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Found 275 results

  1. admin

    Dropzone Unknown

    With all of the worldwide disasters happening, have you thought about joining in and helping out somehow? Skydiving skills, to reach people in isolated areas, are being used by Remote Area Medical, to bring in help where it is needed yet where it is inaccessible by conventional ground transportation. Remote Area Medical - RAM Airborne Remote Area Medical, RAM, has been providing humanitarian aid to people worldwide since 1985, with the airborne division currently on the rise and seeking skydivers. Founded by Stan Brock, from the show Wild Kingdom, RAM and its volunteers are “Pioneers of No-Cost Health Care” with well over 400 missions in the US and abroad. The first RAM Airborne mission was to Tennessee in 2005, proving that skydivers and cargo can be dropped into an unknown area, on top of a hill in the Appalachian Mountains. The next RAM Airborne mission is to Guyana in South America, to clear trees from existing grass runways; making them accessible once more by airplanes. From March 26 to April 9, RAM’s mission to Guyana will provide air-ambulance access to the people living in the nearby villages. This is a non-medical mission, but medical support is needed, in the event of an injury or medical emergency during the mission. An additional trail team is being recruited, not requiring skydiving skills, to re-clear a trail in the Amazon forest, connecting two villages to another airstrip which was repaired by a RAM team in 2004. This will be a physically demanding mission, to clear large trees and thick undergrowth, while living in a tent or hammock. Hiking through the Amazon forest is no walk through the park either, with machetes in hand and packs on your back; these are a few things to keep in mind, and a few things to savor, for those who want to come for the adventure. Skills Being Sought: Skydivers must have a B-license or better, with an average of 100 jumps as a minimum; good canopy control and a canopy wing loading of 1.3 or less are expected, because there’s no room for error, and no hospitals to go to if you biff your landing. As you may have guessed, no hook turns allowed. You bring in your own gear for camping, and you pay for your own airfare to and from Georgetown, Guyana – but it is tax-deductible, since it is for a humanitarian effort. It is the most direct way to give, by providing your skills directly where it is needed! RAM is also seeking people with medical skills, to handle any potential injuries that may happen, one per team at a minimum – more if possible – plus some basic medical supplies. The rest of the team is not required to be medically trained but everyone must be physically prepared – this is not your typical working-holiday trip overseas – it is hard work and it is worth it. Videographers are also being sought, to help document this first-time-ever event. Proof of skills will be necessary, to ensure one’s safety, and others’ as well; video cameras may also be provided, as details are confirmed. Videographers would be the first to land, then film the others as they land; the case-of-beer policy will be waived, mainly because there are no stores to go get any and no refrigeration either. If you or someone you know is interested – here are some things to begin doing: Work on hop and pop exits and accurate landings Gear up your camping supplies – for a two-week camping trip Get in shape – it’s a load of work and physically exhausting Join RAM as a volunteer – send an e-mail to karen @ karenhawes.com for further details, or go to http://www.karenhawes.com/ram/RAM-Mission-FAQ.htm RAM Camp If you want to work on the skills necessary for this type of skydiving mission, there will be a “RAM Camp” training program offered in mid-March at Skydive Arizona, prior to the Guyana mission from March 16 - 19, to hone or develop your skills in: Spotting, exiting and landing in unfamiliar areas Cargo-bail preparations and air drops Basic field-medical skills, stitching open-wounds, making traction splints Basic camping and navigation skills Other survival tips and tricks to know, plus pitfalls to avoid Prospective volunteers, who complete this course and display the necessary skill level required, will be selected over volunteers who do not. For more information about the RAM Camp, go to http://www.karenhawes.com/ram/RAM-Camp.htm This course will be taught by three RAM volunteers, with years of experience in the areas of skills being taught: Rene Steinhauer – Medical Aid in Remote Areas Bryan Burke – Cargo/Spotting/Airdrops and Navigation Karen Hawes – Travel Tips (for men and women) and Gadgets in the Wild RAM Camp Instructors All three trainers will cover their own areas of expertise, and survival skills training, based on actual in-field experience; with personal experiences ranging from domestic and international relief efforts, everyone has something to learn in this course. Here’s a brief background of each instructor: Rene Steinhauer RN, CFRN, EMT-P – Rene is a currently working as a flight nurse in Antarctica till February 2006. He has worked on humanitarian projects around the world and has also worked as a combat medic on the front lines in Iraq. He has trained civilian and military personnel in remote and combat medicine for years. He is also one of the founding members of RAM Airborne. Bryan Burke – Safety and Training Advisor at Skydive Arizona, with two decades in the sport and 3,200 jumps. Although he is known in the sport as the organizer of numerous boogies and competitions, he also has considerable experience with parachute testing, skydiving for the entertainment industry, and other applications that require precise airborne delivery. Most of his off-DZ time is spent kayaking, backpacking, or rafting in remote wilderness areas. Karen Hawes – A Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin, with 500 jumps on 6 continents in 12 countries and at over 100 dropzones, she has been a RAM volunteer since 2004. She is the current RAM Airborne recruiter, with three missions to: Guyana (airstrip repair), Sumatra (tsunami relief), and Tennessee (first RAM airdrop mission). A fourth RAM mission to New Orleans is scheduled, for the second week in February 2006. She is also working on configuring solar power sources for hand-held electronic devices, to be used on remote-area missions. For More Information and to Sign-Up For more information on the mission in March and the RAM Camp, go to: http://www.karenhawes.com/ram/RAM-Mission-FAQ.htm http://www.karenhawes.com/ram/RAM-Camp.htm Come One, Come All! If someone you know is interested, but not a skydiver, then now is the time to begin training and cap it off with one of the RAM Camps, to be ready for future missions. If you already have the skydiving skills, you can take advantage of this unique opportunity to add “Humanitarian” to your list of skills and world experiences. Find out more about RAM at www.ramusa.org and join the adventure!
  2. admin

