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    2021 USPA Safety Day A Parachutist Special Edition   (Feb 2021) Features Safety & Training

    In 1997, Patty Chernis, newly elected to the USPA Board as a regional director, suggested that USPA create a special day to get jumpers current and prepared for the upcoming skydiving season. Now in its 25th year, Safety Day has grown increasingly popular, morphing from year to year to address current trends.

    A Low-Cost Life Saver by Kevin Gibson | Photos Courtesy of Bird's Paradise Extreme Resort   (Jan 2010) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    How do I make a closing loop?  How do I know if mine needs replacing?

    Aerodyne Semi-stowless Deployment Bag Replacement Program Service Bulletin SB121817   (Dec 2017) Safety & Training Service Bulletins
    Aircraft Emergency   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training Safety Check

    It took almost 25 years of skydiving, but I finally experienced an aircraft emergency as a skydiver. Actually, I would not even classify it as a true emergency, since the engine loss happened at 13,000 feet. As a pilot myself with many hours in this King Air, I knew what was going on and I had a good idea of how the pilot who was flying was going to handle the situation. But seeing how everyone reacted was interesting. Some looked nervous, and some seemed confused about what to do.

    Airtec Changes Maintenance Requirement   (Apr 2016) Safety & Training Service Bulletins

    Airtec, GmbH, maker of the CYPRES 2 automatic activation device, has announced a change in the maintenance requirements for all civilian CYPRES 2 AADs manufactured after January 1, 2016.

    An Open Letter to the Membership By Craig Elliot   (May 1969) Parachutist Features Safety & Training

    As you all know there is a glaring need for a nation-wide system of qualified parachute instructors. I will not beat the bushes about the fact of life that most accidents are rooted in poor or inadequate training. The USPA Safety and Train­ing Committee has been working on the development of a Jumpmaster/Instructor system for several years, and is at this time proposing such a system be incorporated into the oper­ation of the USPA.

    Angle Flying—Feet First on Belly By Axis Flight School   (Jul 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

    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.

    Another Record Low—The 2020 Fatality Summary By Jim Crouch   (Apr 2021) Safety & Training
    Are These Winds OK to Jump In? By Jason Russell   (May 2021) Safety & Training
    Ask a Rigger What is the Difference Between a Senior and a Master Rigger, and What’s a DPRE?   (May 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    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.”

    Ask A Rigger | Help Your Rigger Help You By Ron Bell   (Apr 2021) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger
    Ask a Rigger | How Do I Know If My Rig is “Freefly Friendly”?   (Nov 2021) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger
    Ask a Rigger | How Do I Know When My AAD Needs Service? By Kevin Gibson   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Keeping track of the manufacturer’s requirements for every year and model of AAD has become a really daunting task for riggers. They really need the help of the owner.

    Ask a Rigger | How Long Do Soft Links Last?   (Dec 2021) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger
    Ask a Rigger | Bottoms Up By Kevin Gibson   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Q: Some rigs have the main bridle routed top to bottom over the closing flaps, and some rigs have bridles that come out from underneath the closing pin and then back down the same direction. Which is more correct?

    Ask A Rigger | Help! I Can’t Pull My Main-Deployment Handle! By Kevin Gibson   (Sep 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Far too often, skydivers face difficulties pulling their pilot chutes, and the results are often far too serious.

    Ask a rigger | How much webbing wear can there be at the harness hip ring before the webbing has to be repaired or replaced? By Kevin Gibson   (Jan 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Like just about any innovation or improvement, the hip rings introduced to make a skydiving harness more flexible for freestyle and freeflying have a downside. If the harness is fitted correctly so the two ends of the leg strap at the ring seldom or never make contact, no wear should appear.

    Ask a Rigger | How Often Should I Inspect My Gear? By Shauna Finley   (Aug 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    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.

    Ask a rigger | How Should I Store My Gear for the Winter? By Shauna Finley   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    If you’re a northern jumper, winter gives you the opportunity to travel south, experience new DZs and get a break from the freezing weather. However, if you aren’t able to travel to warmer climates during the winter months, you’ll need to store your gear.

    Ask a Rigger | If I Lose or Damage My Cutaway Cables, Can I Replace Them with a Set That is Similar? By Jen Sharp   (May 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Cutaway cables are not universally interchangeable.

    Ask a Rigger | Masks, Lenses and Fogging By Shauna Finley   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Now that many drop zones have re-opened, most with face-mask requirements in place to help control the spread of the coronavirus, lens fogging has become a common issue.

    Ask a Rigger | Pilot-Chute Pouch Inspection By Shauna Finley   (Jul 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    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.

    Ask a rigger | Reserves, Part 1: Choosing and Purchasing By Shauna Finley   (Feb 2020) Homepage Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Chances are, you know very little about your reserve canopy (after all, it’s packed away out of view most of the time), but you should. It’s an important piece of equipment, and although you hope to never use it, you probably will at some point. (Photo by David Cherry.)

    Ask a Rigger | Reserves, Part 2: Knowing Your Gear by Shauna Finley   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    A jumper came to me after his first cutaway, concerned about damage to his reserve system.

    Ask a Rigger | Reserves, Part 2: Knowing Your Gear By Shauna Finley   (Apr 2020) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    When jumpers take on the responsibility (and that’s precisely what it is) of getting their licenses, they are pledging to conduct themselves safely.

    Ask a Rigger | Swapping Components By Ron Bell   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger D.J. Styles instantly knew there was something wrong with a new customer’s cutaway cables when reinstalling them after a routine reserve inspection and repack of a rig the customer had purchased used less than a year earlier. Styles routinely measures cables for new customers, as well as anytime he replaces a lost handle, but this time the cutaway cables were several inches longer than the manufacturer’s specifications, and it was apparent there was a problem even without measuring.

    Ask a rigger | What is an example of unexpected gear wear I should watch for? By Shauna Finley   (Sep 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    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.

    Ask a Rigger | Why Should I Learn More About My Gear? By Jen Sharp   (Dec 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    You pull one handle and, magically, there is an open parachute over your head. And if that doesn’t work, you just cut away, pull the reserve handle and later buy your rigger their bottle of choice. Voilà! Seems simple enough.

