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Parachute Landing Fall, AKA: The PLF

When first learning to skydive, at least in the US, you attend a first jump course (FJC) that usually lasts between four and five hours on the ground, then you go up in a plane and jump. There are several methods of instruction including Accelerated Free Fall (AFF), Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD), Static Line (SL), or a combination of the three called the Integrated Student Program (ISP). While all of these methods of instructions are different, they all have one thing in common: gravity. You have to land your parachute. This is where the PLF comes into play. It is also where numerous accidents happen, sometimes due to sliding in, rather than doing a PLF. This is understandable, since tandem pairs land this way for safety reasons. Besides standing up the landings (the preferred method), this is the landings students see most often.
When skydiving first began, all of the equipment was military surplus. This included round canopies, so naturally the PLF was brought along as the safest way to land. Over time, and thanks to the innovation of early pioneers of the sport, the equipment evolved into the square (and now elliptical) canopy, which brought its own problems, like needing a slider to control the opening, and also alleviated the issue with hard landings, mostly. Now, rather than falling more or less wherever the wind blew you, you could steer and fly the canopy much the same as a glider, since the canopy is now a pressurized wing. When you want to land, you fly a landing pattern and pull both steering toggles down and flare, much the same as an airplane would by using flaps. This allows you to bleed off forward speed and land softly standing up (theoretically). Like all things skydiving, when it works, it works really well, but when it doesn't work, it can kill you.
I was a skydiver before going airborne, so when it came time to learn how to PLF, I thought I had an advantage since I had been taught how. Boy was I wrong. They had a platform you climbed on and rode a zip line to gain forward speed and then you let go to learn how to PLF in a simulated landing. I could not keep my feet together, so the Blackhat (instructor) tied my boots together. I had to hop around all day, but I have not had a problem keeping my feet together since.
In airborne school, they take two weeks to train you how to jump out of planes compared to five hours in skydiving. Most of that time is preparing you to land. As there is no way to steer the round canopy other than slipping on landing (pulling the risers to go sideways a little) or facing into the wind, and no way to flare or slow down the speed, the PLF is needed to prevent injury. I have seen a jumper fall about 50 feet and do a PLF and walk away with a few bruises.
While I understand that time is limited and it is hard to prepare a student for all possibilities, I feel that more time should be spent on PLFs during the FJC, at least an hour, and that students should do at least five correct PLFs before every jump. This is standard procedure before doing an airborne jump, and includes all jumpers being led through the entire jump by a jumpmaster, including their emergency procedures. If we put every student through this before every day of jumping, it would help prevent injuries.
The reason students choose to slide in rather than PLF is observation. Since this is the way a tandem pair lands in order to prevent injury, it is assumed to be safe. It is, when properly taught. It is easier to injure yourself sliding in or trying to run out a landing than doing a PLF. I know of at least two serious injuries sustained sliding in that a proper PLF would have prevented. One case ended with a cage around the lower vertebrae.
I made a jump at an unfamiliar DZ on rental gear and the winds were a little high, about 15 mph, so I ended up landing long. When I turned on final, there were some power lines in front of me and I was headed straight for them. I turned around and did a downwind landing, and a PLF into the hard-as-a-rock, newly plowed field, ending up with some scratches when I landed. I was going about 20 mph forward speed. Had I slid in or tried to run it out, I would most likely have broken something. Another time I jumped at an unfamiliar DZ, I chose to PLF instead of running it out, and while walking back stepped in a gopher hole. Had I hit that while running out the landing, I would have broken my ankle.
A proper PLF has five points of contact: the balls of the feet, calf, thigh, buttock, and pull-up muscle (deltoid). When you prepare to hit the ground, keep your feet and knees together, slightly bent, in preparation to absorb the impact. When you fall, hit all the points of contact in order, while rolling on the ground. A proper PLF will allow you to absorb all of the energy and dissipate it by rolling, rather than staying stiff and breaking bones or tearing ligaments and tendons. I kick my feet together when approaching my landing to ensure my feet are together and knees bent, ready to hit the ground and roll. That way, if I don't bleed off enough speed to land standing up, I am already prepared to roll and do it without thinking. If I am going slowly enough, I have a nice stand up landing. Although the goal is standing it up, it is best to be prepared for a PLF, especially if you are fond of your ankles and spine.
Blue skies.

