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In this issue
  • Eyes wide shut!
  • Canopy Piloting Nationals 2017
  • AE Coach Camp - a huge success!
  • Peter Lawson Cup 2017
  • SSA FS and AE Event in November
  • tonto Boogie – 10 years
  • Diaz Beach Boogie
  • Licences and Ratings
Eyes wide shut!

What is the best way to deal with a canopy collision? To avoid it in the first place. 

After witnessing an incident overseas, I feel the above statement is truly written in blood. 

What can I do to avoid it in the first place? I spoke to many skydivers that have been around the block and here is the information that I managed to get out of them. By all means they are not in order of importance or priority. I feel they all have the same importance.

We do tend to get comfortable and take things for granted - it happens to all of us. The more awareness you have, the better. Here are some pointers that can help you to be aware:

Who is on the load?

Know who is on the load and know what they are doing. I know it can be intimidating as a junior jumper to ask what is happening on the load. That is why we have jump masters to organize the load. Sometimes, it might not be so clear. If you are not sure what is happening on the load: ask - there are no stupid questions. We all started off as students and some just forget that fact. Knowing who is on the load can make your life easier in several ways and increases your awareness. Also, ask who is landing in your landing area - that can help you organise traffic and find your slot in it. 

On small loads with less than 8: you know that there are 6 other jumpers with you in the sky. Count them after opening. If you are jumping regularly, do yourself a favour and try and learn people’s canopy colours and sizes. That will help you understand the traffic flow.

Bigger loads - 8 jumpers and up: It becomes tricky to see all canopies especially when there are up to 20 canopies in the sky. Here are some tricks to help you understand and organise where people will be in the sky. 

Know who is before you and after you - at least the groups before and after you. Know how many jumpers are in the groups, so that you can count them once they open. That way you can already find your slot in the landing pattern.

Track like nobody's business

Once we are past our CATII in FS, we take tracking for granted. I caught myself at about 1600 jumps: I was always lowest on my 4 way when we were team training. I decided to change that and although my team mate was way lighter and short I decided to have a tracking competition with her after 4 way. I was trying to get further and higher than her. Check yourself how well you track. Ask yourself: Is my chest de-arched? Am I actually de-arching with my hips while I am tracking? Am I actually making distance rather than losing altitude?

Under the canopy

Rear riser turns just after opening

Especially when doing bigger formations it is not only important to track and keep awareness of where people are but it is more so important to be able to steer away if you have to. Before even thinking of taking the toggles into your hands it is much faster if you do a rear riser adjustment or turn. Many collisions have been avoided with this technique. 

Avoid spiraling 

More than a 360 at a time does not allow you to keep track of the traffic around you. You make the skies safer if you check around you once you have done a 360. 

Predictable landing patterns

Aeroplanes use landing patterns. Why shouldn’t we? Landing patterns make landings not only predictable and accurate for ourselves but also give people that you share the sky with an idea what you are about to do. For some reason, I have observed that once people are out of student status they drop the landing pattern that they were taught in their ground school. If you ask any Canopy Pilot that is about to swoop the pond: they will all tell you that they are flying a landing pattern! Especially, once you are in your into-wind (final) leg you should be flying straight, unless you are avoiding an obstacle. Flying zigzags on the final could potentially not just cut someone else off but could cause a canopy collision. 

Ange, D927 

Canopy Piloting Nationals 2017


Bailey Edmunds. Photo credit: Andre Laubscher

We feel Canopy Piloting is reviving and it is wonderful to watch. We had 5 competitors in the Open and 3 competitors in the Intermediate category. We were very lucky with the weather and managed to finish the competition quite quickly. 

In the Open Category Overall we have Christopher Teague in 1st place, Matteo Pagani in 2nd place and Warren Hitchchock in 3rd place.

In the intermediate Category Graham Field came 1st, DeWet Davel 2nd and Quinton Henning came 3rd. 

A new South African National speed record of 2.285 seconds was set by Christopher Teague in round 3 of speed. Notably Christopher Teague won all 9 rounds of the competition. Unfortunately we were not able to secure the necessary FAI judges for this event denying Christopher of a further 2 Africa Records which could have been set. Here are the results.


