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Launch Full Issue in Flipbook

Flip through the pages of back issues from September 1957 to today as if you were holding the real magazine! Once you open an issue, swipe the hand icon to the left to begin reading. (You may need to disable your pop-up blocker to view.)

Number of search results: 145

Wingsuit Collisions   (Nov 2017) Safety & Training Safety Check

Hard-impact freefall collisions resulting in serious injuries and fatalities were once a common issue with formation skydivers and freeflyers, and now they’re an issue with wingsuiters. Modern wingsuit flying—which now has had more than 20 years to develop training methods and equipment and build a foundation of knowledge—cannot truly be considered a new discipline any longer, but it continues to struggle with injuries and fatalities from collisions in freefall, as well as collisions with the aircraft on exit.

Instructional Rating Changes   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

At the July USPA Board meeting in Seattle, Washington, the Safety and Training Committee spent most of its meeting time discussing the instructional rating process. The results were multiple changes, some of which went into effect immediately and others of which will come into play at a later date.

Aircraft Emergency   (Oct 2017) Safety & Training Safety Check

It took almost 25 years of skydiving, but I finally experienced an aircraft emergency as a skydiver. Actually, I would not even classify it as a true emergency, since the engine loss happened at 13,000 feet. As a pilot myself with many hours in this King Air, I knew what was going on and I had a good idea of how the pilot who was flying was going to handle the situation. But seeing how everyone reacted was interesting. Some looked nervous, and some seemed confused about what to do.

The Queen Of Skydiving Carolyn Clay Receives the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service   (Feb 2016) Features

Currently with more than 18,000 jumps and 300 hours of freefall time, Carolyn “the Queen” Clay, D-3347, from Williamsburg, Virginia, doesn’t show any signs of slowing down after 47 years of continual skydiving.

Choosing a Canopy by Jim Crouch   (Feb 2014) Homepage Safety Check

The choices you make when purchasing skydiving gear can literally mean the difference between life and death. The data on the causes of skydiving injuries and fatalities makes it pretty clear that nothing is more important when it comes to gear than the size and type of main canopy you choose to fly and the decisions you make while flying it.

The RSL: Separating Fact from Fiction by Jim Crouch   (Jan 2014) Homepage Features

There is probably no other piece of skydiving equipment more misunderstood than the reserve static line (RSL). If you want 10 different opinions on why you should or should not equip your container with one, simply ask 10 different skydivers.

Travel Tips by Jim Crouch   (Feb 2013) Homepage Features Safety Check

Whether it is a visit to a nearby drop zone during a weekend of normal jump operations or a long trip to a boogie or other special event, it is fun and exciting to head out for new adventures. But it can also be intimidating, especially if you are new to the sport and leaving the nest for the first time. A little planning and preparation will go a long way toward making your experience fun and painless.

Canopy Courses by Jim Crouch   (Jan 2012) Homepage Safety Check

Many canopy-related accidents are rooted in a lack of basic skill and knowledge regarding canopy flight. The USPA Board of Directors has taken a step toward reducing canopy-related injuries and fatalities by mandating new requirements for the USPA B license. 

Jumping at Unfamiliar DZs by Jim Crouch   (Jul 2011) Homepage Safety Check

Jumping at an unfamiliar drop zone can be intimidating, especially to newer skydivers who may have jumped at only one place so far. Jumpers need to approach visiting a new location with caution and planning, whether it is just a weekend jumping out of a Cessna 182 or sharing the skies with hundreds of jumpers at a large boogie. And this caution applies to jumpers of all experience levels.

The Secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part Two - Evidence of Absence by Musika Farnsworth   (Jun 2010) Homepage Features

A single man, an immense amount of cash, four parachutes and a jump from an airliner. Where does the largest manhunt in the United States lead when authorities don’t have a clue as to who the suspect might be?

USPA Mourns Skydive and President George H.W. Bush By Christopher Needles   (Jan 2019) Features

Skydiving has had many great moments, but none surpass the first skydive by President George H.W. Bush. Now it is with great sadness that the skydiving community bids farewell to one of its own. President Bush was 94 years old.

Featured Jumper Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468   (Jan 2019) To New Heights Featured Photos

At Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York, Jim Cupples, D-23572, flies his canopy back to the DZ during his 10,000th jump.

