Another installment of safety talk as the Pepperell Boogie approaches, woohoo!
What’s one of the three useless things in flying that directly relates to parachuting? The altitude above you. Do you know your minimum opening altitude for your class license? You should! Go check out the SIM section 2-1 item G.
G. Minimum opening altitudes [E]
Minimum container opening altitudes above the ground for skydivers are:
1. Tandem jumps—4,500 feet AGL
2. All students and A-license holders—3,000 feet AGL
3. B-license holders—2,500 feet AGL
4. C- and D-license holders—2,000 feet AGL
And what about your hard deck for deciding whether to cutaway or land your main?
If you have reached your hard deck decision altitude and you haven’t cleared whatever malfunction you are dealing with, even if it’s as benign as a simple line twist, what would you do? What have you done?
I would hope these are all questions that each of us have already made a decision about and stick to that decision when the time comes.
The first part of this post comes from a little personal wake up call as well as a few basement runs I’ve witnessed recently. For me as I discovered more and more ninja tricks in flying my wingsuit slower and longer especially at break off time I was finding my internal clock and sense of “it’s time to pull dummy” was getting skewed and I was pulling much lower than I should be. I was still within the limits for my license, but I was unstowing my brakes lower than I felt comfortable with if I had to deal with malfunctions.
With big ways filled with D license holders I’ve become accustomed to seeing, especially the center, burn it down low. But smaller 4-16 ways with people deploying lower than 2500 ft I’m not use to seeing. Being able to count line groups on solo lower licensed jumpers as they deploy isn’t normal either.
Why deploy low? Why not deploy higher so you have time to deal with any possible malfunctions?
Fly safe everyone!