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Found 272 results

  1. admin

    Air Adventures AFF: Level 6

    BACKLOOPS AND DELTA TRACKING JUMP SEQUENCE: When your jumpmaster says "GET INTO POSITION", take your position in the door. When you are ready to exit, turn to your right and shout "CHECK IN!" to your main side JM. The JM will respond "OK!" and nod his head when you are ready to go. Do the exit count - "Ready! Set! Arch!" On "Arch!" step to the left, out of the plane. Your JM will not hang on to you during exit. Count to four, maintaining a hard arch. Do one practice ripcord touch. Check your altitude. Turn to find your JM. He will not be hanging on to you, but he will be nearby. Follow your JM's hand signals. When he signals you to turn, do a 360. Check your altitude after each manuever. When he signals you to backloop, pull your knees up to your chest and stick your arms out in front of you in one fast motion. You will feel yourself backloop. When you feel yourself upside down, hard arch to recover stability. Check altitude after the backloop, then find your JM. When he signals you to delta track, put your arms back by your sides, extend your legs and point your toes. Track for six seconds. Recover to a neutral body position. Check your altimeter, then find your JM. At 6000 feet, shake your head to indicate "no more manuevers." Turn 180 degrees away from your JM. Wave off and pull at 5000 feet. Count to five and check your parachute. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Begin the backloop, then recover stability. Maintain altitude awareness without reminders. Turn smoothly. Track aggressively in a straight line. LEVEL SIX HINTS: Remember - to start a backloop, be agressive. To recover from a backloop, arch hard. It may take a second to get back over - hold the arch until you feel yourself flip back over. When you begin a delta track, pick a point on the horizon to track towards to avoid tracking in a circle. REMEMBER THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF ANY SKYDIVE: PULL! PULL AT THE RIGHT ALTITUDE! PULL STABLE! LAND SAFELY UNDER AN OPEN CANOPY! Before Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7
  2. Is it better to be a jack-of-all-trades or a master of one? Is it best to aim singlemindedly for depth, or to barrel out into the wild blue yonder of breadth? If you don't know me, let me introduce myself: Hi. I'm Queen Breadth. The beginning of my airsports career some years ago coincided neatly with critical mass in a pile of new disciplines -- and, conveniently, with my own launch into location independence. Suffice it to say, I was more than happy to race around the candy store with my hungry paws in everything, everywhere. It was manic, it was orgiastic…and it was, in hindsight, perhaps not the best idea. Before I had 150 jumps in my logbook, I had 27 dropzones on the list. I started skydiving, BASE jumping, paragliding and speedflying concurrently enough to be worthy of a tidy facepalm. I got my BASE number in four jumps. I've jumped, hucked and flown on five continents. The Venn Diagram that represents the jumps and flights I've done versus the jumps and flights I've done in new places, with new equipment, in new conditions…well, to be honest, it's pretty much a circle. And guess what? If you show up to a plane, a launch or an exit point with me and you have depth in what we're doing, you're going to be, like, "seriously?!" Seriously. Because -- in all this sexy, sexy breadth -- I've hardly gone to depth in anything. There are a flurry of reasons I'm besotted with breadth, of course. Breadth is a beautiful thing. Breadth gives you flexibility. It forces you to flex the muscles of your judgment; to strengthen them. It requires boldness, but it teaches you to respect the vast library of stuff you don't know. It requires a wide understanding of conditions, and the patience to watch them tell their story to you over the course of hours (sometimes, in the foot-launched stuff, days). It encourages you to develop a unique, procedural approach to novelty that serves you everywhere else in your life. Breadth fills your life in the sky with adventure, introducing you with automatic intimacy to people and places you'd otherwise never have met. But breadth has a dark side. Breadth can kneecap confidence, as it requires you to play in the shallows of an ocean of unknowns. Where depth offers long-term mentorship, breadth offers friendly, experienced passers-by who gauge your skill solely by what they see in clip on Facebook. …And breadth costs a friggin' arm and a leg in excess baggage fees, believe you me. So then, winking at me from the other side of the bar, there's depth. Ah, depth. Depth gives you the confidence of complete focus; if you use it correctly, depth can be a very busy workshop. Working systematically within a certain set of accustomed variables, you can add and subtract one or two and be able to rather scientifically observe their impact. Depth provides a meditative space to make adjustments, removing the big question marks from your gear and surroundings. A bonus, off-label benefit: depth has a way of delivering the assertiveness you need to express any necessary boldness in outside disciplines (to a point). Depth can also dig ruts so deep that they become nearly inescapable. Depth provides rich soil for absolutely gonzo complacency. Depth can result in problematic overconfidence. It can also atrophy your judgment -- one the one hand, you can feel undeservedly godlike in situations where you're quite literally out of your depth; on the other, elements that are simply unfamiliar can easily feel reflexively unsafe. Most nailbitingly (for me, at least), depth can push you into uncurrency outside the blinders. I think, as in all things, it's about finding a balance. Perhaps depth and breadth are the X and Y axes of airsports. After all -- and I'm a living example of this -- neither depth nor breadth work well in a vacuum. But I also think it's about making a conscious choice, and making the trade-offs in full acknowledgement. Doesn't depth work best when you unscabbard your sword and tap the shoulders of what you really want to do? Doesn't breadth work best when you approach it as an adventure-with-airborne-benefits, not as a snarl of jumps to dash between like a semi-crazed corgi in an agility contest? Don't happy athletes strive for both depth and breadth in their right season? Right now, I'm choosing depth. I'm writing this from a wind tunnel in Slovakia. This summer, I traded my accustomed nylon here-there-and-everywhereness for the singular delight of not just doing a bunch of cool stuff in a bunch of cool places but really, deeply learning -- for the fibers of my body to understand, and for the nuances of the practice to be etched forever in my System 1.* Mindfulness of depth and breadth is counsel I wish I'd received at the outset. It may have adjusted some of my early decisions -- not to be more conforming, but to be more aligned with deeper, autotelic goals. And I wish I could share it with more people: The kid who toddles in with the singleminded goal of wingsuit BASE. The new jumper who does something different on every load, running from the feeling of underachievement into the waiting arms of novelty. The guy who tells me he'll try a paragliding flight "after [he's] done with BASE jumping." Where do you sit on the depth/breadth spectrum? Am I missing part of the story? * There's a reason there's a link here. Seriously: Read this. It'll change your world.
  3. admin

    Buttman 'fly' says law society

    Grahamstown, South Africa - Candidate attorney and naked skydiver James "Buttman" Reilly, 36, was officially cleared of any impropriety by the Cape Law Society on Tuesday. Reilly has also received an extraordinary apology from the partner of the lawyer who lodged a complaint against him. South East Cape Attorney's Association president Raj Daya called the society's decision a "victory" for the profession. "The overwhelming support James got from within the profession shows that lawyers are not a bunch of stiff boards," he said. Reilly's competition-winning leap into freezing air - naked but for a stick of deodorant taped firmly to his manhood - won him a small car in a radio competition for the zaniest act two weeks ago. The society said in a statement that James's act was irrelevant to his application to become an attorney. After considering a report, Cape Law Society president David Macdonald released a press statement yesterday saying: "The Council took note of the fact that the media reports at the time presented the incident as indeed, no more than a stunt or prank; that there was no sense of public offence reflecting on the attorney's profession as such." The partner of the lawyer who complained to the society had personally sent James a note apologising for his partner's actions. "I really appreciated that," said James, adding that he "never doubted" the law society would reach a decision in his favour, but still felt "relieved" when it arrived. - ECN Previous article.... Buttman's wings clipped 07-24-2001 Grahamstown, South Africa - Naked skydiver and candidate attorney James Reilly, 36, has been temporarily barred from entering the legal profession after an unnamed Port Elizabeth attorney lodged a formal complaint that his stunt was "improper". Reilly's jump into minus 12 degree air 4km above here last week won him first prize in 5fm radio station's Speedstick Give-it-Stick competition for the whackiest act. Reilly won a new Peugeot in a blaze of national and regional media coverage. News photographs of his naked backside flying through the air earned him the nickname "Buttman". However, Reilly, who was due to be admitted as an attorney at the Grahamstown High Court on Thursday, will now have to wait until the Cape Law Society has properly investigated the complaint. A highly upset president of the PE branch of the SA Attorney's Association Raj Daya said the law society was obliged to deal with the complaint and a committee has been set up to investigate the matter and advise the society whether Reilly's behavior was improper. Daya said: "It is ridiculous that the matter reached the law society." He said what Reilly had done had injected some positive energy into a profession that was suffering from "terminal cancer". 'We had one big laugh about it' "He (Reilly) discussed the matter with me beforehand and asked whether I believed any problems could result. I said 'I hope you win the car'." On the day Reilly's stunt was publicised in the media, Daya had been attending a conference in Knysna together with the law society's president, director and other senior members of the profession. "We had one big laugh about it." "All that is happening now is a procedural issue due to this complaint. This attorney (who issued the complaint) should go for a ride with James in his new car. I think it's a matter of sour grapes. I am terribly upset that it has reached such a ridiculous stage."" He felt that if Reilly was not be admitted to the roll of attorneys, the law society would be "seriously misusing it's powers. "James is not fresh out of university. He is an honorable person respected and held in esteem by his colleagues. His stunt has won the hearts of the public at large and not admitting him would be stretching the moral code a bit too far. "There are much more serious allegations on a daily basis. The law society should be using its time to investigate issues of a much more serious nature." Cape law society director Susan Aird said the matter was to be tabled before a council meeting on Monday. Aird said she could not express any personal opinion. - ECN
  4. Hundreds of people called 911 Tuesday after seeing six parachutists who were trailing plumes of red smoke land at Austin High School. "People thought we were being invaded," said Ed Harris Jr., director of emergency communications for the Austin Police Department. Wrong. It was the Army's Golden Knights parachute team landing as part of a recruitment drive. It certainly didn't look like that to Leila Levinson, who called 911 about the soldiers with black and yellow parachutes she saw floating through the air as she drove down MoPac Boulevard. "I saw everybody put on their brakes and pull over to the side," Levinson said. "My heart started pounding, because I thought it was anthrax or smallpox and I was evaluating how far it was from my son's school." The landing was reminiscent of the 1984 movie "Red Dawn," in which invading communist paratroopers land at a Colorado high school. No invaders, Tuesday's paratroopers graciously greeted students, said Kathy Uplinger, an assistant principal at Austin High. The Golden Knights frequently appear at schools and public events, said 1st Sgt. Harlan Dobbs of the Army's recruiting division. "I've been in recruiting for 12 years and watched them jump 30 times and never had anything happen like this," he said. "Everybody is in a state of alert right now." The Federal Aviation Administration, city and school district police and the media had been notified of the jump, officials said. Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the Army is careful to work with communities where the parachute team is jumping. "We are greatly empathetic with the concerns of the community." ~ American-Statesman.
  5. admin

