Author Archive

USPA Online – Thank You, Everyone!

March 16, 2011

This is “G.” again, your friendly neighborhood web-guy. I just wanted to say a few things and give out a few updates.

This week we hit 1,000 followers on Twitter. We are also nearing 11,000 fans on Facebook, and that’s not all. Our followers and fans tend to be some of the most respectful and polite web users I’ve encountered – no trolls in our midst.  So, this is a thank you for being there, being square and being stable.

On another note, the only request I received so far regarding Parachutist Online was from skydiving drupalers who would like a write-up on how the site was made. I haven’t forgotten about it. We also have a few things floating around regarding a complete archive of Parachutist available online, but nothing set in stone yet.

Still, if there’s anything you would like to see, send us some feedback through the website or e-mail

We hope you guys are enjoying the dynamics with USPA staff online, and again, thank you for being there.

PS: The free SIM App for iPhone is doing very well as well, which makes me really jealous of all you iPhone users. But not for much longer—the Android version is on track to be released in less than two months!

Links Recap:
Parachutist Online –
SIM App (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) – here
USPA 65th Anniversary Commemorative Items – USPA Shop


Parachutist Online – Extreme Makeover!

February 11, 2011

So, this is probably something nobody was expecting just yet. We hadn’t announced anything before. No mention was made to the public. In essence, we kept it pretty “hush, hush.” But, after months of work, very stressful months at that, I’m glad to announce that the Parachutist Online website is now redesigned!

There’s a lot of content there, but there’s still a lot more to do. So, we are rolling this out as a Beta, which means major features and changes can be implemented without much notice. It all depends on you guys. Part of the reason I’m writing this blog is that, aside from announcing the site, we are also looking for feedback. Things like:

What do you think of the site?  What’s interesting? What’s lacking? What would you like to see done or changed?

I’m not pretending the website is perfect, but a lot of work went into it, and I’m rather proud.

Also, there are some things that we are either working on currently, or can’t start working on until a few other things get settled. All feedback will be taken into account, but that does not necessarily mean everything can be implemented. To leave feedback, you can comment on this post or use the feedback button on the homepage of the Parachutist Online website.

Oh! And here’s some information and specifications for those interested:

Parachutist Online is running on Drupal 6.x. (Great CMS!) Right now we are publishing all of the Safety & Training section, minus Incident Reports which will still be under USPA, the more personal section, which we’ve named “Columns” for the time being and one or two Features per month.
Everybody can comment wherever there’s a comment section, but until we implement a user interface (which is one of those things I can’t start working on just yet) all comments will be monitored and approved beforehand. That’s not to say we’ll be monitoring for dissension, we just want to prevent profanity and those pesky internet spammers.

That about sums it up.

On a final note, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m the web guy, social media guy and Advertising Manager for Parachutist. I’ll be posting a bit of a Developer’s Blog from now on to let you know on what new things, if anything, we are working, or just toss a random idea for review.

Blue Skies!

The Poetry of Skydiving

August 25, 2009

Scott Van Allen is one of the finalists in the mixed media category of the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest.

Rachel Carson was a renowned American biologist who dedicated her life to the preservation of nature. Now, the EPA, along with Generations United, the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., and the Dance Exchange, conduct an annual contest in her name with the purpose of combining nature and art. The Sense of Wonder entry criterion was to describe something “that best expresses the Sense of Wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes.”

Scott submitted a poem and picture as his mixed media entry titled “All We Need Is The Sky.”

The winner will be chosen through online voting, so head to and vote for “All We Need Is The Sky” under the mixed media category and help Scott promote our sport. Voting closes October 1st.

Skydiving Music Video Challenge

August 6, 2009

Most of you have seen the ad for the Skydiving Music Challenge in Parachutist. It’s a simple challenge where you create a skydiving video using the song we give you. We choose the top-5 and let the voters decide who wins. Some might have already started on their own videos, while others might have dismissed the challenge for whatever reasons. A few are probably beating themselves up because they don’t fly camera yet, and therefore won’t have any aerial footage to work with.

The challenge came about in an effort for us to get more involved with our members. Once we heard about Jonay’s interpretation of our sport, we listened to the music and, gambling with the fact that music doesn’t please everyone, we decided the beat was good enough to do something with it. Contacting Jonay and getting his permission for the challenge was easy. Finding a sponsor to donate a prize wasn’t. It took some calls, e-mails, and research on gear manufacturers. In the end, Tonfly was kind enough to give us a hand and furnish us with a fully accessorized camera helmet for the first place winner.

The challenge itself brings no revenue to USPA. It was done entirely with the intent for our members to have some fun. Therefore, we are not looking for instructional videos or tandem promotional videos, but for the videographers to enjoy flying and editing, for some sick videos to come out of this and for someone to go home happy with a free new helmet. Show us what you got!

More information on the challenge – rules, entry form, deadlines and any other instructions – here

Sponsors: Tonfly and Jonay

Blue Skies!

Parachutist’s 600th

July 16, 2009

As you may have read in July’s Five-Minute Call, in October, Parachutist will print its 600th issue. We are working on a pictorial and looking for crazy, skydiving-related things involving the number 600. Send us a picture with the most amusing ideas you can come up with to or Submit a Photo.

Best picture wins a cookie! – Well, no, not really, but you do get compensation for print use.

Oh, yeah! Remember! High-res pictures only.