The following recommendations are generally accepted minimum standards for parachuting operations. While not considered to be absolute minimums like the BSRs, variations from these recommendations must be applied for in writing to the applicable technical committee(s), and written approval obtained.
Waivers to these recommendations may require additional conditions in order that the prescribed deviation does not add an unacceptable compromise to safety.
3.1 DROPZONE CLEARANCES
Areas used for regular parachuting operations shall be unobstructed, with the following minimum distances from the target in every direction to the nearest hazard:
- Student, Solo, A & B CoP holders 325 ft. (100m)
- C and D CoP holders 80 ft (25m)
Hazards are defined as:
- transmission lines
- open bodies of water
- fences, over 2.5 metres in height
- towers, buildings, goalposts and lamp standards
- well-traveled roadways
- trees, above canopy height and large forested areas
The following are the maximum wind speeds, at canopy height, in which sport parachute jumps may be carried out:
- Student Parachutists - 15 mph (7 m/sec.)
- Solo, A&B CoP holders - 18 mph (9 m/sec.)
- C & D CoP holders - 25 mph (11 m/sec)
- Night & Water Jumps - 10 mph (5 m/sec.)
- Exhibition Jumps - 18 mph (9 m/sec.)
- Tandem jumps – 25 mph (11 m/sec.)
3.3 WIND DRIFT MEASUREMENTS
A method of determining wind drift should be performed to measure the wind strength and direction:
- at the beginning of each days jumping
- when there has been a significant change in wind speed and/or direction
- when 90 minutes or more has elapsed between jumps
- prior to all Exhibition jumps
On jumps where the opening delay exceeds ten (10) seconds, every parachutist shall wear at least one reliable and functioning altitude sensing device capable of accurately indicating the altitude above the ground.
No parachutist shall jump unless wearing suitable footwear.
3.6 TANDEM PILOTS
When Tandem Pilot(s) and passenger(s) are on board an aircraft, no jumper should exit the aircraft below 1220 metres (4000’), except in emergency situations.
Tandem passengers should be attached to the Tandem Pilot prior to opening the aircraft door.
RECOMMENDATIONS PERTAINING TO STUDENTS
3.7 DUSK JUMPING
On jumps scheduled close to darkness, students should be dispatched so as their descent and landing takes place prior to official sunset.
3.8 COACH/INSTRUCTOR HEADWEAR
All Coaches and Instructors, while in the role of a coach or instructor, shall wear shock absorbing protective headwear throughout the entire freefall and parachute descent.
3.9 DISPATCHING METHODS
There are two recommended methods for dispatching non-freefall student parachutists (for technical procedures refer to the Jump Master manual); these are:
- Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD)
- Static Line (S/L)
3.10 FREEFALL TRAINING
- Prior to advancement to solo freefall after an IAD or S/L program, student parachutists shall have demonstrated controlled training pulls on two or more jumps.
- Prior to advancing to solo freefall within a PFF or TAFF, student parachutists shall have demonstrated two or more controlled training pulls and controlled pulls on two actual jumps.
- Student parachutists making their first solo freefall jumps must do so on the same day they complete their last successful freefall training jumps. (IAD, S/L, or PFF jump)
- Students in a tunnel PFF program must have completed 20 minutes of tunnel time and demonstrated consistent training pull exercises in the tunnel.
A student parachutist who has not made a jump within the previous 60 days shall make a check-out jump with an instructor before returning to solo freefall.
All experienced parachutists should contact their dropzone for re-currency requirements and more information.
3.12 STUDENT SUPERVISION - GROUND CONTROL
A Ground Control Instructor (GCI) must be adjacent to the intended student landing area to provide guidance to students in the landing of their canopies, through use of a recognized method of signaling. Recognized signaling methods are:
- designated point system
- arm panels and signals
The student is provided appropriate equipment and is trained to respond to two recognized signaling methods, one of which shall be a radio. Guidance will cease at the discretion of the Instructor.
3.13 STUDENT PROGRESSION
All students should follow (and coaches/ instructors use) the CSPA Skills Grid system of progression.
3.14 PARACHUTE PACKING
Main parachutes used by students shall be packed by an individual holding a current Main Packing Endorsement or failing that, a person under direct 1:1 supervision of someone holding, as a minimum, a Coach 1 or CSPA/FAA Rigger rating.
Individuals packing equipment for student use must be properly instructed and endorsed (as per PIM 2B-Section 7) for the specific parachute system(s) in use.