    Submissions for Logbook Entry Book

    Laurie Steel and co-author A.T. Clinger are working on a skydiving book and are looking for support from the skydiving community. We are looking to represent the sport in a way that has yet to be explored, and give both other skydivers as well as non-jumpers a view of our world. What we ask from personnel at your drop zone is that they pick out their two favorite or most memorable logbook entries (whether new or old ones), and have them photocopied and sent to us. We would like to make a collection of these pages, as well as a one-page biographical section for each contributor and a quote to be placed under each person's entry. Intermixed with the bios and logbook entries will of course be the requisite cool skydiving pictures that we all love so much! In short, those of you who would contribute to this project will have the privilege of being immortalized in a book about our sport. This project isn't expected to make much in the way of revenue, so all we can offer is the chance for recognition for being one of the few that has experienced the ultimate freedom of human flight. Drop zone personnel are asked to forward this letter to all of your skydivers, both famous (as well as infamous) and low-timers to get total representation of our sport from all angles. We all deserve to be famous for something--why not for something we all love? Interested parties may e-mail the authors at the following addresses for more specific info: thrill_seek@yahoo.com or lbargrl@cs.com Those who are interested may send photocopies of their logbook entries, as well as any photos they wish to be included to either of the following Addresses: Book Info 6549 34th terrace north St. Petersburg Florida 33710 OR Book Info 902 Northwood Dr. A-8 Murray, Kentucky 42071 **When Logbook entries are received, we will send a biographical info form for contributors to fill out** **Photos will not be returned, so please make re-prints of your originals** Logbook entries may also be faxed to the following #: 727-347-4329 Blue Skies! A.T. Clinger and Laurie Steel
  6. admin

    Challenging jump for 25 BASE jumpers

    ALOR STAR: Braving strong winds and limited landing space, 25 skydivers from six countries jumped off the Alor Star Tower here yesterday. They leapt off the tower’s open deck at 105m and were on the ground within 18 seconds. It was the first time that some of them had jumped from such a low level, which added to the challenge. Retired army special forces captain Mohd Norizan Mohd Yunus, 42, said they had to release their parachutes within two seconds. He said a person needed to complete at least 200 normal parachute jumps before becoming a BASE jumper. BASE is the acronym for buildings, antennas, spans and earth – the four types of platforms from where skydivers execute their jumps. “We were in the air for between 13 and 18 seconds only,” said Norizan, who had done 1,233 normal parachute jumps in the last 19 years. Yesterday was his fifth BASE jump. Canadian Linda Pouffard, 26, who was the only woman skydiver, said she could feel her heart beat in every jump she made in the last five years. Policeman Eric Simpson, 40, from the United States, said the low level, strong winds and limited landing space made the jump more challenging. The event was held in conjunction with the Sultan of Kedah’s birthday celebrations and was Menara Alor Star’s inaugural international jump. The skydivers from Australia, Canada, England, Sweden the United States and Malaysia will also participate in the Kuala Lumpur Tower International Jump 2002 on Sunday where they will leap from a height of 300m
  7. admin