    Ask a Rigger—How Do I Know If My Brake Lines are the Correct Length? By Kevin Gibson   (Jun 2021) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger
    Ask A Rigger—Kill-Line Pilot Chutes By Derek Vanboeshoten   (May 2021) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger
    Avoiding Canopy Collisions - Breakoff Separation Safety Check   (Jun 2017) Parachutist Safety & Training Safety Check

    As skydiving continues to progress—with jumpers now enjoying a wide variety of disciplines and piloting faster canopies—it has become more challenging to find clear airspace at deployment time. Since 1999, 11 jumpers have died in canopy collisions. Additionally, there were many instances of collisions that resulted in injuries or cutaways, although the exact number is unknown. 

    Avoiding Deployment Collisions Group Separation   (Jul 2017) Safety & Training Safety Check

    For the many skydivers who jump from Cessna 182s or Cessna 206s at their local drop zones, group separation is not much of an issue. If the airplane carries two 2-way or 3-way groups, by the time the second group climbs out and exits, the airplane usually covers enough distance that group separation is not a problem. However, larger airplanes usually mean more groups on board. On top of that, if the jumpers are performing many different disciplines, the group dynamics may be very complicated because they may be falling at very different speeds and not necessarily straight down. (Wingsuit, tracking and angle flyers cover a lot of real estate before breaking off for deployment.) Each jumper in all the various groups must plan and execute the jump properly to ensure that everyone has clear airspace for deployment.

    Bag Lock Malfunction   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    This bag-lock malfunction occurred when one of the packing tabs on the canopy entangled with the last closing-stow band on the deployment bag. Although this is a very unusual malfunction, jumpers can help avoid it by making sure that the stows are not near the packing tabs when closing their deployment bags. 

    Container Lock   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A jumper flying her wingsuit attempted to deploy her main canopy at 3,500 feet. A few seconds after she threw her pilot chute, she saw the pilot chute trailing behind her, so she pulled her reserve ripcord. The reserve deployed and was fully inflated by 2,000 feet. The main canopy remained in the container after the reserve deployed.

    Correction   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    “Keep an Eye Out” on page 66 of the November issue of Parachutist contained incorrect information.

    Crossover Training for Military Jumpers   (Oct 2019) Parachutist Homepage Safety & Training

    USPA takes every opportunity to support military skydivers as they serve our country and as they face struggles while entering civilian life after service. Our military counterparts in airborne operations train endlessly, and during their service, many of the paratroopers work with military instructors who are also USPA Instructors to earn there USPA A licenses. However, their training is subject to the conditions and equipment available at the time the training takes place.

    Currency! Currency! Currency!—The 2020 Non-Fatal-Incident Summary By USPA Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell   (May 2021) Safety & Training

    Unquestionably, 2020 presented a unique set of challenges to overcome.

    Decisions, Decisions—Responding to a Pilot Chute In Tow By Jim Crouch   (Mar 2021) Safety & Training

    It’s easy to let your guard down when it comes to emergency procedures.

    Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Five-Second Rule: A Time-Based Approach to Emergencies By Ben Planche Wallace   (Jul 2019) Features Safety & Training

    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.

    Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Link Between Spinning Malfunctions and Difficult Cutaways By USPA Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell   (Jul 2019) Features Safety & Training

    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!

    DZ Unknown   (Sep 2021) Features Safety & Training
    Featured Training Photo Photo by Luke Aikins | D-21189   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    Safety and Training Advisor Keri Bell points out the signatures of the 59 A-license holders that Skydive Kapowsin in Shelton, Washington, trained in 2018.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Krystle Wright for Red Bull   (Apr 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    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.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Ioannis Vlachiotis | D-31871   (May 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    Instructors Anastasis Sideris and Dimitris Sourlis exit with a Category C AFF student at Skydive Athens in Kopaida, Greece.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Nick Rockow | D-28792   (Aug 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    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.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    Diana Martin checks her altitude during an AFF jump with instructors Erin Engelsen (left) and Dennis Dorman at Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Mari Kossman | B-50628   (Nov 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    AFF Instructor Tim Hajewski guides an AFF student through the landing pattern at Skydive Milwaukee in East Troy, Wisconsin.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Carlos Rodriguez | D-33453   (Dec 2019) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    A tandem student points out his altitude as he makes his first skydive with instructor Jeff Whitt at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Michael Tomaselli | D-18530   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    Canopy formation coach Brian Stempin high fives new CF jumper Scot Flynn during a training jump at the Freeze Your Pups event at Skydive DeLand in Florida.

    Featured Training Photo Photo by Gen Montreuil | D-31992   (May 2020) Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    At Skydive Arizona in Eloy, veteran canopy formation skydivers Kevin Vetter (top) and Pat Marcanio (center) teach Julia Wilde the finer points of taking docks as she learns the discipline.

    Five Hazardous Attitudes   (Aug 2019) Homepage Safety & Training

    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. 

    Foreign or Military License and Rating Conversions   (Jul 2017) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    As a USPA Instructor or Instructor Examiner, you may need to help a skydiver who holds foreign or military credentials obtain a USPA license or rating. USPA does not have a process for automatically converting non-USPA licenses or ratings into USPA licenses or ratings, but shortcuts are available in some circumstances.

    Foundations of Flight | Belly to Head-Up Transition By Axis Flight School   (Jun 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Fall-Rate Management for FS Part 1—Slow Fall By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP   (Jan 2020) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Introduction to Forces   (Jan 2022) Top News Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Foundations of Flight | Ram-Air Parachute Anatomy—Cells   (Aug 2021) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Foundations of Flight | RAM-Air Parachute Anatomy—Wing Properties   (Oct 2021) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Foundations of Flight | Ram-Air Parachute and Canopy Check   (Jul 2021) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Images by Bruce Fournier.

    Foundations of Flight | 2-Way Belly Cat-Accordion Move By Axis Flight School   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

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

    Foundations of Flight | 2-Way Phalanx to Open Accordion Drill By Axis Flight School   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

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

    Foundations of Flight | 69 Exit By Axis Flight School   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations Of Flight | Angle Flying Feet First On Back By Axis Flight School   (Oct 2018) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Angle Flying—Head First on Belly By Axis Flight School   (Apr 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Back-Fly Side-Slides By Axis Flight School   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of flight | Balancing Your Brain By Joel Strickland   (Apr 2020) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by three-time British Freefly Champion Joel Strickland. Strickland is a full-time freefly coach and tunnel-flying professional and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Artistic Events Judge. Jumpers can read more of his writing or contact him for tunnel camps in Europe at joelstrickland.net.

