Orange Skies Reopens in Colorado
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Jump Pilots: Connect with USPA

Sign up to receive the latest news and information about jump operations. By signing up, you agree to receive information from USPA about jump aircraft operations, including the monthly USPA Professional e-newsletter that is sent to other skydiving professionals such as drop zone operators, USPA rating holders, USPA Safety & Training Advisors and USPA judges. Welcome to the team! Your information will only be used for this purpose. There is no fee and you may unsubscribe at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails. View USPA's Privacy Policy.

 

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Share the Air

USPA’s Be Aware Share the Air Campaign is an attempt to help all pilots identify and avoid active parachute locations. USPA Group Members will receive a copy of both posters with their 2024 Group Membership renewal packet. DZOs, Jumpers, and Pilots are encouraged to print off extra copies and place around their airport, local FBOs, or flights schools.

Be Aware Share the Air Flyer (PDF)
Be Aware Share the Air Flyer (Large 16x20 PDF)
Skydiver Hood Ornament (JPG)
Skydiver Hood Ornament (Large 16x20 PDF)

DZ Marketing Tools

Drop zones can get positive media coverage by inviting local news outlets to attend DZ events and by providing information about the sport and the drop zone. DZs can tailor these template materials with their own information.

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    Aircraft Modifications

    Jump plane modifications that are not specifically described in the Aircraft Flight Manual must be accomplished by FAA issuance of either a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or a Field Approval. For $100 ($200 for non-members), USPA sells STCs for jump conversions of original and early model Cessna 170, 172, 180, and 182 aircraft. These STCs accommodate the removal of the door, not an in-flight door. E-mail the Government Relations department at govrelations@uspa.org or call (540) 604-9740.

    USPA In Action

    Orange Skies Reopens in Colorado

    Orange Skies Reopens in Colorado

    USPA In Action
    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Orange Skies Free Fall Center launched its opening weekend at Fort Morgan Municipal Airport in Colorado April 20-21. The inaugural weekend drew 150 skydivers for jumps from Maxim Aviation’s fast Supervan 900 (Cessna 208 Caravan). The DZ plans to be open Thursday-Monday throughout the summer and fall.

    The new DZ reopened after closing at its previous location in Fort Collins. USPA assisted Orange Skies throughout the process of accessing the municipal airport, which offers a large landing area surrounded by farmland, and many local businesses have welcomed the DZ to the new location.

    Photo by Emilio Dusch.

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    FAA Regulations and Guidance

    Review applicable regulations for conducting parachute operations, see historical and current FAA guidance and read about airport access. Also available are FAA Advisory Circulars “Recommended Standard Traffic Patterns and Practices for Aeronautical Operations at Airports without Operating Control Towers” and “Sport Parachuting,” along with the FAA regulatory requirements for ATC Notification and Authorization and FAA inspector guidance for DZs.

    DZO & Pilot Resources

    USPA Adopts Voluntary Safety Management System (SMS) for Group Members

    Monday, March 25, 2024

    SMS is a documented, structured, proactive approach to managing safety within an organization. USPA has produced a template based on ICAO and FAA guidelines that can be customized to meet each operation’s specific needs. An effective SMS program can benefit DZs by reduced risk, enhanced safety culture, improved compliance, operational efficiency and competitive advantage.

    The specific requirements of each parachute operation’s SMS will vary depending on the size of the organization; however, the four main components: safety policy, safety risk management, safety assurance, safety culture are essential.

    Within the framework of SMS, DZs can tailor the SMS framework to their specific needs, but every framework should include clear definitions of the responsibilities of the different individuals and teams. This helps everyone understand their roles and they are working together to prevent accidents and injuries.

    USPA provides support to guide DZs through the implementation process. Members are encouraged to contact USPA Director of Government Relations Michael Knight for assistance implementing SMS at their location.

    USPA SMS Template

    USPA and NTSB Educational Links

    Friday, January 28, 2022

    As a potential aviation safety improvement, USPA and the NTSB have collaborated to provide the educational links below to help jump pilots and operators improve the safety of jump flights.

    1. FAA Safety – Flying for Jump Operations
    2. Back to Basics Flying for Skydiving Operations – YouTube
    3. NTSB Safety Alert on Carburetor Icing

    NTSB Recommendations: Enhance Safety of Revenue Passenger-Carrying Operations Conducted Under Title 14

    Monday, September 27, 2021

    This is a synopsis from the NTSB’s report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations. NTSB staff is currently making final revisions to the report from which the attached conclusions and safety recommendations have been extracted. The final report and pertinent safety recommendation letters will be distributed to recommendation recipients as soon as possible. The attached information is subject to further review and editing to reflect changes adopted during the Board meeting.

    Aircraft Control After Engine Failure on Takeoff

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    Studies have shown that startle responses during unexpected situations such as power‐plant failure during takeoff or initial climb have contributed to loss of control of aircraft. By including an appropriate plan of action in a departure briefing for a power‐plant failure during takeoff or initial climb, you can manage your startle response and maintain aircraft control.

    USPA Aircraft Maintenance Guidance

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    USPA has developed a packet that has been mailed to all Group Member DZ operators that helps clarify the federal aviation regulations as they apply to operators of jump aircraft. The USPA Group Member pledge also includes new provisions clarifying FAA aircraft inspection requirements and jump pilot qualifications. Following are the packet contents:

    Cover Letter
    Maintenance Narrative and Sample
    Aircraft Status Form

    Aircraft Operations And Pilot Training

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015

    The USPA Skydiving Aircraft Operations Manual was designed to provide DZOs and their pilots with a guide to procedures and practices that supplement FAA regulatory requirements. The newly revised 2011 USPA Skydiving Aircraft Operations Manual is now available for download.

    The Jump Pilot Training Syllabus serves as an outline for topics that should be covered during initial and recurrent jump pilot training. Aircraft operators are encouraged to tailor this Word document to their needs. Sections may be added to address pilot training in specific skydiving aircraft. The syllabus was created by Chris Schindler, whose website DiverDriver, is “the jump pilot’s information resource.”

    The Flight Operations Handbook, originally by Ray Ferrell, is an in-depth template to be used to cover a variety of topics related to aircraft procedures and pilot training for skydiving operations. It includes sections on several popular skydiving aircraft, and pilot flight competency and proficiency checks. This Word document may also be edited to suit company needs.

    USPA Skydiving Aircraft Operations Manual
    Jump Pilot Training Syllabus
    Flight Operations Handbook

    Formation Flying 101: A Guide For Jump Pilots

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    One word summarizes the basis for successfully flying aircraft formations: planning. Whether you’re flying two Cessna 182s or a 12-aircraft formation for a world record, the same rules apply.

    Planning. Planning. Planning.

    Orange Skies Reopens in Colorado

    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Orange Skies Free Fall Center launched its opening weekend at Fort Morgan Municipal Airport in Colorado April 20-21.

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