    Balloon Mass Skydive World Record

    Sixteen skydivers jumped into the world record books on Friday 31st May 2002 when they all skydived from one of the UK's largest hot air balloons, 10,500ft above Peterborough Parachute centre nr Sibson. The Cameron A300 hot air balloon was flown by 28 year old commercial balloon pilot David Fish who flies full time for Flying Pictures the countries leading commercial balloon operator. With two twin squirrel helicopters circling the balloon, filming the record attempt for national television, it climbed at between 500 & 800 feet per minute to the target altitude of 10,500 feet. After flying for twenty minutes the balloon was directly overhead Sibson airfield. With the skydivers all standing around the edge of the basket and a rapid decent established all sixteen skydivers exited simultaneously. With the loss of just over 1 tonne in weight the balloon entered a very fast climb, causing distortion and partial collapse of the envelope. Eventually levelling off at just over 11,000 ft. "It was quite a wild ride," explains David Fish, balloon pilot and project co-ordinator. "Pretty much as soon as they all left the balloon began distorting and spinning as it climbed rapidly and all I could do was hold on and wait for it to slow down." Velvet Toilet Tissue, whose hot air balloon was used for the record attempt, built a special softer than ever landing zone for the parachutists. The zone, a 10-metre radius circle covering more than 314 square metres, was made from more than 5000 rolls of softer than ever Quilted Velvet loo rolls. The zone could be seen from more than 10,000 feet and acted as a target for the skydivers. All sixteen made the landing zone, with some making good use of the toilet rolls to soften their landing! Team Members Skydivers: 1. Matt Lee 2. Ian Ashpole 3. Andy Bennett 4. Simon Ward 5. Giles Fabrisv 6. David Sawyer 7. Dorian Harwood 8. Martin Williams 9. Steve Springys 10. Stuart Meacock 11. Rose Leggett 12. Mark Harris 13. Chris Donaldson 14. Andy Guest 15. Dave du Plessis 16. Rhino Pilot: David Fish For further information please contact David Fish @ Flying Pictures Ltd. fish@flyingpictures.com Photos: DSCF Flying Pictures Ltd and Simon Ward
  8. Spaceland Anomaly, this year's silver medallist freefly team, is hosting its second annual "Insomnia Tunnel Camp" this coming January. Together with tunnel champions Juliana and Fabian Raidel and Joao Tambor, Anomaly hopes to again bring freeflyers of all experience levels to the SkyVenture tunnel in Orlando for an intensive 3 night camp. The camps are designed to be a low cost alternative to more traditional camps, while maintaining a very individualized progression for each student. As in last year's camp, the tunnel time is booked in the midnight to 6AM timeslots, which gives each student a total flying time of 2 hours over the 3 night camp. Not only does booking nights provide cooler temperatures for better air in the tunnel, but it also saves students the price of the daytime tunnel rates. After the first night's session (and many Red Bull cases), everyone adjusted to the graveyard shift schedule. Students slept their days away at the nearby Best Western while waiting for their 10PM warm up sessions at the tunnel. The coaching is the camp's strongest point, and primary focus. Each of the 3 coaches work with the same 3-4 students each night. This gives them the opportunity to tailor individual progressions based on the skill level and preferences of each student. By remaining with their students through all their tunnel time, coaches can see improvement over the 3 nights and pace the learning appropriately. Many of last year's participants started out with an introductory lesson in RW skills, both for safety reasons and to remind them of how much we all have to learn on our bellies. From there, the progression moved to backflying to sitflying, and, for some, an introduction to head down flying in the tunnel. At the end of the camp's 3rd night, students made their way to their respective hometowns with bags under their eys, smiles on their faces, and a lot more freefly skill than they came with. "It's kind of like being in another world, being in the tunnel at such odd hours, but the coaches are energetic and extremely experienced... I know I've improved 100%!" said returning student Jen Dembinski. The next Anomaly Tunnel Camp is scheduled for January 15th - 17th, with available slots going fast. Contact trent@spacelandanomaly.com for more information.
  9. Skydivers will soon have a new way to improve their canopy flying skills. Members of the Performance Designs Factory Swoop Team and Skydive DeLand's Freedom of Flight Canopy School have joined together to create a new coaching project called Flight-1. The group will hold a series of canopy flight camps at Skydive DeLand beginning in February of 2004. The project is being lead by Shannon Pilcher, Ian Bobo, and Scott Miller. Pilcher and Bobo are members of the PD Factory Swoop Team, and Miller is the Freedom of Flight Canopy School's Course Director. PD Factory Team members Heath Richardson, Jay Moledzky, and Francisco Neri will also participate, along with Freedom of Flight coach Jimmy Tranter. Jumpers who attend Flight-1 Canopy Camps will make approximately fifteen jumps over three days, with classroom training and video debriefing sessions. Novice, intermediate, and advanced canopy pilots are all welcome to attend. The participants will be divided into groups based on their current skills, their experience levels, and the specific canopy skills they wish to develop. A separate coach will be assigned to each group. At the beginning of each camp the coaches will focus on developing "core" skills that form the foundation for the more advanced skills practiced later in the camp. The members of Flight-1 bring an impressive combination of skill and experience to the project. Heath Richardson won 1st place at six different PST and Red Bull swoop meets this year, and finished in the top five at four other competitions. Jay Moledzky finished in 2nd place at five different meets, and together with Richardson earned 1st place finishes at three team events. Ian Bobo won 3rd place in the Speed and Distance events at this year's IPC World Cup of Canopy Piloting in Perris Valley, and also finished 3rd overall at the meet. He finished in 1st place at the Red Bull Wings Qualifier at Skydive New England in July. Bobo also has extensive CRW experience, and was a participant in the 1994 World Record 47-Way Canopy Formation. Shannon Pilcher finished 2nd at the Red Bull swooping finals in Cleveland this past August, and won 3rd overall at this year's SkyQuest Fantasy Swoop in Florida. He still holds the official swooping distance record of 418 feet, set during a Pro Blade Tour competition at Perris Valley in 2002. Bobo and Pilcher are both accomplished Formation Skydiving coaches and competitors in addition to their achievements under canopy, and are experienced canopy coaches as well. Scott Miller opened the Canopy School at Skydive DeLand in 1999, and later joined with Jimmy Tranter and a group of DeLand's freefly coaches to form the Freedom of Flight School. The school has an impressive record of helping jumpers overcome problems with their canopy flying skills. In addition to running the school in DeLand, Miller has held over 25 canopy skills camps at other drop zones in the US and Europe during the last two years. He also spent five years working as PD's chief test jumper. The Flight-1 team is initially focusing on the first series of camps, and will continue their individual coaching and skydiving activities outside of Flight-1. However, they believe Flight-1 has tremendous potential to expand in the future. Flight-1 hopes to create an unparalleled coaching program that can meet the needs of canopy pilots across the entire range of skill and experience levels. They believe these camps will appeal to novice jumpers who are looking to develop good basic flying techniques, advanced jumpers who want to practice competition-level high performance landings, and anyone in between. For more information visit www.flight-1.com or phone Skydive DeLand at (386) 738-3539.
  10. In fact, she got up before she fell-way, way up-11,000 feet above ground level to be exact. And it was no accident when the 72-year-old grandmother jumped from a 1957 single engine plane, Saturday, Nov. 29. She was making her well-planned first sky dive strapped to her son-in-law, Jay Phillips, a skydiving instructor with the Opelika Skydiving Association. "It was so much fun," Doyle said. During a tandem skydive, the student parachutist is strapped to an experienced instructor parachutist. The student wears a special harness, which attaches to the instructor's harness at two shoulder attachment points and two waist attachment points. The instructor wears the harness and container, which houses the parachute. The two hook together in the plane prior to the jump and exit together in "tandem." The pair then falls through the sky at approximately 120 miles per hour and deploys the parachute at 4,000 feet above ground level. The two then fly the rectangular shaped parachute to a pre-designated landing area. A videographer flew alongside Doyle and Phillips. "Cherry made a picture perfect skydive, flight through the air under canopy and landing right beside the camera man," Phillips said. "I didn't have to do anything," Doyle said. "I didn't get to work the controls." Doyle said the most exciting part of the jump was the 45-second free fall. She remembers lots of wind and noise and the cold. "The wind almost takes your breath away," she said. "It's cold because you're up so high." Once the parachute opened, the rush was over. "Once the chute opens, you just float down, like sitting in a chair," Doyle said. At no point during the dive did Doyle close her eyes. "I wanted to see what was going on," she said. "It was not as frightening as I thought it would be. I've been more frightened at amusement parks. I won't say it wasn't scary, but it wasn't terrible." Her practical outlook aided her attitude. "Once you get out there's nowhere to go but down," she said. "They do it every day." Although Doyle had heart surgery six years ago, her biggest concern about the jump was breaking a bone- especially her hip. But Doyle knew she was in good hands with her son-in-law, especially after her daughter and Phillip's wife, Ellen Doyle Phillips, M.D., threatened him that if anything happened to her mother she'd kill him. Another of Doyle's daughters, Amy, and her husband, David Emerson, M.D., also made tandem dives with Phillips that day. Doyle said she didn't have the opportunity to skydive when she was younger, although she had seen it on television and thought it would be fun. She "guesses" it's the most risky thing she's ever done, and something her deceased husband would not have approved. Doyle is the widow of Dr. James Doyle of Eufaula. "He would have said, 'you're not going to do that,'" she said. "He was more cautious. He would have thought it was crazy." Doyle is far from being the oldest person on record to skydive, but with the newfound enthusiasm she has for the sport, a record could be in her future. "I definitely would consider doing it again," she said. "I would recommend it (skydiving) to any adult." Doyle's jump, as well as her attitude, impressed her son-in-law. "I've never met anyone quite like Cherry," Phillips said. "She is the most outgoing, determined, optimistic and cheerful person I know. I think very highly of her. I don't think she'll ever get old.
  11. admin

    Flight-1 New Course Offerings

    Flight-1 is the world leader in canopy education and progression. From novice pilot through the upper echelons of competitive canopy piloting, Flight-1 has a course that fits every skydiver’s skill set and learning objectives. Flight-1’s courses are set apart from many other canopy courses by the fact that they have been developed by members of the PD Factory Team, which has some of the world’s best canopy pilots and the most experienced canopy coaches involved. If you have any doubts about the skills possessed by the PD Factory Team, taking a look at the video of the “Threading the Needle” stunt they performed last October will show that you’re in the best hands. For years Flight-1 has offered a curriculum for group coaching in canopy handling skills. Their curriculum provides a clear progression for skydivers of all experience levels to continually learn and improve from basic to expert canopy handling skills. Flight-1 courses have been extremely popular over the years and shown great success. Flight-1 have just added 5 new course modules (103 / 201A / 202A / 301 / 302) Airmanship (103): This course follows on from their course 101 “Flying The Modern Wing and course 102 “The Canopy Performance Range”. In “Airmanship” Flight-1 will focus on bringing the skills skydivers have developed into what would be considered a general skydiving environment. The course will revolve around the fundamentals of the skydiving environment, managing the variety of skydivers on a jump to understanding the dropzone environment. It also includes discussions on canopy choice, equipment malfunctions, and avoiding and successfully dealing with canopy collisions. Modules 201A and 202A, “Flying Relative” and “Team Flying” respectively; are designed for individuals that are looking to hone their canopy skills and further develop comfort in flying around other parachutes. Flying Relative (201A): This is the first step in the Flight-1 Air to Air Program. After a safety briefing, the student is introduced to flying relative to another canopy piloted by the coach. Here the pilot learns the true reference of how canopy controls affect the system relative to each other in a one on one environment with an experienced coach guiding them through the jumps. Team Flying (202A): This course leads the student into dynamic team flying and landings. It builds on relative flying, teaching the student advanced dynamic formation flying, turns and landings. The "ultimate wind tunnel" for canopies. The final two courses currently being offered are Precision Performance (301) and Competition Canopy Piloting (302). Precision Performance (301): This course is targeted towards experienced pilots who want to develop their turns and high performance landings. It introduces a logical progression toward increasing power, bringing accuracy into the landing, and preparing to navigate courses and gates. Competition Canopy Piloting (302): This, the course covers the fundamentals of competing that all skydivers need when new to the competition environment. It helps the pilot focus on what is important and how to manage personal skills and tactics to ensure best performance. Flight-1 courses will now be open to more skydivers, as they have decided that while still firmly believing that the best approach is to go through the curriculum in order, the real importance is ensuring that education opportunities be maximized. So long as a skydiver has met the requirements listed below, they will be able to attend the course. Flight-101: Cleared to self-supervise Flight-102: Attended 101 Flight-103: Requirement - B license Recommendation - Attended & completed Flight-1 101 & 102 Flight-201: Requirement - Min of 200 jumps Recommendation - Attended & completed Flight-1 101 & 102 Flight-202: Requirement - Min of 500 jumps Recommendation - Attended & completed Flight-1 201 Flight-201A: Requirement - Attended & completed Flight-1 101 & 102 Flight-202A: Requirement - Attended & completed 201A Flight- 301: Requirement - Min of 500 jumps OR CP Competitor in the last year Recommendation - Attended & completed Flight-1 201 & 202 Flight-302: Requirement - Min of 500 jumps OR CP Competitor in the last year Recommendation - Attended & completed Flight-1 201 & 202
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    Park service denies claim by jumper

