USPA Category B Information for Student Skydivers


Canopy

  • Under canopy you should always look before you turn to avoid a mid-air collision
  • Your final leg of the landing pattern should be a straight-in approach (no S-turns)
  • All skydivers have hard landings at some point – performing a PLF (parachute landing fall) will help distribute the force of a hard landing and help to prevent serious injury

Emergency Procedures

  • Pull priorities (in order of importance):
    1. Pull
    2. Pull at the correct altitude
    3. Pull at the correct altitude while stable

Parachute Malfunction Review

After deploying your parachute you should ask yourself 3 questions, in this order:

  1.  Is it there (parachute fabric)?
  2.  Is it square (inflated)?
  3.  Is it controllable/steerable?

Canopy Fails the First Test; IS IT THERE?

  • Hard Pull/No pull: If you cannot locate your pilot chute handle or you cannot pull your pilot chute handle, then you may make two more attempts (roughly 2 seconds) to do so.  If you still cannot deploy your pilot chute, then initiate emergency procedures.
  • Pilot chute hesitation: If your pilot chute has become stuck in your burble (you deployed your pilot chute, but cannot see it), then you need to check over each shoulder to change the airflow and allow for activation to proceed.
  • Pilot chute in tow: If you can see an inflated pilot chute, but no canopy, then you need to initiate your emergency procedures.
  • Bag lock: If you can see the deployment bag and pilot chute, but no canopy, then you need to initiate your emergency procedures.
  • Horseshoe/Premature deployment: If you see your deployment bag, but have not initiated deployment, then you need to try to locate the deployment handle (two tries in 2 seconds). If you cannot locate your pilot chute handle, then you need to initiate emergency procedures.

Canopy Fails the Second Test; IS IT SQUARE?

  • Hung slider: The slider remains near the canopy and is not sliding down the lines. Wait no more than two seconds to see if the slider comes down at all and if there will be any further inflation.  If the canopy does not inflate any further, then initiate your emergency procedures.
  • Line over: The canopy is asymmetrical and may be turning on its own. Initiate emergency procedures.

Canopy Fails the Third Test; IS IT STEERABLE?

  • Major canopy damage: Perform a controllability check and if you cannot control the canopy, then initiate emergency procedures.
  • Stuck slider: If the slider will not come down fully and is impeding full inflation, then release your brakes and pump the toggles until the slider descends completely. If the slider will not come down and you cannot control the canopy (by 2500 feet), then initiate emergency procedures.
  • End cell closure: If either or both end cells do not completely inflate, then release your brakes and hold the toggles at hip level until they inflate. Repeat if necessary.  If the canopy is not controllable by 2500 feet, then initiate your emergency procedures.
  • Line twists: Pull your risers apart and bicycle kick to untwist your lines before releasing your brakes. If you do not have a steerable canopy by 2500 feet, then initiate your emergency procedures.

Equipment

There are two BSRs (Basic Safety Requirements) that pertain to students:

  • Students may not jump when the surface winds are greater than 14 mph
  • Student jumps must be completed (feet on the ground) by official sunset

Spotting and Aircraft

Minimal, careful movement in the aircraft helps prevent premature activation.  When you or another person are moving about in the aircraft you should keep your elbows close to your body in order to protect your handles.

  • Winds are described by their direction of origin, said as a compass heading
    • 0° or 360° = north
    • 90° = east
    • 180° = south
    • 270° = west
  • Avoid landing on runways and approaches – if you land on a runway or taxiway then you should get off of it as quickly as possible in case there are departing or arriving aircraft
  • Read the post that explains how to read runway headings.

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