jan 2014)
    Advanced Aerospace Designs Issues Reminders to Vigil Customers   (Dec 2019)

    On October 23, Advanced Aerospace Designs issued reminders of approaching deadlines for compliance with its last two service bulletins.

    After-market Tandem Risers MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP   (Sep 2020)

    PIA released Service Bulletin PSB-10092020 affecting after-market tandem main risers constructed with obsolete RW2 rings. All sport tandem main risers produced with RW2 rings, or equivalent sized rings, are affected regardless of the hardware manufacturer, the date of manufacture, the material type or the forging process used. This PSB does not affect "solo" main risers that use RW2 rings. Compliance is MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP.

    Article: 9/11 Aftermath Report PDF   (Aug 2016)
    Article: Angle Flying PDF   (Nov 2015)
    Article: Ches Judy Award PDF   (Oct 2015)
    Article: Gear Fear PDF   (Sep 2015)
    Article: Landing in a Tree PDF   (Mar 2015)
    Article: Safety in Numbers PDF   (Jan 2011)
    Article: The RSL PDF   (Jan 2014)
    Article: Water Landings PDF   (Mar 2015)
    Canopy Risk Quotient PDF   (Oct 2015)
    Canopy Risk Quotient LINK   (Mar 2020)
    Dermody Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Dunn Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    DZO Memo PDF   (Jul 2012)
    FAA AC 105-2E PDF   (Dec 2013)
    FAA AC 90-66B CHG 1 PDF   (Feb 2019)
    FAA Airworthiness Directive for certain UPT reserve pin covers PDF   (Apr 2021)

    The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC (UPT) parachutes. This AD results from reserve pin covers (RPCs) catching on the parachute container flaps and preventing the reserve parachute from deploying. This AD requires modifying the RPC before the next parachute jump and replacing the RPC at the next reserve parachute packing. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    FAA Proposal (07/03/12) PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Flight Planner   (Jan 2019)
    Huerta Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Insurance Policy Summary   (Mar 2021)
    ISP Grid PDF   (May 2012)
    Parachute Landing Area Update PDF   (Aug 2012)
    Skydiving Makes the Perfect Experience Gift   (Dec 2019)

    It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to giving gifts of experiences instead of material things.

    Strong Enterprises Issues Service Bulletin for Tandem Drogue PDF   (Apr 2021)

    Strong Enterprises issued Service Bulletin #35 mandating inspection of the 3-ring attachment on tandem drogues manufactured between June 22, 2020, and February 2, 2021 whose last three digits of the serial numbers between 625 and 714. Status is MANDATORY. Compliance is IMMEDIATE – before the next jump.

    USPA Hangar Policy Comments PDF   (Jun 2016)
    Wingsuit Instructor Draft PDF   (Sep 2012)

    SIM Translations into Other Languages

    Language Translation Disclaimer

    Translations of the Skydiver’s Information Manual (SIM) are prepared by third-party translators in an effort to make USPA documents accessible to those who may not read English. The official and binding documents which govern USPA are the English versions. While good faith efforts are made to provide accurate translations, portions may be incorrect and may conceivably communicate incorrect safety standards. In addition, some terminology when translated may not be completely accurate due to language differences and limitations. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) shall not be responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translated versions of documents or for any consequences of any such errors, omissions or ambiguities, including personal injury or death. Any person or entity who relies on translated content does so at their own risk. USPA shall not be liable for any losses, damages or harm, including personal injury or death, caused by reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated documents or information. If you would like to report a translation error or inaccuracy, we encourage you to contact us.

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    Chinese-English (Bilingual Version) – January 1, 2021

    Spanish Version – January 1, 2021