About Safety Day

March 11, 2017

In early spring, the skydiving season for much of the country is just crawling out of hibernation. Most skydivers don’t jump through the cold months as often as they do in the summer, and their skills are a bit rusty. That’s when Safety Day comes. Safety Day is typically held on the second Saturday in March; however, some drop zones hold it on alternate dates. Established in 1997 from an idea by Patti Chernis, Safety Day provides a worldwide forum at local drop zones to prepare jumpers for the year ahead. Safety Day promotes safety programs and helps inform jumpers of new developments and review important information and procedures. Activities typically include hands-on review and practice of safety procedures, seminars from skydiving operation professionals and experts, equipment evaluations and more. Most days end with a social get together. USPA encourages all jumpers of all experience levels to attend. Every drop zone should host Safety Day. The below DZs have notified USPA that they will be hosting Safety Day. If you don’t see your drop zone listed, contact the DZO or S&TA to express your interest and see what they have planned. 

Planning Your DZ's Next Safety Day
  1. Announce to your jumpers that your DZ is hosting a Safety Day.
    You may want to offer incentives to boost attendance. Many DZs offer free or discounted jump tickets, free food, discounted reserve pack jobs, door prizes, or any combination. And plan a party for afterward.

  2. Select a suitable location.
    Think comfort. If the hangar won't be warm or large enough, consider a restaurant, school gym, motel, or veteran's lodge. Anticipate a good turnout and be sure you have room for lectures, training-harness drills, and rig inspections.

  3. Put a training syllabus and staff together.
    Feel free to use the training ideas included here, which involve the four modules or stations below, with just some ideas on content.
    • Gear Check and Review— Have jumpers inspect their rigs with a rigger. Check closing loops and flaps, pilot chute snugness and condition, velcro, three-ring condition, RSL routing, AAD compliance with battery and factory check, etc.
    • Skydiving Emergency Review and Drills— Review all types of problems, reinforce altitude awareness, discuss disorientation, practice in a suspended harness.
    • Canopy Flight and Landing Patterns—Use aerial photos to show acceptable and unacceptable outs, review hazards, establish or review landing patterns, and discuss canopy handling toward preventing low-turn accidents.
    • Aircraft Procedures and Emergencies—Review exit order and loading procedures, seat belt and weight and balance concerns, spotting procedures, visibility minimums and cloud clearances, air traffic control requirements, and aircraft emergency scenarios.

  4. Don't forget the PR.
    Give recognition to those who turn out and those who teach. Remember that many local news organizations may want to provide news coverage. And consider that the skydivers who don't participate may need more of your staff's attention when the season kicks in.

  5. The Ches Judy Award | Selections Due by February 21.

    A Special Honor: Receiving the Ches Judy Award

    Do you know a jumper who always looks out for others or whose efforts make your drop zone a safer place? Safety Day is the perfect time to give that deserving someone recognition for a job well done. Remind your S&TA or drop zone owner to select a recipient for the Chesley H. Judy Safety Award. The award should be presented to someone who, in the previous year through example, deed, training or innovation, has promoted safe skydiving in a substantive way. To receive a free, frameable certificate to present to your DZ’s Ches Judy Award winner, Safety & Training Advisors or drop zone operators should send the full name of the recipient, the drop zone location and the presenter’s mailing address to safety@uspa.org no later than February 21.

  6. Reporting on Safety Day | Submissions Due by March 20
    A list of all participating drop zones, photos of the various Ches Judy award recipients, a report on any new or innovative ideas and a selection of the day’s best snapshots will appear in the May issue of Parachutist. Drop zones must submit reports and photos by March 20 to be considered for print publication. Submissions should be made via the form that will be available on this page after March 1. The Ches Judy recipient photo should be a headshot or a crop-able photo in which the recipient is prominent.

Like skydiving, Safety Day is also about fun. It certainly won't be hard to encourage jumpers to get together at the end of the day's activities for some mid-winter socializing. Make sure to include that in your Safety Day plan, too!

Submit Safety Day Write-Up

Reports must be received by Monday, March 20 to guarantee inclusion in Parachutist.
All reports will appear online.


Chesley H. Judy Award

Register Your DZ for Safety Day

Enter the code shown above in the box below
Safety Day T-Shirts

Cost: $4.25 each (add $2 for XXL) plus shipping (no quantity requirements). For orders of 12 or more shirts, drop zones can add their logos to the sleeves at $1.50 more per shirt.
Order Deadline: February 21 for events held on March 11—or at least two weeks in advance of your alternative event date
Contact: Lynne Smith at lsmith@uslogo.net; (888) USA-LOGO