    Avalore Freefly Courses

    When first learning to freefly the members of the Avalore Freefly School received a lot of 'coaching' from small freefly schools that offered little more than a good video of flailing attempts of headup flying. This gave them the idea of running a freefly school that provides a high level of customer service and support. They aim to help students with every aspect of their coaching trips from booking hotels to getting a reserve repack as well as supporting them after their coaching as much as possible. The school has spent a considerable amount of time improving their flying and coaching technique from the likes of Max Cohn, Chris Fiala and the UK Sports Council. They have developed numerous resources to help their students from written articles to training videos. As well as the normal coaching jump options the Avalore Freefly School (http://www.avalorefreefly.com) offers freefly courses aimed at beginner freeflyers as well as the more advanced freeflyer. The courses are for the individual wanting to learn to fly in a headup orientation or wanting to gain their BPA (British Parachute Association) FF1 qualification. Much like an AFF course, they are split up into levels to learn different skills. Courses usually last 4 days and consist of an average of 20 coached jumps, which can take you from having done no freeflying to having your FF1 qualification. The advantage of running courses is that as well as covering all the skills needed to fly in a headup orientation you also learn every other aspect of freeflying over the duration of the course. Everything is covered from exit orders, group separation and gear issues to planning successful safe freefly jumps with your friends. The courses include thorough briefs/debriefs, a copy of your coaching jumps on DVD and a comprehensive course manual covering everything you need to know. Your coach is always on hand after the course for continuous advice and support. The school has received excellent testimonials from their students all of which have returned or have booked to return in the near future. Some comments from their students are quoted below: Billy Gibbons, January 2006: "Contact was established quickly and maintained right through up until my visit, even with Louis taking time to offer hints and tips via e-mail for me to try at home and in the air which I found invaluable and which in my mind displayed excellent customer commitment." Kevin Dawes, November 2005: "During these jumps my coach quickly helped me overcome some of the bad habits I had obtained over the years. The detailed briefs he gave me before and after each jump helped improve my understanding a great deal. He also ensured that before we exited the plane I was in a relaxed state and was not rushing. This made all the difference and helped focus my mind." The Avalore Freefly School has locations in Ocana, Spain and also at the Black Knights Parachute Centre in UK. The head coach is Louis Harwood who is based in Spain and Rob McVey is the UK coach. All of the coaches have been trained as coaches by the UKCC. Coaches from the school Louis Harwood and Rob McVey train along with David Downham to form the Avalore Freefly team. They don't claim to be champions but enjoy competing and use it to improve their own skills and also their coaching. They believe you don't have to be a world champion to run a successful freefly school. They have worked hard to become good coaches and run the school the way they wanted to be coached when they first started. It goes to show that commitment and hard work does pay off! Feel free to contact the school to book your course or ask any questions you might have. You can also have a look at the website for more information. Louis Harwood Avalore Freefly http://www.avalorefreefly.com info@avalorefreefly.com (UK) 01212880618 (ES) +34662021951
  3. admin

    First jet powered Birdman flight

    Tuesday 25th October 2005 - It was an untypical crisp October morning in Lahti, Finland when Visa Parviainen and the BirdMan Rocket Team attempted to make the first ever jet powered, birdman flight. The team set up camp in a small park in downtown Lahti, to prepare for the jump. The locals appeared to be not-at-all phased by the fact that some person was igniting a jet engine in their tranquil little park while they were walking their house pets. The launch platform selected for the day was provided by the famous Finnish Balloon Bros, who graciously offered their services for this historic event. Visa had designed a unique launch platform to hang outside the balloon to avoid 'cooking' the balloon occupants during the ascent to altitude from the exhaust gases of the jet engines. Once Visa had adorned his birdman suit and rig on the ground, it was time to test the rocket boots. Each jet engine provides around 16kgs of thrust, and is primed with a mix of butane and propane. Once ignited, the engines rely on a steady supply of kerosene (JetA1) fuel. This fuel burns at around the rate of 0.5 litres per minute, on full power, for each jet engine. The combined thrust of both power plants was calculated to be enough to sustain level human flight in a wing suit for an average weight skydiver. Once all the gear checks were made and rigorous safety procedures executed on the ground, it was time to inflate the hot air balloon for the ascent. The Balloon Bros provided a smooth and relaxing ride up to altitude over the beautiful vista of the humble town of Lahti in middle Finland. The Balloon ascended over the unpopulated areas around the lakes and forests of rural Lahti, visa primed and started the rockets prior to exit. After warming up the engines in the cold surrounding atmosphere, it was time to make the attempt. The high pitch whine of the jet engines sounded surreal in the calm stillness of the hot air balloon. Tensions were high that this attempt would be a successful one. It was time to go, as the fuel was rapidly running out, Visa gave the all clear sign (a quick grin) at around 2300m (7000ft) before 'edging' off the platform into the first rocket-powered-human-flight attempt. The exit was stable and on-heading, after attaining normal bird-man flight, Visa requested full power from the engines, which responded smoothly in horizontal acceleration. After checking the altimeter several times, it was apparent that there was no appreciable loss in altitude for this period of time. Visa next changed his angle of attack by redirected the thrust and changing his body position to attain vertical climb. This caused a loss in horizontal speed, and stalled (the body?). Recovering from the stall was made easy because of the agility of the human body to change flight profile easily. A few more attempts at this exercise yielded the same result. Pretty soon it became apparent that fuel consumption would soon terminate the level flight portion of the jump. Visa simply rode out the rest of the jump in level flight following the highway until the fuel ran out. Visa then continued in normal bird-man flight until deployment altitude. The deployment sequence was normal, and the landing was uneventful. The jump has proven empirically that level human flight is possible and sustainable using the combination of jet engines and a bird-man suit. The strength required to control level flight was relatively easy, and controlling the direction of flight feels surprisingly natural. The duration of flight is simply a factor of the consumption of fuel of the engine(s) powering the flight. Visa Parviainen has proven that with a little innovation, determination and courage it has been possible to realise the dream of uninhibited human flying.
  4. How do you perform a canopy controllability check? What happens if you flare too high? How do you prevent that? What is your decision altitude? What does that term mean? How do you recognize a good canopy? How do you get the slider down if it's stuck partway up? How do you deal with closed end cells? How do you fix line twist? How do you use your reserve if you need it? How do you handle a horseshoe malfunction? How can you avoid losing sight of your reserve handle during a cutaway? What do you do if you’re in the plane and your jumpmaster tells you "BAIL OUT ON YOUR MAIN?" What do you do if your parachute deploys prematurely in the plane? How can you prevent this from happening? If you find yourself still in freefall and the altimeter needle is in the red, what do you do? If you're in freefall, and you're unstable but you're still above 5000 feet, how do you get stable again? If you find yourself in freefall at 5000 feet and you're unstable, what do you do? What do you do if two canopies are out? How do you control them? When would you cut one away? What would you do if the pilot chute goes over the front edge of the canopy? How do you handle a hard-to-pull main ripcord? If you start having some kind of serious problem during the freefall, how do you stop the skydive? If you see your jumpmaster pull, what does that indicate? What do you do if you can't find the main ripcord? How do you steer your canopy? How do you flare it? How is your reserve canopy different from your main? How do you collapse your canopy after landing to avoid being dragged? How do you prepare for a landing in trees? Rough terrain? Water? How do you determine wind direction? What direction should you land in with relation to the wind? How do you find the landing area? What do you do if you realize you will not be able to make it back to the landing area? What is the hand signal for pull? Check-altitude? Legs-out? Hips-down? Relax? What is your pull altitude on this dive? What are the manuevers you'll be expected to perform on this dive? IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, ASK A JUMPMASTER BEFORE YOU JUMP! REMEMBER, YOUR SAFETY IS IN YOUR HANDS.
  5. admin