    Foundations of Flight | Docking on a Head-Down Formation By Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher of Modern Skydiving Concepts   (Aug 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of flight | Fall-Rate Management for FS Part 2—Fast Fall By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP   (Feb 2020) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Head Position By Axis Flight School   (Jul 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Head Switching By Axis Flight School   (Feb 2019) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Learning About Learning Freefly—Breaking It Down By Joel Strickland   (Nov 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by three-time British Freefly Champion Joel Strickland. Strickland is a full-time freefly coach and tunnel-flying professional and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Artistic Events Judge. Jumpers can read more of his writing or contact him for tunnel camps in Europe at joelstrickland.net.

    Foundations of Flight | Learning About Learning Freefly—Even Progress By Joel Strickland   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by three-time British Freefly Champion Joel Strickland. Strickland is a full-time freefly coach and tunnel-flying professional and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Artistic Events Judge. Jumpers can read more of his writing or contact him for tunnel camps in Europe at joelstrickland.net.

    Foundations of Flight | Learning About Learning Freefly—Using the Gears By Joel Strickland   (Dec 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by three-time British Freefly Champion Joel Strickland. Strickland is a full-time freefly coach and tunnel-flying professional and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Artistic Events Judge. Jumpers can read more of his writing or contact him for tunnel camps in Europe at joelstrickland.net.

    Foundations of Flight | Learning About Learning, Part 1 By Joel Strickland   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Brought to you by three-time British Freefly Champion Joel Strickland. Strickland is a full-time freefly coach and tunnel-flying professional and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Artistic Events Judge. Jumpers can read more of his writing or contact him for tunnel camps in Europe at joelstrickland.net.

    Foundations of flight | Neutral Body Position By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP   (Sep 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Foundations of Flight | Vertical Compressed Exit (Mixed Formation Skydiving Random C) By Axis Flight School   (May 2019) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Hard Openings and How to Avoid Them By Jim Crouch   (Feb 2021) Features Safety & Training

    A hard-opening parachute is certainly not a new phenomenon. Skydivers have been dealing with hard openings throughout the history of sport parachuting—particularly during the early 1970s when the first ram-air main canopies and the various devices used to try and tame their openings were developed.

    Head-Down Fall-Rate Changes in the Shelf Position   (Jul 2017) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

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

    Head-Up Breakoff By Axis Flight School   (Jun 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

    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.

    Head-up to head-down shelf transition   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

    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.

    How do I know if my brakes are rigged and adjusted correctly?   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    The length between the “cat’s eye” (the opening in the line where you set your brakes before packing) and the steering toggle can greatly influence whether you have smooth flights and great landings. An incorrect brake length can hamper ideal performance from your canopy, and the causes vary. Working with your rigger, you should be able to address any issues without spending a lot of money.

    Incident Reports   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training

    Reports in this column have been compiled by the USPA Safety & Training Department from information received from the field and are the most accurate reports possible through such input. They are printed in Parachutist for their educational value.

    Instructional Rating Changes   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    At the July USPA Board meeting in Seattle, Washington, the Safety and Training Committee spent most of its meeting time discussing the instructional rating process. The results were multiple changes, some of which went into effect immediately and others of which will come into play at a later date.

    Insurance Claims Underscore the Costs of Complacency   (Oct 2020) Parachutist Safety & Training

    I've insured skydiving airplanes for 25 years. In that time, I've paid for about 50 heavily damaged or totaled turbine skydiving aircraft. That's a lot of bent iron … unnecessarily bent iron. If you wonder why your insurance costs are so high, let me say it again: 50 heavily damaged or destroyed airplanes! There seems to be an insidious common thread in 85 percent of these accidents, and that’s the lack of following a checklist.

    Just Keep Flying—Wing Suit Transitions By Patrick Kramer and Alex Knaub   (Nov 2021) Features Safety & Training
    Keep An Eye Out Photo by Joe Manlove   (Jun 2018) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger found excess wear on the top and bottom of this reserve parachute closing loop during an inspection.

    Keep an Eye Out Difficulty Cutting Away from Spinning Malfunctions   (May 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    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.

    Keep an Eye Out | Broken Lines USPA Staff   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A jumper experienced broken suspension lines on his new main parachute that required him to cut away and deploy his reserve. Later, when investigators inspected the main parachute, they determined that tension knots, which most likely developed in the jumper’s semi-stowless deployment bag, caused one line to saw through the other lines. Jumpers must carefully fold suspension lines into the pouch of a semi-stowless bag to allow the lines to pull free in an orderly manner.

    Keep an Eye Out | Damaged Reserve Closing Loop   (Sep 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Freefall Collision   (Dec 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Improperly Secured Soft Links   (Jul 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Leg-Strap Damage   (Jan 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    While inspecting a rig prior to a reserve repack, a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger discovered that the yellow indicator threads on the webbing of the leg straps were severed.

    Keep an Eye Out | Loose Hackey   (Aug 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Misconfigured Soft Links   (Jan 2022) Parachutist Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Mismatched Pilot-Chute Handle   (Nov 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Pilot-Chute Hesitation Photo by Alex Swindle   (Mar 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Rotated Hard Housing   (Apr 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A canopy coach caught this incorrectly configured cutaway cable on a rig rented by his student, who was a licensed skydiver. A local packer had hooked the main canopy up to the container.

    Keep an Eye Out | Tandem Harness Lower Lateral Snaps   (Sep 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out |  Setting the Brakes by Jim Crouch   (Jul 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    After landing, a jumper set his brakes and left the rig for a packer. The packer noticed that the jumper had stowed the left brake incorrectly by placing the toggle through the cat’s eye above the metal guide ring, which will not secure the brake line. The brake line would have released during deployment and resulted in a spinning main parachute if the other brake remained stowed. This common packing error is easily preventable by paying attention and stowing your brakes correctly.

    Keep an Eye Out | A Big Mess USPA Staff   (Nov 2018) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    This jumper deployed his main parachute at approximately 3,500 feet, and it was immediately obvious the parachute had malfunctioned and would not inflate. He released the main parachute a few seconds after the deployment and opened his reserve parachute.

    Keep an Eye Out | Brass and Rubber By Jim Crouch   (Dec 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    Oil and water, Red Bull and milk, brass grommets and rubber bands: all things that don’t mix together well.

    Keep an Eye Out | Canopy Collisions   (Aug 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    After opening their main canopies, jumpers tend to spread out and keep a respectful distance from one another until they all head for the same landing area.