Article written by @sfzombie13

By Meso, in Safety,

Global Skydiving Equipment Industry (2020 to 2027) - Market Trajectory & Analytics

Press Release
The "Skydiving Equipment - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
The publisher brings years of research experience to the 6th edition of this report. The 276-page report presents concise insights into how the pandemic has impacted production and the buy side for 2020 and 2021. A short-term phased recovery by key geography is also addressed.
Global Skydiving Equipment Market to Reach $1.4 Billion by 2027
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Skydiving Equipment, estimated at US$1.1 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$1.4 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 3.5% over the analysis period 2020-2027.
Container or Harness System, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 4.3% CAGR and reach US$610.5 Million by the end of the analysis period. After an early analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Canopy segment is readjusted to a revised 3.3% CAGR for the next 7-year period.
The U.S. Market is Estimated at $293.4 Million, While China is Forecast to Grow at 6.5% CAGR
The Skydiving Equipment market in the U.S. is estimated at US$293.4 Million in the year 2020. China, the world's second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$292.5 Million by the year 2027 trailing a CAGR of 6.5% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 1% and 2.6% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 1.7% CAGR.
Jumpsuit & Helmet Segment to Record 2.3% CAGR
In the global Jumpsuit & Helmet segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 1.9% CAGR estimated for this segment. These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$202.1 Million in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$231 Million by the close of the analysis period. China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$193.4 Million by the year 2027, while Latin America will expand at a 3.1% CAGR through the analysis period.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others:
Aerodyne Research, LLC LB Altimeters Mirage Systems, Inc. Sun Path Products, Inc. Velocity Sports Equipment Key Topics Covered:
I. INTRODUCTION, METHODOLOGY & REPORT SCOPE
II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. MARKET OVERVIEW
Global Competitor Market Shares Skydiving Equipment Competitor Market Share Scenario Worldwide (in %): 2019 & 2025 Impact of Covid-19 and a Looming Global Recession 2. FOCUS ON SELECT PLAYERS
3. MARKET TRENDS & DRIVERS
4. GLOBAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE
III. MARKET ANALYSIS
IV. COMPETITION
Total Companies Profiled: 42 For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/nxrtr
This article first appeared on Businesswire

By Meso, in News,

How safe is your reserve

Well, it’s a fair question!
“Parachutist”, the official publication of the US parachute Association published:
Malfunction, Malfunction, Malfunction—The 2017 Fatality Summary
by Paul Sitter
Sunday, April 1, 2018
“Reserve systems—which include the reserve container, pilot chute, bridle, freebag and canopy—are extremely reliable, but there are no guarantees in skydiving. Looking at the last 10 years, reserves failed to save jumpers in about 6 percent of the fatalities. “
The assumption that properly executed emergency procedures at the right height is enough for the reserve to open is just not entirely true! Reserve malfunctions are fact of life!
We learn something every day in skydiving…..if we want to…Which brings the question- how familiar are you with the reserve parachute emergency situations and procedures?
There are numerous factors that affect the reserve openings- container, pack tightness, container materials, body position, MARD systems and packing techniques. Nowadays more skydivers use MARD systems that put them in not that favourable position for the reserve to open.
The following PIA investigation gives some clarity and recommendations on some reserve openings:
https://www.pia.com/wp-content/uploads/PIA-TR-401LowReserveOpeningInvestigationReport91316.pdf?fbclid=IwAR23JVBJHs8yHajcKIRSVbbYpSfbuNXMalH10d9gJzYHSrZcu7t2ui1XQrM
But can something be done while packing reserves in order to reduce the risk of malfunction?
Skydiving history has shown that neat pack jobs open better than messy ones! The ones that are packed with consideration for the opening, add even more to the safety. That’s why we don’t pack reserves flat pack, it just doesn’t make sense anymore and It used to be the standard.
Things change!
Reserve packing techniques that take into consideration the development of the sport and parachute designs are possible, available and can make the sport safer! They involve techniques that significantly increase the reliability of the reserve parachutes openings! Here are some of them:
1.       Realistic way of placing the slider during packing. This has several functions – ensures the slider is inflated at the same time or even before the rest of the canopy. It is very important, especially in terminal openings and also ensures slider is not launched down the lines immediately after coming out of the freebag. This also ensures the slider is inflated symmetrically, allows proper separation for the four line groups and time for the load on the lines to be more evenly distributed!
2.       S- folding the reserve canopy before inserting it into the Free bag that ensures the least form memory is present on the lines above the slider! Form memory, stiff lines and uneven line tension are the main reasons for tension knots. The specific canopy S folding also ensures the least changes in the canopy alignment when inserting it into the free bag.
3.       Additional separation of the line groups, ensure their full separation before stowing them into the Freebag!
4.       Freestowing the lines using figure 8 pattern that doesn’t allow the different bights to mix disorderly lines between each other! It is used for high bulk lines with form memory that need to be stowed in small compartment stowing pouch! This ensures orderly extraction of the lines from the free bag!   
Skydiving as well as skydiving equipment, materials and rigging are in constant evolution!  
We challenge the status quo because skydiving equipment, education and techniques can be improved in order to increase safety. Equipment development and modification are driving force in the evolution of our sport.
 
