Photo by Daniel Angulo | D-28777
In the days of belly-mounted reserves, baggy mustard-colored jumpsuits and scuffed white plastic helmets, jumpers dreamed only of flying relative to one another. Then—63 years ago—skydivers made the first baton pass in freefall, and the whole sport changed. Since that time, many new disciplines have emerged. In the early 1990s, freeflying was the latest craze. In the late 2000s, wingsuiting became popular. And in the last few years, angle-flying (aka movement jumps) has become the hottest discipline.
As each new discipline evolved, it created a ripple of discovery, which included overcoming challenges and climbing learning curves. Where does this new disciple fit into the exit order? What’s the freefall drift and freefall speed? What is the proper equipment to use? As disciplines evolved and practitioners started being able to answer these questions, USPA evolved too, working with members to develop sections in the Skydiver Information Manual that educated and addressed safety concerns. Now USPA is going through this process with movement jumps.
At the summer 2020 USPA Board meeting, the Safety & Training Committee created a movement-jumps subcommittee consisting of Northwest Regional Director Luke Aikins (chair) and Southwest Regional Director Jack Pyland. After her election in November 2020, National Director Melissa Lowe joined the subcommittee.
On January 22, several leaders of the angle-flying community—including Tom Baker, Jesse Leos, Sharon Har-noy Pilcher and Luis Prinetto—with assistance from Wade Baird and Ben Nelson, met with the subcommittee. Together, the consulting members and the subcommittee worked to identify the unique challenges of movement jumps and how USPA could help educate members by developing new recommendations specific to the discipline in the SIM. The full board accepted the proposed recommendations at its 2021 winter board meeting and added Section 6-12—Movement Jumps to the SIM.
Highlights of the new section include:
- Participant and leader skill-level recommendations
- Skill-level chart
- Identifying hazards
- Pre-flight checklist
This sport has come a long way, and it’s exciting to see it continue to grow. USPA is committed to growing along with it.
Jumpers can read SIM Section 6-12 online at uspa.org/sim.
National Director Melissa Lowe | D-20224, AFF Instructor and PRO