Safety Check | 449 By Jim Crouch   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training Safety Check

Four hundred and forty-nine. That’s a small number by some standards and a large one by others. To me, it is a much larger number than it should be. This is the number of civilian skydiving fatalities recorded in the United States during the 18 years and three months that I was the director of safety and training for USPA. Each one was a tragedy, with friends and family left in shock as they picked up the pieces in the aftermath of suddenly losing a loved one.

Rating Corner | Currency Jumps By Jim Crouch   (Jan 2019) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

Real life often gets in the way of skydiving, and jumpers may find themselves away from the sport for 61 days, 30 years or something in between. One of the regular tasks of USPA Coaches and Instructors is to help these jumpers knock off the rust and get back in the air. Every jumper’s situation will be different, so it requires the instructional staff to create a training plan unique to each individual.

USPA Bids Farewell to Jim Crouch By Ed Scott   (Dec 2018) Homepage People Gearing Up

On October 31, Director of Safety and Training Jim Crouch spent his last day as an employee of USPA and moved on to other challenges in the aviation industry.

Safety Check | Jim’s Last Letter to Santa by Jim Crouch   (Dec 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

Dear Santa,

2018 really flew by! I can’t believe it is already time for another wish list, but hopefully you can see to it that all my wishes come true. It’s a long list (and it’ll be my last one as director of safety and training for USPA), but it’s all pretty important stuff. This past year brought a lot of lousy weather, so first of all, I would like to see a bunch of sunny weekends so jumpers can get to their drop zones frequently and the drop zones can stay busy flying lots of loads.

The 2018 National Parachuting Championships Photos by David Wybenga   (Dec 2018) Features

USPA held its 2018 National Parachuting Championships at sunny Skydive Sebastian in Florida September 19-28. This was the first USPA Nationals for DZO Amanda Smalley and staff, and they did a spectacular job handling all of the expected (and unexpected) issues that arose.

Camaraderie and Community The 35th FAI Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships   (Nov 2018) Homepage Features

Determining world champions is not the only purpose for holding world championships. Promoting the sport, exchanging knowledge and information and strengthening friendly relationships between participating nations are equally important. The 35th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships at Dropzone Erden near Montana, Bulgaria, August 24-31 offered the chance to do all of those things.

The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships By Steve Hubbard   (Nov 2018) Homepage Features

Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, hosted the 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships September 4-18. This was the first time the mid-sized Midwestern drop zone hosted a national championships and despite a few unexpected challenges, DZO Doug Smith, Director of Marketing Becky Johns and the rest of the CSC staff rose to the occasion to ensure a successful event.

Rating Corner | Using the ISP by Jim Crouch   (Nov 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

Section 4 of the Skydiver’s Information Manual contains the Integrated Student Program, now in its 18th year as the progression that USPA recommends for students working toward the A license. It is a very detailed program, which can make it look intimidating to the casual observer, but it’s actually easy to implement and use. The program makes it simple to track exactly what students have completed and what they still need to accomplish as they work through each of the tasks required for the USPA A license.

Safety Check | Learning from the Past by Jim Crouch   (Nov 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Safety Check

Harry S. Truman once said, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” This quote (and many others like it) warns us all that we must know our history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. It comes as no surprise that this also applies directly to skydiving.

Ron Bell Selected as USPA Director of Safety & Training   (Oct 2018) Homepage Industry News

USPA has selected Ron Bell as its next Director of Safety & Training, succeeding Jim Crouch who has served in that position a phenomenal 18 years. Bell’s start date is October 29.

Rating Corner | Wind-Tunnel Training And The First Skydive by Jim Crouch   (Oct 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

At the July 13-15 USPA Board meeting in Milwaukee, the board passed a motion to change the Basic Safety Requirements regarding accelerated freefall student training. The new language spells out the minimum requirements for students who train in wind tunnels before they make their first jumps with only one AFF instructor.

Safety Check | Target Fixation by Jim Crouch   (Oct 2018) Homepage Safety & Training Safety Check

Wikipedia defines target fixation as “an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on an observed object (be it a target or hazard) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object.” Motorcyclists, automobile drivers and even fighter pilots flying strafing runs during World War II have focused so intently on an impending hazard that they actually maneuvered directly into it. And skydivers fall prey to the phenomenon, too.