GLH Systems
 
 

By glhsystems, in Safety,

Performance Designs Releases the Sabre3

Performance Designs is beyond thrilled to announce the release of the long-awaited Sabre3. For nearly 40 years, their design team has worked tirelessly to refine what is possible in canopy design, and they've done it again, delivering yet another cutting-edge canopy to the skydiving community. The Sabre3 is not only worthy of the name, it redefines it. This new wing exemplifies PD's continued passion to build the next greatest all around 9-cell modern canopy, one which is sure to excite anyone who flies it, and truly amaze those new to the brand. One flight proves it: it's not just a new wing, it's a better wing.


Though the Sabre3 shares a lineage with two historically popular Performance Designs canopies, the Sabre and Sabre2, the designers began with a clean slate with the goal of creating the world’s next most popular canopy. They enhanced the qualities people loved most about the Sabre2 but minimized or eliminated those some found less desirable. Already tested endlessly by PD Test Jumpers, and demoed by PD Athletes, the Sabre3 has been described as dynamic, powerful, and perfectly suited for today’s modern canopy pilot - delivering superb openings, crisp response, and amazing landings.
“The Sabre3 definitely has the range to be a great straight in, no wind, standard landing type canopy for a lower experience jumper. Or you can really push it and get some amazing flight performance out of it. It’s pretty much for the world. What we want as skydivers is a reliable canopy that is predictable on opening all the way through landing. It really is a beautiful wing.
”- Brad Cole, PD Test Jumper


The Sabre 3 is not just a new wing, it’s a better wing. You asked, they listened and delivered once again. Like all of their canopies, Performance Designs’ Sabre3 is available for demo before purchase. Those ready to own one should contact their local Authorized PD Dealer to discuss if the canopy is right for them. Additional specs and stats can be found on the Performance Designs website.
 
 
 
 

Habit is Stronger Than Reason

Have you ever realised that you feel something is not right in the system and something must be done about it? The question is how many times you did something to improve things…..?
Avoidable Fatalities
The purpose of Education in Skydiving and Rigging is to facilitate learning. Nothing else! All things learned are important and often vital to the skydiver- our sequence emergency procedures, wrong decisions under pressure and improperly done maintenance and repairs can end in disaster and they have. If there is any other interests involved in the education system- the process is ineffective. Also there is a difference between education in skydiving and public schools. If students in public education are to experience the result from what they learned in school or college years after graduation, skydiving students will need what they learned literally the same or the next day.
A study was carried out by Hart, Christian L. and Griffith, James D. (2003) "Human Error: The Principal Cause of Skydiving Fatalities". Here are a couple of points:
 