    Keep an Eye Out | Closing-Loop Length USPA Staff   (Oct 2018) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A senior parachute rigger received this harness and container for some work, and when he closed the rig following the repairs, he discovered that the main closing loop was more than two inches too long. The main closing pin had no tension on it at all in this configuration. He shortened the loop to the correct length and helped the owner of the rig understand why it is essential for everyone in the airplane and on the skydive to have the proper tension on the closing pin to prevent an inadvertent container opening.

    Keep an Eye Out | Closing-Pin Nicks   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A freefall photographer caught this damage to his closing loop, which was relatively new, while packing during a busy weekend of jumping.

    Keep an Eye Out | Damaged Locking Loop   (Sep 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A jumper caught this damage to his locking loop while performing a thorough pre-flight inspection of his gear before his first jump of the day.

    Keep an Eye Out | Entanglement   (Aug 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    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.

    Keep an Eye Out | Hard-Opening Damage   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    Keep an Eye Out | Improper RSL Routing   (May 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A skydiver with 400-plus jumps changed out their main canopy and then made about 75 jumps on the rig.

    Keep an Eye Out | Metal Links   (Nov 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    During a routine repack, a rigger discovered that this Maillon Rapide quick link (aka French link) on the main deployment bag had damaged the pilot chute’s kill line and attachment point, likely from repeated friction between the components.

    Keep an Eye Out | Missing Reserve Ripcord   (Dec 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    When a jumper inspected his United Parachute Technologies Vector after receiving a reserve repack, he noticed that his rigger had neglected to secure the reserve ripcord to the reserve pin.

    Keep an eye out | Premature Deployment   (Jul 2020) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    Wingsuit flyers, or any jumpers who sit at the front of the plane and exit last, have the farthest to travel to the door on exit, which increases the chance of a snag.

    Keep an Eye Out | Rig Storage USPA Staff   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger opened this pilot emergency parachute system, which had seen many years out of service and was stored in an unknown manner, and found that all of the rubber bands had rotted and that many of them had melted onto the suspension lines.

    Keep an Eye Out | RSL Lanyard   (Feb 2019) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    While performing a routine gear check on another jumper, the inspecting jumper noticed that the reserve-static-line lanyard was tucked between the jumper’s shoulder and harness. This improper stowing could have caused the lanyard to snag, risking an unintentional reserve deployment. 

    Keep an Eye Out | Stuck Slider USPA Staff   (Sep 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    A jumper experienced a main-parachute malfunction when the slider remained at the top of the lines after deployment and would not allow the parachute to inflate. He released the main parachute, deployed his reserve and landed safely.

    Keep an Eye Out | The Twisted Truth   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    Jumpers blame the occurrence of twisted steering lines on everything from how they collapsed their canopies to the Coriolis effect. But no matter how they occur, if left unattended, they can lead to problems. It does not take many twists before lines start wearing unevenly.

    Keep an Eye Out—Brake-Line Knots   (Feb 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    From time to time, knots like the ones shown in this photo can magically appear in brake lines.

    Keep an Eye Out—Bridle Misrouting and Container Lock   (Jun 2021) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out
    March 2018   (Mar 2018) Parachutist Safety & Training Featured Photos Safety & Training Featured Photo

    PHOTO BY Justin Duclos | D-33248

    Jevin Johnson makes his first AFF jump instructed by his father, Jeff Johnson (right), and Austin Larman at Kapowsin Air Sports in Shelton, Washington.

    One-Armed Canopy Flight By Axis Flight School   (Nov 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    Online Rating Renewals Now Available!   (Jul 2019) Homepage Safety & Training Membership Services

    You asked, we listened! Finally, you can now renew your membership and ratings online at the same time with one payment!

    Providing Your Students the Best The Rating Corner   (Jun 2017) Parachutist Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    One of the most important of an instructional rating holder’s tasks is ensuring that each student receives proper training for the USPA A license. Part of this responsibility includes making logbook entries and initialing required items on the USPA A-License Proficiency Card or A-License Progression Card to properly track and document this training. Some instructors are very good about making logbook entries and updating the license cards, but many could use improvement, and drop zones handle this process in a seemingly infinite number of ways.

    Rating Corner | A Wake-Up Call By Jim Crouch   (Jun 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Last August, two tandem double fatalities occurred just a week apart. The details for both of those tragic accidents can be found in “Incident Reports” in this issue of Parachutist. While the casual observer may not see a correlation between the two accidents, they should be a flashing neon warning sign that screams for every tandem examiner, Safety and Training Advisor and drop zone operator to regularly review staff members’ tandem procedures.

    Rating Corner | Hand-Camera Hazards   (Jan 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Tandem instructors began using hand-mounted video cameras (aka handcams or handicams) in the last 20 years or so, and in the last decade, their use has become commonplace.

    Rating Corner | Handling a Ramp Check   (Sep 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner
    Rating Corner | Pro Rating Changes   (Aug 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner
    Rating Corner | Rules, Reasoning, Liability & Ethics By Jen Sharp   (Oct 2014) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Does an instructional rating holder have more liability than those not coaching or instructing? Inherently, yes. You take on more responsibility—hence more liability—by assuming a role that cares for students. However, there are clear limits to that liability and simple ways to reduce the likelihood that you will be held legally accountable in any situation. How do you reduce your risk? By applying your ethics.

    Rating Corner | Running the Radio By Jim Crouch   (Jul 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner
    Rating Corner | The Thin Gray Line—Did you Cross it? By Ray Lallo   (Dec 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    There can never be a blanket definition of where that thin gray line is, since we all have different ideas of what is and is not offensive.

    Rating Corner | What Do You Know About Learning?   (Dec 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner
    Rating Corner | The Exit—The Key to a Good Tandem Skydive By Michael Wadkins   (Jul 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Tandem skydiving has been instrumental in promoting and growing our sport; it brings both revenue and new skydivers to our DZs.

    Rating Corner | What is Designated AFF Evaluator? A True-or-False Quiz   (May 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    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.

    Rating Corner | Adhering to Your Emergency-Procedures Hard Deck By Ron Bell   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    The USPA Instructor Rating Manual states in T3—Tandem Method, Section 3-4, F—Tandem Emergencies: “In the event of a main canopy malfunction, decide and act by 3,000 feet to cut away and deploy reserve.”