    Air Adventures AFF: Level 1

    INTRODUCTION TO SKYDIVING JUMP SEQUENCE: When jumpmaster says "GET INTO POSITION", take your position in the door. You should be facing forward, with your left foot on the edge of the door. Keep your back low to avoid snagging your rig on the top of 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. Try to remain facing forward, and try to hit the wing with your pelvis as you leave the plane. Remember to ARCH! Count to four, maintaining a hard arch - "One thousand! Two thousand! Three thousand! Four thousand!" Do three practice ripcord touches - "Arch! Reach! Feel! Back to arch!" Check your altitude by turning your head to look at the altimeter on your left hand. Look at your main side jump master and shout your altitude at him - "Ten thousand feet!" Respond to any hand signals your main side JM gives you. Check your altimeter once every five to ten seconds, and shout your altitude to the main side JM each time. At 5000 feet, wave off once, then arch-reach-feel-pull. Hang on to the ripcord after the pull! Start counting - "One thousand! Two thousand! . . . . . . Five thousand!" to give your parachute time to open. Check your canopy to make sure you have a good parachute, unstow your brakes, and head back to the landing area. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Freefall awareness - Open your eyes and look around! Pay attention to hand signals. Altitude awareness - Check your altimeter once every 5-10 seconds, and tell your JM your altitude. Stability - Maintain the arch during the entire dive, especially on exit. Canopy control - Check your canopy upon opening, and listen to the radio during the descent. LEVEL ONE HINTS: To fix stability problems - ARCH! Check your altimeter at least once every five seconds. Time goes fast up there. Remember to keep your legs out. Don't let them collapse on your butt. 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
  6. admin

    AFF Training - Level 1

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 1 - Free Arm This dive is intended to be an introduction to skydiving. As such we will leave plenty of time to just arch and enjoy the experience. Concentrate on a good, relaxed arch, but don't forget to have fun. Remember to hang on to that ripcord at pull time. TLOs Perform a controlled exit. Exposure to continuous freefall. Heading awareness. Focused awareness and attention. Coordinated body movements with 3 practice pulls from free arm. Altitude awareness. Actual ripcord pull by 4000 feet. Dive Flow Running Description Hotel Check: Check In, look to left and wait for a nod. Check Out, look to the right and wait for a nod. Exit Count : On the C-128, the count is Prop, Up, Down, Arch. On the Twin Otter, it is Center, Out, In, Arch. In both cases the count should include both the verbal commands and the physical motions. Exit: Step off of the aircraft and push hips forward, chest forward, head back, and arms and legs to "boxman" position. HARM Check: Also called a Circle of Awareness or Circle of Observation. Heading, look forward and down at a 45 degree angle to ascertain heading. Altimeter, read the altitude on the chest-mounted altimeter. Reserve, look at reserve side jumpmaster and wait for a nod. Main, look at main side jumpmaster and wait for a nod. PRCT: A practice ripcord touch. Arch, insure a good arch at hips and chest. Look, tilt head to the right and look down the side of the body at ripcord. Reach, in with the right hand to place it over the ripcord handle while extending the left hand one foot over your head. Touch, recover to an arched position. Check, over right shoulder. Short Circles: Heading, Altitude, Reserve, Main. Performed throughout the dive to maintain awareness (indicated by the dotted lines on the dive flow). No nods from JMs. 5-5 Signal: An altitude awareness signal performed by the student at 5500'. The signal is given by closing the hands twice in quick succession. Pull: Arch, Look at ripcord, Reach for ripcord with right hand while extending left hand over head, Pull ripcord, Arch, Check over right shoulder for pilot chute launch. Primary Canopy Check: Performed five seconds after the Pull. The main canopy is checked overhead for Shape (rectangular), Spin (not spinning), Speed (floating, not falling), and Twists (spread risers and kick out). Release Toggles: by grasping them and pulling them quickly to the waist. Secondary Canopy Check: Slider Down, Endcells Open, Rips/Tears, Broken Lines. Controllability Check: Execute a turn in each direction and then a flare. Canopy Control: Locate the Airport and then the landing area. Fly back using the halfway down, halfway back rule. Watch your jumpmasters canopies. Setup For Landing: The landing setup consists of three legs: Downwind: Starting at 1000' fly to the downwind side of the target. Base: By 500', begin crabbing across the wind downwind of the target. Final: By 200', turn into the wind and fly towards the target. Once on final, no turns in excess of 45 degrees should be attempted. Prepare to Land: At 50', feet and knees together, toggles at ``full flight''. Flare:: At approximately 10', bring both toggles smoothly to your crotch, keeping your feet and knees together. If the flare occurs prematurely, slowly raise the toggles to your stomach, then re-flare at 10'. PLF: Parachute Landing Fall. Keeping feet together and hands in, roll with the landing taking the force on the fleshy parts of the body (feet, calves, thigh, butt, back/shoulder). Collapse the Canopy: by reeling in a toggle and running to the downwind side. Field Pack: the canopy, turn off the radio and AAD, return to the student packing area with the jumpmasters. Return: the helmet, goggles, altimeter, jumpsuit and radio. Congratulations You've just made your first skydive! Hand Signals Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7 Level 8
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    Air Adventures AFF: Level 2

    FORWARD MOTION JUMP SEQUENCE: When jumpmaster says "GET INTO POSITION", take your position in the door. You should be facing forward, with your left foot on the edge of the door. Keep your back low to avoid snagging your rig on the top of 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. Try to remain facing forward, and try to hit the wing with your pelvis as you leave the plane. Remember to ARCH! Count to four, maintaining a hard arch - "One thousand! Two thousand! Three thousand! Four thousand!" Do three practice ripcord touches - "Arch! Reach! Feel! Back to arch!" heck your altitude by turning your head to look at the altimeter on your left hand. Look at your main side jump master and shout your altitude at him - "Ten thousand feet!" Respond to any hand signals your MS JM gives you. When you see the "forward motion" signal (legs-out signal, moving away from you) do forward motion for six seconds - hands back by your waist, legs straight, toes pointed. After six seconds, return to a neutral arch. Don't bring your feet up too much! Check your altimeter. If below 6000 feet, shake your head - no more manuevers. At 5000 feet, wave off once, then arch-reach-feel-pull. Hang on to the ripcord after the pull! Start counting - "One thousand! Two thousand!" to give your parachute time to open. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Move forward through the sky by straightening your legs and bringing your arms back. Do three good PRCP’s to help you find the ripcord later. Pull at the right altitude. Maintain stability by keeping the arch. LEVEL TWO HINTS: To fix stability problems - ARCH! Make sure your legs are still out a little after each forward motion. Check your altimeter at least once every five seconds. Time goes fast up there. Your legs are 80% of your drive during forward motion. Make sure you get them out there. 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
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    AFF Training - Level 2

