Get Current: Safety Tips for Camera Flyers by JC Colclasure


JC Colclasure is a member of the PD Factory Team and a Flight-1 instructor. He has been skydiving for 22 years and has around 20,000 jumps; a vast majority of those have been with a camera attached to him somehow. Read on for a few solid tips and action items for both old hands and aspiring or new camera flyers. 


Gear Fear: Get some.
Respect your camera flying equipment – not just what goes on the top of your head, but the whole setup – and inspect it regularly for wear, damage and fatigue. A worn out, damaged BOC or a fatigued pilot chute could result in a premature, delayed, hard or high speed opening and/or a malfunction. Nobody enjoys unexpected surprises at 120-220 mph (especially with extra weight on your body or strapped to your head, neck and shoulders). For the busy cameraman, jumps can add up quickly over the weeks, months and years, Regular, scheduled gear checks will work to reduce the fear of hurting yourself or somebody else accidentally. If you are not an expert in gear maintenance, solicit the services reputable rigger or the to inspect your equipment and provide you with updates every 100 jumps or less. An extra $20 or a few beers at the bar for your rigger towards a gear inspection might just save your life (or someone else’s) down the road. (Side note ~ Borrowing gear for a specialized task like jumping a camera is not typically a good idea – ever.)

Full Responsibility: Take it. 
Take full responsibility for your camera flying skills & abilities. Be open and honest about your flying skills and camera flying ability with everyone you jump with. Jumping is a privilege, flying camera(s) is a choice and only you know your true skill and ability level. Whether you are chillin’ at a home DZ or traveling abroad, honesty with yourself and others is NEVER a bad idea. Ask yourself if risking your life and the life of others is really worth the rewards you think you might receive. Breathing should NEVER be taken for granted. Respect yourself, respect others, act and fly responsibly and on purpose always.

Keep Subject(s) in Sight: Always.
Stay alert and keep your head on a swivel,  constantly anticipating potentially dangerous situations before you find yourself in one. Keep your eyes on your subject(s) prior to boarding the aircraft, on the aircraft and naturally in free fall. Generally speaking, a person’s behavior on the planet will reflect their behavior off the plane. Jump with people that stick to the plan. Those that ‘plan the dive and dive the plan’ are less likely to be problematic. Skydivers tend to gravitate towards the camera flyer to get that one little “cameo” in during the dive, at the end of the skydive or while under canopy. Unannounced fly-bys, buzz jobs & a slightly mis-judged landing approach could easily alter the quality of the rest of your life or worse…. end your life.

Basic Visual Gear Check: Do it. 
Take charge & ownership of your life and your safety as a camera flyer. Never be shy about requesting a basic visual (hands off) gear check before exiting (to those around you). I have caught over a dozen mis-routed chest straps (on experienced jumpers) and at least a half dozen partially dislodged pins or pilot chutes just prior to exit in my career. Those mistakes could easily affect you or the others that you are jumping with. I realize that some people do not want their pin(s) checked & that is okay. There is no excuse for simple visual laziness though. Your efforts to maintain a standard visual safety gear check of at least 3 straps and 3 handles (to those around you) prior to exit can be contagious and is contagious.

Strive to always arrive alive so that we can enjoy the shuck & jive!
J.C. Colclasure


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i62 Desktop Wallpaper: PD Factory Team by Kenneth Gajda

Blue Skies Magazine i62: February 2015 | Centerfold by Kenneth Gajda

Treat yo’ self. And yo’ computer. Install this desktop wallpaper, straight from our February 2015 issue centerfold and instantly be transported onto the PD Factory Team, photographed by Kenneth Gajda.

Blue Skies Magazine i62: February 2015 | Centerfold by Kenneth Gajda

The PD Factory Team forms an orderly queue during their team camp last October at Skydive DeLand. (l to r): Gage Galle, Ian Bobo, Brian Vacher, Shannon Pilcher and Jessica Edgeington.
Photo by Kenneth Gajda

Download wallpaper (1600×1200)

i62: February 2015

Blue Skies Magazine issue #62, February 2015 |

We’re one cover away from just naming our February issues the “Luis Prinetto Guide to Looking Cool” chronicles. What can we say, we just <3 Luis. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If you are not a current subscriber, you can change that right here, right now. You can also buy copies of this issue without a subscription! [products SKUs="sub,BACK2015"] Please give it until March 1 for the postal service to get your mag to you. If you still don't have it by then, let us know by emailing Kolla at and she’ll get you sorted.