    Rating Corner | AFF is Formation Skydiving By Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld   (Nov 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    If you’re instructing AFF students, you are engaging in formation skydiving.

    Rating Corner | Bringing Back the Tradition of Logbooks   (Jun 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Sometime over the past 10-15 years—probably due to the advent of phone apps, manifest programs and digital altimeters that track jumps—many jumpers developed an indifferent or apathetic attitude toward formally logging jumps.

    Rating Corner | Clarifying Goals for Early AFF Jumps By Jen Sharp   (Jul 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    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?

    Rating Corner | Currency Jumps By Jim Crouch   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Real life often gets in the way of skydiving, and jumpers may find themselves away from the sport for 61 days, 30 years or something in between. One of the regular tasks of USPA Coaches and Instructors is to help these jumpers knock off the rust and get back in the air. Every jumper’s situation will be different, so it requires the instructional staff to create a training plan unique to each individual.

    Rating Corner | Defining a Freefall Skydive By Ron Bell   (Sep 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    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.

    Rating Corner | D-License Changes By Michael Wadkins   (Apr 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    For years, the USPA Board of Directors heard feedback from members who felt that the night-jump requirement for the USPA D License was outdated. The number of night-jump waivers submitted by applicants to the Safety & Training Committee attest to this fact.

    Rating Corner | Examiner Standardization Meetings by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    In 2017, USPA conducted five standardization meetings for all current AFF instructor examiners and tandem instructor examiners, as well as those pursuing an examiner rating or attending purely for educational purposes. This was USPA’s first attempt at hosting the AFF and tandem meetings in one location and condensing the length of each discipline’s meeting to one day instead of two. The meetings went well, but the shorter meetings meant leaving out a lot of valuable information and discussion.

    Rating Corner | Guiding New Graduates By Jim Crouch   (Aug 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Have you ever spent months working with a student, ensuring that you covered each category and transferred the necessary knowledge and skills, then proudly stamped the A-license card and watched in disbelief as he ran off to sign up for a 10-way speedstar competition with a freshly mounted GoPro on his helmet?

    Rating Corner | How to Write an Incident Report By Ron Bell   (Aug 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    A good incident report gives a thorough account of what happened without glossing over unsavory information or leaving out crucial facts.

    Rating Corner | Improving Your Speech Habits by Jen Sharp   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    One of the simplest ways to become a stronger instructor and a better leader is to change ineffective speech patterns. Three common habits can cause a noticeable lack of clarity. Once coaches and instructors correct these habits, they instantly add power and confidence to their lessons.

    Rating Corner | Incident Reporting is Crucial! By Ron Bell   (Jun 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    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.

    Rating Corner | Judging: The Other Ratings Track Jim Rees | D-13359   (Sep 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    For jumpers, earning a judge rating can be another means of progress and personal development within the sport.

    Rating Corner | License and Rating Paperwork by Jim Crouch   (Jul 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Skydiving coaches, instructors and instructor examiners would much rather spend time in the air skydiving than on the ground handling paperwork. While this is understandable (hey, nobody likes to fill out forms, right?), each rating holder’s administrative responsibilities are extremely important. 

    Rating Corner | Normalizing Excellence By Ron Bell   (Jan 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Studies have shown that the individuals deviating from standard protocols don’t set out to break the rules.

    Rating Corner | PRO-Rating Changes By Ron Bell   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    At its summer board meeting in Arlington, Virginia, the USPA Board approved significant changes to Skydiver’s Information Manual Section 7-2—Professional Exhibition Rating.

    Rating Corner | Recent Changes By Ron Bell   (Apr 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Several changes that came out of the February 1-3 USPA Board meeting in Dallas, Texas, affect USPA rating holders.

    Rating Corner | Safety Day Activities By Ron Bell   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    As a Safety and Training Advisor, it’s important to take a leadership role during your drop zone’s Safety Day activities.

    Rating Corner | Safety Day Activities for Jump Pilots By Randy Ottinger   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Safety Day presents the perfect opportunity to strengthen the relationship between jump pilots and skydivers.

    Rating Corner | Safety Day Forums on Emergencies Below 2,000 Feet By Michael Wadkins   (Feb 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    USPA Safety Day is just around the corner—on March 14—and most DZs are gearing up for the event.

    Rating Corner | Steps for Promoting Safety By Ron Bell   (Feb 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    In the real world of skydiving, people who are coaches, instructors and role models have their own personal experiences, training backgrounds and motivations. Achieving common safety objectives and targets instead of operating as a group of individuals without a common purpose requires an interactive process. Using a Plan–Do–Check–Act process can provide the structure and commonality needed to get everyone on the same page and working together. Like a circle that has no end, the PDCA cycle requires repetition for continuous improvement. When using PDCA for safety initiatives, you, the instructional rating holder, have a crucial part to play.

    Rating Corner | Teaching Slow Flight By Ron Bell   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Instructors have been performing a lot of currency training lately and overall have been doing a great job. However, our recent incident reports show that one area of emergency-procedure training could use more emphasis: low-altitude emergencies under canopy.

    Rating Corner | Using the ISP by Jim Crouch   (Nov 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    Section 4 of the Skydiver’s Information Manual contains the Integrated Student Program, now in its 18th year as the progression that USPA recommends for students working toward the A license. It is a very detailed program, which can make it look intimidating to the casual observer, but it’s actually easy to implement and use. The program makes it simple to track exactly what students have completed and what they still need to accomplish as they work through each of the tasks required for the USPA A license.

    Rating Corner | What the !@#$ is a “Rating-Renewal Seminar,” Anyway? By Ray Lallo   (May 2020) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    USPA Instructor Examiners often encounter questions as to what constitutes a rating-renewal seminar. And they often receive blank stares followed by crickets when they ask, “What did you do for your rating-renewal seminar?”

    Rating Corner | Who Does What? By Jen Sharp   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    How do the best competitors in our sport reach success? Teamwork: individuals combining efforts to achieve a common purpose. Teamwork works best when each member understands their part in the whole. So, in the case of skydiving instruction, who does what?

    Rating Corner | Wind-Tunnel Training And The First Skydive by Jim Crouch   (Oct 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    At the July 13-15 USPA Board meeting in Milwaukee, the board passed a motion to change the Basic Safety Requirements regarding accelerated freefall student training. The new language spells out the minimum requirements for students who train in wind tunnels before they make their first jumps with only one AFF instructor.