    Like approximately 300 fellow BASE jumpers and more than 200 rappellers, 73-year-old Jim Guyer has been grounded from Bridge Day 2001. And he's fighting mad about it. "It broke my heart to talk to the folks at the Holiday Inn about the cancellation," Guyer, a resident of Hendersonville, N.C., said Friday. "There's going to be millions of dollars lost in economy for the local area." "If they don't hold Bridge Day, they better stop every pro football game coming up Sunday," he continued. "What's the difference? It's absurd." Guyer alleges the National Park Service is seizing the cancellation of this year's festival as a means of halting Bridge Day altogether. In fact, he says that in early September he talked to an assistant superintendent for the New River Gorge National River named West, and that West said the NPS "wanted to get rid of it (Bridge Day) anyway." Henry Law, assistant superintendent at the local NPS headquarters in Glen Jean, said it was he who talked to Guyer, and Law refuted Guyer's interpretation of his remarks. "That's totally untrue (that he said the NPS wanted to abolish Bridge Day)," Law remarked. "The National Park Service is not in any way, shape or form trying to shut Bridge Day down. "The decision to cancel it this year was with the Bridge Day Commission. We have one person on that. We're not the overriding factor." Guyer has recently been twice denied by the NPS in his quest for a permit to skydive from El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park, decisions he's appealed to the Department of the Interior. And he's been vocal to various lawmakers concerning his displeasure with the NPS. "The NPS wants to have control over the people," Guyer said. "I was simply trying to give him (Guyer) a nice piece of advice," Law remarked. "I told him that if he continues in the courts, it may affect future activities in all national park properties, including Bridge Day. "He (Guyer) believes what he wants to hear." Guyer, an engineer who first began parachuting a half century ago but only recently took up skydiving and BASE jumping activities, participated in Bridge Day 2000, his first. In place of a full-fledged Bridge Day, Guyer - a Korean War veteran and a retiree from Phillip Morris Co. - has proposed to Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird that a scaled-down Bridge Day ceremony be staged Oct. 20, one that would allow five people to jump off the bridge in a symbolic gesture, as well as having a short, patriotic-themed ceremony to honor those felled by recent terrorist attacks. © The Register-Herald 2001
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    10 Gift Ideas for Skydivers 2017

    We're back again for the 2017 festive season, bringing you some gift ideas for your skydiving buddies or family members. We've spoken to the guys over at ChutingStar and Para Gear, and asked them what they recommend to those looking to fill some the stockings with some skydiving gifts, while at the same time, not breaking the bank. Full-Face Helmets - $285-$428 Get a free ChutingStar Helmet Bag with the purchase of any Full-Face Helmet on ChutingStar.com. Just put both items in your cart and the ChutingStar Helmet Bag will be discounted 100% at checkout! ChutingStar stocks full-face helmets from Cookie, Bonehead and Square1 in all sizes and colors. Available at ChutingStar Selection of Goggles Provide your mate with quality eye protection, with an affordable gift of goggles. Para-Gear offers a variety of skydiving goggles to fit your price range. Available at Para-Gear Manufactory MX Series Shorts - $149 MX Series Skydiving Shorts are triple-needle stitched with reinforced seams and bartacks on all high stress areas. A Cordura Nylon exterior with an internal breathable mesh liner allows effortless comfort with structural integrity. Available in 4 colorways in sizes 2XS to 2XL! Available at ChutingStar Glow Face Alt III Galaxy - $169 Meters and Black Only. The phosphorescent face provides a background glow to assist in low light conditions. The glow lasts over 2 hours in complete darkness, and is perfect for either night jumps or those sunset loads when it starts to get dark. The Glow Face Altimaster III Galaxy features a field replaceable lens. In case your lens gets scratched or cracked you will now be able to replace it yourself instead of having to send it to get serviced. Available at Para-Gear USPA Skydiving Calendar 2018 - $15 13 months of incredible 11x14-inch photographs by skydiving's best photographers! The 2018 USPA Skydiving Calendar is the perfect holiday gift. Available at ChutingStar Cookie G3 Helmet - $379 Welcome to the G3 headgear, Cookies latest release full-face headgear and a result of significant refinement of the previous full-face headgear. The G3 features the original VMech Visor Locking System that works unlike any other in the industry. The system makes for easy opening and positive locking of the headgear visor. The visor is 2mm polycarbonate and features a complex curved design for extra strength, unsurpassed field of view and an anti-fog coating. The headgear's cinching system is simple and secure, adjustment can be made to customize the headgear fit and once locked down just throw the headgear on and jump. Available at Para-Gear Parachuting Flipping Santa Musical Christmas Ornament - $24 This large parachuting Santa Claus sings Jingle Bells while he performs front flips and back flips under a round parachute! The perfect skydiver Christmas ornament! Available at ChutingStar Power Tools - $19.95 Want a great stocking stuffer with a low price? Give your loved one a Power Tool packing tool in holiday colors! Available at Para-Gear Dropzone.com Picks In addition to the products above, selected by both ChutingStar and Para-Gear, we've selected some of our own staff recommendations for gifts this season. Turned On GoPro Status Indicator - $79 The first true hard-wired status indicator for extreme sports, tells you the exact status of your GoPro Camera while it’s mounted on your head. Its ultra-bright LEDs shine unmistakably in your peripheral vision: blue for “standby,” red for “record” and yellow for “warning/error.” The Turned On device gets your mind back in the game -- and off your headgear-mounted GOPRO® HERO3, HERO3+ and HERO4. As you know, optimal performance in extreme sports requires an absolutely clear head (and nothing good can happen when personal safety takes a backseat to a blinking light). Available at Para-Gear Aluminum Personal Rig & Helmet Wall Rack - $99 Tired of seeing your spouse's gear lying around causing a clutter? The personal rig & helmet wall rack will provide an ideal way to store their skydiving gear in a style way that keeps their helmet and rig up on the wall. Available at ChutingStar Happy shopping!
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    AFF Training - Level 3

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 3 - Release Dive This is the last of the two jumpmaster levels. If things go well, your jumpmasters will let go of you and you'll be skydiving unassisted for the 5-5 and pull. Stay relaxed and maintain a good arch. Pay careful attention during the pre-jump gear checks since you will soon have to know how to do one on your own. Likewise begin observing the packing procedure. Under canopy you should try a stall above 2000'. After you successfully complete this level, you should become a USPA member by filling out the application provided at manifest. TLOs Leg awareness and control modes. Heading maintenance. Hover control. Unassisted solo pull at or above 3000 feet. Dive Flow Running Description Hotel Check: Check In, Check Out. Exit Count: C-182 Prop, Up, Down, Arch; Otter Center, Out, In, Arch. HARM Check: Heading, Altimeter, Reserve JM, Main JM. PRCT: Arch, Look, Reach, Touch, Check. Toe Taps: Tap toes together twice to insure leg awareness. Short Circles: to maintain altitude awareness. Hover Control and Heading Maintaince: using principles of turning and forward motion. 5-5 Signal: at 5500 feet. Pull: Arch, Look, Reach, Pull, Check at 5000 feet. Primary Canopy Check: Shape, Spin, Speed, Twist. Release Toggles Secondary Canopy Check: Slider, Endcells, Tears, Lines. Controllability Check: turns and flares OK. Canopy Control: halfway down, halfway back. Setup For Landing: Downwind at 1000', Base at 500', Final at 200'. Flare: at 10', feet and knees together, PLF if necessary. Collapse the Canopy, Field Pack, and Return. Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7 Level 8
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    Top Skydiving Mobile Apps

