Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The USPA Professional - Jump Pilot Section

Starting today we will be re-posting some interesting articles found in the Jump Pilot section of the USPA newsletter titled The USPA Professional. For those of you that have not read any of the articles, we are going to jump back to the March 5th 2020 article titled "Safety Day with Jump Pilots". 

We thought that would be a good place to start because some of you were hired after Safety Day and need to know what's involved with it and the importance of it. As us pilots know, safety is paramount!

Safety Day with Jump Pilots

Safety Day presents the perfect opportunity to strengthen the relationship between jump pilots and skydivers. Your pilots can participate in DZ safety culture by presenting a “skydiving from a pilot’s perspective” seminar, which will likely include segments on aircraft weight and balance and aircraft emergencies. Most jump pilots have scouted and planned alternate landing areas near the airport that they would use in the event of a forced landing at low altitude. Have them describe what emergencies would require the use of an off-airport landing area.

Aircraft like the Cessna 182 and Cessna 206 have Federal Aviation Administration approvals that require the jump pilot to wear a pilot emergency parachute while flying skydivers. If your pilot isn’t a skydiver, consider teaching your pilot how to egress and clear the aircraft, then use the parachute. Experienced skydivers and instructors should ensure that the pilot is wearing their parachute properly. Though skydivers seldom ride down with the plane, remind pilots of turbine aircraft that there is a risk of automatic activation device activation during a rapid descent. And have a plan to escort skydivers or observers to the rear of the aircraft, away from propellers, in the event they land with the aircraft.

Jump pilots and skydivers should communicate prior to beginning a flight. That conversation—or DZ policy—may address minimum exit altitude in emergencies for tandems or for skydivers with low experience. The goal of good dialogue between skydivers and jump pilots is to brief the essentials before action becomes necessary during an in-flight emergency.

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