Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review - AIM 3-5-4 Parachute Jump Aircraft Operations


A good Jump Pilot is always reviewing and never gets complacent. I've flown at drop zones that are located at public airports and at some that are located at private airports. Although there may be less air traffic at private airports, that does not mean that there isn't any. At private airport DZs I always had more enroute aircraft nearby, most of which are not talking to ATC. Always look and listen for any traffic that might be in the area. When you do see or hear any traffic, expect them to not pay attention and to make a mistake. The day that you don't expect them to make a mistake, they will!

It is also a good idea to (in a friendly manner) remind FBOs at nearby airports with a phone call or visit that you are conducting skydiving operations, your location and your normal operating hours. Anytime that I have done this it was appreciated and even led to a few tandems being sold. Now let's review AIM Chapter 3, Section 5, Paragraph 4, Sub-Chapter C.

3−5−4. Parachute Jump Aircraft Operations

c. Parachute operations in the vicinity of an airport without an operating control tower − there is no substitute for alertness while in the vicinity of an airport. It is essential that pilots conducting parachute operations be alert, look for other traffic, and exchange traffic information as recommended in paragraph 4−1−9, Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports Without Operating Control Towers. In addition, pilots should avoid releasing parachutes while in an airport traffic pattern when there are other aircraft in that pattern. Pilots should make appropriate broadcasts on the designated Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), and monitor that CTAF until all parachute activity has terminated or the aircraft has left the area. Prior to commencing a jump operation, the pilot should broadcast the aircraft’s altitude and position in relation to the airport, the approximate relative time when the jump will commence and terminate, and listen to the position reports of other aircraft in the area.

My fellow Jump Pilots, please remember to review often and fly safe so that you can continue to have fun!


- skydiverdriver.com

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