In Celebration Of Aviation by Jim McCormick | Photos by Brian Festi   (Oct 2018) Features

Skydivers are aviators. Our bodies are low-performance aircraft. Under canopy we are slightly higher-performance aircraft. We share airspace with aviators of all kinds. So it makes sense that skydivers were well represented at AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The airshow, produced by the Experimental Aircraft Association and billed as “the world’s largest and most significant annual aviation event,” has taken place for more than 60 years. Occurring annually during the last full week in July, the show attracts more than half a million spectators each year.

The Age of Authority A Parachutist Pictorial | Photos By Norman Kent   (Oct 2018) Homepage Features

The 75-Way Skydivers Over Sixty World Record for Largest Formation Skydive

Organizers: T.J. Hine, Roger Ponce de Leon, Rick Poplinger

Record Holders:

Andy Anderson, Michael Anderson, Pat Arthur, Art Barchie, David Benjamin, Betty Bennett, John Benoit, Stewart Brookes, Scott Buethe, Monique Careau, George Conwill, James Crandall, Carl Daugherty, Carlo De Martino, Kim Dobson, Jim Doyle, Valerie Estabrook, Chuck Finley, Nels Forsman, Bill Fridberg, Glenn Giamatti, Gary Greer, William Grimm, Tiiu Haamer, John Hardy, Michael Hare, Dee Hawley, Michael Hawley, Tom Hayes, T.J. Hine, Robert Johns, Ronald Johnson, John Kallend, Peter Kazmierczak, Kevin Keenan, Peter Kramer, James Krogh, Francois Leblanc, Jerry Lehnherr, Richard Luczak, Marshall Madden, William McMurry, Jeff McVey, Raymond Medley, John Mignanelli, Douglas Mullinax, George Nisson, Darrell Ogi, Richard Parrish, Dan Pillasch, Roger Ponce de Leon, Rick Poplinger, Cynthia Raible, Mike Raible, David Robinson, Mike Robinson, Dan Rosenthal, Jeff Saxton, Hank Schraeder, Craig Seasly, Jonathan Smith, Hank Stapel, Larry Stein, Larry Thomas, Mark Thompson, Steve Van Buren, Butch Van Lewis, Kevin Vetter, Ron Wands, Tracy Warrington, Harold White, Casey Wiggins, Paul Wold, Josh Wolfe, Peter Zimmerli

Camera Flyers: Brian Festi and Norman Kent

Should I Consider Adjusting The Activation Altitude Of My Automatic Activation Device? by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training Ask A Rigger

There are several modern AADs available for skydivers to choose from, all of which offer jumpers the ability to offset the activation altitude (temporarily change the activation-altitude settings to compensate for a landing area that is higher or lower than the point of departure). Additionally, both the Airtec CYPRES 2 and the Advanced Aerospace Designs Vigil 2+ offer a feature that allows users to increase the activation altitude semi-permanently (until the user changes it again).

Safety Check | Knowing Your Reserve by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training Safety Check

When you want to check out a new main parachute, chances are you’ll make a solo jump, open higher than usual and spend some time flying the new wing to get used to how it handles. Almost everyone who jumps a new main canopy does. After all, it makes sense. It’s a mystery how the new parachute will steer and flare compared to what you are used to, and who wouldn’t want to make a few jumps on it under controlled conditions with plenty of altitude to learn how to fly it?

Rating Corner | Examiner Standardization Meetings by Jim Crouch   (Sep 2018) Safety & Training The Rating Corner

In 2017, USPA conducted five standardization meetings for all current AFF instructor examiners and tandem instructor examiners, as well as those pursuing an examiner rating or attending purely for educational purposes. This was USPA’s first attempt at hosting the AFF and tandem meetings in one location and condensing the length of each discipline’s meeting to one day instead of two. The meetings went well, but the shorter meetings meant leaving out a lot of valuable information and discussion.

Letters   (Sep 2018) People Letters

Wingsuit training is multi-faceted and requires both freedom and flexibility to change with the rapid development of suit design, competition formats and flying styles.