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Letters | July 2020

Letters

D-Valuation

The D license represents that the holder has earned and demonstrated the highest level of expertise in our sport and is a master parachutist.

Author: Jim Graham
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Letters | July 2020

Letters

How to Count

Should jumpers who die inside skydiving aircraft be counted as skydiving fatalities?

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Letters | March 2020

Letters

This is a Sport?

The 50th anniversary of my first jump is next month and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to watch the 1969 film “This is a Sport?” that you included in the recent USPA Update!

Author: Bob Dodt
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Letters | February 2020

Letters

Leveling the Playing Field

As an experienced skydiver, I’ve competed in 4-way [formation skydiving] in the advanced class at Nationals multiple times.

Author: Tom Startz
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Letters | January 2020

Letters

Sports Camera Safety

Every day, Safety and Training Advisors see skydivers walking to the plane wearing cameras that are not protected from catching a line.

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Letters | January 2020

Letters

Membership Card Disappointment

The new format for USPA membership cards may seem like small potatoes to some, but after 50 continuous years of membership, it is annoying to me.

Author: Rick March
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Letters | November 2019

Letters

Jump Aircraft Safety

Ed Scott’s “Gearing Up” editorial (September Parachutist) was welcome and cogent. But I would add that many jumpers would like to see more vigilance from pilots to ensure that everyone has their seatbelts secure for takeoff.

Author: Doug Garr
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Letters | October 2019

Letters

Maximizing Enjoyment of Record Attempts

In the beginning, we all wanted to be great flyers. We can recall many jumps when we weren’t. We wanted to set state records, and we remember when they were hard or didn’t happen.

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Letters | October 2019

Letters

Veteran Pride

Thank you so much for your article, “Saluting the Heroes of D-Day” (August Parachutist). I come from a long line of military volunteers, as does my wife.

Author: Jerry Hogan
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Letters | October 2019

Letters

RSL Issues

In “Incident Reports” in the August issue, the third incident states, “Both canopies fully deployed and went into a downplane. The student immediately cut away the main, which remained trailing behind him attached by the reserve static line.”

Author: Rob Jonson
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Letters | October 2019

Letters

Thought for the Day

Practicing cutaways in a hanging harness is a great exercise. However, it’s not perfect.

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Letters | September 2019

Letters

A Coincidence

While waiting in the loading area for the Caravan to land, I and a group of other jumpers witnessed a skydiver under a reserve canopy with his main pilot chute trailing.

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Letters | September 2019

Letters

Aircraft-Incident Statistics

For the 2019 skydiving fatality report, USPA should include those who perished in the Dillingham accident.

Author: Jed Morris
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Letters | August 2019

Letters

Thin Air

Thank you very much for the wonderful and informative article and interview of Dr. Anna Hicks by Annette O’Neil (“Thin Air—Busting Lingering Myths About Hypoxia,” May 2019 Parachutist). It is indeed very important to inform our fellow skydivers about the risks of hypoxia.

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Letters | July 2019

Letters

A Reality We Can Achieve

Hats off to Jim Crouch’s article “A Record Low—the 2018 Fatality Summary” (April Parachutist). Crouch’s article points out the significance of the fatality index rate being at its lowest ever in our sport: one in 254,000 jumps (or 0.39 per 100,000 jumps).

Author: Rick DeShano
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Letters | July 2019

Letters

A Better Way

I don’t understand why you’re reversing the standard aviation placement of numerator and denominator, and I would urge you to adopt that standard.

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Letters | July 2019

Letters

Sharing Our Stories

Your appeal for us to share our [malfunction or accident] stories with a larger audience (“Gearing Up” by Executive Director Ed Scott, April Parachutist) not only resonates, it makes sense.

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Letters | July 2019

Letters

The Importance of DZ Briefings

I have always made a point to get a DZ safety briefing about local hazards like power lines, highways, water hazards and irritable farmers whenever going to a new place

Author: Bruce Parkes
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Letters | June 2019

Letters

Not Impressed

I’m guessing that most readers were impressed by the flaming canopy on the cover of the March Parachutist, but I’m not one of them. It’s hard for me to believe that you’d sanction this kind of lunacy, especially on the cover of the Safety Day issue! But hey, that’s just me.