Blue Skies Magazine issue #62, February 2015 |

i62: February 2015 | Cover Photo: Organizer Luis Prinetto gives the “two minutes until beer light” sign during Flight Camp 2014 at Skydive Sebastian. Photo by Norman Kent • | Cover story: “How I Finally Became a Better Tandem Instructor” by Hannah Kruse

Cover Photo: Luis Prinetto over Skydive Sebastian by Norman Kent

It’s tbt all durned month!

Blue Skies Magazine February 2012 Issue #28

TBT: i28, February 2012 with our Valentine Luis

Luis = Valentine’s Day.

Cover Story: “How I Finally Became a Better Tandem Instructor” by Hannah Kruse

They were just customers I didn’t really listen to and I only wanted to get back to the hangar without any incident. Next one please, here comes a real man!

Read the full article online at

Featured Photo

“Steve Curtis exiting the Otter over Skydive Arizona with Cardinals football attire. Photo by Niklas Daniel •

The FlyBy

  • Reader Question: Have you ever thought of quitting?
  • Comic Relief: Take It DZ by Nadene
  • New fabric from Aerodyne, FX-11.
  • LET ME TAKE A SELFIE. Are you a selfie master? Prove it. Send your best Blue Skies Mag selfie (a selfie with your favorite BSM sticker, T-shirt or mag cover) to Winners will get glory and glorious prizes.
  • Books! “No Shit There I Was, Thought I Was Gonna Die” and “The Fuckin’ Pilot: The Book” are both out now for your smutty book club.

The 4 Photographs by Jeff Agard

Which quadrant are your photos in?

Countless times, I have seen photos given to tandem students after their jumps that are SO horrible from the point of view of composition (think instructor’s head cut off). In spite of this, the tandem student is overjoyed, showing a picture that screams, “Look what I just did!” and will proudly display that picture everywhere she can, despite it featuring a headless instructor.

Full online reprint coming soon!

World-Record Momma by Melissa Lowe

Another generation of Nelsons has arrived …

So what’s it like jumping after having a baby? Fucking awesome! I’m a World Record Momma!

Full online reprint coming soon!

I <3 Vertical Suits by Joel Strickland

One man’s unabashed valentine to Vertical Suits.

Any instructor worth their meager wages will happily talk you into a coma about measurements and materials and shapes and styles.

Full online reprint coming soon!

Centerfold by Kenenth GAJDA

Gajda, not Gadja, like we stupidly printed. We’re sorry Kenneth, we <3 you!

The PD Factory Team forms an orderly queue during their team camp last October at Skydive DeLand. (l to r): Gage Galle, Ian Bobo, Brian Vacher, Shannon Pilcher and Jessica Edgeington. Photo by Kenneth Gajda.

Killing The Competition, La Barrie Style by James La Barrie

If James learned everything he knows about running a business from his parents, they must be like the Trump family of Antigua!

It’s important that we all realize that skydiving isn’t in the skydiving industry; it’s in the hospitality industry. We are putting on a show every day in which the actual “skydive” is just one component.

Full online reprint coming soon!

Who Can You Trust? by Sydney Williams

Tales of a former N00b!

When you’re listening to a podcast, or reading threads on, or reading articles online, if you don’t personally know the author, it’s really hard to get a gauge of who they are, what their experience is, and if you can trust it.

Full online reprint coming soon!

NoPro in Skydiving Competition by Kurt Gaebel, NSL

I will once again be provocative and say that I don’t see any “pros” in our sport at all, professional athletes, as they can be found in other real professional sports.

Read the full article online at

A Chip off the Ol’ Pilot by Bailey Ricci, feat. the Fuckin’ Pilot

The Fuckin’ Pilot sired an articulate, independent, funny and heart-breakingly charming young woman. Who woulda thunkit?

Not many kids can say their dad’s true intention in life is to show them the world, but luckily this punk gets a dad like that.

Full reprint coming soon!

A**holes by Melanie Curtis

Yell out, “Hey asshole!” in a DZ hangar and let us know how many people respond, “What, asshole?”

