Generic Boogie Safety Information For Skydivers

by Gary Peek, version July 2013

excerpt from World Freefall Convention document


1. Aircraft loading and exit

The aircraft staff at the loading areas are an important source of information. They can provide you with the direction of the jump run, winds aloft information, the time between exits of groups on the same aircraft, and any information particular to the type of aircraft you will be jumping.

Loading and Exit Order:

Pay attention to the aircraft loader and approach the aircraft only from the direction indicated by the loader! Do not let your excitement or haste cause you to forget basic aircraft loading safety. (Propellers!) If there are any non-skydivers in the area who are not supervised, please watch out for them.

The direction of the upper winds may require that Tandem jumpers exit first, so please be flexible and cooperate with the Tandem Instructors if they have a request. Otherwise the exit order will probably be flat flying groups from larger to smaller, then fast fall rate groups from larger to smaller.

Exit:

Spotting is most likely done by the aircraft staff and they are very good at it. Do not second-guess them unless there is an extremely good reason! The pilot will be taking into consideration the timing of the exit for all of the groups on the airplane, and this may be different than if only your group was exiting. Your spot may not be ideal for your group, but may be necessary for all of the groups to get a good spot.

Exit lights or other obvious methods are provided to tell you when to exit, so do not delay. Go to the door, give the count, and leave. The aircraft staff and other groups of skydivers behind you are counting on your ability to do this.

Pay particular attention to the weight and balance issues with the aircraft. Do not place more jumpers to the rear of the aircraft than permitted. If you are in the later groups exiting, stay as far forward as possible.

2. Opening Altitude

There may be multiple aircraft dropping loads of jumpers over the same areas at short intervals. In order to insure that jumpers from an earlier load have descended below the opening area for the later load, you must not open high!

You need to plan your deployment altitude so that you have a fully open canopy no higher than 3000 feet AGL, and you are expected to be familiar with the opening characteristics of the canopy you will jumping in order to do this.

If you are jumping a demo canopy, you should consult the supplier of the canopy for advice on its opening characteristics.

If you experience a premature deployment or other situation that places you above 3000 feet under canopy, you must either quickly descend below 3000 feet or fly your canopy away from the jump run in order to provide clear airspace for the later jumpers.

3. Landing:

Consider all possible landing areas permitted at the event. (Refer to the site map.) The "main" landing areas can become congested at times, particularly during periods of high jump activity. There are numerous alternate landing areas to consider, so remember, "land safe, not close."

Hook Turns:

Hook turns (turns more than 90 degrees to landing) may be permitted, but may be limited to a specific area. Hook turns at a boogie are extremely dangerous and must not be done where they are not expected.

Wind Indicators:

There will probably be a large number of wind indicators, but they may not be the type that you are used to seeing. Manufacturers may have Windblades, and skydivers may have their own favorite wind socks and streamers. The normal airport wind socks are also present. Make sure to look for all of these indicators well in advance of landing. Notice: Wind indicators near the aircraft loading areas will be temporarily affected by departing aircraft!

Landing pattern:

The left hand landing pattern has become the standard in skydiving with few exceptions. On most jumps you will be opening in an area that easily permits a left hand landing pattern, so please think ahead, plan your landing pattern, and try to fit into the pattern well with other jumpers. If you open in an area that does not allow a left hand pattern, then change your landing area!

Right-of-way:

Another safety standard on landing is to give the lower canopy the right of way, because you can see them but they cannot usually see you. If you have a small canopy and descend below another canopy not descending as quickly, you must be very careful because this will suddenly change which canopy has the right-of-way. You must also not do this in order to gain the right-of-way, nor to expect it.

No-Wind Conditions:

Light and variable wind conditions can present some dangerous landing conditions at a boogie because the wind indicators may be changing, even while a load is descending. This causes some jumpers to be confused about the landing direction and to land in different directions. The best bet is to fit into a pattern with the jumpers landing before you, even if this makes your landing slightly downwind. If the winds are variable they will surely be light, and a downwind landing at those wind speeds should not be cause for concern. Concentrate on the landing and run it out. If you have any doubts about the landing pattern or direction, please land in an alternate or very open landing area, and use extreme caution.

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