Jumping at an unfamiliar drop zone can be intimidating, especially to newer skydivers who may have jumped at only one place so far. Jumpers need to approach visiting a new location with caution and planning, whether it is just a weekend jumping out of a Cessna 182 or sharing the skies with hundreds of jumpers at a large boogie. And this caution applies to jumpers of all experience levels.
Many drop zones do a good job with new-jumper orientations and provide a solid briefing that covers all of the necessary information. However, some drop zones don’t do much, leaving it up to the individual to figure out where to land and other critical information.
In addition, during the past three years, USPA has required all of its Group Member drop zones to separate high-performance canopy traffic from those who are flying standard landing patterns. So even if you are an experienced jumper who has traveled extensively, you need to check for new rules and guidelines if you’re going to a DZ that you don’t often visit—maybe the landing area rules have changed.
When you visit a new drop zone, be sure to cover the following before manifesting for your first jump:
Visiting new drop zones, jumping at boogies and experiencing new aircraft is all part of the fun of skydiving. By preparing thoroughly, you’ll be able to enjoy it all as safely as possible.
—Jim Crouch | D-16979
USPA Director of Safety & Training
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