RECOMMENDATIONS - ADVANCED
3.15 PREPLANNED INTENTIONAL CUTAWAYS
CSPA Registered Participants may perform in air practice of intentional cutaways, provided they hold a CSPA A CoP or higher and have completed at least 50 jumps in the past 12 months and have completed an Emergency Procedures Review no more than 30 days prior to the intentional cutaway. A second reserve parachute, with no pilot chute installed, (a tertiary system with meshed modifications if using a ram-air reserve) must be worn on a single harness which has correctly installed D-rings on the main lift web. The procedure for manual reserve deployment must have been practiced. See an experienced SSE or a certified rigger who have experience with intentional cutaways for the necessary instruction.
Actual separation from the main parachute shall be made at a minimum altitude of 900 metres (3000’) AGL with due consideration for other open canopies and ground hazards. The jump aircraft pilot must be advised if the main canopy is to be released at a higher altitude.
3.16 WATER JUMPS
Parachutists, possessing at least an A CoP, and a Water Jump endorsement should review the recommended procedures prior to taking part in water jumps (see PIM 2B). In addition to general equipment recommendations and BSR requirements, participants should be able to swim and must wear running shoes, a personal floatation device, and a rig that allows unrestricted exit from the harness.
All first time water jump participants should be supervised regardless of CoP level.
Parachutists who do not have a water endorsement and have no intention of engaging in water jumps are still highly encouraged to seek out information pertaining to possible unintentional water landings as a part of their Emergency Procedures Review(s).
3.17 NIGHT JUMPS
Parachutists, possessing at least an A CoP, and a Night Jump endorsement should review the recommended procedures prior to taking part in night jumps (see PIM 2B). Night jumps are to be performed wearing a steady or flashing light visible through 360 degrees. Visual instruments should be illuminated with a steady light. Parachutists must have good canopy control skills and be capable of performing reliable standup landings prior to participating in night jumps.
All first time night jump participants should be supervised regardless of CoP level.
Parachutists who do not have a night jump endorsement and have no intention of engaging in night jumps are still highly encouraged to seek out related information pertaining to landing in low light conditions as part of their Emergency Procedures Review(s).
Those participating in night group skydiving activities shall hold a CSPA B CoP, a night endorsement, and be proficient at equivalent tasks performed during daytime group freefall.
3.18 GROUP FREEFALL
Group Freefall/Relative Work (RW) refers to all skydiving activities where in freefall, two or more individuals engage in close proximity and/or interaction with each other in any way. Examples include Formation Skydiving, Sit-Flying, Vertical Formation Skydiving (VFS), Freeflying, Freestyle, Sky Surfing, Wingsuit Flying, etc.
For all group freefall activities, as a minimum, participants shall hold a B CoP.
The A CoP holder may participate in 2 way 1:1 relative work with a B CoP holder experienced in that discipline (minimum of 100 jumps and Coach 2 approval). (Note: with an additional three jumps coached by a Coach 2, A CoP holders may jump with another A CoP holder who also has the additional three coached jumps. Both must demonstrate safe separation and approaches, and have Coach 2 approval for each jump.)
A Solo Certificate holder may participate in 1:1 Formation Skydiving in a belly to Earth orientation with a rated Coach 2, for the sole purpose of obtaining the 2-way FS Endorsement.
Minimum break-off altitude for Formation Skydiving (belly to Earth orientation) is 3,500 feet AGL. Minimum break-off altitude for VFS, Free-flying, Sit-Flying, Freestyle, Sky Surfing, Wingsuit Flying, etc. is 4,000 feet AGL due to higher freefall speeds. After obtaining a B CoP, it is the responsibility of each participant engaged in any group freefall activity to be informed of the specific safety practices, equipment concerns and other relevant information that pertains to that freefall discipline.
3.19 CANOPY FORMATION (CF)
Participants must hold a CSPA B CoP and have demonstrated competence with a ram-air canopy. The following safety guidelines should be followed:
- if not already docked, do not attempt to dock lower than 600m (2000’) AGL
- minimum break-off altitude for a canopy formation is 300m (1000’) AGL unless the intention is to land the canopy formation.
Participants shall do their first 5 to 10 jumps with a Coach 2, who has reasonable canopy formation experience. Reasonable experience is defined as demonstrating the following:
- 10 completed 4-stacks
- the ability to safely perform a side-by-side and a down-plane
3.20 CANOPY PILOTING
Introduced as an IPC competitive discipline in 2003, Canopy Piloting is a new, exciting facet of our sport, with a potential for serious injury to the uninitiated. Skydivers entering a canopy piloting competition should have at least 500 high performance landings—100 of which should have been in the 12 months prior to the competition.
3.21 SKY SURFING
Parachutists must hold a CSPA C CoP. Participants engaging in Sky Surfing must be aware of the inherent dangers involved when using equipment which may be beyond their level of experience. Different size boards can drastically affect aerodynamic stability in the air.