    Rating Corner—FAA Medical Certificates By Ron Bell   (Apr 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    For tandem instructors, a periodic visit to their aviation medical examiners (AMEs) to renew their Federal Aviation Administration Third-Class Medical Certificates is a ritual that goes hand and hand with the privilege of taking tandem students on skydives.

    Rating Corner—Reminder for PRO Applicants   (Feb 2021) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    During the 2019 summer board meeting, USPA adopted and implemented an updated PRO-rating program with new jump requirements, qualifying areas and distances (the old standard of 10 accuracy jumps into a 32-foot circle no longer applies) and types of qualifying canopies.

    Relative Positioning Under Canopy By Axis Flight School   (Aug 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight

    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.

    Reserve Ripcord Placement Keep An Eye Out   (Jul 2017) Safety & Training Keep An Eye Out

    While opening a container to start a reserve repack, a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger found that the reserve ripcord was positioned on the top-reserve-flap grommet, pressed between the pin and the top of the grommet.

    Responding to a Pilot-Chute-In-Tow Malfunction   (Jun 2019) Homepage Safety & Training

    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?

    Safer Than We Used to Be? By Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld   (Mar 2021) Features Safety & Training

    “Modern equipment, technology and training have made skydiving so much safer than ever before.”

    Have they?

    Safety Check | 2018 Compliance Group Actions USPA Staff   (Mar 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In the interest of safety, USPA formed a Compliance Group to investigate allegations against members of USPA. Although the Compliance Group focuses its efforts on retraining and education rather than penalties, it will suspend or revoke memberships or ratings if its investigations show that such actions are warranted. In 2018, the USPA Compliance Group conducted 21 investigations into allegations against members of USPA, 14 of which resulted in disciplinary actions.

    Safety Check | 2020 Compliance Group Actions By North Central Regional Director Michael Wadkins   (Mar 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Three board members and one staff member make up the Compliance Group, which conducts investigations on allegations of member misconduct.

    Safety Check | Clearing Your SPACE Before Exit By Jen Sharp   (Jul 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check

    We’ve all done it. You’re staring out the plane door, ready to exit after the group in front of you, and you know you’re supposed to look for certain things. But you’re excited, and your mind goes blank.

    Safety Check | Fly It, Don’t Fight It   (Oct 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check
    Safety Check | Knowing Your Gear By Jim Crouch   (Jun 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In a sport that requires correctly functioning equipment for your survival, how much do you really know about your skydiving gear? Each year, fatal and non-fatal accidents stem from issues with skydiving equipment. The vast majority of these could have been avoided had the jumpers simply known more about their gear or performed basic gear checks to discover the problem before boarding or exiting the airplane. 

    Safety Check | Knowing Your Gear By Jim Crouch   (Jun 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In a sport that requires correctly functioning equipment for your survival, how much do you really know about your skydiving gear? Each year, fatal and non-fatal accidents stem from issues with skydiving equipment. The vast majority of these could have been avoided had the jumpers simply known more about their gear or performed basic gear checks to discover the problem before boarding or exiting the airplane. 

    Safety Check | Ron Bell’s Letter to Santa By Ron Bell   (Dec 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    This year, my wish list is all about the basics that make skydiving safer.

    Safety Check | Ron’s Wish List for Santa   (Dec 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check
    Safety Check | Should You Disconnect Your RSL or MARD?   (Sep 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check
    Safety Check | Simple Rules By Ron Bell   (May 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check

    It is natural to think that accidents will happen only to other skydivers, those who court disaster by idiotically violating every rule in the book. And although it is true that they will take most of the heat, even the most experienced and responsible skydivers are not immune to a bad roll of the dice. That’s why it’s important to master the few basic skills you learned during training so you can stay calm under pressure.

    Safety Check | Sound Judgment By Ron Bell   (Jan 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Often, USPA receives incident reports that describe a chain of bad decisions that led to an injury. Many of these reports recount instances where a jumper spent far too long working on something that felt fixable but wasn’t. So, it is refreshing to receive a report that ends with the words, “I stayed altitude aware, trusted my training and had a safe, smooth landing.”

    Safety Check | Wings in Water By Douglas Spotted Eagle   (Sep 2010) Safety & Training Safety Check
    Safety Check | 200—The Non-Magical Magic Number By Ron Bell   (Jun 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In skydiving, 200 jumps is a recurring theme.

    Safety Check | 2019 Disciplinary Actions By Ron Bell   (Mar 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In 2019, the USPA Board’s Compliance Group received reports of 63 possible infractions of USPA policies that could merit disciplinary action.

    Safety Check | 449 By Jim Crouch   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Four hundred and forty-nine. That’s a small number by some standards and a large one by others. To me, it is a much larger number than it should be. This is the number of civilian skydiving fatalities recorded in the United States during the 18 years and three months that I was the director of safety and training for USPA. Each one was a tragedy, with friends and family left in shock as they picked up the pieces in the aftermath of suddenly losing a loved one.

    Safety Check | Braked Flight By Ron Bell | Photo by Tim Parrant   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Half-braked canopy flight is a useful and life-saving skill, but recent incident reports (including the non-fatal incident reports in this issue of Parachutist) show that it is highly underutilized.

    Safety Check | Cognitive Tunneling By Ron Bell   (May 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    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.

    Safety Check | Downsizing by Jim Crouch   (Jul 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

    “When can I downsize to a smaller main canopy?” This is probably the most commonly asked question at every drop zone around the world. It seems like everyone—from newly licensed jumpers to those with thousands of skydives—wants to jump a smaller parachute. The answer to the question is tricky and can mean the difference between an uneventful experience and a serious injury or even fatality. 

    Safety check | EPs and Your Gear By Jim Crouch   (Aug 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    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.

    Safety Check | Fatigue By Ron Bell   (Oct 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    With the dog days of summer behind us and the home stretch of the skydiving season approaching, it’s important for jumpers to keep their guards up. July is typically the most fatal month in sheer numbers, but the fatality rate stays consistently high through October, even as the season begins winding down.

    Safety Check | Guarding Against Hard Openings By Ron Bell   (Feb 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    A main parachute that opens quickly and hard can be extremely dangerous. A hard opening can break suspension lines, tear canopy fabric, and injure, kill or incapacitate the jumper.

    Safety Check | Hard Deck vs. Decision Altitude By Ron Bell   (Jul 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Many jumpers are confused about the term “hard deck” and how it differs from the term “decision altitude.”

