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    Published on Tuesday, January 1, 2019

    How Skydiving Changed My Life

    By Richard dePerrot

    When I was a child, I thought that I could fly. In my dreams, I hovered in the living room and floated out the door into the street. I hovered like a dragonfly in slow motion as I examined the trees and architecture of my neighborhood up close. I didn’t realize that it was a dream; it was so intense, I believed it really happened. I blame this weird dream for my delusions of flying.

    When I was 8, I made my first sophisticated attempt to fly. I strapped lumber to my arms and ran off of the roof of my house flapping like a bird. I had played the scene in my mind. I knew that I was going to drift gently into the yard and maybe hook a few sweet turns on the way. But gravity had other plans. I flew like a rock and slammed into the ground so hard that I ate my knees and saw stars. I survived without major injury. It was a good idea that just needed some more research.

    Encouraged by the lack of death, I launched into a lifelong pursuit of negotiating deals with gravity. I used what I had: skates, motorcycles, skis, trampolines. I thought of it as flying. There is a takeoff, a brief sense of weightless floating through the air and occasionally a graceful landing. Despite the constant pounding that my body was taking, it was a fun occupation that never seemed to grow old.

    My “flying career” lasted two decades. Thousands of landings left me bent over and walking with a crooked limp. Then, I had children, and my wife wanted me to be responsible and made me swear off doing anything fun. I went through a 25-year dry spell where the riskiest thing that I did was order a chimichanga at Chi Chi’s. I became the old geezer who talks about the glory days and how much he misses the action. A has-been.

    Then one day while surfing the net, I discovered the devil himself, also known as YouTube. What kind of crazy conspiracy had kept this from me? It is a gold mine of human-projectile experiments. For those of us with an aspiration for soaring and an ignorance of video editing, it is inspirational. It opened my eyes to a whole world of fun ways to fly, and the coolest tended to involve parachutes. I started thinking and talking about sky sports until my daughter Brigitte got sick of hearing it and recommended that I get off of my fat, busted-up ass and do something. The next thing I knew, I was poised in the door of a King Air looking at 12,000 feet of space.

    People are not intended to skydive. It is unnatural. Every instinct in our million-year-old DNA screams that it is a bad idea. But damn, it gives me a feeling that I have always dreamed about. It is as close as we can get to flight, and it is amazing. It took me 60 years to discover it, and now I want to learn to do everything that I can with a parachute. This is just more fun than anyone deserves to have. Did I mention that I can fly?

    I now have my C license, and I can’t get enough. I am at the DZ every weekend. Whenever I travel, my rig goes with me. I am so excited about skydiving that I find it hard to concentrate on anything else. I was going to sit here and write a catchy ending, but I hear the 182 warming up, so you’re going to have to make up your own.

    Richard dePerrot | C-46544
    Manheim, Pennsylvania

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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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    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
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    2009 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
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    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
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    2007 General Membership Meeting PDF   (May 2007) 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