Ideally, jumps with boards should be made from large-door aircraft. Jumps can be made from light aircraft such as a Cessna and should be thoroughly pre-planned. All jumps should be discussed with the pilot of the aircraft and the other parachutists on board. Extra care must be taken during exit so as bindings do not release prematurely.
3.22 CAMERA JUMPS (Videographers)
Experienced skydivers must possess a minimum of a B CoP and 200 jumps. They should be competent in the freefall discipline in which they wish to participate as a videographer, should seek advice from experienced freefall videographers regarding the type of equipment to be used in order that they may safely engage in this activity. At least one functioning audible altimeter must be used, and an Automatic Activation Device should also be used.
3.23 WINGSUIT JUMPS
Experienced skydivers must possess a minimum of a B CoP and 200 jumps. They should receive one-on-one instruction from an experienced* wingsuit jumper. This instruction should include training in gear selection, rigging and proper wearing of the suit, pilot briefing, aircraft exit, heading awareness, basic flight techniques, deployment and emergency procedures.
Wingsuits that restrict and/or modify a manufacturer’s intended use of emergency handles are strictly forbidden. Modifications of any part of a rig and/or wingsuit to function together must only be done with the explicit permission and guidance of the affected equipment manufacturer and only by persons with the required training and ratings to do so.
*Wingsuit manufactures should be consulted as their definition of “experienced” may vary based on the wingsuit model in use. Wingsuit schools recognized by the manufacturers are an excellent source of information that should be utilized as a means of getting into this ever developing segment of skydiving.
CSPA recommends the following pieces of equipment as a minimum when participating in wingsuit jumps: audible altimeter, active AAD, and an appropriately lengthened bridle.
3.24 EXHIBITION (DEMONSTRATION) JUMPS
- be in possession of a valid EJR.
- use ram-air parachutes for both main and reserve, and
- use a main parachute which meets the wing loading and performance characteristics of the parachute on which EJR qualification jumps were performed.
In order to ensure the safety of both parachutists and spectators it is strongly recommended that caution be employed if utilizing high wing loaded main canopies (in excess of 1 lb: 1 sq. ft.) on exhibition jumps. Exhibition jump organizers must verify that there is a sufficiently clear, unobstructed, landing area for the parachute types used. Small, highly loaded, high speed main parachutes should not be used on exhibition jumps into small (less than 50 metre radius) or obstructed landing areas.
If using pyrotechnics (smoke) during Exhibition Jumps, participants should be thoroughly briefed on the safe storage, handling and the extra precautions needed when using these devices. See the T&SC section of the CSPA website for particulars.
3.25 HIGH ALTITUDE JUMPS
Optional use of oxygen on the aircraft:
- No jumps shall be made from an aircraft that has flown for more than 30 minutes between 10,000 and 13,000 feet ASL unless there is, on board, a system that supplies breathable oxygen sufficient for the duration of the flight above 10,000 feet. There should be a minimum of one mask, for up to 10 jumpers, with an additional mask for every additional 10 jumpers.
Mandatory use of oxygen on the aircraft:
- No jumps will be conducted from an altitude above 13,000 feet ASL unless there is, on board, a system that supplies breathable oxygen sufficient for each jumper for the duration of the flight above 13,000 feet. There should be one mask for each person on board the aircraft.
Oxygen for descent (Freefall or CF):
- No exits shall be made above 15,000 feet ASL for canopy descents or 20,000 feet ASL for freefall descents unless the jumper(s) are each wearing bail-out bottles and masks proven as acceptable for use during parachuting descents.
Additional training requirements:
- All participants involved in parachuting activities above 20,000 feet ASL should have attended a Physiological Flight Training session within the previous 24 months.
- All participants involved in parachuting activities above 20,000 feet ASL shall be equipped with a functional Automatic Activation Device.
3.26 STUNT JUMPS
The CSPA does not consider stunt jumps conducted for the media or entertainment industries as a normal part of the sport of parachuting. The Association neither condones nor condemns such activities.
Sport parachutist intending on participating in stunt jumps are urged to adhere to the CSPA Basic Safety Rules and Technical Recommendations as the absolute minimum requirements and should also take into consideration the possible need for additional time and/or altitude when performing with costumes or props which could impair the operation of emergency equipment or obscure vision required for the safe operation of all components. Props or equipment modifications must not interfere with, or delay, the orderly deployment of emergency equipment.
While the CSPA does not attempt to regulate stunt or BASE jumps, the participants should be aware that many other entities will attempt to do so, i.e. local Workers Compensation Boards, Transport Canada, NAVCAN, Unions, Guilds and various law enforcement agencies.