Monday, March 1, 2021

Safety Day

March 13, 2021

In early spring, the skydiving season for much of the country is just crawling out of hibernation. Most skydivers don’t jump through the cold months as often as they do in the summer, and their skills are a bit rusty. That’s when Safety Day comes. Safety Day is typically held on the second Saturday in March; however, some drop zones hold it on alternate dates. Established in 1997 from an idea by Patti Chernis, Safety Day provides a worldwide forum at local drop zones to prepare jumpers for the year ahead. Safety Day promotes safety programs and helps inform jumpers of new developments and review important information and procedures. Activities typically include hands-on review and practice of safety procedures, seminars from skydiving operation professionals and experts, equipment evaluations and more. Most days end with a social get together. USPA encourages all jumpers of all experience levels to attend. Every drop zone should host Safety Day.

Register Your DZ For Safety Day


Safety Day Goes Global

Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Safety Day Goes Global

a Parachutist Special Section

On March 10, skydivers across the U.S. and around the world made their way to one of the hundreds of drop zones that hosted a Safety Day event. Now in its 22nd year, Safety Day continues to be a favorite event that draws jumpers both new and old to the drop zone for a day geared toward making everyone smarter and safer. Whether attendees listened to presentations about managing canopy traffic and avoiding collisions, practiced emergency procedures (in a hanging harness using traditional methods or the virtual reality videos newly available on USPA’s website) or learned how a main-assisted-reserve- deployment (MARD) device works to extract a reserve, those who attended Safety Day thoroughly enjoyed it.

In most cases, DZs spent a lot of time and effort hosting the event. Safety and Training Advisors and drop zone staff put in many hours to help ensure that it was worthwhile for jumpers to wake up early and head to the drop zone, even where it was still freezing cold and there was no chance of getting in the air. Whether it involved a few skydivers having casual conversations or hundreds of skydivers sitting in front of a production that resembled a Broadway play, the goal was the same and so was the value of the information shared. Skydivers want to learn more about the sport they love.

Safety Day has always been a popular event in the U.S., but each year it continues to reach across oceans to skydivers located in faraway lands. As the sport of skydiving continues to grow in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Safety Day has begun to become a part of the skydiving culture there, as it already has in parts of Europe and South America. (We haven’t heard of a Safety Day in Antarctica yet, but maybe we will someday.) Safety Day has become a global success, proving that regardless of whether the information is presented in English or another language, when it comes to skydiving, jumpers around the globe have a common interest in education and safety.

The Chesley H. Judy Safety Award 

Ches Judy, D-1281, was a respected skydiving instructor and a USPA member for more than 30 years. In 1995, just a few months after USPA hired him as its director of safety and training, Judy died in a plane crash in West Point, Virginia. Following his death, family members presented USPA with a grant in his name, and USPA used it to establish the Chesley H. Judy Safety Award, which drop zones traditionally present on Safety Day. USPA developed the award to honor those who have promoted safe skydiving through example, deed, training or innovation in the previous year.

Though spearheaded by USPA, the Ches Judy Award is a completely peer-to-peer award. Local drop zones and jumpers choose the recipient, and USPA simply supplies the award certificate and page space in Parachutist to announce the honor.  

Roman Alba 
MeXtreme Skydiving 
Awarded for: "Growing up very quickly in the sport and constantly helping the DZ by watching for safety, supporting people and organizing events."

Shellie Ballie
Skydive Golden Gate in Novato, California

Adrian Bowles | D-19410 
Skydive Snohomish in Washington
Awarded for: “His dedication to safety in our sport. Adrian is a master rigger, tandem instructor and a member of the world record canopy formation skydiving night jump in 2017. He constantly exhibits a desire to learn more and to pass on his knowledge to other skydivers. Adrian invests considerable time each year to help plan our safety day event. He is a role model for safety.”

Joey Cernich | A-85762
Skydive Geronimo 
Awarded for: “Twenty long and safe years as a military parachute rigger. Staff Sergeant Cernich is always the safety voice of reason for the commander. His experience has saved time, money and, most importantly, the lives of our dedicated paratroopers.”

Julian Cly
Paragon Skydive in Grand Canyon, Arizona

Matty Coleman | B-44634
Skydive Chelan in Washington

Marcello Costa | D-31884
Paraquedismo Sky Company 

Sarah Gilbert 
Madera Parachute Center in California

Kahori Hiraoka | D-33030
Tokyo Skydiving Club in Saitama, Japan

Bill Kunz | C-36605
Skydive Milwaukee in East Troy, Wisconsin

David Lachman | D-22984
Skydive East Tennessee in Dandridge
Awarded for: "His many years of service to the jump community at large and to the jumpers of Skydive East Tennessee. David gives freely of his knowledge to promote a culture of safety and skydiving fun."

Doug Locke | D-33892
Virginia Skydiving Center in Petersburg
Awarded for: "Continually looking out for jumpers of all experience levels and never shying away from pointing out when a safety-related issue needs to be addressed."