    Safety Check | Harness-and-Container Fit By Jim Crouch   (Aug 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Safety Check

    A properly sized and adjusted harness-and-container is essential to your safety both in freefall and under canopy. It’s likely that many jumpers who are reading this right now are in real danger of coming out of their harnesses during their next skydives and don’t even realize it.

    Safety Check | Incident Reporting By Ron Bell   (Aug 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    For more than a year now, USPA has been on a crusade to increase incident reporting, not only by instructors, but also by the everyday jumper.

    Safety Check | Jim’s Last Letter to Santa by Jim Crouch   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Dear Santa,

    2018 really flew by! I can’t believe it is already time for another wish list, but hopefully you can see to it that all my wishes come true. It’s a long list (and it’ll be my last one as director of safety and training for USPA), but it’s all pretty important stuff. This past year brought a lot of lousy weather, so first of all, I would like to see a bunch of sunny weekends so jumpers can get to their drop zones frequently and the drop zones can stay busy flying lots of loads.

    Safety Check | Knowing Your Reserve by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

    When you want to check out a new main parachute, chances are you’ll make a solo jump, open higher than usual and spend some time flying the new wing to get used to how it handles. Almost everyone who jumps a new main canopy does. After all, it makes sense. It’s a mystery how the new parachute will steer and flare compared to what you are used to, and who wouldn’t want to make a few jumps on it under controlled conditions with plenty of altitude to learn how to fly it?

    Safety Check | Learning from the Past by Jim Crouch   (Nov 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Safety Check

    Harry S. Truman once said, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” This quote (and many others like it) warns us all that we must know our history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. It comes as no surprise that this also applies directly to skydiving.

    Safety Check | Letter to Santa By Ron Bell   (Dec 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    My first year here at USPA as director of safety and training has gone by so quickly.

    Safety Check | Look It Up   (May 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    A highly respected rigger was visiting a drop zone and noticed a rig laid out on the packing floor after a jump.

    Safety Check | National Suicide Prevention Week is September 6-12 By Ron Bell   (Sep 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Jumping—usually from a structure—accounts for 5.8 percent of all suicides in the United States, and has an 85 percent success rate, which is similar to suicide by firearm.

    Safety Check | Skydiving in a Bubble By Dave Mazik   (Feb 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Skydivers all belong to a big mixed family. What was once a niche group has developed into a large, interconnected community. Despite this large network, there are small pockets within our sport that have become isolated. It’s within these small, isolated pockets that bad habits traditionally flourish.

    Safety Check | Spinning Line Twists By Jim Crouch   (Apr 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    The Rolling Stones sang a popular song titled “Time is on My Side.” Obviously, Mick Jagger never had a high-speed malfunction. After receiving a letter from a concerned skydiver who witnessed an incident resulting from a low cutaway, the Safety and Training Committee discussed the hazards of one high-speed malfunction—spinning line twists—during the February 1-3 USPA Board meeting in Dallas, Texas.

    Safety Check | Target Fixation by Jim Crouch   (Oct 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Safety Check

    Wikipedia defines target fixation as “an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on an observed object (be it a target or hazard) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object.” Motorcyclists, automobile drivers and even fighter pilots flying strafing runs during World War II have focused so intently on an impending hazard that they actually maneuvered directly into it. And skydivers fall prey to the phenomenon, too.

    Safety Check | What are Your Priorities? By Ron Bell   (Apr 2020) Safety & Training Safety Check

    During the ride to altitude at a summer boogie, an organizer noticed a twist in the lateral webbing on a jumper’s harness and informed him of the problem.

    Safety Check | Winter Jumping By Ron Bell   (Nov 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    The summer season has faded away, and so have high temperatures, at least in the northern states. Fall is fading to winter, frost is appearing in the morning grass, and if you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you have probably noticed it is getting colder in freefall.

    Safety Check | Your Safety and Training Advisor’s Role By Ron Bell   (Jun 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

    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.

    Safety Check—SIM Section 6-12—Movement Jumps   (Apr 2021) Safety & Training Safety Check

    In the days of belly-mounted reserves, baggy mustard-colored jumpsuits and scuffed white plastic helmets, jumpers dreamed only of flying relative to one another.

    Safety Day is coming up!   (Mar 2021) Safety & Training
    Should I Consider Adjusting The Activation Altitude Of My Automatic Activation Device? by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    There are several modern AADs available for skydivers to choose from, all of which offer jumpers the ability to offset the activation altitude (temporarily change the activation-altitude settings to compensate for a landing area that is higher or lower than the point of departure). Additionally, both the Airtec CYPRES 2 and the Advanced Aerospace Designs Vigil 2+ offer a feature that allows users to increase the activation altitude semi-permanently (until the user changes it again).

    Sit-Fly Fall-Rate Changes (Leg Mechanics)   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

    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.

    Sit-Fly Turns (Arm Mechanics) by Axis Flight School   (May 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Foundations of Flight
    Axis Flight School Skydive Arizona

    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.

    Skydiving Health and Fitness | Core Strengthening   (Sep 2021) Safety & Training
    Skydiving Health and Fitness | Core Strengthening   (Oct 2021) Safety & Training
    Skydiving Health and Fitness | Introduction to Canopy Piloting Conditioning By Dr. Nancy Grieger, DPT   (Jun 2021) Safety & Training
    Skydiving Health and Fitness | Dynamic Warm-Ups, Part One By Dr. Nancy Grieger, DPT, of Blue Skies Physical Therapy   (Oct 2020) Safety & Training

    Dynamic warm-ups are a perfect way to get ready for a day of jumping. They increase your core temperature, and the increased blood flow enhances your nerve impulses and reaction time.

    Skydiving Safety—Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going By Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell   (Jul 2021) Safety & Training

    Safety has always been a priority for the United States Parachute Association and its predecessor organizations, National Parachute Jumpers-Riggers Inc. (1946-1957) and the Parachute Club of America (1957-1967).

    Swooping By Numbers By Jeff Provenzano   (Jun 2021) Safety & Training
    The Front Office | Becoming A Jump Pilot Chas Hines | C-41147   (Jun 2018) Parachutist Homepage Safety & Training The Front Office

    Welcome to the front office! This new bimonthly column will take you behind the scenes of jump piloting to give you insight into the job and why your pilots do what they do. Author Chas Hines, C-41147, is an airline pilot and certified flight instructor who spent five years as a jump pilot at various drop zones. He has logged more than 5,000 hours of flight time, 500 of those instructing other pilots. He’s also been skydiving for 13 years and has more than 1,500 jumps. He can often be found load organizing at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. 