Chris Teague. Photo credit: Andre Laubscher


We are also very proud that Warren Hitchcock, Matteo Pagani, Christopher Teague and Billy Sharman are going to the 9th FAI World Cup in Canopy Piloting next month to represent South Africa. We will send you the link to follow the results!

Canopy Pilots of the Open category. Photo credit: Angelique M Pierry-Sharman 

SSA CP Committee

AE Coach Camp - a huge success!

On the 14th and 15th of October the SSA hosted a freefly coach development weekend at Pretoria Skydiving Club.

A development camp of this nature has not, to our knowledge, been attempted on this scale in recent times.

The process started with the AE committee approaching the CI of each drop zone and requesting nominations for potential Head Up and AE coach candidates.

The nominees were invited to PSC where Billy Sharman and Julie Teague with the assistance of Christopher Teague put the candidates through a highly impressive program involving group seminars, individual briefings, one-on-one flying, video debriefs and group flying exercises.

Photo credit: Richard Morgan

The 7 candidates who attended received 3 jumps each, discounted by the AE SSA, and PSC kindly offered to subsidise any additional slots.

Billy, Julie and Christopher worked selflessly and tirelessly for only their slots, allowing the SSA to have the best international and local experience available.

By the end of the weekend 4 new Head up coaches were signed out with the remaining candidates leaving on the cusp and with clear objectives to work towards in order to be signed off very soon.

Photo credit: Billy Sharman

The AE Committee’s goal for 2017 is to see an increase in AE coaches available at the smaller DZ’s and in that respect this event was incredibly successful, boasting possibly the largest injection of coaches into the system at any one time, and at the same time raising the bar in terms of standards expected from them.

Plenty of ideas for future developments on this kind of camp meant everyone left incredibly excited for the future of AE in South Africa. A huge thank you goes out to all involved!

Amy, C1904, SSA AE committee 

Peter Lawson Cup 2017
We were very lucky, the weather played along. We were able to finish the disciplines quite early so that there was space for more fun jumps. Julian Boulle flew up and was coaching and load organising the wingsuiters. On the Sunday, Pete had organised a skydiver reunion - it was nice to see plenty show up.

Jazz Repulic took the lead in 4 way Open, Excession came 2nd and Hilarity came 3rd. 

In the intermediate 4 way category we had one 4 way competing: Unsuspended. We would like to see some more next year. 

The 2 way category had 8 teams. In 1st place Professional Amateurs, in 2nd place Highveld Turbine and 2Hitmen in 3rd. In Wingsuit Performance Andrew de Jonge came first, Dylan Hemer came second and Luke Godfrey came third. For detailed results follow this link.

Quite astonishing was the prize money and presents that Pete had organised and handed out to the competitors.

The Peter Lawson Cup is the only other local multi-discipline competition besides Nationals. It is a great way to get some more experience in competing in skydiving. Keep an eye out for the Peter Lawson Cup 2018!

Photo credit for all photos: Riaan Bergh

Ange, D927


For further information please contact: / 
031 502 6435 

SSA FS and AE Event in November
Venue: Skydive Parys
Date: 11th & 12th November 2017
FS (Formation Skydiving): Coaches Bailey and Carmen Edmunds

Bailey Edmunds has been in the sport for 13 years, has 3098 jumps and +- 200 hrs tunnel time dedicated to FS. He is a current FS tunnel and freefall coach as well as a FS coach evaluator. He does have his Jumpmaster and Tandem Rating. Bailey has been on the South African National team since 2012 in 8 way as well as 4 way. He represented South Africa at 3 World Championships and represented SA at a indoor skydiving champtionships and won with a 21.2 average.

Carmen Edmunds started skydiving in 2005 but has been 9 years in the sport actively. In that time she has done 890 jumps and +- 20 hours of tunnel time. Carmen is a current FS coach and Jumpmaster. Carmen has dedicated her time skydiving to Formation Skydiving. She competed at Nationals the past 3 years.

