Deland, FL (PressExposure) August 24, 2012 -- Flight-1 Canopy Coaching and Skydiving Canopy Flight Instruction has just debuted a new curriculum and certification system. The new system bridges the pilot/equipment gap for both beginner and advanced skydivers - both safety- and performance-minded.
"Skydiving parachute systems have changed a great deal in a short period of time," explains Brian Vacher, one of Flight-1's stable of star instructors. "Parachuting is a young sport that was originally started by recreational jumpers using ex-military parachutes. In the last 20 years, equipment changes within the sport have been rapid.Equipment development focused primarily on ensuring consistent openings due to opening problems of traditional container systems."
He goes on to note that, over that same last 20 years, there has been a rapid development in the design of the parachute itself: key changes in shape and materials, leading ultimately to an increase in airspeeds. This resulted in a massive shift in equipment design: parachutes are now more like aircraft wings both in look and in their flight characteristics.
Flight-1's new program was born of a desire to connect skydivers with this new equipment in more than just a trial-and-error sense. As with all markets, old equipment is phased out. Skydivers are almost certainly going to make a purchase decision in favor of a canopy with a faster airspeed, faster descent rate, and far more sensitive inputs than before and that combination can lead untrained pilots down a dangerous path. USPA statistics prove that this imbalance between the capability of the pilot and the capability of the wing has shot both pilot error accidents and canopy collision rates to the top of the injury and death list.
"There's an irony inherent here," Brian says. "In the last 20 years, there has been very little development in pilot knowledge and in the availability of good, correct, useful instruction. We're here to change that."
Canopy instruction through established canopy courses such as Flight-1's comprehensive new curriculum -- attempts to increase the awareness of the challenges of today's modern canopies, and to readdress the balance. "Canopy courses need to provide a correct, modern theory of the parachute system and controls, empowering canopy pilots to fly the system in challenging and changing environments," Brian concludes. "And we'd love to show you just how much you'll improve no matter what your current level - at any of the Flight-1 courses we offer worldwide."