    Skydiving Logbook (Android / iOS) Skydiving Logbook is an extremely popular application for both Android and iOS devices. The application allows users to log jumps with information such as jump #, aircraft, gear used, type of jump, delay, cutaways, notes and more. A unique feature is the ability to have licensed jumpers sign your logbook entries using the touchscreen. The application also caters for gear related information, allowing you to tie your gear item to their serial number and to set up service reminders on gear items. One is able to sort easily through the display of specific information that is recorded during your jumps, such as total jump counts, cutaways etc. You're able to manage your dropzones and aircraft, as well as setting a home dropzone. Another feature that's offered with this application is the ability to calculate and manage wing load information. The ability to import and export data from the application also means that you can perform frequent backups onto external devices. Overall, this application is packed full of features and it's clear that the developer has done something amazing with it, offering a great application to the skydiving community for free, in fact to quote their download page: "This application is free and always will be." Price: Free Ratings: 4.5/5 based off 123 votes on Android. 4.5/5 based off 6 votes on iOS. Download: Android: Skydiving Logbook iOS: Skydiving Logbook Skydiving Draw (Android) There are a few apps out there at the moment that cater to formation skydiving, Skydiving Draw is the more popular of the apps available. It allows you to manually create or to randomly generate formation sequences which are then presented in visual form though graphic images. The application provides you with the ability to copy and share your formation sequences, as well as the ability to export them as a PDF file, allowing for the easy print of such documentation onto paper, for training purposes. You are also able to save and load your sequences, this is something that while being worked on by other applications for future releases, wasn't yet available. Price: $3 Ratings: 5/5 based off 17 votes. Download: Skydiving Draw Canopy Calculator (Android) This app for Android devices is a small and basic application which calculates canopy size and wing load based off body and gear weight. Naturally with such a lightweight application there isn't really too much to say about it, but the app seems very stable on most Android devices and can come in as a useful tool, also at only 80kb in size and as a free download, there is really no reason not to have it. Price: Free Ratings: 5/5 based off 8 votes. Download: Canopy Calculator BASEline Flight Computer (Android) This application is more of an honorable mention, as the truth is, we really don't know just how well it works. On paper though, this looks to be a great application, if one has the correct mobile device that can support all of the functionality. BASEline Flight Computer is an application which is designed to improve flight performance, offering real-time feedback by both visual and audible means. The application claims that it uses the phone's sensors to determine things like altitude, glide ratio, tilt, speed etc. BASEline Flight Computer offers the user the ability to program your mobile device into an audible altimeter. Though naturally one should never rely on your mobile device to act as your altimeter. There is also a built in log book which has altimeter and gps recordings. IMPORTANT It is vitally important to note that this application should not at any stage be used as a primary means for altitude awareness, and to exercise extreme caution when using it in a skydiving or base jumping environment. The maker also strongly recommends that this device only be used with barometric altimeter sensors, which are only available on select few mobile devices. GPS data is not reliable for altitude readings, and even with barometric altimeter sensors, the readings may not be reliable. The developer ends the description with the line: "Software is provided "as is," with no warranty of any kind. Skydiving is dangerous, don't be stupid." This application has a lot to offer, as mentioned above. The real question is- How well does it work? Price: $6 Ratings: 4/5 Stars based off 1 vote. Download: Baseline Flight Computer Which skydiving apps have you got loaded onto your smart phone?
  16. admin

    Exceeding Expectations

    Image by Lukasz Szymanski The challenge for any business is to exceed the expectations of its customers, especially when expectations are already high. The businesses that can pull this off will gain loyalty and earn valuable word of mouth marketing from their satisfied customers. Exceeding expectations is a challenge for the skydiving industry. Everyone who books a skydive already has very high expectations… after all, this is a major event in many people’s lives. Having traveled and visited drop zones all over the US, one of the biggest issues I see is a narrow sightedness when it comes to the guest experience. Too often, drop zones are focused on doing just one thing well: the skydive. Though this is definitely what we should be focused on (it’s what people are there for), we’ve lost sight of the complete experience; if the operation isn’t running efficiently, high expectations will turn to disappointment in short order. The common culprit in a poor customer experience is wait times. No one likes to wait. Yet here we are, charging a premium price, taking reservations and then expecting people to happily wait for several hours before they jump. Informing customers about wait times over the phone and in e-mail confirmations (usually 3 - 5 hours) doesn't make this practice any more acceptable or palatable to our customers who are conditioned to expect instant gratification. In a world where we can order something on Amazon.com and have it show up at our doorsteps the next day (or in some markets, the same day), we shouldn’t expect our customers to adapt to our antiquated practices. Rather, we should be challenging ourselves to find ways to better adapt to modern customer expectations. If we fail to do this, we will undoubtedly face the fallout of negative reviews online. How To Exceed Expectations To exceed expectations, a business must recognize its weaknesses through the eyes of the customer. The best way to do this is to ask them. However, if you want honest feedback, don’t survey your customers immediately after their skydive; they’ve just had one of the most amazing experiences of their lives, of course their immediate feedback will be positive. When I managed a DZ, I was always under the impression that we were doing a great job because when I surveyed customers following their skydive they always raved about their experience. Only when I started to survey our guests 24 hours after their jumps did I become aware of organizational problems that needed to be addressed. These ranged from employee language on the plane, (not good when your business is located in the Bible Belt) to major frustrations with wait times, to dissatisfaction with media quality. If you want to have a finger on the pulse of your organization, survey your guests after they’ve had time to come down from their initial adrenaline high. If they’re dissatisfied, they’ll typically tell you! Understand The Touch Points There are usually 20 interactive points of contact that a customer will have with a drop zone. If a DZ wants to gain a competitive advantage in a busy marketplace and see digital word of mouth marketing spread, they should be focused on improving these customer touch points. The goal should be to reach a five star level of service at every touch point. This is not an easy task, but it’s what has separated brands like Disney, The Four Seasons, REI and Zappos from all of their competition. This way of thinking should not be precluded from skydiving - especially considering the time and expense that goes into running a DZ. If we’re investing so much time and money into our operation, why not be the best we can be? Below is a list of 20 customer touch points every DZ should be aware of. I challenge all of my clients to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent. The caveat is that the score for each touch point must be graded on the organization’s weakest link within the category. For example, if four out of five instructors give great service and one is average, then the score must be graded on the weakest instructor. Now you see the challenge! The Touch Points Website Social Media E-mail exchanges Phone Interactions Road Signage Parking Lot (the condition of it) Greeting at manifest Condition of the bathrooms Quality of DZ Food (snack bar or vending machines) Quality of training Wait Times to Make Skydive Presentation of the Jumpsuits Presentation of the Instructor Presentation of the Videographer The Aircraft The Ride to Altitude The Skydive Time it Takes To Receive Media Quality of the Media Quality of Materials (certificate of achievement) The Closing (defined as a thought out ending highlighting accomplishment) In today’s digital world, word of mouth can make or break a business. If you want to leverage this powerful tool to your benefit, then you have to start consistently exceeding customer expectations. Take a step back and view your business through the eyes of the customer. Focus on the entire experience, not just one element within it. Remember, the actual skydive is only one component of the overall customer experience. Strive to make every component as incredible as the skydive itself, and you’ll turn customers into raving fans.
  17. The Freefly Training Center (located at Skydive Sebastian, Florida) is incorporating a new program to benefit the freeflyers planning to go to the SkyVenture wind tunnel in Orlando to freefly. The new program is aptly called "FREEFLY THURSDAYS." Every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm starting in November 2002, the Freefly Training Center (or FTC for short) will be conducting training and group coaching for freeflyers willing to have fun and train in the two-hour long flying party. All bookings into the weekly "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" sessions are done directly with The Freefly Training Center (info@freeflytrainingcenter.com). "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" is a combined effort by the FTC and SkyVenture to provide a safe, structured and educational environment for everyone from Florida residents and non-residents alike looking to learn or improve upon their freefly skills. The demand for this education comes from the large influx of freeflyers now visiting Orlando's SkyVenture wind tunnel with the goal of translating their newly formed tunnel skills to the skies. More often than not, however, when freeflyers arrive at the tunnel, they are not joined by other freeflyers and therefore have a hard time assimilating how to efficiently fly with the same body positions they would use while skydiving. By creating "FREEFLY THURSDAYS", the FTC is giving all who join them on Thursdays a way to learn freefly in the tunnel. FTC instructors are on hand to give basic coaching tips and a solid reference to practice maneuvers, grip-management and two-way dynamics. The cost for "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" is based on the time each participant flies. Time is offered to participants in 15-minute "blocks" which may be shared by up to two freeflyers to offset the cost. Participants of "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" also have the option of engaging in private, one-on-one coaching sessions with the FTC instructors. These sessions offer private pre-briefings, intensive in-tunnel coaching, and full video debriefing following the actual flight session. Wind tunnel training has become an integral part of the relative work training regime…so much so that if your team is NOT training there, then you are behind the power curve. This level of tunnel training is exactly what the FTC is promoting for freefly, citing the marked increase of each flyer's learning curve and the ability to accelerate beyond his or her current experience level. The tunnel training lends itself to noticeable improvement even after your first sessions. The FTC is actively involved in training, coaching and the continued development of flight programs for all levels of freeflyers at SkyVenture Orlando on a weekly basis. In addition to the weekly "FREEFLY THURSDAYS," the FTC has scheduled three intensive freefly tunnel camps in December, January, and March. Also, the FTC hosts private tunnel camps for individuals or groups that cannot make the pre-scheduled dates. The tunnel has proven to be a very useful tool to the FTC by incorporating tunnel coaching prior to their "in-air" coaching. The proven program accelerates the level the flyer can obtain by not only removing bad habits, but by also reinforcing presentation and balance in the relative wind. All this may be acquired during an intensive, 15-minute session (which is the equivalent of almost 20 skydives). This amount of training is very cost effective, one-sixth the cost of conventional in-air coaching for the equivalent amount of "air" time. Further information on booking, session arrangement for Private Tunnel Camps or to book into a pre-scheduled Freefly Tunnel Camp, contact the FTC at info@freeflytrainingcenter.com.
  18. admin