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 2 - Body Awareness Now that you have your feet wet, we will start working on trim maneuvers. There are a lot of things to accomplish on this level, so don't waste time geeking the camera. Once you are under canopy, try a few spiral turns (above 1500' please). TLOs Maximum free arm time. 3 PRCTs. Heading awareness during freefall. Trim control or body awareness exercises. Relaxed, arched body position through entire freefall. Pull by 3500 feet, look over right shoulder to observe pilot chute launch. 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 3 times. Short Circles: to maintain altitude awareness between maneuvers. Team Turn: initiated by looking over the arm in the direction of the desired turn to pick a heading refrence. Then bend his/her upper body 20 degrees at the waist in the direction of the turn. At the same time, drop the shoulder the turn is moving toward by 2-3 inches. Keep hands and arms still -- all motions are preformed from the waist. As the desired heading is aquired, return to a neutral boxman position. Forward Motion: initiated by extending legs (straightening them at the knees) while simaltanously bending arms at the shoulders to form a 'lazy W'. Hold for 3 seconds and return to a neutral boxman position. 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'. Prepare to Land: at 50'. 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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    Air Adventures AFF: Level 3

    TURNS JUMP SEQUENCE: When 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!" Do the exit count - "Ready! Set! Arch!" On "Arch!" step to the left, out of the plane. Count to four, maintaining a hard arch. Do one practice ripcord touch - "Arch! Reach! Feel! Back to arch!" Check your altitude. Look at your main side jump master and shout your altitude at him - "Ten thousand feet!" Your main-side jumpmaster will give you the left turn signal. When he does, look left, then turn left and face the reserve side jumpmaster. Check your altimeter. Your reserve side jumpmaster will give you a turn signal, either left or right. Look in the direction you want to turn , pick a landmark, and then turn 90 degrees towards it. Check your altimeter again. If below 6000 feet, shake your head - no more manuevers! At 5000 feet, wave off once, then arch-reach-feel-pull. Hang on to the ripcord after the pull! Count to five then check your canopy. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Do slow, controlled turns in each direction. Make sure you stop where you want to stop. Maintain good stability throughout the dive. Maintain altitude awareness by looking at your altimeter after every manuever. Respond correctly to all signals. Solo stable ripcord pull at the right altitude. Fly your canopy back to the LZ and land with minimal radio assistance. LEVEL THREE HINTS: To fix stability problems - ARCH! Remember - your body follows your eyes. Look, then turn. Keep your legs out and steady! Unwanted leg movement can keep you from turning. 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
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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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    Air Adventures AFF: Level 4

    RELEASE DIVE JUMP SEQUENCE: When your jumpmaster says "GET INTO POSITION", take your position in the door. There will be no reserve side JM on this dive. 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. Count to four, maintaining a hard arch. Do one practice ripcord touch. Check your altitude. Your JM may give you hand signals, and will then move in front of you. If everything is going well, and you seem stable, your JM will release you and fly 5-10 feet in front of you. Maintain hover control. If you slide backwards away from the JM, use forward motion to correct. Maintain heading. If you seem to be turning away from the JM, turn back towards him At 6000 feet, shake your head. Your JM will move back beside you when he sees this. Do not follow! Wave off and pull at 5000 feet. Count to five and check your parachute. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Maintain heading control by using your turning skills Maintain forward/back control by using your forward motion skills Stay stable by holding the arch throughout the dive Pull on your own at the right altitude. Hold the arch through the pull. Fly your canopy back to the LZ and land with no radio assistance. LEVEL FOUR HINTS: To fix stability problems - ARCH! Remember - pull at 5000 feet NO MATTER WHAT! Do not attempt to get stable if you find yourself on your back at 5000 feet. PULL IMMEDIATELY! 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
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    AFF Training - Level 4

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 4 - Turns to Redock Congrats, you are halfway through the AFF program. In the aircraft you should be paying careful attention to the spotting procedures. On the ground, you should be well along learning how to do a JMPI and packing. Under canopy try using risers (front and rear) for control up high. Though you are still a student, you should start preparing for the time when you will be off student status and jumping on your own. Safe skydiving requires good equipment. Begin talking with your instructors and other jumpers about what type of equipment you should purchase. It is recommended that you start by ordering an appropriately sized jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and altimeter. In fact, you can begin using these items before you complete the AFF program. TLOs Start and stop controlled turns. Forward motion to redock. Wave off, then pull at or above 3000 feet. Dive Flow Running Description Roach Hotel Check: Check In, but no check out. Exit Count: C-182 Prop, Up, Down, Arch; Otter Center, Out, In, Arch. HAM Check: Heading, Altimeter, Main JM. JM Gripswitch: Jumpmaster switches from side to front. More Maneuvers? Check Altimeter, if above 6000 feet signal with a nod yes. If below 6000 feet signal with a head shake no. In either case, JM has the final authority. 90 degree Turns: performed using a combination of bending and tilting the upper body. Initiate by looking over the arm in the direction of the turn. Bend upper body toward the turn at the waist and tilt shoulders by raising the shoulder opposite the direction of the turn by 3--4 inches. Keep arms in the same position at the shoulders and elbows, all motion should originate at the waist. Recover to box man as new heading is attained. Forward to Redock: At the completion of the 2nd turn, the JM will back up from 5--10 feet. Move forward by extending legs at the knees and bending arms at the shoulders. Keep elbows locked at 90 degrees. Hold position until redocked on JM, then recover to boxman. More Maneuvers? Yes if above 6000, else no. Wave Off: at 4500 feet by crossing hands above head twice with a large sweeping motion of the arms. Pull: at 4000 feet. Primary Canopy Check: Shape, Spin, Speed, Twist. Release Toggles, Secondary Canopy Check, Controlability Check. Canopy Control: halfway down, halfway back. Flare at 10 feet, 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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    Air Adventures AFF: Level 5

    SOLO TURNS AND FORWARD MOTION 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 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. Count to four, maintaining a hard arch. Do one practice ripcord touch. Check your altitude. Your JM may give you hand signals, and will then move in front of you. If everything is going well, and you seem stable, your JM will release you and fly 5-10 feet in front of you. Maintain hover control. If you slide backwards away from the JM, use forward motion to correct. Maintain heading. If you seem to be turning away from the JM, turn back towards him. Your JM will give you a turn signal - a hand pointed in one direction. Turn 180 away from the JM, then turn back. Check your altimeter. Your JM will not give you turn signals unless you check your altimeter first. Your JM will give you another turn signal. This time, turn 360 degrees, and stop facing him. Check your altimeter. If altitude permits, your JM will give you another turn signal. At 6000 feet, shake your head to indicate "no more manuevers." Your JM will move back beside you when he sees this. Do not follow! Wave off and pull at 5000 feet. Count to five and check your parachute. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS: Do smooth, slow turns in each direction. Do not allow yourself to build up speed in a fast turn. Maintain altitude awareness by checking your altimeter often. If you find yourself backsliding, use your forward-motion skills to correct it. Signal no-more-manuevers at 6000 feet, then wave off and pull at 5000 feet. LEVEL FIVE HINTS: To fix stability problems - ARCH! Check your altimeter after every turn. Be aware of your legs! Unwanted leg motion is one of the most common problems on level 5 jumps. 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
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    AFF Training - Level 5