    The Front Office | Descents By Chas Hines   (Jul 2019) Safety & Training The Front Office

    “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.

    The Front Office | Spins By Chas Hines   (Feb 2019) Homepage Safety & Training The Front Office

    “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.

    The Front Office | Stalls by Chas Hines   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training The Front Office

    “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.

    The Front Office | Suck, Bang, Blow by Chas Hines   (Oct 2018) Homepage Safety & Training The Front Office

    “The Front Office” is your worldly salvation when it comes to answering questions about jump pilots and piloting. We talk about what exactly pilots do behind the scenes to make your favorite time of week happen. We talk about what they see, what decisions they face and why they might be in a bad mood between loads. We talk about why you are wrong if you haven’t seen “Top Gun.” Mostly, you get a one-of-a-kind inside view from the one seat in the airplane you never get to be in.

    The Front Office | Weather Sources By Chas HInes   (Apr 2019) Safety & Training The Front Office

    “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.

    The Front office | What is Density Altitude and How Do We Derive It? By Chas Hines   (Jun 2019) Safety & Training The Front Office

    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.

    Under Pressure—Barotrauma in Skydiving By Laura Galdamez, M.D.   (Jun 2021) Safety & Training

    Barotrauma is injury that occurs as a direct result of changes in ambient pressure. Boyles Law states that at constant temperature, a volume of a gas is inversely proportional to the ambient pressure.

    USPA Acts to Ensure Proper Tandem Instructor Certification   (Sep 2016) Safety & Training

    A recent fatal tandem accident and subsequent information have led USPA to conclude that a number of candidates who attended tandem instructor rating courses at The Parachute Center in Lodi, California, and other locations conducted by either Rob Pooley, #155136, or Yuri Garmashov, #163264, were not properly taught and/or were not properly certified. Some courses may have been abbreviated or incomplete, or candidates may not have met initial qualifications. Post-course rating applications may have been submitted under false pretenses or with forged signatures since, in some cases, the course examiner had been suspended and was not authorized to conduct courses.

    In the interest of public safety, USPA is taking steps to ensure that all of approximately 140 tandem instructors and candidates affected can demonstrate proper emergency procedures, have completed the knowledge tests from USPA and tandem manufacturer United Parachute Technologies and have submitted proper rating applications to both UPT and USPA.

    Vigil Information Bulletin   (Apr 2016) Safety & Training Service Bulletins

    Advanced Aerospace Designs has recently released an Information Bulletin as a reminder regarding battery replacement intervals required for their Vigil 1 and Vigil 2 automatic activation devices. The bulletin reminds jumpers that battery replacement is mandatory when “Bat Low” or “Bat Rpl” appears on the controller screen or when the Vigil has reached a maximum of 10 years plus three months.

    What kind of hardware is best for my rig?   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

    When choosing a new or used rig, the metal hardware used in the 3-ring assembly and for harness adjustments matters a lot. Inattention to this detail can make or break a good used gear deal. If you’re getting new gear, some of those great sales and discount deals might be due to hardware choice.

    What’d You Say?—Hearing Loss and Skydiving By Laura Galdamez, M.D.   (Jan 2022) Top News Features Safety & Training
    When, Not If—Practicing for Low-Altitude Emergencies By USPA Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell   (Mar 2021) Safety & Training

    Low-altitude emergencies—emergencies that occur under canopy below 1,000 feet—continue to plague our community.

    Wingsuit Collisions   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training Safety Check

    Hard-impact freefall collisions resulting in serious injuries and fatalities were once a common issue with formation skydivers and freeflyers, and now they’re an issue with wingsuiters. Modern wingsuit flying—which now has had more than 20 years to develop training methods and equipment and build a foundation of knowledge—cannot truly be considered a new discipline any longer, but it continues to struggle with injuries and fatalities from collisions in freefall, as well as collisions with the aircraft on exit.

    Your First Priority   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

    An ever-increasing number of tandem accidents are attributable to the use of handcams, either as a direct or indirect cause. Sadly, the mistakes leading to these accidents are easy to see in high-definition video, as the tandem instructors continue filming with a straight left arm even as the world around them is going to hell.

    Forms

    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Evaluations Forms PDF (fillable)   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Forms PDF   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    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
    Application: B-D License PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Application: Canopy Formation Award PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Application: Judge Rating PDF   (May 2015) Forms Judge Rating
    Application: PRO Rating & High Performance Endorsement PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
    Application: Tenure Award PDF   (Apr 2010) Forms Awards
    Application: USPA Membership & Rating Renewal PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Application: Wings & Badges Awards PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card PDF   (Sep 2019) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Demo Insurance Application and Notification Form PDF   (Nov 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
    Incident Report Form PDF   (Apr 2019) Forms Incident Report
    Initial Application as a Foreign Affiliate Group Member (Non-U.S. Only) PDF   (Apr 2019) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Initial Application for College Clubs (U.S. Only) PDF   (Oct 2021) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Initial Application for Group Membership (U.S. Only) PDF   (Feb 2020) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Proficiency Card: AFF Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Coach Rating PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Examiner PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: IAD/SL Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Military Transition PDF   (Sep 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Proficiency Card: Tandem Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    S&TA Waiver Form PDF   (Apr 2018) Downloads Forms Waivers
    Waiver Request PDF   (Nov 2019) Downloads Waivers

    USPA Meeting Minutes

    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2022 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2021 Summer Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2021 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2021 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Summer Meeting PDF   (Dec 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2016 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2016 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2016 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2015 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    2014 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2014 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2014 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2013 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2013 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2013 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2012 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2012 Summer Meeting PDF   (Aug 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2012 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2011 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2011 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2011 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2010 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2010 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2010 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2009 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2009 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2009 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2008 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2008 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Apr 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2008 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2007 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2007 General Membership Meeting PDF   (May 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2007 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2006 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Nov 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2006 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2006 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2005 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2005 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2005 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2004 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2004 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2004 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2003 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2003 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2003 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2002 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2002 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2001 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2001 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005
    BOD 2000 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2000) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005

    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.

    Please note the revision date of any translated copy you are reviewing and verify that it is no earlier than the revision date of the corresponding English version. Any edits made to the original English version after the translated version’s revision date would not be reflected in the translation.

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

    Spanish Version – January 1, 2021