FS coaches can offer in depth knowledge into the competitive FS discipline ranging from junior 2/4-way to advanced 2/4-Way.

FS coaches will teach the latest up to date variety of different FS skills and techniques (Airspeed and Hayabusa) as well as assist those who are interested in becoming FS coaches.

If you wish to participate contact Carmen via Email or cell phone: 071 896 2282 

AE (Artistic Events): Coach Warren Hitchcock

Warren has been in the sport for the last 14.5 years and has 2472 jumps mostly freeflying and doing camera work. He is a current head up freefly coach, a canopy piloting coach, static line and AFF Instructor and jumpmaster. Warren has been involved with Savolo doing camera for the past couple of years. 

Warren will be able to train and sign off students from their first freefly jump all the way to C licence level. He is capable of flying head down with jumpers that have already got their C licence in freefly.

Book your slot with Warren via Email or cell phone: 082 831 8828


Registration is FREE and there is NO club registration fees. Please contact the Coaches or the DZ to register and manifest. 

Slot Rates

FS: R420 per slot (Incl your slot and 50% of the cameraman slot) SSA will be covering the Coaches slot rates. 

AE: R380 per slot (Incl your slot and the Coaches slot)


On arrival at Skydive Parys you will be required to complete a comprehensive indemnity waiver and provide your logbook, PASA card and skydiving equipment for inspection. DZ orientation will follow prior to your jumps. Make sure you plan in some time for that.

There is a selection of skydiving equipment to hire at the DZ, but sports skydivers are required to be self- sufficient with their own gear. Packers of sports equipment will be arranged but we urge you to acquire this essential skill in your sport and pack for yourself. 


While altitude is never guaranteed, Sport skydivers can expect a minimum drop altitude of 11,000ft AGL from our Apollo T (Turbine) which is fitted with an in flight door as well as skydivers step, handles, comfortable floor mat and other skydiver friendly accessories." 


Free camping is available at the DZ. Showers and Toilets are available. Please note NO electricity and water points available at the camping area. For other accommodation options such as guesthouses etc please contact Steven.

Food & Drinks

Skydive Parys has a fully licenced bar at the clubhouse and we sell snacks (Biltong, chips, chocolates etc.) We have a braai area and everyone is welcome to make use of this facility. We will be selling Braai Packs on the 10th and 11th November 2017 for dinner. 

There is a restaurant, Montgolfier’s at the Parys Airfield serving breakfast and lunch. Fully Licenced bar. If you don’t want to have a sit down meal at the restaurant, Montgolfier’s will deliver take a ways to the DZ. CASH ONLY. Debonairs and Fishaways also deliver to the DZ. 

PLEASE NOTE: Own alcohol will not be allowed. 

For enquiries: Email the Drop Zone / Steven Taylor +27(0) 72 303 9140 / Amy Taylor +27(0) 82 810 1821

Register and Manifest today for an Epic Skills Camp 

tonto Boogie – 10 years

On 24 to 26 November 2017, Johannesburg Skydiving Club is hosting the tonto Boogie.

I really can’t believe it is 10 years already since the death of my hero and mentor Eric “tonto” Stephenson. 

How do you honour and celebrate the life of your hero and mentor when the wound is still raw, his teachings and wisdom still rings true every day and when decisions get made based on his life philosophies.

This year, the Johannesburg Skydiving Club will be hosting the 9th Annual tonto Boogie from 24-26th November 2017. This annual event was started in his honour the year after his death to commemorate this amazing man, skydiver, father, mentor and all round good friend to those he let into his circle of trust.

If I could have one wish in this world, it would be for all the new skydivers in the country (Or even the world) to have met him. His guidance spanned the globe and when news of his death happened, the tributes and stories that came from Australia to Canada and everyone in between shocked everyone. We will never know how he managed to give everyone the time of day, but he made so many people from all across the world feel special. He was a moderator on, so he had contact with many newbies that came with questions and he made sure he gave them a little piece of himself, some thoughts to ponder and essentially make good safety calls to keep them alive.