“Of the 308 fatalities that were reported between 1993-2001, 264 (86%) were categorized as Human Error, indicating that human error was deemed to be the principal causal factor in the mishaps. The remaining 44 (14%) fatalities were categorized as Other Factors, indicating that human error did not play a principal role in those mishaps. Therefore, human error appears to be the principal causal factors in the great majority of skydiving fatalities.
Within skydiving training and education programs, specific attention should be given to human error, and training should be deliberately aimed at reducing human error mishaps. In the design of parachuting equipment, attention should be given to designing systems that increase skydiver situation awareness and increase the probability of correctly carrying out deployment and emergency procedure while under stress and time pressure.”
I find it unacceptable that in the 21st Century with the level of science and experience in the sport we have 86 percent fatalities that have resulted from avoidable mistakes.
In skydiving, critical situations require making correct decisions and executing proper action. This causes increases in pressure and cognitive load, beyond the state of flow that impairs our ability. When the cognitive load increases, our limited cognitive capacity is exceeded and we become overloaded. Our brains cannot process the large volumes of information being generated by the situation and we can fail to make accurate decisions. Example is tandem bag lock malfunction- requires very fast thinking, change of standard emergency procedures, reaction and execution when RSL is connected. However, if RSL is not connected- things are way easier- action is as usual- cutaway and reserve deployment. This is just an example where correct training can significantly reduce the pressure or lead to positive outcome. Knowing that there is direct connection between the previous training taken and how the skydiver would react under pressure is vital. Namely our gut feeling is what determines our reactions under pressure and lack of time. It all happens simultaneously before we put everything in words. So someone that has never used RSL as a backup system would go first for the reserve handle after cutaway and will almost never check for main risers clearance.

In the late 80’s and 90’s of the last century, there were significant discoveries in phycology that explain a lot how and why humans make certain decisions under pressure. Unfortunately skydive training still has not caught up with psychology. Mirror neurons is one of these discoveries. For example, neurons in our brain fire symmetrically to match our instructor’s emotions. So, if the instructor is very positive, enthusiastic and smiling, about 20-30% of the neurons in the same area in the student’s brain, responsible for these emotions fire as well. The result is that students assume that if the instructor is that positively charged- everything must be in order. It is the same when the instructor looks negative, unhelpful, concerned- the student is experiencing a grade of freeze, flight response and the performance goes down. This is just a generalisation but it explains why students love enthusiastic instructors, regardless how competent they are. However, students also can identify incompetence hidden in positive attitude. There is also an explanation for that recently discovered.
In this article, I will try to scratch the surface on training. Combining psychology and training in skydiving is going to be part of a different publication.
In skydiving we have two types of Education- Safety education and skills improvement training. They overlap and mix all the time but they stay different things. Example is the training during the new skills courses- initial AFF, Tandem and AFF Instructor certifications. They all have two parts- the Safety part, which teaches the student/candidate/ how to survive the skydive with the new equipment and procedures and the Skills improvement part- how to do it well. This is very important since decision making is heavily influenced by the level of competence and skills in these separate areas. Both, the student and the teacher/instructor/ should know where they stand in that- at what stage of the training and learning process they are. Even more, the training for a particular skill must match the psychological reasons influencing how the student will react in this situation. It’s important to know why people make fatal mistakes and how to avoid them- you never know when a simple flight back to the landing area can turn into a situation that requires emergency procedures.
Approaching Education Differently
Looks like education in skydiving suffers from a bit of amnesia! It is based on the industrialised system of education. This system came out during the industrial revolution and it was designed to serve the needs of the manufacturing process- to produce a workforce that follows algorithms. Basically, it’s a system that tells you how to do things, without much explaining. The student is instructed not thought. This all works well when in the manufacturing! And we have all seen the big emergency procedures charts that look like wiring diagrams like they are designed for a computer processors to follow.  However, people are not machines but organic creatures and in addition they have to make their own decisions under pressure. Industrialised system is based on standardisation and conformity! It is true that these principles are a must in skydiving and they define the skills necessary for surviving the skydive with- must know, must do and must not do. But there must be a clear line where they begin and finish because any irrelevant and wrong information or negative emotions significantly affect the decision making process. The fact that a student does not understand what causes our bodies to turn in freefall creates negative emotions and can cause them to fail the stage.
Conformity and standardisation also contradict the principles on which skydiving and life for that matter have flourished over the years- diversity and creativity. Every single person is different. Not a single person’s life is the same as anybody else’s. There’s no two persons on this planet that are the same. So why skydiving training is standardised to that extent? One of the results is that year after year there’s a great amount of people that give up skydiving after they get their A licence. And the reason is that they don’t want to spend a long time and a lot of money doing relative work with B rels. Most of the students started skydiving because they wanted to do something else- usually freeflying or swooping. There is a great amount of students that never complete the AFF course as well. If a private company was losing such an enormous amount of their clients every year, they would say- “Maybe it’s not the customers, maybe it’s something we do”.
If equipment and training courses were put under the compatibility lid some time ago, they would never advance more than the static line course and round military parachute stage!
People are also curious and creative. They want to learn. Everyone knows that students and instructors start their career with a great amount of curiosity and want to learn and keep this going forever. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. One of the effects of the current culture, has been to de-professionalise instructors. There is no system in the world that is better than it’s instructors. Instructors are the lifeblood of the success of drop zones, but teaching is a creative profession. Teaching, properly conceived, is not a delivery system. Instructors should not be there just to pass on received information. Great instructors do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage.