Author: Brian Voss
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Letters | June 2019

Letters

Classic Accuracy Memories

While reading the March magazine, I noticed that the Collegiates will no longer include classic accuracy. It’s a passing. It made me recall when, a few years ago, the U.S. Army Parachute Team leadership got out of classic. I also remembered when those APT guys set all kinds of accuracy records. At least classic is still pretty strong in Europe.

Author: Karl Poruben
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Letters | June 2019

Letters

Social Media and Skydiving

Today’s fast-paced communication has changed the way we view our world and ourselves. To receive a million views or thousands of followers or thousands of likes seems to be a top priority. And people need to come up with original ideas faster than ever to stay ahead of the pack. But what happens when these ideas or stunts break the law or violate safety policies or jeopardize our sport?

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Letters | June 2019

Letters

Reporting Non-Fatal Incidents

Thank you, Ed Scott, for your “Gearing Up” in April’s Parachutist. We need to report our incidents so we can understand potential problems and deal with them early. Our personal influence on safety can have an overall impact of reducing injuries in the sport. It isn’t the rules; it’s the behaviors. With the fatality rate being less than 1 per 100,000, we need to focus on near misses. Incident reporting increases our opportunity to get ahead of our injuries and fatalities.

Author: Rick DeShano
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Letters | May 2019

Letters

Impact-Rated Helmets

I read your editor’s note in the March Parachutist (“Letters—Helmet Effectiveness”) about there being no standards for skydiving helmets and feel the need to make an observation. Surely, where an organization does not have knowledge about something, then usually it looks around to find someone who does.

Author: Antony Perry
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Letters | May 2019

Letters

Fired Up

I have been a USPA member since 1969. This month’s cover is the most dramatic photo I’ve seen. I did a double take when I pulled the magazine from my mailbox. Well done to stuntman Eric Salas!

Author: Jim Edwards
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Letters | May 2019

Letters

Interesting Juxtaposition

That’s an awesome cover photo (March Parachutist) of Eric Salas’ flaming canopy! Really gets your attention. But I was calmed and reassured when I saw your full-page ad “Safety Day is March 9” on the very next page. Does this mean you no longer recommend things such as smoking while jumping? (Didn’t we tell you not to carry lithium batteries in flight? But carry a fire extinguisher at all times. And no flare guns allowed when competing with other stacks.)

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Letters | April 2019

Letters

USPA Listens

We all know how rigid most organizations and corporations are. Although they say, “We value your feedback,” individual comments rarely go anywhere, and a satisfaction rating just gets tossed into an average for some corporate board meeting. Recently, I wanted to see how USPA reacted to feedback and if it would even change something based on it.

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Letters | April 2019

Letters

Not Irvin’s Accomplishment Alone

The January issue of Parachutist made a big deal about celebrating 100 years of freefall skydiving and Leslie Irvin’s key role in it. I’m not saying he didn’t play a key role, but a recent article in AOPA Pilot and a letter to the editor in its February issue by Bruce Smith, grandson of James Floyd Smith, suggests there is more to the story.

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Letters | April 2019

Letters

Mental Health Awareness

I am very concerned about the conclusions stated in “Incident Reports” in the February issue of Parachutist. Although I agree that nobody should skydive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, I find it concerning that so much of the conclusion was dedicated to the issue of the THC content in the jumper’s body when the death was officially ruled a suicide.

Author: Travis Bader
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Letters | April 2019

Letters

Combatting Racial Bias

Thank you so much for publishing “We’re Not Here for Tandems” (by Annette O’Neil, February Parachutist). That title alone was eye-opening and impactful. I am proud to see that our organization takes racial (and other discriminatory) issues seriously and is active in working to combat racial bias in our sport. I am a white guy with a black son, and I hope my son grows up to be a skydiver and can be part of Team Blackstar.

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Letters | March 2019

Letters

Helmet Effectiveness

The following statement in “Incident Reports” in the January 2019 Parachutist stood out to me: "The vast majority of helmets used for skydiving offer very limited head protection." The report further stated that severe trauma is very likely even when wearing a helmet in certain collisions.

Author: Deborah
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