He would do everything he could for his students. I recall him sitting against our climbing wall holding his shoulder which had been kicked out of the socket by an AFF student as he went in to stop her from spinning. Not once did he complain or make it her fault. He just got on with getting it fixed and went back to do corrective training for her.

His passion for the sport was unwavering and his constant drive to get everyone to be a safer skydiver was unparalleled. I was always gobsmacked at what he would pick up when nobody else was looking.

The tonto Boogie is our little way of honouring him in some way, to keep his teachings, philosophies and foresight in our hearts and minds. We as JSC  work to bring the skydiving community from around the country together for some fun, skills training, new experiences and to top that, raise awareness of tonto’s other but lesser known impact into this planet, that of assisting children charities. We do fundraising at the event by way of raffles, donations (tinned food, clothing, kids toys etc) which we pass along to worthy recipients. 

We would love to invite everyone to join us at the event this year, to socialize with other jumpers, learn something new, experience something different and to contribute in some small way to his legacy.

If you are interested in experiencing Night Jumps, Balloon Jumps, Helicopter Jumps, Big Way skydiving, Load organised wing suit jumps, AE and maybe a bit of dancing on Saturday evening, you don’t want to miss this one.

Our intrepid chairman, Pottie, is planning some amazing big-way excitement (think 24-way) at the boogie in honour of tonto. Visit JSC’s Facebook page or contact Jana or Nicole for more information or to manifest. 

We hope to see you there, and remember; if there is any doubt, there is no doubt.

Bev, D802


Diaz Beach Boogie

From 16 to 31 December 2017, Skydive Mossel Bay will be hosting a Summer boogie right here at Diaz beach, featuring British Freefly champion Joel Strickland as load organizer. Joel and his team Varial Freefly were UK national champions three years in a row (with double gold in 2016 for both the freefly and freestyle disciplines). Joel will be available for one-on-one coaching for all levels: brand-new to current freefly coaches looking to up that game as well as load organizing for all comers.

We’ll be getting up there in style, too: The King Air will be flying every day, with other exotic jumpships to be announced. 

The fun will definitely keep going on the ground. We’re planning plenty of land-side events, the details of which will be posted on Facebook and on the website

Not into freefly? No worries. All disciplines are welcome in this sky. Come play with us!

Send us a message or email us to register.

Licences and Ratings


A7604  Rick Ainslie EP Skydivers, Grahamstown 
A7605  Wesley Wagner

 Skydive on the Vaal

A7606 Dylan Whitehair  Witbank Skydiving Club 
A7607 Victor Rodrigues  Pretoria Skydiving Club 
A7608 Michael Edwards Skydive Mossel Bay
A7609 Clifford Fawdry Pretoria Skydiving Club
A7610 Clinton McLellan Pretoria Skydiving Club
A7611 Brittany McLellan Pretoria Skydiving Club
A7612 Eduard Dreyer Pretoria Skydiving Club
A7613 Harry Laing Johannesburg Skydiving Club
B3055  Celestie Stemmet Skydive Parys 
C1920 Henco van Wyk  Skydive Mossel Bay 
C1921 Sara Hall Ericson  Skydive Mossel Bay 


JM1334  William Sharman Pretoria Skydiving Club 
PRO490  Mark Trethewey  Pretoria Skydiving Club
PRO491 Gerwald Biesenbach Skydive Mossel Bay
PRO492 Sakhele Tyakume Skydive Mossel Bay
TM187SG Conrad Gerber Skydive Cape Town
TM188SG Sibusiso Mhlambi Durban Skydive Centre
TM189SG Sara Hall Ericson Skydive Mossel Bay
TM96SG Joos Vos EP Skydivers, Grahamstown
TM157SG John Williamson EP Skydivers, Grahamstown
CH172F Carmen Edmunds Pretoria Skydiving Club
CH68H Donavon Crerar Skydive Mossel Bay
CH173H Richard Morgan Durban Skydive Centre
CH174H Amy Shaw Pretoria Skydiving Club

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