In 2017, almost half of the 24 jumpers who died in the U.S. faced malfunctions. Unfortunately, the failure to safely land a canopy (a quarter of the mishaps) and other causes remain, but failure to handle a main-canopy malfunction was the biggest killer in 2017. Learning from the circumstances that surround the deaths that occurred in 2017 can help us all have a safer 2018.
Thankfully, no skydivers or jump pilots died in skydiving-related aircraft accidents in the U.S. during 2017. But there is room for improvement with regard to decision making by jump pilots.
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.
If you ever need a quick and easy way to make every coach and instructor in the hangar run away and hide, just yell, “I need someone to handle the student radio!”
For skydivers, springtime weather can be both tricky and frustrating. After freezing all winter, many jumpers head to the drop zone at the first sign of a reasonably warm day, and they may be tempted to jump even if the winds are high or there are lots of clouds. But as the old saying goes, “It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground.”
Videographer Lauren Piscatelli shoots her mother making a skydive with tandem instructor Dan Hammond at Skydive Carolina in Chester, South Carolina.
Photo by Terry Hopkins | D-24503
When I talked to Ari Perelman at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, he was having the first weather-hold day of his Arizona Airspeed career—which was, on that date, just about a year old. That’s Arizona for you.
It started when Weter, who enjoys painting animals, visualized a zebra losing its stripes in freefall.
Skydiving Makes a Difference—A Parachutist series on nonprofit organizations that give back to their communities.
In future years we will all look back proudly on this time as one where we joined together and successfully preserved the future of this sport we love.
Photo by Dan Chrobak | D-37105
Neil Kuhlman swoops the surf at Mokuleia Beach while participating in an offsite jump during the Sky-HI invitational event at Pacific Skydiving Center in Waialua, Hawaii.
If you are considering an RDS, you need to determine whether the use of such a system is necessary and appropriate for the activities you plan to engage in.
Jumpers fly an early-season sunset 19-way over Skydive Carolina in Chester South Carolina to celebrate Lauren Piscetalli, D-34257, making her 3,000th jump and Amie Begg, C-46156, making her 400th.
Photo by Daniel Schiermeyer | D-31153
On February 10, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, located in York Center, Wisconsin, revived a tradition when it hosted ice jumps onto Lake Mendota, just five blocks from the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Photo by Terry Schumacher | D-22794
During a 10-way speed formation skydiving competition at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, team Games of Jones—featuring patriarch Bill Jones and five other members of his family—build a point.
More than 60 skydivers played in the skies over Skydive San Diego in Jamul, California, on December 2 during the DZ’s first Sisters in Skydiving event, Women of the Sky.
The American classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” laid the (yellow) brickwork for a one-of-a-kind Sisters in Skydiving event at Skydive Arizona in Eloy January 26-28. Amy Benton and Chazi Blacksher (affectionately known as “the Working Girls”) collaborated with Larsen & Brusgaard to bring more than 90 women together for a weekend of sharing, giving, jumping, tunnel flying, winning prizes and dressing in costume.
Tracy Barrett, the author of many books for young readers, recently turned her attention to skydiving by penning the novel “Freefall Summer.”
Canopy manufacturer Fluid Wings recently released the Gangster, a nine-cell, partially cross-braced wing with a tri-taper leading edge and mini-ribs at the trailing edge.
When USPA receives a complaint about an individual member or a Group Member drop zone violating rules or acting in an unsafe manner, the USPA Board of Directors’ Compliance Group investigates the allegations using a specific process that the USPA Governance Manual outlines.
Jason Gonzalez and Viviana De Jesus of Xtreme Divers West in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, hosted the 16th Puerto Rico Freefall Festival February 7-11, an event many thought impossible after the island suffered a direct blow from Hurricane Maria last year.
On February 17, Skydive Arizona in Eloy hosted a mixed formation skydiving scrambles meet, which paired participants with a new partner in each of the five rounds.
On February 3 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, 18 jumpers set two Skydivers Over Sixty state records, one of which also qualified as a Parachutists Over Phorty Society record.
On January 30 at Skydive DeLand in Florida, the two questions on the minds of the team of 48 international skydivers were, “What does it mean and why are we doing this?”
The USPA Membership Services Committee is currently seeking nominations for three of its service awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award (a maximum of one recipient annually), the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service (up to three recipients annually) and the Regional Achievement Award (up to five recipients annually).
Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468
Clancy Ewald, camera pool photographer at the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships at Skydive Lake Wales, flies to the landing area after a round of competition.
Photo by Brian Festi | D-26788
At Skydive DeLand in Florida, jumpers practice a sector of a formation they will build for a television program celebrating Chinese New Year.
Photo by Raymond Adams | D-30158
Jumpers exit during the Sebastian Vertical Elite Camp at Skydive Sebastian in Florida.
Norwood Thomas, a World War II veteran who jumped into Normandy, France, on D-Day with the 101st Airborne Division, makes a tandem skydive with instructor Alberto Macias at Skydive Suffolk in Virginia.
I have found that shedding my ego is easier now that I have become a skydiver. There is so much fear in this sport, especially at first. The cool thing about this is that every time I jump, I train my mind to compartmentalize fear.
(More articles being added every day!)
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