    History of Women in Skydiving

    In celebration of women’s history month we decided to take a look at the role of women in the history of skydiving. Although only about 20 percent of all skydivers are female, women have been there right from the start, conquering the skies alongside their male counterparts. As soon as man figured out how to fly, he also had to find a way to save himself if something goes wrong with his flying device; which is why the first parachute jumps were all done from balloons. Some women made a living from parachuting in the early days, doing it not only for the thrill, but also to entertain the crowds. First Female Parachutists Jeanne-Genevieve Garnerin, wife of Andre Garnarin, inventor of the frameless parachute and avid balloonist, was the first woman to descend under a parachute. She did this on 12 October 1799, from a 900 meter altitude. Jeanne continued to tour with her husband in France and all over Europe, completing many balloon ascents and parachute descents. The bug also bit her niece, Elisa Garnerin, who started flying balloons at only 15 years of age and completed 39 professional parachute descents between 1815 and 1836. Kathe Paulus was another woman who had a great impact on skydiving as we know it today. In collaboration with her husband, Lattermann, she developed a parachute prototype to make their balloon flights safer. This was one of the first inventions of a collapsible parachute – the parachute was folded and packed into a bag. Unfortunately Latterman died trying out their invention when his parachute failed after jumping from a balloon, but Paulus made it to the ground safely. She improved the invention and made good money from sales during WW1, although she lost her fortune later because of inflation. By August 1914, Kathe Paulus had made about 70 exhibition descents in her safety device. Kathe Paulus on a balloon flight Jumping from a Plane Georgina Ann Thompson, known as Tiny Thompson, became the first woman to parachute from a plane on 21 June, 1913 over Los Angeles. Georgina was destined for a life of poverty, working 14 hour days in a cotton mill before skydiving changed everything for her. She got married at age 12, became a mother at 13 and lost her husband soon thereafter. Georgina was 15 when she first saw Charles Broadwick’s famous parachute show and felt so inspired she insisted on joining his troupe. She soon earned the nickname “Tiny Broadwick” or “Doll Girl” because of her small size and was a great hit at the carnivals. Dressing up in ruffled bloomers, pink bows and ribbons in her hair, Tiny drew large crowds everywhere she went with her daredevil manoeuvres. She was soon approached by famed pilot, Glen Martin, who wanted her for his airplane shows. Charles Broadwick developed a silk parachute for Tiny, which was packed into a knapsack attached to a jacket using harness straps. A string was woven through the canvas covering of the parachute and attached to the plane’s fuselage. As soon as she jumped, the cover would tear away and the parachute would fill with air. For her first airplane jump, Tiny sat on a trap seat, outside the cockpit and behind the wing. The parachute was on a shelf above her. Glen Martin ascended to an altitude of 2000 feet, where Tiny pulled a lever, allowing the seat to drop out from underneath her. The parachute opened up and she floated down gently, landing in Griffith Park. Tiny later also became the first female parachutist to land in water. In 1914, during a demonstration jump from a military plane that went horribly wrong, Tiny became the first person to do a planned free-fall. During this jump, the line of her parachute became tangled in the plane’s tail assembly. The wind was whipping her around and it was impossible to get back into the plane. Tiny however kept her cool and decided to cut all, but a short piece of the line and plummet toward the earth. Pulling this line by hand, she freed the parachute to open up, demonstrating the principle of the rip cord. By surviving this accident, Tiny showed that it wasn’t necessary for a parachute to be attached to a plane in order to open it. It was possible for a pilot to safely jump from a damaged plane. Georgia Thompson (Tiny Broadwick) Through WW1, Tiny worked as an advisor for the U.S. Army Air Corps. During her life, she made over a 1000 jumps from planes and survived several mishaps. She once ended up on top of a train; got tangled up in a windmill as well as high-tension wires. Despite suffering numerous injuries during her career, she lived a long and full life, dying at age 85. Women in Skydiving Today 63-Way Head Down Women's World Record Ever since the first female pioneers made their first jumps, women have been setting new records in skydiving. We decided to compile a list of some of the most impressive female skydiving achievements to date: A new world record for the largest female head-down freefly formation was set in 2013 in Arizona, where 63 women linked arms for a minute and a half to hold the formation. The women ranged in age between 20 and 52 years old and reached speeds of over 165 mph as they were falling upside down, head first toward the Arizona desert. Participants came from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, France and Russia. The world record for the largest all-female skydiving formation is held by 181 women from 31 countries and was set in Perris, California. With this feat, the women managed to raise over $900,000 for the fight against breast cancer. This record will be challenged in October 2014 when an attempt is made to exceed 200 jumpers. U.S. skydiver, Cheryl Stearns, holds the record for the most parachute descents by a woman, with a total of 15,560 in August 2003. To date, her total amount of skydives has exceeded 18,000. She is also the Guinness World Record holder for the most jumps in 24 hours by a female skydiver, with 352 jumps in 1995. The oldest person to have done a skydive jump is Hildegarde Ferrea, who was 99 years old when she did a tandem jump in 1996, at Dillingham Field in Oahu, Hawaii. 181-Way Women's World Record Conclusion Skydiving is a sport where female skydivers may be in the minority, but looking back in history we see that women have played a very important role through the years, directly and indirectly to help develop the sport to what it is today. We expect that this is also how it will be in the future and look forward to seeing more achievements and inventions from the fairer sex.
  19. nettenette

    How Density Affects Your Destiny

    When Tiptoe Landings Disappear Into Thin Air When you come screaming in and tumble halfway down the landing area at a new dropzone, it’s unlikely that you would chalk your misery up to “pressure altitude corrected for nonstandard temperature and humidity.” Maybe, however, you should – and if you know a little more about how it works, maybe you won’t find yourself in that grass-stained position. It’s called density altitude, and the struggle is real. 1. Remember the ball pit. You remember playing in the ball pit in the indoor playground, right? You’d take a running leap into the middle of the pit, diving into a big, forgiving pile of colorful plastic that cushioned your fall. If you took a running leap into a ball pit with just a few scattered balls rolling around at the bottom, you’d expect a different result. The sky is kinda like that. When we talk about air density, we’re referring to the number of air molecules in a given volume of space. High-density air has more molecules -- more balls. Low-density air has fewer. 2. Respect the ball pit. Just like an empty ball pit doesn’t slow you down on your way to the floor, low-density air doesn’t slow down the wing as much as high-density air does. This changes the canopy’s flying dynamics, making the system fly faster – sometimes, much faster – than normal. As you might imagine from the term “density altitude,” altitude has a lot to do with the density of air. It’s inversely proportionate, so higher altitudes have lower density altitude – fewer air molecules in a given volume – than lower altitudes. This makes sea-level landings more docile than those at, say, Mile-Hi Skydiving in Denver or Skydive the Wasatch in Utah. 3. Factor in the other variables. Altitude density is not simply another name for air density. It’s affected by a few more factors. Altitude density combines the effects of temperature, humidity and weather systems with altitude to measure the altitude at which your airfoil behaves as though it’s flying. If you travel for boogies, you may have experienced this in your skydiving career: with a few temperature and pressure changes, your canopy might behave as though it’s flying at Mile-Hi when you’re jumping in Moab. If you’re a little confused by that, you’re not alone. The key to understanding is to know that density altitude tells you where your canopy “thinks” it’s flying under standard temperature and pressure conditions, that highly evasive moment of total equilibrium. The “standard” comes from the fact that temperature and pressure decrease predictably as altitude increases. As such, a “standard” temperature and pressure can be assigned to any given spot on the altitude scale, dropping proportionally with altitude from the standard 15 degrees Celsius at sea level. Take a weather system through that same point, however, and you’ll need to start making some adjustments. a high-pressure area pushes more air density into the equation, and a low-pressure system does the opposite. Heat it up, and the molecules spread apart, lessening the pressure/density; cool it down, and the molecules snuggle in together, increasing the pressure/density. Humidity is a little more complicated, but super-interesting. When the weather is humid, we tend to describe the air as “heavy.” That description is utterly (and somewhat surprisingly) unscientific, as water vapor weighs almost half as much as dry air. When it’s humid, heavy dry-air molecules such as oxygen and nitrogen are replaced by much lighter water molecules, greatly decreasing the density of the air. 4. Review the Cliff Notes. It’s easy to misunderstand (or misremember) the terminology. High density altitude means fast landings. Low density altitude means slower landings. Altitude and temperature are the factors that will deliver the most noticeable changes to the way your canopy flies. Humidity will affect your experience less. (Remember that – in this order – low, cold and dry equals slow, that high, hot and wet equals fast.) Consider upsizing to a more docile rental canopy if you’re making a big jump in density altitude (for example, from a coastal DZ to a high-mountain DZ). Higher density altitude? Your canopy will eat up more altitude in a turn and stall at a faster forward speed. Be ready. When you’re setting up a landing in a place with a significantly higher density altitude than you’re used to, give yourself plenty of room to land (and a bit of privacy for a PLF, if you care about such things). You won’t be able to just plop it down as you’re accustomed to, so focus on flying your canopy all the way through the flare and your almost-certainly-necessary run-out.
  20. admin