Alberto Macias | D-35236
Skydive Suffolk in Virginia

Mauricio Martinez | C-45498
Skydive Spaceland¬–Clewiston in Florida

Richard Myers | B-28572
Skydive Coastal Carolinas in Oak Island, North Carolina

Oskari Myllari 

Skydive Karjala in Finland

David Quist | D-32043
Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas

Mario Ripa | D-16521
Skydive Orange in Virginia

Michael Stilwell | D-24151
Air Capital Drop Zone

Larry Talbert | D-20402
Mid-America Sport Parachute Club

Ian Walters | B-47904
Skydive Fayetteville in Arkansas

Anne Webster | D-23652
Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois

Participating DZs

Skydive Alabama in Cullman
Skydive the South in Tuskegee
Alaska Skydive Center in Palmer
Paragon Skydive in Grand Canyon 
Skydive Arizona in Eloy
Skydive Fayetteville
Bay Area Skydiving in Byron
Madera Parachute Center
SkyDance SkyDiving in Davis
Skydive California in Tracy
Skydive Elsinore
Skydive Golden Gate in Novato
Skydive Hollister 
Skydive Monterey Bay
Skydive San Diego in Jamul
Skydive Taft
Out of the Blue Skydiving in Calhan
Connecticut Parachutists Inc. in Ellington
Skydive Danielson 
Skydive Delmarva in Laurel
Skydive City Zephyrhills 
Skydive Palatka
SW Florida Skydive Club in Punta Gorda 
Skydive Spaceland–Clewiston
World Skydiving Center in Herlong 
Jump Georgia Skydiving in Sylvania
Skydive Atlanta in Thomaston
Skydive Georgia in Cedartown
Skydive Monroe
Skydive Spaceland–Atlanta in Rockmart
The Jumping Place in Statesboro
Pacific Skydiving Center in Waialua
DZONE Skydiving–Boise in Star
Sky Down Skydiving in Caldwell
Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle
Illinois Skydiving Center in Paxton
Skydive Chicago in Ottawa
Jerry's Skydiving Circus in Franklin
Skydive Windy City–Chicago in Michigan City
Des Moines Skydivers in Winterset
Kansas State University Parachute Club in Abilene
Skydive Kentucky in Elizabethtown
Skydive Louisiana in Gilliam
Skydive New England in Lebanon
Skydive Pepperell 
Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club in Ray
Skydive Allegan 
Skydive Tecumseh 
Skydive Adventures in Luverne
Flight Providers in Bolivar
GliderSports Skydiving in Clinton
Skydive Kansas City in Butler
Crete Skydiving Center
Lincoln Sport Parachute Club in Weeping Water
Nebraska Skydiving School in Holdrege
Skydive Fyrosity in Overton
New Jersey
Skydive Cross Keys in Williamstown
Skydive Sussex 
New Mexico
Skydive New Mexico in Belen
New York
Blue Sky Ranch in Gardiner
Frontier Skydivers in Newfane
Rochester Skydivers in Perry
Skydive Central New York in Weedsport
Skydive Finger Lakes in Ovid
WNYSkydiving in Albion
North Carolina
Skydive Coastal Carolinas in Oak Island
Skydive Little Washington
Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford
North Dakota
Skydive Fargo!
AerOhio Skydiving Center in Rittman
Alliance Sport Parachute Club in Petersburg
Canton Air Sports in Alliance
Cleveland Skydiving Center in Garrettsville
Skydive Cincinnati in Waynesville
Start Skydiving in Middletown
Oklahoma Skydiving Center in Cushing
Skydive Airtight in Skiatook
Pacific Northwest Skydiving Center in Mulino
Skydive Awesome! in Sisters
Skydive Oregon in Molalla
Above the Poconos Skydivers in Hazleton
Sky's the Limit in East Stroudsburg
Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer 
South Carolina
Flying Tigers SPC in Anderson
Skydive Carolina! in Chester
Jump TN in Greeneville
Skydive East Tennessee in Dandridge
Skydive Tennessee in Tullahoma
Skydive San Marcos in Fentress
Skydive South Texas in Mustang Beach
Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright
Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon
Ogden Skydiving Center in Hinckley
Skydive Utah in Erda
Green Mountain Skydiving in Bennington
Vermont Skydiving Adventures in Addison
Skydive Orange
Skydive Shenandoah in New Market
Skydive Suffolk
Virginia Skydiving Center in Petersburg
Kapowsin Air Sports in Shelton
Skydive Chelan 
Skydive Snohomish
West Plains Skydiving "The Ritz" in Ritzville
West Virginia
West Virginia Skydivers in Huntington
Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI in York Center
Skydive Midwest in Sturtevant
Skydive Milwaukee in East Troy
Skydive Wissota in Chippewa Falls