Another big problem with the industrial based system is that it never covers everything that we need to know because it is based on what has happened so far. Especially in recent years, it presents you with a list or diagrams with possible situations. What happens if you get into situations that are not on the list?! Then you need creativity! A good example is the tandem fatality resulted from a turn initiated at about 200ft and the control line and toggle got hooked on the disconnected side passenger connector. The tandem pair entered into a continuous diving turn. The tandem instructor ran through the given emergency procedures diagram but there was nothing for this particular situation. The most he could think of was- cutaway and deploy reserve. Unfortunately it was too low. However, there were at least two solutions in this case that were not on the diagram- cut the break line and try landing with risers or counter the turn with the other toggle and land on deep brakes. Compliance in this situation didn’t equal safety but provided a false sense of safety. Situations like this require some creativity or divergent thinking. And we use divergent thinking all the time in skydiving- when we exit and fly different tandem clients, when different aircraft changes the inflight procedures, when tailoring the stage for a particular AFF Student, when packing reserves or repairing equipment etc. “Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, "non-linear" manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion. Many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn.”
There is another system of education, which is based on reasoning, where cause and effect are the significant element. This is the system to which we owe the development in skydiving and skydiving equipment- people trying different things and improving the ones that work. With this system, understanding how and why things happen is the driving force. That’s how basic military parachutes were improved for sport parachuting to get to the current state of the art canopies and harness containers. This is how we all got where we are now. With this system, the student’s safety and progression are the important thing, not the standard of “pass or fail” and the learning process can be tailored so the students can learn effectively. In this system both- student and instructor are aware of the level of competence /unconscious incompetent, conscious incompetent, conscious competent, unconscious competent/ the student is in.  Right now there are thousands of consciously incompetent skydivers and instructors about their own equipment but they are expected to deal with extraordinary situations with competence. They simply do not know how their reserve system or components exactly work and what potential problems they can cause them. As a result, these licenced skydivers are not ready to deal with a number of issues. If you knew that if the Cypres fires in head position and the reserve might hesitate, how materials and body position affect the reserve openings, what the reserve pilot chute is, etc. you would consider your actions. The level of competence/competence- confidence loop/ directly affects the performance and decision making in every situation- challenging or threatening. The more competent you are with equipment and situations, the more pressure is reduced and it is easier to make decisions.
All this is not that new and there is wonderful work done by instructors and dropzones. However, it is happening not because of the current standardisation and command and control culture but despite it. Yes, sometimes habit is stronger than reason, but reason always prevails eventually.  Maybe it’s time the available knowledge in the 21-st century about learning, training, psychology and the connection between them to be implemented accordingly. While doing that, some accidents could be prevented.
After all, skydivers are organic creatures and parachutes are just mechanical systems operated by skydivers. Nothing magical happens up there! The magic we feel is only in our heads!

---------------------------------------
K.B
Jumps - 25 000+
AFF, Tandem Instructor, Freefall Photographer
Rigger- FAA all types, APF Rigger Examiner
Master of teaching, Biology and Chemistry

By glhsystems, in Safety,

Performance Designs gives back to the community

Performance Designs donates masks to first responders and healthcare workers in their hometown. PD employs just shy of 200 folks in VolusiaCounty. In late March, when the Coronavirus concerns began to close in on the area, PD closed their production facility. After a couple of weeks of planning, they reopened, primarily for the manufacturing of Defense Industrial Base products, and with many new health and safety guidelines in place. Constant cleaning in the factory continues, in addition to other changes in the "new normal" work environment. Many folks working at PD wanted to help the community and do something for local first responders.
Performance Designs reached out to another local Florida business that manufactures masks and partnered with them. The goal is to support local manufacturing, as well as to provide masks to first responders and healthcare professionals. For every mask sold, a mask is donated. It has been 2 weeks and more than 400 masks have already been donated. PD anticipates many more donations in the coming weeks.


