Happy holidays! We’re nearing the end of the year and want to thank each and every one of our members for supporting our programs and services throughout the year. We hope you’ve had a fantastic year of fun jumps, new friendships and good skydiving memories. Here’s to an even better New Year!
Staying Safe During Holiday Boogies
We hope you are enjoying 2010! Stats are rolling in, and USPA had a great 2009. Membership is on the rise and fatalities are on the decline—thanks to all of our members for doing their part. Let’s make 2010 an even better year!
Skydiving Fatality Stats for 2009 at 40-Year Low
2009 came to a close with a total of 16 civilian skydiving fatalities for the year. While even one is too many, 16 is the lowest number of fatalities in the United States since 1961, which ended with 14. 1962 finished with 19 fatalities, and the numbers generally went up from there, before reaching an all-time high of 56 in 1981. While we have no way of knowing how many jumps were made in 1962, it is safe to say that the estimated 2.5 million jumps done in 2009 by 32,177 members, far surpasses the number of jumps completed in 1962, when USPA membership totaled only 6,658 members.
Better training methods and improved equipment have certainly helped to reduce the risks of skydiving. But this doesn’t mean you should ever let your guard down. Work to improve your skills and increase your knowledge with every skydive. Keep safety in the forefront on every jump you make, and help keep yourself and others in the air with you as safe as possible. Let’s all work together to make 2010 even safer than last year.
Get Ready for Safety Day
The annual USPA Safety Day takes place this year at drop zones all across the U.S. and around the world on March 13. Is your drop zone hosting an event? Each Safety & Training Advisor is charged with organizing the event in an effort to make sure every drop zone participates. So, check with your local S&TA to see how you can help! Assistance with organizing the event and helping with the actual day’s activities is always welcome. Your S&TA will appreciate a helping hand!
Some great ideas have come from past events, and we will be updating the Safety Day section of the website soon to provide updated handouts and suggestions on how to spice up the day. With just a little effort, everyone will come away from your event with a fun learning experience. If you are too busy to help with organizing the event, make sure you still make time to attend Safety Day at your local drop zone! USPA will be organizing Safety Day at the Skydive Expo, March 13, in DeLand, Florida. Manufacturers, industry experts and accomplished skydivers and competitors will be giving safety presentations. The day will also serve as a model Safety Day, and USPA hopes that jumpers will take information and ideas back to their own DZs for future events.
Dubai Championship Completes
The Dubai Parachuting Championships and Gulf Cup 2010, which included canopy piloting, accuracy landing and formation skydiving competitions, ended January 18. The U.S. contingent included two accuracy competitors, nine canopy pilots and one 4-way FS team. According to the event’s website, the American canopy pilots performed well, winning multiple medals: Jonathan Tagle won first place overall; Shannon Pilcher won first in distance, with Tagle in second; Thomas Hughes placed third in the accuracy event; and in the speed event, Hughes placed second and Tagle third. Arizona Airspeed won first place in 4-way FS. Watch for a full report in the March issue of Parachutist.
USPA Board to Meet in Phoenix
The USPA Board of Directors will meet February 19-21 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix/Tempe. All USPA members are invited to attend. The meeting schedule and committee agendas are posted online. For more information, e-mail USPA.
2009 Membership Stats are in
The numbers are in for the year 2009, and we are all pleasantly surprised that our membership numbers showed modest increases throughout most of the year. For those of you who enjoy numbers, here are a few:
Here is a snapshot of USPA’s membership demographic, as of December 31, 2009:
- 8 – The number of months we showed growth of membership in 2009. This is the highest number of months of growth for the last nine years.
- 5,583 – The number of new members in 2009, the highest since 2003.
- 31,428 – The number of members for March (the lowest member total for any month in 2009).
- 31,921 – The average number of members over the 12-month period. This is the highest since 2004, when we averaged 32,399 each month.
- 32,346 – The number of members for November (the highest month for membership in 2009). The last time we reached this many members was August 2004 (32,512).
- 20.5% - Under 30 years old
- 26.9% - 30-39
- 23.2% - 40-49
- 17% - 50-59
- 8.8% - 60-plus
- 3.6% - not reported
Malfunctions in 2009
- 13.4% - female
- 85% - male
- 1.6% - not reported
Injuries Requiring a Doctor
- 82.8% - no malfunctions
- 6.2% - one malfunction
- 1.2% - two malfunctions
- 0.6% - three-plus malfunctions
- 9.2% - not reported
Attended Safety Day
- 88.34% - no injuries
- 2.2% - one injury
- 0.11% - two injuries
- 0.02% - three-plus injuries
- 9.33% - not reported
Thanks for a great year! Let’s make 2010 even better.
- 56.25% - did not attend
- 29.43% - did attend
- 14.32% - not reported
In February’s Parachutist...
The February issue of Parachutist shipped this week. This issue is jam-packed with features, including “‘Point Break:’ 20 Years Later,” a guide to filming competitive 4-way, tips to prevent colds from ruining your skydiving vacation and more! Let us know what you think about this issue and others by e-mailing email@example.com.
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