    Love is in the air

    TUJUNGA -- As they jumped from a plane at 1,300 feet above Perris Valley Skydiving Center and fell at speeds of up to 120 mph, a husband and wife kissed while their high-flying wedding party formed a heart-shaped formation around them in celebration of 25 years of marriage. Jim Papke and Titania Pashkova of Tujunga both agreed it was the best dive they've ever had. Papke, who dressed up for the April 1 jump in a white jumpsuit, tuxedo shirt, bow tie and corsage, said that despite several weeks of rain delays and bad weather on the day of the jump, it turned out to be a beautiful day for him and his bride. "To share the whole experience with our friends was great," Papke said. "Life is short, so enjoy the ride." The couple's actual anniversary is Feb. 21. Pashkova, who wore a white helmet, a veil and flowers Velcroed onto her wrist, said the jump was "fantastic." "It's just tumbling and dancing in the air," said Pashkova, who owns and operates Pashkova Studios, a dance studio in Tujunga. "We only gave our parents three days' notice the first time we were married, so this time we planned ahead and involved our friends." Though risk and fear factors certainly come into play when throwing yourself from an airplane and free falling for about a minute, both Papke and Pashkova said they were more cautious in their daily lives because of 15 or more years' experience skydiving. "I feel more at ease in the air than I do in city traffic," Papke, an aviation teacher and member of the Screen Actors Guild, said. "The whole idea of jumping out of a plane doesn't bother me." The Rev. Kathy Theodore of North Hollywood was in the plane to conduct the service, which had to fit into a 12-minute time window right before the group jumped. "I had to yell everything," said Theodore, who opted not to jump. "It was cool, and the most wacky wedding vow renewal ceremony I've ever done."
  21. nettenette

