In early April, USPA’s Executive Committee voted to allow the Phantom Airborne Brigade to jump at Group Member drop zones. The Phantom Airborne Brigade is one of several groups that performs military-style static-line jumps using round parachutes.
These groups have caused some concern because the jumps they do are static-line jumps with round main parachutes, chest-mounted round reserves, no altimeter, no automatic activation device and no reserve static line, and they generally jump from 1,500 feet AGL. Many of the jumpers are not licensed skydivers and have not gone through USPA’s student training programs. Although some of these groups include USPA members, the low-altitude jumps violate USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements, and therefore DZs allowing the jumps are violating USPA’s Group Member Pledge.
However, unique among these groups, the Phantom Airborne Brigade requires its jumpers to be verified military jump school graduates. Other groups accept jumpers with no skydiving experience and provide them with initial static-line training.
USPA has therefore granted the PAB a waiver allowing it to conduct jump operations at Group Member DZs and to allow USPA members who are also PAB members to participate in these jumps, which must be conducted from no lower than 1,500 feet AGL. The waiver applies only to the Phantom Airborne Brigade and includes specific conditions and requirements for the jumps. Group Members allowing the other groups to jump are likely still in violation of the Group Member Pledge.
Drop zones considering hosting the PAB should email USPA at email@example.com for the full requirements and to ensure compliance.
(More articles being added every day!)
USPA 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd., Fredericksburg, VA, 22407 (540) 604-9740 M-F 9am-5pm Eastern (540) 604-9741 firstname.lastname@example.org