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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For jumpers, earning a judge rating can be another means of progress and personal development within the sport.
Far too often, skydivers face difficulties pulling their pilot chutes, and the results are often far too serious.
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.
A good incident report gives a thorough account of what happened without glossing over unsavory information or leaving out crucial facts.
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.
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.
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.
Many jumpers are confused about the term “hard deck” and how it differs from the term “decision altitude.”
Tandem skydiving has been instrumental in promoting and growing our sport; it brings both revenue and new skydivers to our DZs.
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.
In skydiving, 200 jumps is a recurring theme.
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.
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?”
Cutaway cables are not universally interchangeable.
A skydiver with 400-plus jumps changed out their main canopy and then made about 75 jumps on the rig.
A highly respected rigger was visiting a drop zone and noticed a rig laid out on the packing floor after a jump.
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.
When jumpers take on the responsibility (and that’s precisely what it is) of getting their licenses, they are pledging to conduct themselves safely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A jumper came to me after his first cutaway, concerned about damage to his reserve system.
(More articles being added every day!)
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