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 5 - Turns to Redock II This level is like the last but the turns are 360 degrees and the amount of forward motion is greater. You should be assisting with the spot in the aircraft and with packing on the ground. Under canopy practice a "collision avoidance" maneuver by turning using a front or rear riser prior to releasing your toggles. TLOs 360 degree turns (one before each redock). Forward movement and docking without assistance. Control of all 3 axes (Pitch, Yaw, and Roll). Wave off, then pull at or above 3000 feet. Dive Flow Running Description Roach Hotel Check: Check In. Exit Count: C-182 Prop, Up, Down, Arch; Otter Center, Out, In, Arch. HAM Check: Heading, Altimeter, Main JM. JM Gripswitch: Jumpmaster switches from side to front. More Maneuvers? Yes if above 6000, else no. 360 degree Turns: one before each redock. Forward to Redock. More Maneuvers? Yes if above 6000, else no. Wave Off: at 4500 feet. Pull: at 4000 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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    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
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    AFF Training - Level 6

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 6 - Solo Exit You should now be able to spot and pack like a pro (if not, get on it before the next level). Under canopy try a ``maximum recovery flare'' by initiating a toggle turn and then bringing the other toggle down without letting up the first one (but try it up high). TLOs Brief pilot with assistance. Spotting direct to pilot. Perform a stable poised exit without assistance (solo, no-contact, with subterminal heading control). Two backloops. Tracking. Wave off, then pull at or above 3000 feet. Dive Flow Running Description Roach Hotel Check Check In. Exit Count C-182 Prop, Up, Down, Arch; Otter Center, Out, In, Arch. Solo Exit performed without the jumpmaster assisting in stability. Remember to arch hard on leaving. If stability is lost, recover using arch. Inversion recovery can be performed by briefly folding one arm across the chest to initiate a roll in that direction. JM Demonstrates Backloop. Get eye contact with the JM. He/she will initiate a backloop by drawing legs in and swinging arms using a large circular motion. Perform Backloop. Initiate by drawing legs in extending arms out and then down past legs using a circular motion. Recover to arch as you see green (ground) again. Repeat. Track by first getting a ground reference on the horizon. Face the reference and extend legs to straight out at knees. At the same time bring arms down and back until they are straight at the elbows and even with the lower back. Continue to arch at the hips and chest. Slowly recover to box man position by 4500 feet. Wave Off at 4000 feet. Pull by 3500 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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    AFF Training - Level 7

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 7 - Clearance Dive By now all of this should be easy. Good luck. Once you complete this level, you're ready to skydive on your own (after buying the DZ a case of beer for your accomplishment). TLOs Demonstrate ability to inspect, don and adjust equipment correctly. Demonstrate ability to inspect and pack main canopy. Explain and demonstrate knowledge of RW safety procedures. Brief pilot and spot correctly without assistance. Perform a diving exit (solo, no-contact --- maintain or recover control). Intentional front loop. Chain of controlled maneuvers. Tracking. Wave off, then pull at or above 3000 feet. Land within 25 meters of target without radio assistance. Dive Flow Running Description Roach Hotel Check Check In. Exit Count C-182 Prop, Up, Down, Arch; Otter Center, Out, In, Arch. Solo Diving Exit Performed by diving head first from the aircraft. Immediately arch and extend arms out over head to the ``superman'' position. Recover back to the boxman position. Frontloop Performed by pulling arms to sides and bending sharply forward at waist while ``kicking'' legs straight at knees. Recover to boxman position as you see green again. Half Series. Perform two alternating 360 degree turns followed by a backloop. Track: until 4500 feet. Wave Off: by 3500 feet. Pull: by 3000 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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    AFF Training - Level 8