As alternative as it may seem to the non-skydiving greater world, we as skydivers are indeed a family. We are a connected circle of great people with fierce enthusiasm for life and capacity for love. We’re here for each other. We make our lives collectively better when we come together.

Read the full article online at

Dear SkyGod by SkyGod

If you start wincing before you start reading, you’ll get a head start on the game!

Change your profile to black and you can be part of the secret society of mourners and make your whuffo friends think your sport is uber dangerous.


Guess who pays for your magazine to be printed and delivered to your doorstep? These guys. If you’re in the market for stuff of any kind, buying from these guys (and letting them know you saw them in Blue Skies Mag) will help keep the mags coming to your door.

Aerodyne Research
Bee Realty Corp
Bev Suits
BSM store
Edge BASE magazine
Fluid Wings
Larsen & Brusgaard
Learn to BASE jump
Melanie Curtis
Mirage Systems
Opening Shock
Performance Designs
PIA Symposium
Planet Green Socks
Skydive Radio
Sun Path Products
Tony Suits
United Parachute Technologies
Vigil America
Velocity Sports Equipment
Wicked Wingsuits

PD Factory Team 2.0 Raffle – we have a winner!



Bless their little swooping hearts, the PD Factory Team put together this precious video of the great grand draw.

Jessica Edgington did the honors for the first place winner, and the name she pulled out of the hat was no other than our very own president of the Blue Skies Mag Movie Club – Missy Keough!   Who will from now on be known as Melissa KA-OUW. Or Kapow. We think it fits!

Congrats to all the winners!

List of winners, drawn from 750 raffle tickets!

Grand Prize: Custom colored main by Performance Designs, Optimum reserve by Performance Designs, Javelin Odyssey  with all options from Sun Path Products, Expert Cypres from Airtec, helmet from Cookie Composites, 2x N3’s from Alti-2, custom jumpsuits from Liquid Sky Sports, shoes, socks and shoelaces from ChutingStar!
Melissa Keough

2nd Prize: Helmet from Cookie Composites, N3 from Alti-2
David Bosanko

3rd Place Prize (10x): Flight-1 Canopy Course
Samuel Benson
Thomas Nguyen
Bartcomiej Goldman (Bigos)
Noelia Crovato Romero
Sara Poremski
Positive Thoughts (aka Angie Sullivan)
Brett Whip
Scott Brown
John M. Wallace
Alexander Teskey

4th Place Prize (5x): Swag-bags with goodies
Ryan Cutter
Kritter Weiss
Sean Barchie
Stephan Waluga
Joseph Videc

Winners will receive a notification the PD Factory Team, detailing how to claim their winnings!

PD Factory Team Raffle 2.0

pdft raffle poster 2014

Our neighbors across the street (well, across a few streets if you want to get all technical about it) are doing their raffle thing again – with some quality gear on the line. Tickets are $60.00 each, and a total of 750 of them are up for sale. The odds just might be in your favor this time.

pdft raffle poster 2014Grand Prize: (1 available)
1 custom color main canopy from Performance Designs
1 Optimum reserve from Performance Designs
1 custom Javelin Odyssey with all the options from Sun Path Products, Inc
1 Cypres 2 Expert/Speed from CYPRES
1 helmet (G3 or Fuel) from Cookie Composites
2 N3s from Alti-2
1 jumpsuit from LiquidSky Sports
1 pair of shoes, socks and CSE shoelaces from ChutingStar

2nd Place Prize: (1 available)
1 helmet (G3 or Fuel) from Cookie Composites
1 N3 from Alti-2

3rd Place Prizes (10 available)
$150 voucher for Flight-1 course

4th Place Prizes (5 available)
PDFT swag bag

This year everyone that buys a ticket will also get personalized high-resolution digital thank you poster.
The PD Factory is an international team with members all around the world. The raffle is open to all jumpers, with last year’s winner hailing from Ireland.

Instructions from the PD Factory Team on how to purchase:
Visit the PD Factory Team website to purchase your ticket(s).  On that page is a form field you should fill in with the name you’d like to have on the poster.  You may purchase than one ticket on the time – but only one poster is supplied per order. If you’d like different name, do it as a separate order.  Posters will be sent out once all tickets are sold.  Since it’s a digital poster, you don’t need to worry about your shipping address; the poster will be emailed to the email used to purchase the poster.