"Performance Designs is part of the skydiving community, and we're also part of the local community as well. The opportunity to bring those two communities together in this endeavor has been great. Every little bit helps, and we want to do our part."
- Albert Berchtold/Marketing Manager
This week they have shipments of masks going across the US as well as Great Britain, France, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Mask donations were provided to AdventHealth Foundation (Deland Hospital), Deland Police Department, and Deland Fire Department, as well as local assisted living facilities.

Wearing Earphones While Skydiving

If you're wanting audio on your jump a frustrating issue you may face is the matter of achieving clear and loud quality (via headphones or speakers) inside your helmet during freefall. The loud noise and intense conditions both inside the plane and during freefall require a certain volume, clarity, and portability that many audio setups simply won’t provide. In this article we will walk you through some different audio setups that can keep the music or communications flowing while in freefall. The audio setup for you is going to depend on how you spend your time in the sky, so keep that in mind when looking for the right audio gear for you!
What if I want to listen to music while skydiving or parachuting?
Firstly, we'd like to make it clear that when it comes to skydiving with music we realize that there are contrasting opinions on whether it is safe or not. We'd suggest that anyone who wishes to jump with earphones in are aware of potential safety risks. We asked the guys over at outeraudio.com to make some recommendations on what one should look for when buying earphones to jump in.
Ask yourself, what is it I want to hear while skydiving? If it is music, most wireless Bluetooth headphones will work when connected to your music playing device or cell phone. There's a few styles of headphones that can fit in your helmet, but in-ear headphones will typically fit a wider range of helmets. The quality of the earphones will change between both make and model, and taking a look at an audio review website will usually make you more confident in your purchase. Many skydivers complain about the hassle of a headphone wire, and you should know that Bluetooth headphones may encounter connection difficulties under the conditions experienced when jumping, so be aware of that ahead of time and look for products which are reputed for their bluetooth connection quality. You should also be careful if you intend to use AirPods or true wireless headphones that aren’t connected to one another as they will be prone to falling out of your ears! The best way to mitigate this is by using fitness/ergonomic fit earbuds that cling to your ears.
Hearing any audio in general during freefall can be quite difficult. Between the high speeds and loud noise, you will need to either have a high volume or a really well fitting earphone which isolates outside noise well, you may even want to look into a cheap headphone amplifier if you find that you're unable to get the volume that you want from the default setup. We recommend a cheap one because headphone amps can be quite expensive, and the intense conditions you are in while skydiving may lead to you losing your amp or breaking it. If you do opt to use an amplifier, you should consider housing it away from the waist, or anywhere that is likely to have impact from an imperfect landing.
Another option for listening to music in the air while skydiving is motorcycle helmet speakers. These speakers are designed to fit inside most varieties of motorcycle helmets, so they may or may not fit your particular helmet. That being said, these speakers are created with discrete designs so that they can slip tightly inside a typical helmet. In addition to their small and thin shape, these speakers usually come with adhesive and mounting hardware so that the speakers stay snugly attached to your helmet for extended periods of time.

When looking at options, here's a few manufacturers which you can consider:
JBL Sony  Sennheiser Panasonic Philips  Bose What about In-Air Communication?
The above example audio set up will work just fine for audible GPS interfacing, I recommend wired earbuds because there is simply less of a chance that your very important audio signal is lost mid-air compared to Bluetooth headphones. Using Bluetooth headphones is still a possibility of course. If you are using a device like a FlySight or another audio GPS system, a headphone amplifier may be your new best friend if you find the signal to be too quiet during noisy conditions. Many skydivers manually attach their headphones to the inside of their helmets for added stability during their descent, this could be a possibility for you as well! And it's pretty easy to create a quick DIY solution.
Canopy Relative Work relies heavily on communication. Audio signals cutting out or becoming disconnected during a jump will make this sport impossible to do because of its heavy reliance on constant communication. CRW will require very high quality in-helmet communication equipment that goes beyond your average pair of headphones and you should consult with an experienced jumper for recommendations regarding this type of communication heavy gear.
What’s the best solution for you?
Depending on your specific needs you will probably choose a different setup for your audio source in the air. Look at your current gear and what you already own and ask yourself, what you will be doing after you successfully bring your audio rig with you up into the sky? In many cases it may be as simple as buying a high quality set of bluetooth earphones that can work with your mobile device. In other cases you may want to do a little DIY work inside of your helmet to set up an audio situation where you have the best possible quality, with the most comfort possible.