    Napoleon Skydiving Center: Level 8 - Solo Dives Congratulations on your successful completion of the New Napoleon Skydiving Center's Accelerated FreeFall Program. You are probably wondering "Where do I go from here?". The answer is that whether you have 10 jumps or 10,000 jumps, there is always more to learn. As an AFF Level VII graduate, that journey begins with (surprise) level VIII. The Level VIII program is a series of solo dives designed to accomplish three goals: Perfect the skills learned in the AFF program. Build confidence in your ability to exit an aircraft at a lower altitude (should that need arise). Develop the ability to identify and use a rig equipped with a "hand deployed" main pilot-chute. These goals will be accomplished over the 4--8 solo dives of the Level VIII program. Once these goals have been reached, you'll be ready to start making coached dives with experienced skydivers to work on your air skills. Relax, have fun, be safe, and see you in the coaching program.... AFF Level 8 (Page 1) - AFF Skills The first phase of the NSC Level VIII program is a series of two to four solo dives to practice the things you learned in the AFF program. The emphasis here is on having fun and building some confidence your ability to skydive "on your own". You will also be practicing for the next phase which is a low altitude "clear and pull" dive. TLOs Perfect ability to perform poised and diving exits. Perfect ability to start and stop controlled turns. Practice backloop and frontloop maneuvers. Practice tracking to gain horizontal separation for opening. Practice for "Clear and Pull" by maintaining stability while performing a PRCT within 5 seconds of exit on at least two dives. Maintain good altitude awareness. Perform dives in a safe manner. Wave off, then pull at or above 3000 feet. Land within 20 meters of target (record distances in logbook). Dive Suggestions The exact format of these solo dives is up to you, but it will probably resemble the AFF Level VII dive flow somewhat. It is important to use a good ground reference when practicing turns to enable you to judge your ability to start and stop them on heading. When practicing tracking, do so in a direction perpendicular to the aircraft's line-of-flight to stay clear of groups exiting before or after you. It is suggested that solo jumpers leave the plane after the smallest RW group, but before tandems and AFF groups (which open higher). Remember that the priority on all skydives is Pull, Pull at the assigned altitude (before 3000'), Pull stable. AFF Level 8 (Page 2) - Low Altitude Exit Throughout the AFF program, dives were performed from high altitudes to give a maximum amount of freefall learning time on each dive. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, skydivers must often exit the aircraft at lower altitudes due to mechanical or atmospheric problems. This dive is to get you acclimated to the lower altitude exit. TLOs Ability to perform a stable exit. Initiation of deployment within 5 seconds of exit. Land within 20 meters of target (record distance in logbook). Dive Suggestions The first low altitude exit should be performed between 4000 and 5000 feet. The exit is not dramatically different than the exit you used for Levels I--VI (poised exit). In this case though, you will be initiating the main ripcord pull before reaching terminal velocity (which would take about 10 seconds). To insure stability at subterminal speeds, a hard arch position is used. This is accomplished by putting the hips and chest into a "maximum arch" position. Additionally, the arms and legs are extended straight. When performed correctly, it should look like the letter "X" when viewed from the front or back. When performing the actual dive, exit the aircraft from the poised position and perform a hard arch. Give a two to three second count and then initiate a main ripcord pull in the usual manner, recovering immediately to the hard arch position. This dive is also good for practicing your spotting skills since you will probably be the only one exiting on this pass. Remember that you are not at terminal velocity, so a 3 second delay translates to only about 150 feet of altitude loss (versus a 500 foot altitude loss at terminal velocity). AFF Level 8 (Page 3) - Transition to Hand Deploy Most experienced skydivers use rigs employing pullout or throwout main canopy deployment systems. These systems eliminate pilotchute hesitation and make packing easier. They also demand more proficiency of the jumper. TLOs Understand and identify pullout and throwout deployment systems. Be able to pack a throwout deployed pilotchute. At least ten practice pulls on a throwout deployment system. At least one jump with a throwout deployed main canopy. Land within 20 meters of target (record distance in logbook). The Pullout Deployment System Though it was developed after the throwout system, the pullout deployment system is actually more like a traditional ripcord deployment system. In the pullout system, the deployment handle is attached to a straight closing pin and to the base (or bottom) of a springless pilotchute. As the deployment handle is pulled, the pin is first extracted from the container closing loop. As the handle is pulled further, the pilotchute is pulled from the now open container and inflates, pulling the handle from the skydiver's hand. The handle is usually mounted on the bottom of the container. The Throwout Deployment System The throwout system was the first "hand deployed" pilotchute system developed. The handle is attached to the apex (top) of the pilotchute. The pilotchute itself is externally packed (usually in a pocket on the legstrap or bottom of container. The pilotchute is extracted from its pocket and released at arm extension. It then inflates and pulls a curved pin from the closing loop, opening the container. Using a Hand Deployed System In any hand-deployed system, there are several things to be aware of: Stability is important. If activated in an unstable position, the hand deployed pilot chute can easily entangle with the jumper. Note that this does not mean that the pull can be delayed until stability is achieved! The priority is still Pull, Pull by the assigned altitude, Pull stable. The pilotchute should be released at full arm extension. Releasing it sooner can allow it to be "sucked" into the jumper's burble. The handle will be in a significantly different position, possibly one that cannot be seen. To prepare for your first hand deployed jump, have a staff member demonstrate the correct technique for folding the pilotchute. Then make several (ten or more) practice pulls on the ground, concentrating on maintaining good form and a good arch. Finally, perform at least one skydive using the hand deployed system. Plan your breakoff and pull at least 1000 feet higher than usual to allow for the new deployment procedure (but make sure to alert others that you are doing so). Where do I go from here? Now that you have completed the solo dives of the level VIII program, you are ready to begin skydiving with others. Your immediate goal should be to qualify for a United States Parachute Association "A" License. The minimum requirements for that license beyond what is accomplished in the AFF program are: Twenty (20) freefall jumps including 5 minutes of total freefall time. Landed within 20 meters of target on 5 jumps. Unintentional water landing training. Participation in at least three 2--way relative work jumps. Pass a written exam. Note that application for any license requires documentation of the requirements (usually a logbook entry). When you are ready, you may contact any of the AFF Instructors for information on taking the exam and applying for the license. You should also have begun accumulating your own skydiving gear. At a minimum, you should already have ordered or received: A hard, Protec style, helmet (which NSC requires until 50 jumps). A jumpsuit appropriate for your size and weight. A visually accessible altimeter (either chest mounted or wrist mounted). Goggles. You should also be in the market for a complete rig (main parachute, reserve parachute, and harness/container system). There are many manufacturers of parachutes and containers, each of which produces several product lines and sizes. Ask staff and other jumpers for suggestions on the type of gear they recommend (but remember they are only suggestions). A new rig will cost between $2500 and $4000 depending on the choice of components. A used rig will cost less, but should be carefully inspected by an FAA rigger prior to purchase. There are many other items that are useful for skydiving, many of which can be obtained through regular sporting goods sources. Gloves are necessary for skydiving whenever the temperature on the ground or at altitude drops below 40 degrees farienheight. Equipment should be stored and transported in a protective container like a duffel, gear bag, or hard case. A USPA Skydiver Information Manual has information necessary for passing the license exams and performing special dives like night or demonstration jumps. Finally, keep in mind that you are entering a new sport quite unlike any you previously have experience with. Jumping with others will be helpful, but you must carefully determine the experience level and ability of those wanting to "coach" you. Just like "Two drowning men cannot save one another", two recent AFF graduates cannot effectively teach one another to skydive, and may actually represent a hazard to each other. NSC offers several coaching programs and many jumpers enjoy coaching novices. Staff members can introduce you to available coaches who we feel do a good job. If you have questions about the ability of someone wanting to coach you, ask. Freefall time is expensive and we want you to make the most of yours. Good luck, have fun, be safe. Dale Southard, Safety and Training Advisor, Napoleon Skydiving Center, AFF/I, VTM, Sr. Rigger, D--11216 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7 Level 8
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    SkyVenture Arizona Open for Business

    All the employees of SkyVenture Arizona are delighted to announce that the world’s largest indoor wind tunnel is now officially open for business! We believe the moment you enter the flight chamber for the first time you will agree that this fantastic facility was worth the wait! Whether you come as an individual or part of a team, we know that this new tunnel will meet and exceed all of your expectations. With the totally round 14 foot diameter flight chamber, four quiet and powerful electric engines, and new airflow design, we are confident that you will find this new tunnel to be the best training aid available anywhere! To mark our opening, for a limited time, we have special low hourly rates for you! Because we are a part of the Skydive Arizona family (www.Skydiveaz.com) we have the best coaching for every skydiving need. Our great group of newly trained tunnel instructors is always here to assist you as well as instructors from the Arizona Training Center. Members of Skydive Arizona's World Championship team, Arizona Airspeed, (www.Airspeed.org) will also be holding tunnel camps, skills camps, team and individual world class coaching as well! In addition, Airspeed will be holding weekly tunnel coaching sessions throughout the year (more on those in our next email). Whether your goal is to become a better and safer skydiver, to have some fun, to compete, or to become a world champion, the wind tunnel at Skyventure Arizona is another great reason to come to the sun. Heck, now you don't even need that! We look forward to flying with you, soon! For more information please visit our web site, www.Skyventureaz.com, or call us at 1-888-BODYFLY or 520-466-4640.
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    Non Skydivers Learn Canopy Piloting

