Skydivers from around the orange area flocked to Skydive Orange on Saturday, March 14, to kick off another action-packed skydiving season with a day of jumping out of airplanes and brushing up on basic skills that will keep them safely soaring through the skies.
Established by the U.S. Parachute Association (USPA) in 1997, the annual nationwide Safety Day focuses on making the sport safer and prepares jumpers for the year ahead. Safety Day includes a series of skydiving seminars and training drills that serve as both a refresher course and an introduction to new developments, equipment, disciplines and training methods.
As 37,000 USPA members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jumpers take the plunge every year, fueled by the popularity of skydiving as a “must-do” life experience, skydiving centers continue to focus on keeping jumpers safe. Over the past decade, the sport’s safety record has continued to improve, with the accident rate declining even as participation increases.
“Skydiving is never without risk,” said Ed Scott, Executive Director of USPA. “But the numbers show we are steadily reducing that risk. Much of the credit goes to the instructors, pilots, riggers, safety and training advisors and drop zone managers who work to keep skydiving as safe as possible.”
In between leaps from 13,000 feet, 90 skydivers spent Safety Day at Skydive Orange practicing procedures for reacting to skydiving emergencies. For example, if a skydiver’s main parachute malfunctions, he must instinctively know how to respond quickly and appropriately to disconnect the malfunctioning parachute and deploy the reserve parachute. Skydivers practice these procedures regularly so that the response becomes second-nature.
Safety Day also included seminars on aircraft safety procedures, safety both in freefall and while under an open parachute, techniques to safely skydive with a camera attached to your helmet to film the exciting aerial action, equipment inspections and much more.
After a fun and educational day, some skydivers chose to donate blood to VA Blood Services in the blood mobile we scheduled to have out for the day, then had a delicious lasagna dinner and indulged in other after-hours activities at our tiki bar. Skydivers share a unique camaraderie and energy, and no day of jumping is complete without a proper celebration afterward.
To learn more about making a first skydive at Skydive Orange, visit www.skydiveorange.com or call 703-759-3483.
Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 220 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States. Each year, USPA’s 37,000 members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make approximately 3.2 million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records.
For more information, visit www.uspa.org or call 1-800-371-USPA.
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.