Do you use any earphones or speakers inside of your helmet? Whether you're an experienced CRW jumper or just a music fanatic, leave a comment below and let us know what you use inside your helmet.

By Administrator, in Gear,

NZ Aerosports Offers "Weatherhold Woogie" For Those Trapped Indoors

With Covid-19 shutting down cities and even countries around the world, it's not just skydivers who have been affected by the limitations put on both movement and the ability for businesses to operate. We've seen a number of music artists and even actors coming out and offering online forms of entertainment for those stuck under quarantine or even lockdowns. 

Well now New Zealand Aerosports have decided to offer a little something for the skydiving community. You're likely to be out of luck finding an operating boogie in the current situation, but that doesn't mean you can't still create a bit of a skydiving vibe from the comfort of your computer. It may not quite be the same as partying with all your friends, but it's still cool to see something that can lighten the mood in these otherwise uncertain times.

Below is the information on this "Woogie" event as sent out by NZ Aerosports:
 

By Administrator, in News,

What You Should Really Know About the First Global Indoor Skydiving Summit

What Happened? And Why Is It Important That It Did? Here’s the Beta
The First Global Indoor Skydiving Summit, which took place in Skydive Empuriabrava’s hometown of Castelló d'Empúries, just happened. If you fly in the Windoor tunnel, you almost certainly know that it did. Right? But you might not yet be clear on why that’s important -- or how what happened over those two days in Castelló is going to affect your life as a flyer. 
Let’s be clear: It was, and it will. When a bunch of profit-minded business competitors and stakeholders with divergent views on how indoor skydiving should develop start building industry consensus for the very first time -- with technologists, engineers, energy experts and athletes in the room -- it’s only a matter of time until that far-off wave hits.
To understand where this is going, it’s important to understand where it came from: and that’s Roland Hilfiker, CEO of Support Air International, who organized the event. If you think you recognize the name, you’re right: Roland has been in and around skydiving since 1975 in a flurry of different capacities.


“I was professional at one stage,” he laughs. “I ran the School of Human Flight in Zephyrhills and the Skydive Empuriabrava dropzone afterwards, until the mid-90s.” From there, Roland embarked on a new adventure: in sports communications. He worked within a number of different sports shuttling between international governing bodies, event organizers and rights holders, “basically providing communication support in all its different facets, from television production to communication strategy,” he explains. Among plenty of other things, he’s done quite a bit for the FAI. As chair of the Olympic Coordinating Committee he represented FAI in the Global Association of International Sports Federations and similar umbrella bodies, all the while pitching parachuting/skydiving for inclusion into the Olympic Games from Barcelona 1992 through Beijing 2008. He was on the Olympic Rings jump in Seoul 1988, too. Something which he considers the pinnacle in his active career.
Even though his lobbying efforts failed to produce results with the International Olympic Committee, Hilfiker managed to get air sports admitted to The World Games back in 1995. He assumed the lead in organizing the first two appearances of skydiving/parachuting (he insisted on the slash to allow for the side-by-side of canopy and freefall events on the program) in The World Games Lahti and Akita. After getting elected Vice President of the International World Games Association, he decided to reduce his engagement for FAI. He received the FAI Bronze medal in 2001 (“for his exceptional and dedicated work in promoting the FAI in the wider sports community and amongst the public at large by campaigning for air sports to be admitted to the Olympic Games”). 
For all that involvement in air sports, Roland is still relatively new to the tunnel. In fact, he saw his first indoor competition during The Wind Games 2019.
“I was convinced this is a good way of presenting skydiving,” he muses. “It has a lot of advantages over the traditional sport. Something that could make it a stronger contender for an Olympic bid. But after a little more research, I perceived not just the sport’s strengths - but its weaknesses too. I saw a lack of consistency across a number of areas.”