    The Ground Launch CenterTM has implemented a new program designed to teach non-skydivers the art of canopy piloting. The center is a playground for experienced pilots, and provides a solid training environment for all levels of canopy pilots. The GLC offers advanced canopy control, Blade running activities and canopy piloting training to low time skydivers. Jim Slaton, who started the center, has put much of his focus into creating a solid training program that can even teach non-skydivers how to fly a parachute before they make their first solo skydive! Jim believes ground launching will play a huge role in the future development of canopy pilots and canopy piloting (a.k.a swooping) as a sport. More on that later… After a full season of development at the center Jim finally accepted his first non-skydiver into the program. Why would a non-skydiver want to learn canopy piloting you ask? The first student pilot was a 49-year-old male from the Northeast U.S. that had made a few tandem skydives over the last couple of years but was terrified of the canopy flight. He had flown in the wind tunnel in Orlando, and was comfortable with his freefall abilities, but not his actions under an open parachute. He read about the Ground Launch Center™ in Skydiving magazine and contacted the center for training. Jim had just finished the "Zero Intro" program for the center, which was designed to teach non-skydivers canopy piloting through tandem progression and a series of hovering flights. The Zero Intro training begins with an introduction to the modern ram-air parachute and it's design parameters. The ground training includes harness training, kiting and basic canopy handling. The student learns kiting and how to fly the parachute overhead using all of the controls. The student is then placed in a "saddle" area on the training hill where the student is allowed to kite the canopy overhead and hover above the ground tethered to the ground instructor. The student then conducts a series of tandem flights with the instructor to learn the basics of parachute flying. Through tandem progression the instructor demonstrates flat turns, stalls, riser turns, harness turns and more. The student is allowed to hold the controls with the instructor so they can feel the timing and speed of all inputs made during each flight and landing. The student eventually graduates to the point where the instructor gives the student full control of the toggles and talks the student through the pattern, set up and landing while flying as a tandem pair. When the student can fly all aspects of the pattern, demonstrate full control of the parachute and land the tandem on a designated target several times they are allowed to make their first solo flight. The student makes their first solo fight with the same Set 400 parachute they were flying during the tandem progression phase. They are taken back to a small training hill with a gentle slope that allows for very little altitude and flight time. The student and instructor are both equipped with a voice activated radio. The instructor assists the student through the launch and guides them through a short flight and into the landing area. The student continues with these low level flights until they demonstrate full control of the parachute and land (standing up) on a designated target several times. The student then graduates from a Set 400 to a 240 square foot parachute and conducts the same set of maneuvers as before. When the student has demonstrated proficiency with the 240 on the training hill, they are moved up to the 600ft launch site. When they prove proficiency on the 600ft hill they are moved up to the 800ft hill where they have enough flight time to perform a full set up, approach and landing, solo. In the case of our 49 year old male, he made 13 tandem launches with the instructor followed by 12 solo flights under a 240 in three days of training at the center. After the tandem progression phase of the training he was able to run a pattern and perform a stand up landing in the designated area on every solo flight! After successful completion of the GLC's "Zero Intro" program our 49-year-old male enrolled into the AFF course and is soon to become a licensed skydiver. The center is not only breeding better canopy pilots for skydiving, they are breeding a new generation of canopy pilots that are pushing the very limits of the ram-air parachute. For the first time ever, other professional athletes and aerial enthusiasts can get involved with parachuting without some of the restrictions that come along with skydiving. We are not talking about Paragliding (also conducted at the GLC) but more like "speed gliding" with the appeal of Swooping and BladerunningTM. If you want to see some of what we are talking about check out the Pro Tour's latest DVD entitled GRAVITY PILOTS "Canopy Piloting Revolution" at www.gravitypilots.com or find more info on the Ground Launch Center™ at www.canopypiloting.com
  21. Para-Gear is interested in photographic submissions that you may have for the 2005 -2006 Para-Gear Catalog #70. We have taken the time to briefly describe the format and certain criteria that we look for, in order to help you to see if you have something worth submitting. We have included examples of previous catalog covers for your reference. Over the years Para-Gear has used photos from all of skydiving's disciplines. We do not have a preference as far as what type of skydiving photo it is, rather we look for something that either is eye-catching or pleasing to the eye. In light of the digital age, we are also able to use photos that in one way or another may be less than perfect and enhance them, removing blemishes, flipping images, altering colors, etc. The following are preferences. However what we prefer and what we get, or choose, are not always the same. If however we came down to a choice between two photos of equal quality, we would opt for the one that met more of our preferences. We typically prefer that the photo be brighter. In the past we have used sunset photos and even a night jump photo, although by and large most of the photos are daytime. We like the subject of the image to have contrast with the background. Subjects that are wearing brighter more colorful clothing usually stand out more. We prefer to have the people in the photo wearing equipment since that is what we sell. Headgear, goggles, jumpsuits, altimeters, audible altimeters, and gloves are all good. We also prefer to see skydivers wearing head and foot protection. We do not print any BASE jumping nor any Tandem photographs. No submissions of these will be accepted. Our basic criteria is as follows: Vertical Format. The front and back covers of the catalog are both in a vertical format. We can use a horizontal (landscape) shot, as opposed to a vertical (portrait), and then crop it as long as the image lies within a vertical cropping. Photo Quality. The front and back cover shots will be printed as 8 ½ x 11 in 300 dpi format. Any film that can hold its quality up to this size and print dpi is fine. Slide film is preferred. In the event of a final cover choice, we prefer to be sent the original slide for getting the best quality out of the image. Back Cover Photo. The back cover photo is no different from the front except in one respect. We need to have room on the left side of the image for the thumb index. In the past we have taken images and been able to horizontally flip them thereby creating this room. Originality. Anything that is original, eye-catching, or makes someone take more notice of the catalog covers is something we look for. It could be a photo from a unique camera position or angle, a scenic skydive, shots under canopy, landings, etc. We look for photos that have not been previously published and most likely would not accept them if they have, as we want a photo that no one else has seen yet. We also do not want any photos that are chosen as the front or back covers to be used for other non Para-Gear advertising for a period of one year. Para-Gear offers $250.00 each for both the front and back covers we choose. Our current deadline for catalog cover submissions is March 18th 2005 . Sending sample pictures by e-mail or mail are both fine. We will return any mailed in photos or slides after we are done with them. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions. Para-Gear Equipment Co. Inc. 3839 West Oakton Street Skokie, Illinois 60076 USA Ph: 847-679-5905 Fax: 847-679-8644 E-mail: sales@para-gear.com Internet: http://www.para-gear.com When replying, please advise your full name, address, e-mail, phone/fax and copy our e-mail or refer to the subject so we can reply easily back to you. Thank you.
  22. So you've decided to spice things up a bit and jump out of a plane! Or maybe learning how to skydive has been a dream you've had all your life and the time has come to make it happen. Whatever your motive, you're in the door (no pun intended!) of doing one of the most fun things you'll ever do and being introduced to one of the coolest communities you'll ever come across. Of course we're not biased! It’s not always easy to figure out how to go about making your first skydive. If you follow the 5 steps in these articles, you will be well on your way to skydiving and other fun things like learning to fly a wingsuit. Skydiving is a sport where we never stop learning and there is no such thing as a stupid question, so when in doubt, ask! Regardless of what your motives and reasons are, it's important that you understand the risks and requirements before you take that first leap! Start Here: 1. Be aware of the risk 2. Choose a method of training 3. Find a Drop Zone 4. Set a date and jump! 5. Get licensed
  23. Be Aware of the Risks Choose a method of training Find a Drop Zone Set a date and jump! Get licensed So the first question in your mind is obviously: So, how safe is skydiving? And the frank answer is: Skydiving is not ten pin bowling. There are some very real risks involved when learning how to skydive but as with any other "extreme" sport there is a direct relationship between your knowledge, skill and attitude and your chances of enjoying the sport for many years to come. As you probably know statistics can be manipulated to tell you whatever you want to hear. They can be manipulated to make skydiving look very safe or very dangerous. We're not going to swamp you with numbers to tell you how skydiving is "safer than crossing the street" or try to prove to you that "it's safer to skydive than to drive to your local store". The USPA over a 10 year period reports an average of about 35 skydiving fatalities per year in the USA. Skydivers make hundreds of thousands of jumps each year. It is a sport with very real risks (otherwise you might not be interested!), but those can be easily and effectively mitigated through training and good judgment. Considering that students comprise the bulk of participants in the sport, relatively few fatal accidents involve student skydivers. This is due largely to the design of skydiving equipment used for students and the quality of instruction and care provided at most skydiving schools. All parachutes are designed for reliability, but student gear is also designed to be easy to use and forgiving. Skydiving accidents rarely result from equipment failure or bad luck. Remember: knowledge, skill and attitude. It's about you as the individual. Even though this is a dangerous sport, if you learn how to skydive and exercise your new skills, keep your cool and do everything you're taught to do, you should be fine. What Are The Requirements When Learning How To Skydive? Medical Fitness In most countries there are some requirements for medical fitness. These are seldom very prohibitive but make sure you know what they are for the country you're in. In the USA, all skydivers must meet the USPA's Basic Safety Requirements for medical fitness. This simply means you have to be in good health and physical condition to skydive and should not be on medication which could affect judgment or performance. Some medical conditions can be properly managed if the instructor knows about them. Make sure to mention any heart conditions or episodes of black-outs. If you have recently gone SCUBA diving or donated blood, you may have to wait a few days. When in doubt, ask your doctor and mention it to your instructor. Age Again this varies from one country to the next, so it behooves you to ask this question when you call your DZ learning how to skydive. In the USA minors who are at least 16 years of age and have notarized parental or guardian consent may be allowed to participate in some training programs at some schools, according to state and school policies. The person providing consent for a minor may be required to observe all pre-jump instruction. Most commonly, schools require all participants to be at least 18 years of age. Testing Once you've completed your ground training or first jump course (FJC), it is common practice and good teaching procedure for students to be required to pass written, oral, and practical tests before you'll be allowed to make your fist jump. Don't panic! The written tests are normally a quick check of your knowledge and understanding. Oral tests are used to exercise and build your decision-making ability and practical tests are structured so you can show your reactions and skills. All of these are necessary to assure the instructor that you are ready to make a safe jump. It should also give you confidence that you're ready to go out there, have fun, and be safe! Now that you learned how to skydive and understand the risk and have a good idea of some of the requirements, it's time for some more fun stuff! Next, you need to choose how you'd like to be introduced to the sport. Next: Choose a method of training More Information On Learning How To Skydive: Skydiving Emergencies Fatality Database Safey and Training Articles Safety and Training Forum Skydiving Glossary
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    Set a date and jump!