Participating Foreign Affiliate DZs

Skydive Sofia in Pernik
Parachutisme Adrenaline St-Jerome
Skydive Gananoque 
Skydive Vancouver in Abbotsford
Czech Republic
Dropzone Prostejov
International Pink Parachute Club in Klatovy
Dropzone Denmark in Herning
Skydive Karjala 
A.S. Alimarche in Fano
Kuwait Skydive & Fly in Al Khiran
Skydive Cuautla 
Swakopmund Skydiving Club 
Olimpic Skydive in Miroslawice
Skydive Portugal in Evora
Skydive Qatar in Al Khor
TNT-Brothers Dropzone in Clinceni
Skydive Lillo

Other Participants

Albatros Paracaidisimo 
Estonian Skydiving Center 
Explore Freefall 
Go Fly Paraquedismo 
Mid-America Sport Parachute Club 
Orange Skies Free Fall Center 
Paraquedismo Sky Company 
Rapid Descent Skydiving 
Skydive Bozeman
Skydive Cincinnati 
Skydive Greene County 
Skydive Geronimo 
Skydive Nawlins 
Skydive Spa 
West Tennessee Skydiving 


Safety Day wouldn’t be possible without the help of these generous sponsors from around the world:

Advanced Aerospace Designs, Aerodyne Research, Airtec, Alti-2, Bev Suits, Caffe Lusso Coffee Roasters, Canopy Tours NW, Cathouse Pizza, Christa's Sandwichboard, Chuting Star, Cookie Helmets, Firebird, J&L BBQ, Innovative Parachute Technologies, Kiss Helmets, Larsen & Brusgaard, Michigan Suits, Mirage Systems, Para-Gear Equipment Co., Parachute Systems, Parasport Italia, Presumiendo México, Rigging Innovations, Snohomish Flying Service, Square 2, Summit Everett, Sunrise Manufacturing Ultra, United Parachute Technologies, Velocity Sports Equipment, Vertical Suits, Vertical Transit, Vigil America, YeeHaw Beer


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Author: USPA Staff

Categories: Features

Tags: May 2018

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Nominate A Chesley H. Judy Safety Award Recipient

Be sure to nominate a recipient for the Chesley H. Judy Safety Award as part of your Safety Day activities. Each year, the S&TA and drop zone owner selects a worthy recipient who, in the previous year through example, deed, training, or innovation, has promoted safety in a substantive way. USPA will provide at no charge a certificate suitable for framing with the name of the recipient and name of the drop zone to be presented on Safety Day.

Nominations must be submitted no later than February 28. If you are an S&TA, log in now to complete the award nomination form.

Safety Day T-Shirts

$6 each S-XL (add $2 for XXL+) plus shipping (no quantity requirements). For orders of 12 or more shirts, drop zones can add their logos to the sleeves at $1.50 more per shirt.

Order Deadline
February 19 for events held on March 13—or at least two weeks in advance of your alternative event date. Orders received after may incur additional charges.

Lynne Smith at; (316) 264-1321


Plan For Safety Day At Your DZ

  1. Announce to your jumpers that your DZ is hosting a Safety Day.
    You may want to offer incentives to boost attendance. Many DZs offer free or discounted jump tickets, free food, discounted reserve pack jobs, door prizes, or any combination. And plan a party for afterward.
  2. Select a suitable location.
    Think comfort. If the hangar won't be warm or large enough, consider a restaurant, school gym, motel, or veteran's lodge. Anticipate a good turnout and be sure you have room for lectures, training-harness drills, and rig inspections.
  3. Put a training syllabus and staff together.
    Feel free to use the training ideas included here, which involve the four modules or stations below, with just some ideas on content.
    Gear Check and Review— Have jumpers inspect their rigs with a rigger. Check closing loops and flaps, pilot chute snugness and condition, velcro, three-ring condition, RSL routing, AAD compliance with battery and factory check, etc.
    Skydiving Emergency Review and Drills— Review all types of problems, reinforce altitude awareness, discuss disorientation, practice in a suspended harness.
    Canopy Flight and Landing Patterns—Use aerial photos to show acceptable and unacceptable outs, review hazards, establish or review landing patterns, and discuss canopy handling toward preventing low-turn accidents.
    Aircraft Procedures and Emergencies—Review exit order and loading procedures, seat belt and weight and balance concerns, spotting procedures, visibility minimums and cloud clearances, air traffic control requirements, and aircraft emergency scenarios.
  4. Don't forget the PR.
    Give recognition to those who turn out and those who teach. Remember that many local news organizations may want to provide news coverage. Take pictures and send them with a brief write-up to Parachutist. And consider that the skydivers who don't participate may need more of your staff's attention when the season kicks in.

Like skydiving, Safety Day is also about fun. It certainly won't be hard to encourage jumpers to get together at the end of the day's activities for some mid-winter socializing. Make sure to include that in your Safety Day plan, too!

Participating Drop Zones

Find a participating drop zone near you! Click on the red pin to view details for that location.


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Chesley H. Judy Award

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