What’s the best path to consistency? Well: In the case of a sport that’s fractured across continents, philosophies and party lines, getting everyone together in a room is a great first step. In all those years of working in sport organizations, specifically in the field of communications, Roland had logged a lot of time at sports congresses (“about five in an average year, over 25 to 30 years,” he says), both big and small.
“After receiving encouragement by the President of the International Skydiving Commission (ISC), Gillian Winter, I thought, ‘why don't you try to organize one yourself?’ 
“And that's how it came about,” he smiles
He dove right in, calling the project the Global Indoor Skydiving Summit. Going into it, Roland certainly had a vision.  
“Obviously, I had my own opinions on virtually all of the different topics I felt needed addressing,” he explains. “I definitely picked these topics based on my 25 years of professional experience. What I was trying to achieve was a more complete analysis of the situation, and to get partnerships going between the most different parties.”
But not all of it was sailing the calm waters. From the outset, Hilfiker had sought the approval of not only the ISC, but of the FAI as well. In fact, he had met with the highest FAI charges for discussions on three occasions and a final version of a co-hosting agreement was ready for signature in late October 2019. The precise moment the ISC President announced the withdrawal from the project of the body she presides. The disagreement was over the choice of summit topics and the lineup of panelists. 


“The silver lining of that,” he adds, “is that not being associated with commercial organizations or the world governing body, it gave us a certain freedom to act and speak and go about our business. On the other hand, I did feel bad for FAI and ISC. Both bodies are in dire need to reinvent themselves, passing up on an opportunity to be in on important conversations seems somewhat wasteful.”
The summit was held alongside The Wind Games, one of the premier indoor skydiving competitions on the world calendar. The Wind Games had attracted 180 competitors from more than 30 countries to the Windoor wind tunnel, right next to Skydive Empuriabrava, and plenty of them were more than keen to join the conversation taking place just down the road.
The venue was pretty special, too: an old convent, converted into a cultural center. Over two eight-hour days, packed to the gills with sessions, discussions and breakout sessions, participants across the sport -- from manufacturers to owners to representative athletes -- came to collective grips with everything from oversaturation to safety standards to the cost of flying (with a potential BlaBlaCar-style proposal from an enterprising Frenchman). Experts took the stage to talk about how operators can negotiate preferential rates for energy, and technologists (such as the Tunnel Tech EU team, who occupy the very leading edge of advances in tunnel engineering and materials) jumped into the conversation with about new methods to keep energy consumption down. Carbon impact came up, too, of course.
“People are making efforts to offset the carbon footprint of indoor skydiving,” Roland says, “we need to provide the operators and manufacturers with good data, obtained through a number of channels we have identified so far. That’s the process - and it should continue.”
“It was not a vacation,” Roland says. “It was for sure a debate. And it was positive! In the end, everyone agreed that we achieved great things.”


A great example of one of those “great things” that came as a surprise to plenty of tunnel folks: Tunnel Instructor and the International Bodyflight Association made a public announcement of their forward-going cooperation and intention to coordinate their respective work. In essence, what that means is that it’s suddenly going to be significantly easier for a licensed, rated instructor to transfer co-validated ratings between IBA and Tunnel Instructor facilities.  “That was a major breakthrough,” Roland affirms.
“We’re still working towards a mission statement to guide our continued work from here,” he adds. “We don't know where this is going to take indoor skydiving as a sport, but I personally see this as an open-ended process that provides plenty of space for it to be continued. We could think of it as a think tank -- as a permanent forum for discussion -- and we’ve created venues on the web which will allow us to keep the dialogue going until the next event gets us all in the same room again.”
There will, then, be a sequel.
“I've been doing this for well over 30 years,” Roland laughs. “It will take quite a bit more to burn me out.”
“People at the inaugural Summit said they are looking forward to the next one. I am confident that we will see a lot of progress in the industry and the sport before it takes place,” Hilfiker said. “Indoor skydiving has huge potential to grow and evolve as a sport, a fun activity and as an entertainment for all. In any case, it can be a viable proposition without being part of the Olympic program any time soon.”
All images courtesy Support Air. For updates on the next Global Indoor Skydiving Summit, visit www.indoorskydiving.vision and/or www.indoorskydiving.stream