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Rating Corner | Defining a Freefall Skydive
The Rating Corner | September 2019

Rating Corner | Defining a Freefall Skydive

By Ron Bell

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.

Author: Ron Bell
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Article rating: 2.3
Ask a rigger | What is an example of unexpected gear wear I should watch for?
Ask A Rigger | September 2019

Ask a rigger | What is an example of unexpected gear wear I should watch for?

By Shauna Finley

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.

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Article rating: No rating
Foundations of flight | Neutral Body Position
Foundations of Flight | September 2019

Foundations of flight | Neutral Body Position

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.

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Article rating: 5.0
Five Hazardous Attitudes
Safety & Training |

Five Hazardous Attitudes

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. 

Author: USPA Staff
0 Comments
Article rating: 3.8
Featured Training Photo
Safety & Training Featured Photo | August 2019

Featured Training Photo

Photo by Nick Rockow | D-28792

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.

Author: Nick Rockow
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Article rating: No rating
Keep an Eye Out | Entanglement
Keep An Eye Out | August 2019

Keep an Eye Out | Entanglement

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.

Author: USPA Staff
0 Comments
Article rating: 3.5
Foundations of Flight | Docking on a Head-Down Formation
Foundations of Flight | August 2019

Foundations of Flight | Docking on a Head-Down Formation

By Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher of Modern Skydiving Concepts

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.

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Ask a Rigger | How Often Should I Inspect My Gear?
Ask A Rigger | August 2019

Ask a Rigger | How Often Should I Inspect My Gear?

By Shauna Finley

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.

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Article rating: No rating
Safety check | EPs and Your Gear
Safety Check | August 2019

Safety check | EPs and Your Gear

By Jim Crouch

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.

Author: Jim Crouch
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Article rating: No rating
The Front Office | Descents
The Front Office | August 2019

The Front Office | Descents

By Chas Hines

“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.

Author: Chas Hines
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Online Rating Renewals Now Available!
Membership Services | July 2019

Online Rating Renewals Now Available!

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

Author: USPA Staff
0 Comments
Article rating: 2.5
Rating Corner | Clarifying Goals for Early AFF Jumps
The Rating Corner | July 2019

Rating Corner | Clarifying Goals for Early AFF Jumps

By Jen Sharp

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?

Author: Jen Sharp
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Article rating: No rating
Ask a Rigger | Pilot-Chute Pouch Inspection
Ask A Rigger | July 2019

Ask a Rigger | Pilot-Chute Pouch Inspection

By Shauna Finley

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.

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Article rating: No rating
Foundations of Flight | Head Position
Foundations of Flight | July 2019

Foundations of Flight | Head Position

By Axis Flight School

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.

0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Link Between Spinning Malfunctions and Difficult Cutaways
Safety | July 2019, DDCA

Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Link Between Spinning Malfunctions and Difficult Cutaways

By USPA Director of Safety and Training Ron Bell

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!

Author: Ron Bell
3 Comments
Article rating: 1.0
Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Five-Second Rule: A Time-Based Approach to Emergencies
Safety | July 2019, DDCA

Don’t Delay, Cut Away!—The Five-Second Rule: A Time-Based Approach to Emergencies

By Ben Planche Wallace

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.

0 Comments
Article rating: 3.0
Responding to a Pilot-Chute-In-Tow Malfunction
Safety & Training |

Responding to a Pilot-Chute-In-Tow Malfunction

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?

Author: USPA Staff
5 Comments
Article rating: 3.1
Foundations of Flight | Belly to Head-Up Transition
Foundations of Flight | June 2019

Foundations of Flight | Belly to Head-Up Transition

By Axis Flight School

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.

0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Safety Check | Your Safety and Training Advisor’s Role
Safety Check | June 2019

Safety Check | Your Safety and Training Advisor’s Role

By Ron Bell

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.

Author: Ron Bell
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Article rating: No rating
Rating Corner | Incident Reporting is Crucial!
The Rating Corner | June 2019

Rating Corner | Incident Reporting is Crucial!

By Ron Bell

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.

Author: Ron Bell
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
The Front office | What is Density Altitude and How Do We Derive It?
The Front Office | June 2019

The Front office | What is Density Altitude and How Do We Derive It?

By Chas Hines

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.

Author: Chas Hines
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Featured Training Photo
Safety & Training Featured Photo | May 2019

Featured Training Photo

Photo by Ioannis Vlachiotis | D-31871

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

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Article rating: No rating
Keep an Eye Out
Keep An Eye Out | May 2019

Keep an Eye Out

Difficulty Cutting Away from Spinning Malfunctions

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.

Author: USPA Staff
0 Comments
Article rating: 3.6
Rating Corner | What is Designated AFF Evaluator? A True-or-False Quiz
The Rating Corner | May 2019

Rating Corner | What is Designated AFF Evaluator? A True-or-False Quiz

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.

Author: Jen Sharp
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Safety Check | Cognitive Tunneling
Safety Check | May 2019

Safety Check | Cognitive Tunneling

By Ron Bell

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.

Author: Ron Bell
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Article rating: No rating
Ask a Rigger
Ask A Rigger | May 2019

Ask a Rigger

What is the Difference Between a Senior and a Master Rigger, and What’s a DPRE?

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.”

Author: Kevin Gibson
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Foundations of Flight | Vertical Compressed Exit (Mixed Formation Skydiving Random C)
Foundations of Flight | May 2019

Foundations of Flight | Vertical Compressed Exit (Mixed Formation Skydiving Random C)

By Axis Flight School

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.

0 Comments
Article rating: 3.0
Featured Training Photo
Safety & Training Featured Photo | April 2019

Featured Training Photo

Photo by Krystle Wright for Red Bull

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.

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Article rating: No rating
Rating Corner | Recent Changes
The Rating Corner | April 2019

Rating Corner | Recent Changes

By Ron Bell

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

Author: Ron Bell
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
The Front Office | Weather Sources
The Front Office | April 2019

The Front Office | Weather Sources

By Chas HInes

“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.

Author: Chas Hines
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
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