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The USPA Board of Directors held its fifth meeting of the 2019-2021 term in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29-31. For the second time, the board meeting was broadcast live via Zoom Webinar for USPA members to observe and over 130 USPA members registered to attend the virtual meeting.
Tandem instructors began using hand-mounted video cameras (aka handcams or handicams) in the last 20 years or so, and in the last decade, their use has become commonplace.
Often, USPA receives incident reports that describe a chain of bad decisions that led to an injury. Many of these reports recount instances where a jumper spent far too long working on something that felt fixable but wasn’t. So, it is refreshing to receive a report that ends with the words, “I stayed altitude aware, trusted my training and had a safe, smooth landing.”
This year, my wish list is all about the basics that make skydiving safer.
The USPA Instructor Rating Manual states in T3—Tandem Method, Section 3-4, F—Tandem Emergencies: “In the event of a main canopy malfunction, decide and act by 3,000 feet to cut away and deploy reserve.”
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.
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.
The recent accident-statistics report—“Non-Fatal Incidents Summary” by Ron Bell in the May issue of Parachutist—was interesting and prompts me to bring up, once again, the problems of opening shock.
A good incident report gives a thorough account of what happened without glossing over unsavory information or leaving out crucial facts.
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.
The D license represents that the holder has earned and demonstrated the highest level of expertise in our sport and is a master parachutist.
Should jumpers who die inside skydiving aircraft be counted as skydiving fatalities?
Many jumpers are confused about the term “hard deck” and how it differs from the term “decision altitude.”
In skydiving, 200 jumps is a recurring theme.
In 2019, USPA saw a five-fold increase in reporting from the previous year, receiving more reports for the year than in any year in the past two decades.
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.
As a Safety and Training Advisor, it’s important to take a leadership role during your drop zone’s Safety Day activities.
In 2019, the USPA Board’s Compliance Group received reports of 63 possible infractions of USPA policies that could merit disciplinary action.
USPA tasks each Safety and Training Advisor with filing an incident report when a skydiving death occurs, but S&TAs are not the only people who can file a report, and a death is not the only reason for filing one.
Michael Kearns, D-16816, began jumping in 1976 while in the military. He made more than 200 special operations jumps in 14 countries, including night jumps wearing tactical gear, and also became involved in sport skydiving.
I became interested in skydiving my senior year in high school after watching a night demo jump into the school’s stadium. I approached the jumper and asked how I could participate.
Photo by Thomas Grana | D-34640
At the Highlight Skydiving Team’s training camp at Meadow Peak Skydiving in Marion, Montana, to prepare for countrywide demos commemorating the anniversary of the 19th amendment (which gave women the right to vote), Keri Bell swoops by her teammates during a photo shoot coordinated by photographer David Wybenga.
Jared Miller, D-22031, is the chief instructor at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, one of the busiest drop zones in the world. He started skydiving in 1995 and now has more than 22,000 skydives and multiple ratings.
Coronavirus slowed but did not stop the Skydive Spaceland 3-Way Formation Skydiving Competition!
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.
Over the past six months, COVID-19 restrictions have paused the active and busy lives we lead. This, of course, has extended to skydiving.
Mike Brewer, D-33350, is a skydiving filmmaker, instructor and organizer who has a huge international presence as a part of Kinetic, an organization comprised of creative athletes dedicated to exploring the world together.