    You Know Nothing About Seatbelts - Part 1

    The History Lesson You Never Got Image by Lukasz Szymanski If you look at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports, DiverDriver.com, our own Dropzone.com and the world’s newspaper reports, you’ll notice something interesting: the last couple of years were bad for forced landings, but good for survivors. Since December 2014, the total has been 18 forced landings, involving more than 100 occupants--but only one fatal crash (the May 2016 tragedy in Hawaii, the circumstances of which were too violent for safety restraints to have helped). Every incident is, of course, multifactorial, but there’s a simple reason that more skydivers haven’t been grievously injured or killed in these crashes: correctly installed, correctly used seatbelts. In an incident that involves a loss of power after takeoff and forces a landing, it’s seatbelts that save the jumpers’ (and pilots’) hides. It hasn’t always been this way. Seatbelts for skydivers used to be just as casual as seatbelts for motorists used to be, in the good-old-bad-old days. In the late 1970s, very few jump planes had seat belts. Single-Cessna DZs flew third-hand airplanes that were gutted to reduce weight, while large "destination" DZs flew World War 2 surplus DC-3s and Beech 18s. These war-surplus airplanes had been through so many different owners, and gutted so many times, that the original seat belts were an ancient memory. A few rare jumpers counted themselves lucky if they had a frayed cargo strap to hold onto. A Change in Policy Then a series of bloody accidents in the early 1990s forced the FAA to enforce its preexisting FARs requiring seatbelts for everyone in the sky. These FARS require all skydivers to be seated and belted in for taxi, take-off and landing (as and when that eventuates). It’s easy to forget why this maybe-sometimes-silly-seeming rule was set down, but there’s lots of scar tissue to back it up. Our POPS mamas and papas learned the hard way, so we don’t have to. The first tragedy in this particular series struck at Perris in April of 1992. Contaminated fuel caused a Twin Otter--containing two pilots and twenty jumpers--to lose power at 200 feet over the runway. The engine failed, and the pilot feathered the wrong prop, causing a total loss of thrust. When it came back down, the aircraft over-ran the runway into a drainage ditch. The airplane slammed to an abrupt halt. The fuselage collapsed all the way back to the bulkhead at the rear of the cockpit, killing both pilots instantly and sliding the unbelted skydivers to the front of the cabin, crushing or asphyxiating each other in the process. Six skydivers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Sixteen died. (For a detailed account, read survivor Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld's book, "Above all Else." Make sure you have Kleenex available when you do.) The second pivotal crash occurred Labour Day 1992, in Hinckley, Illinois. That day, a Beech 18, full of holiday tandems, lost an engine shortly after take-off. They never climbed high enough to bail out. The pilot prepared to force-land in a farmer's field, but got too slow when he reduced power on the good engine. The Beech stalled, flipped and dumped the unbelted jumpers on their heads. Everyone on board was killed. At one of the many, many Hinckley ash dives, Jack Hooker brought a keg of beer and told the gathered mourners that he had been working on a solution. He had installed prototype seatbelts in the Cessna 182 that hauled jumpers during slow days at Hinckley. He sewed custom seatbelts for aerobatic, glider and warbird pilots. It’s a good thing he was on it. Over the winter of 1992/1993, the Federal Aviation Adminisration laid down the law for the USPA: either make seatbelts fashionable, or suffer industry-crushing regulatory consequences. From there, the USPA did a commendable job of popularizing seatbelts among skydivers. During the first AFFI course of January 1993, candidates were told to belt themselves in before taxi or they’d fail the evaluation dive. At the time, it was revolutionary, but the policy was vindicated a few months later--in the spring of 1993--when another Twin Beech crashed near Xenia, Ohio and everyone onboard survived. Soon, seatbelts became the new norm almost everywhere. No Guarantees “Almost everywhere,” unfortunately, hasn’t been able to save everybody. In July of 2006, a Twin Otter crashed in Missouri. There were some seatbelts involved, but they were incorrectly installed and incorrectly used. Unrestrained skydivers slammed into belted skydivers at high speeds. All but two skydivers were killed; the two survivors were critically injured. One of those survivors, an American Airlines pilot, was paralyzed in the accident, therefore losing his career. He took his own life. On August 3, 2008, a Lodi, California-based King Air had a forced landing near Pitt Meadows, Canada. Because the plane had been fitted with just enough seatbelts to satisfy the FAA, but versions that were too short to wrap around the jumpers’ waists. As a result, only the pilot wore a lap-belt--and he was the least injured, because he had a proper seat and seatback. In the hard landing, all seven skydivers slammed forward in the cabin. Nobody died, but everyone on the load suffered grievously, and the jumper on the bottom of the pile ended up with a life-changing list of brain injuries. These days, seatbelts are de rigueur on non-sketchball dropzones around the world--and that’s a relief, because their importance goes well beyond their stopping power in the event of an actual-factual crash. In the next installment, we’ll talk about how seatbelts affect everything from general flight efficiency to wild evasive swerving.
  22. At Work With Kenyon Salo and Team Thunderstorm Kenyon Salo stays pretty busy. When I talk to him, he’s been -- well -- kinda slammed. “I’ve been doing a lot of skydiving, a little bit of BASE jumping, lots of wingsuiting, building the brand of The Bucket List Life, a dynamic lifestyle design community, doing a lot of keynotes, running a bunch of seminars and trainings...” He pauses for a moment. “And I’m leaving for Cozumel in half an hour to go scuba diving for a week. I should probably pack.” Kenyon’s also a professional exhibition skydiver. He’s an athlete on not one, but two skydiving demonstration teams. He’s on the Mile-Hi Demonstration Team (the home team for his dropzone, Mile-Hi Skydiving), which does high-profile demo jumps all over the state. He’s also on the official Denver Broncos parachute team: “Team Thunderstorm.” Thunderstorm is unique in the world: no other team in the NFL has their own team of professional parachutists. The team jumps into every single home game. That would be impressive in and of itself, of course -- but there’s more. The Broncos stadium is as unique as the team that jumps into it. It’s one of the steepest, tightest sports stadiums in the United States. Oh -- and the entire stadium is criss-crossed with metal cables during the high profile games (which is more often than not, since the Denver Broncos are Super Bowl Champions). “As far as exhibition jumping is concerned, the Bronco’s stadium -- or “Sports Authority Field,” as it’s known officially -- is the diamond. There is a not a harder stadium that’s being jumped right now,” Kenyon explains. “A lot of the older stadiums are really splayed out, where the Bronco’s stadium is really upright. And then there are the cables, of course. This is the most technical demo jump in skydiving.” To do what Kenyon and his team do on game day, you have to have quite a resume: you have to be a competition-level swooper, you have to be able to speak eloquently to the media, and you have to land a tiny parachute in wicked conditions. Perfectly. Every. Single. Time. That is, to say the least, a difficult job position to fill. Understandably, Team Thunderstorm is small. It has six members, no more, no less: Jimmy Tranter, Stuart Schoenfeld, Justin Thornton, Kenyon Salo and Allison Reay. The number never changes. If one of the jumpers is unavailable on the day of the jump, that jumper is not subbed out. “The six of us know each other’s flying with great precision,” Kenyon explains, “And we can predict each other, every time. That safety is worth its weight in gold.” The Air Force used to get into that stadium with 250- or 260-square-foot canopies, navigating the stadium’s unusual topography by sinking their big canopies perilously in and executing a low turn before setting them down. It worked. But then the stadium installed more cables and the pre-game show wanted a higher-speed exhibition. Team Thunderstorm had to envision a better way -- and they did. “We decided to jump 97-to-120-square-foot Spectres,” Kenyon says. “The reason we jump those is because we have to dive the parachute across the crowd while still keeping a mandated 50-foot distance above them. We do hook turns into the stadium, down the stands, carving right. We pop a toggle at something like 150 feet, then carve across the field, then land.” “Basically, it’s like parallel parking a Ferrari at 60 miles an hour,” he laughs. “And 99% of the time, we stop between the 20 yard line and the end zone.” The first time Kenyon made the jump he describes as a moment of “terrifying confidence.” He knew he could do it -- after all, he’d made dozens of successful jumps into the empty stadium before he got the green light to join the team on game day. “Prior to being accepted as a team member,” Kenyon says, “I’d take advantage of any practice day I could get. I did a lot of practice when there were no actual games on the field. But I was also practicing at the dropzone. I would fly that canopy as much as I could -- work hard on the turn -- and work with Jimmy Tranter, a phenomenal canopy coach for brand new jumpers as well as for Team Thunderstorm, who gave the final okay to DZO and Team Thunderstorm Organizer Frank Casaras, for me to join the team on game days. Jimmy has got 25,000 jumps. When he speaks, everybody listens.” That constant practice is vital for a jump like this. Even without the dizzyingly steep sides and cable obstacles at the Broncos stadium, stadium jumps are so legendary that they have their own classification in the taxonomy of exhibition jumping. (The classifications are, in order of difficulty: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 -- and “Stadium.”) This is true because of the super-challenging conditions a stadium creates. The rim of a stadium creates puckering turbulence as the wind hits it from the outside, spilling rough air down into the bowl. These conditions are not for the faint-of-heart. “When we come over that rim,” Kenyon says, “We have to be prepared for anything and everything. You can easily have 12 mile-an-hour wind at the rim and no wind on the field, so that means within 300 feet of difference in altitude you have got a huge difference in wind speed. And it’s often in different directions.” “Our small canopies help with that,” he continues, “Because, as we dive through the stadium, speed equals lift -- and the fluid dynamics also make the canopy rigid for smooth flying and landings. In the Bronco’s stadium, time runs in milliseconds. From the point you come over the rim -- and by that time, you are going very quickly down the field -- you are flying through and underneath a netting of metal cables. “There’s a single place you can enter,” Kenyon explains. “As soon as you do, you’re moving across the field very quickly, and you’re avoiding those cables. All the cables for the field goal cameras sit at 150 feet. The skycam cables come from the top corners and extend down diagonally; there’s around 350 feet of cable there, stretching down to a point the ground from two directions.” He gives a sideways grin. “It’s very challenging, yet every team member is absolutely prepared mentally and professionally for this demonstration.” Challenging, yes. Injurious -- not so far. At time of publication, Team Thunderstorm boasted a 100% safety record. Every team jumper has landed on the field on every single jump, with no close calls. “We have strict parameters that we must follow that are set forth by the USPA (United States Parachute Association) for how demos of this level and caliber must be handled,” Kenyon continues, “Sometimes we have to call it because the cloud ceiling is too low or the winds are beyond our limits. It’s those moments that make this team professional because we always err on the side of caution to make sure safety is paramount.” “Something Jimmy Trantor taught us, which I hold in the highest regard, is that we must constantly update our mental map on these jumps,” Kenyon articulates. “It’s a running inner monologue that focuses your awareness. ‘I made the turn; ‘the winds have changed;’ ‘I’m going down the crowd now;’ ‘I’m getting a little crosswind over here;’ ‘I’m a little bit over the sideline, I’m bringing it back over the center;’ ‘the field is a little wet;’ update, update, update. We spend the entire jump updating our mental patterns and adjusting. Immediately.” It’s a zen exercise to keep a high-quality inner monologue going in a stadium situation -- sometimes at night, with pyro; sometimes in wild conditions; always, with the throbbing energy of a massive, excited crowd. “There’s nothing like jumping out of the plane at 5,000 feet and already hearing the crowd beneath you,” Kenyon exudes. “The crowd sees us exit and just erupts. They are screaming and yelling, and you’re suddenly filled with the knowledge that you’re doing it for them -- the fans that have supported you for seven seasons running; for the camaraderie of the team around you; for the guys playing great football.” And for the love of skydiving, of course.
  23. Wellington (dpa) - Police were called when passers by complained a pornographic video was being shown in a shop window in the main street of New Plymouth, in New Zealand's North Island, a report said Friday. The Taranaki Skydiving Club was using the empty shop window as an advertising space, continuously running an eight-hour video on the exhilarating attractions of the aerial sport, the local Daily News reported. At one stage two women were shown skydiving completely nude, legs wide apart. One naked woman was then seen celebrating her dive by doing backflips across a field. Club members later claimed they knew nothing about the naked skydiving but the video tape had been removed. The Daily News reported they declined to say whether their advertising had led to a rise in new members.
  24. The expansion of iFly indoor skydiving centers continues, this time with development planned for the Middletown, Ohio area. Start Aviation LLC and iFly Corp recently signed an agreement that would see a vertical wind tunnel build in Middleton. Though the exact location of where the tunnel will be built is still undecided, Middle Regional Airport has been listed as a potential location. Start Aviation LLC is the operator of Start Skydiving, a dropzone that has in recent years shown itself to be one of the best in the country, while iFly has shown its dominance in the global wind tunnel market with more than 20 wind tunnels located around the world, and the company continuing to show impressive growth. While still in the early stages, aspects of the project have been released; such as the plans for the indoor skydiving location to include a restaurant, classroom and an office. With the development of the Middletown tunnel, there will be a total of 15 iFly tunnels in the United States, several of which have been established in the past couple years. With the next closest tunnel being located in Chicago, the city hopes that the new attraction will bring in visitors from surrounding locations.
  25. With more than four thousand jumps over the last fourteen years, Jarno McCordia is one of the most experienced and highly respected wingsuit pilots in the world. Here he joins us to discuss a couple of upcoming projects from the pointy end of wingsuit flying. First up is a look at the soon-to-open indoor wingsuit facility in Stockholm. Towards the end of 2016 footage began to emerge of an angled tunnel facility in Sweden where some ambitious aeronautical engineers have been conspiring to do for wingsuit flying what vertical wind tunnels have done for our skydiving skills - change everything. Brought quietly onto the project in early 2016 by the founder of Phoenix Fly and wingsuit development grand wizard Robert Pecnik, Jarno immediately saw the potential: “The whole thing was already underway a fair bit when I got involved in an active way. Secretly Robert had already been working for almost a year with the team behind the technology to realise the project. The first test flights had already been done when I was invited to come take a look at the flying and help assess things - mostly from an instructional point of view but also to see how far we could push the flying. Normally a lot of the development and testing we do together is open and shared process - so to have Robert tell me he had some news but couldn't show me anything until we met in person made me suspect it was something big.” “The flying I saw at that point was just steady cruising, but it immediately made me realise what I was seeing and the potential of how it could change the sport in a similar way that indoor skydiving transformed Freefly and FS in terms of skills and training.” Many disciplines within skydiving are evolving quickly and wingsuit flying is no exception. Suit designs are continually updated as our methods are refined and our abilities better understood. Steep and fast is the way to maximise the potential of a wingsuit - but getting it right takes time. How does the tunnel work and what have you learned about the instruction process so far? “The whole tunnel chamber is a moving structure of which the angle can be altered from pretty much flat to almost vertical. This ability to do this gives us a glide ratio varying from 1:1 all the way up to 3.65:1 (comfortably more than the sustained full glide on high range wingsuits) and the controllable speed of the tunnel is from 0 to almost 300km/h. Balancing these two factors means the tunnel is able to match the glide angle and for the suit one is flying and be appropriate for the skill level of the pilot. We have looked a lot at the teaching technique for beginners as we see that as being a significant percentage of customers. Experienced wingsuit pilots will also need to learn the basics first so that was an important area to focus on.” The indoor skydiving industry has a complex system of managing students abilities while they are training developed over many years . With good quality instruction accidents are few and far between but there is still some inherent risk. What have you learned so far about keeping people safe? “In terms of spotting and safety, procedures will vary a lot from what people are used to. I cannot go into to much detail yet due to a pending patent, but there is an assisted flight system that holds the student in a central position in the tunnel. There is free range of movement in all directions but only up a certain degree. In a similar way to how a seatbelt works, any rapid movement towards the ground or the walls is halted in a gentle way. Once pilots reach the stage where they can fly around free without any assistance it will be possible to get into close contact with the floor and walls, though experience has shown that the lower windspeed and design of the tunnel make those situations a lot less severe than one would expect. I’ve been practicing some quite aggressive acrobatics and of course it does not always go down without a hitch, though due to the padding and angle of the chamber you never really hit hard and you get gently rolled down to the floor - feet first.” “Initially there is something very intimidating about flying in a confined space but it pushes the accuracy and precision of your flying to a new level. It has definitely helped me realise how much further we can develop the precision of our flying. Even in the smaller test setup we have been flying 2-way and performing advanced acrobatics. Once the full-scale tunnel opens in September the possibilities are limitless - we are already going to host the first indoor acrobatics competition in December. LT1 is currently scheduled to open in September 2017. You can read more about the project and the history of the facility here: https://flywingsuit.se/