    Be Aware of the Risks Choose a method of training Find a Drop Zone Set a date and jump! Get licensed You know how we are. We plan and plan and don't get to it. Set a date, get out there and make the jump! If at all possible gather some friends together to do it with you. Doing a first jump course or any skydiving in a group is always a lot more fun and you'll have other people around to motivate you! When you arrive and the dropzone, all jumpers will be required to fill out a registration form and sign a liability release before jumping. This release will verify that you understand that there is risk involved in skydiving and that you freely agree to accept that risk. The legal release will usually contain a contract or covenant by which you agree not to sue the skydiving school or anyone else if you're injured. Yes we know, this sounds all too horrid but if you want to jump you'll have to sign these forms. It's part of any adventure sport. Freefall sounds more scary than it is. In reality you barely have a sensation of "falling" while skydiving. You'll feel the stresses and excitement of the air rushing past you. However, because there's nothing up there for your brain to use as a reference point to tell you that you're falling, it will feel more like you're lying on a column of air, floating. Upon opening your parachute it'll feel like you're being pulled upwards. You're not going up. You're just decelerating pretty quickly and that causes the sensation. Your parachute can be steered by a simple steering mechanism. A "toggle” in each hand will enable you turn the parachute left and right fly it where you need to go. At most modern skydiving centers you'll be able to hear instructions from the ground passed to you via a radio receiver and speakers in your helmet. At some dropzones instructors will guide you in with batons or hand signals once you get close to the ground. All of this will be covered in your FJC. In both cases your Instructor on the ground will guide you in for a nice soft landing. Student canopies are relatively large, docile and forgiving square parachutes. This "big wing" makes landings slow and soft. Keep in mind that the skydive is not over till you've landed safely. By far the majority of skydiving injuries happen during landings so keep your wits about you, listen to your instructor and have fun! That's great, but you may ask: "But what if the parachute doesn't open?" This is always a risk when skydiving, but if you keep your training in mind and keep your cool you should be able to deal with this. By law, anyone making a skydive has to be equipped with both a main and reserve parachute. Your reserve is your second chance in case of any malfunction of your main. Reserve parachute technology has come a long way and is very reliable. All reserves must be inspected and repacked every 120 days by an FAA-rated parachute rigger, even if it hasn't been used during that time. Activating your reserve is something you have to do, though. This will be taught and practiced a lot during your training. As an additional layer of protection almost all modern training parachutes are also equipped with a Automatic Activation Device (AAD). An AAD is a computerized release system that keeps a watch over your descent rate and altitude. If you reach a certain altitude and your decent rate is still high enough that it is clear to the system that you did not deploy your main canopy, it will automatically release your reserve. Never rely on your AAD alone. Do what you've been taught during your training but take comfort in knowing you have a guardian angel. Prev: Find a Dropzone Next: Get Licensed Prev: Find a Dropzone Next: Get Licensed More related information: Dropzone Forums Skydiving Glossary
  25. Dropzone.com today launched its voluntary Premier Membership service! The decision to move forward with voluntary user supported subscription services was made for a few reasons: I want to keep Dropzone.com on the web and without this, I can not pay the bills. We want to keep advertising content low and we want to provide you with the best possible service and the coolest features we can! That's it. Dropzone.com is a very advertising-lite site. We don't bombard you with pop-up ads. Even though we serve millions of pages every month we choose not to join large advertising syndicates and expose you to streams of irrelevant non-skydiving promotions and ads. We want to keep it that way. This also provides the highest value to our advertisers as their ads are not lost in a flood of outside noise. We continue to appreciate the support we receive from the skydiving industry in this. Rather than turning to large corporate sponsors from outside we'd chose to come to you, the community, for support. People have shown over the years that they are willing to donate and get involved. We very deliberately made a decision that nothing that has been free in the past will become part of the Premier services. You will be able to continue enjoying Dropzone.com exactly as you have without ever giving us a penny. That's the way I want it. We will create additional Premier features, and those users who find them valuable can subscribe on a voluntary basis. We think they're pretty neat! Thank you to everyone who have supported me through the years in all manner and ways. I hope you enjoy the Premier Features. As part of our Premier launch we have partnered with Aerodyne and one of our new premier members will win a complete system - container, main and reserve - from Aerodyne's line of products. Click on the link below for more information. More information and how to Subscribe for Premier Membership