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USPA Update
March 17, 2011

Thank you for being a member and supporting USPA's programs and services. One of your many member benefits is this monthly "USPA Update," a free e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of what's going on in between your issues of Parachutist. If you’d like this to be sent to a different e-mail address, please change your contact information on file at USPA change your contact info on file at USPA.

USPA Seeks Member Input on Canopy Safety
USPA is looking for additional member input regarding viable ways to improve each jumper’s skill and knowledge regarding canopy control. Take a minute to look over the proposed changes that came out of discussions during February’s USPA Board meeting in Reno, Nevada, and submit your comments. At the July board meeting in Denver, Colorado, the board will decide on which changes to implement. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to let your thoughts be known!

Further Investigation for Argus AAD
A senior rigger in Texas recently reported to USPA that a reserve container did not open after the Argus automatic activation device (AAD) activated the cutter during a skydive when a jumper deployed his main canopy at a low altitude. The jumper landed uneventfully under his main canopy, removed his container and dropped it on the hangar floor to be packed. The reserve container remained closed until the packer had nearly finished packing the main bag into the container. As the packer was closing the main flaps, the reserve pilot chute launched. Investigation revealed that the AAD had activated the cutter at an undetermined altitude but it severed the reserve closing loop only partially. The reserve pilot chute launched only after additional strands of the closing loop broke and the closing loop opened up at the finger trap part of the loop. The rigger contacted Aviacom, manufacturer of the Argus AAD, regarding the issue, and the company asked that the unit be shipped to the factory in Belgium for testing. In December 2010, the company released a service bulletin mandating that cutters manufactured before August 2007 be replaced by March 31, 2011. This cutter was manufactured in March 2009. The rigger and USPA both notified the Parachute Industry Association. Further details and recommendations will not be available until further investigation by the manufacturer.

Competitors: Start Preparing for Nationals!
If you are interested in becoming a national champion, earning a slot on one of USPA’s national teams or just having more fun in the sport than you can imagine, then it’s time to start planning for the USPA National Skydiving Championships this fall. Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, Texas, 25 miles south of Houston, will host the canopy piloting (CP) event September 14-17. USPA will use this event to select the 2011 U.S. Canopy Piloting Team that will compete at the 3rd Dubai Cup, scheduled for November 29 to December 10, 2011. Skydive Arizona in Eloy, 50 miles south of Phoenix, will host the USPA Nationals with events in all other competitive skydiving disciplines October 26 to November 5 (click here for the competition calendar. Stay tuned for more Nationals news in future “USPA Updates” and in Parachutist.

Competitors please read carefully: The Skydiver’s Competition Manual (SCM) states, “The meet from which the results will be used to select the [U.S.] team[s] must be held at least 60 days prior to the World Championships at which the team will compete.” Therefore, USPA will use the results of the 2010 USPA National Skydiving Championships to select U.S. Teams competing at the 2011 World Cup of Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events in Germany August 1-7 and the 2011 World Cup of Canopy Piloting in the Czech Republic August 22-27, as well as for all disciplines (other than CP) taking part in the 3rd Dubai Cup in 2011. In addition, due to the date of the 2012 World Parachuting Championships in Dubai, this year’s nationals at Skydive Arizona will be used to select the 2012 U.S. Teams for all disciplines other than CP. USPA will use the 2012 USPA CP Nationals at Skydive The Farm (planned for June or July 2012) to pick the 2012 U.S. CP Team.

Don’t be left out of USPA’s biggest, most important event! Click here for more information or contact with any questions.

Two Die in Twin Otter Crash
On Tuesday, March 8, a Twin Otter crashed shortly after takeoff from the Clayton County Airport in Hampton, Georgia, killing the pilot and a flight mechanic. There were no other passengers aboard the aircraft. The jump plane had just undergone routine maintenance and was being test-flown at the time of the crash. USPA member Bryan “Rodeo” Hedrick was piloting the plane, which was regularly used for skydiving and registered to the Desert Sand Aircraft Leasing Company of Carson City, Nevada. The National Transportation Safety Board has started an investigation that will ultimately determine the probable cause of the crash.

Parachutist Interested in Safety Day Feedback
Parachutist will feature coverage of Safety Day in the May issue, and we’re interested in including comments from jumpers who attended the event. So, what was the most important thing you learned on Safety Day? Did you see something that really stood out? Let us know here.

Also, a reminder for S&TAs, DZOs, DZ managers or those who simply volunteered to provide coverage for their drop zones: Safety Day submissions are due by March 21 for inclusion in the magazine (reports received after this date will appear online only). To submit your report, please click here. If you presented a Ches Judy Safety Award, please remember to include a photo of the recipient.

USPA Offers 65th Anniversary Items
In celebration of USPA’s anniversary this year, a very limited quantity of 65th logo-imprinted items are available for sale through the USPA Shop. USPA members will receive a free 65th logo decal when renewing in 2011, and additional decals may be purchased for $2 each. Ceramic mugs are $6, and T-shirts are $9.

Please Print Legibly
USPA’s membership department sometimes receives applications that are difficult to decipher. Either poor penmanship or poor fax quality can result in a delay in processing your request. If you are submitting an application to USPA and are unable to use the online forms, please try to print clearly to eliminate delays in processing your request.

Skydiving in the News
Check out a few of the recent cool news stories about skydiving:

In April’s Parachutist...
The April issue of Parachutist went to press last week, so you should be receiving it soon, if you haven’t already. It includes the 2010 Fatality Summary, as well as the conclusion to the Richard McCoy Jr. piece and tips on making balloon jumps. In addition, you’ll find highlights from February’s USPA Board meeting, DZO Conference and PIA Symposium. Let us know what you think about this issue and others by e-mailing

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