General Aviation Operations and
Safety Inspectors Handbook

8700.1   CHG 17    Chapter 49
Revised 12/12/97

Conveniently included are all pertinent sections on demonstration and exhibition jumps
These are the guidelines used by the AVIATION SAFETY INSPECTORS
All changes have been highlighted in white

  J.   DOD-Sanctioned Parachute Teams.
  DOD has officially sanctioned the U.S. Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs as parachute teams. A team may have more than one unit operating under the designated team name (for example, two Golden Knight teams-- the Black Team and the Gold Team-- jumping at two different locations).

      (1) The DOD-sanctioned military team determines site acceptability, effect of wind conditions, and location of exiting the aircraft.  This includes the decision to exit over spectator area and the determination of authorized passengers onboard the aircraft during the performances.  DOD accepts the responsibility for these technical judgements with respect to the jump exhibition safety.

      (2)  An application for a certificate of authorization must be submitted to the jurisdictional FSDO.  The application must contain a statement that the military command or service has determined that adequate safety margins exist at the site (from a performers perspective) for the scheduled demonstration by the specific team on a specific date.

  K.   Nonsanctioned DOD Parachute Teams.
Other military jump teams, such as the U.S. Navy's Chuting Stars and the U.S. Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue, are not DOD-sanctioned.  They may be allowed to perform the same jumps as civilians with a USPA class D license.  Tactical airborne demonstrations must be conducted no closer than the Category II showline.

      (1)   If an authorization is required under part 105, it may be issued only for military jump operations when all aspects of training, equipment, and procedures are under the military's direct control and responsibility.  In the case of an authorization for operations over or into a congested area ($ 105.15), the unit is required to meet the same standards as DOD-sanctioned teams and hold a USPA class D license.

      (2)   If it is unclear whether a member meets USPA requirements, coordination with the military liaison or AFS-800 may be appropriate.  The IIC must determine if the team members have a class D license.

  L.    Additional Information.
  
Any complaints received by the FAA as a result of the aerial demonstration shall be forwarded to the designated military representative for disposition.  Any questions involving military team should be directed to the appropriate team. Enforcement action will be conducted according to current FAA policy.

 

11. PARACHUTING - CIVIL AND FOREIGN MILITARY TEAMS.
  
Although many airshow activities may require waivers, parachuting or skydiving demonstration jumps do not require waivers.  As provided in part 105, some of these jumps do require a certificate of authorization. An FAA Form 7711-1 is used for authorizations for parachute jumps.

  A.   Parachutist Not Associated with the USPA.
  Parachutists who are not members of the USPA and who wish to participate in a demonstration or exhibition jump over or into a congested area, must present satisfactory evidence of the experience, Knowledge, and skill equivalent to that required by the USPA   Although the majority of contacts with the parachutist are made by operations inspectors, questions concerning the airworthiness or engineering should be referred to AFS-300 and/or ASW-190 for resolution. In some cases, the local USPA area safety and training advisor may be able to answer safety questions regarding the jump and landing area. For assistance in locating a USPA area safety and training advisor in your area, contact USPA at (703) 836-3495.

      (1)   If the applicant is unable to provide adequate information about the event or jumper qualifications, inspectors may require a demonstration jump (not over a congested area) before approving an authorization.

      (2)   The USPA is located at 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA  22314 (phone number (703) 836-3495). This organization has adopted its own safety rules and licensing standards for parachutists, instructors, and jumpmasters.  Additionally, the USPA has pledged to implement a policy of self-policing so that conflicts with other airspace users are avoided and a high level of safety is maintained.  Toward this goal of assisting the FAA, the USPA has supplied every FSDO with a brochure of its rules and safety programs and has offered assistance any time the FAA has encountered problems with a particular club or has questions regarding parachuting.

  B.  Safety.
    Part 105 states rules designed to protect the general public and other users of the national airspace from sport parachuting activities.

      (1)  When a parachute jump is conducted over or into a congested area, a certificate of authorization is required.

      (2)  An open-air assembly of persons usually occupies a relatively small area. Therefore, it should not be a problem to avoid these areas during an exit.  The primary purpose of an exit limitation over an open-air assembly is to provide a higher level of safety under the remote possibility that a jumper would be unable to deploy one of two state-of-the-art parachutes.

  C.  Certificate of Authorization.
   
Section  105.15 states rules applicable to jumps over or into congested areas or open-air assemblies of persons.  FAA  Form 7711-1 is required for any jump over or into a congested area.

     (1)  The drift-over provision of $ 105.15 permits a jumper to exit an aircraft over areas other than a congested area and, with a fully deployed parachute, drift over a congested area or open-air assembly of persons, and then land in an open area. Under there circumstances a certificate of authorization is not required. However, the drift over provision does not permit any jump that results in a landing into a congested area or open-air assembly of persons unless the parachutist have obtained a certificate of authorization.

      (2)  Operations inspectors reviewing applications for authorizations to jump into congested areas or controlled airspace should look for any indication that these jumps involve special stunts or more participants than the aircraft type certificate allows. When in doubt, coordinate with the FSDO airworthiness unit. (Further information about congested areas can be found in volume 2, chapters 102 and 120.)

  D.   Parachutist's Competence.
    The competence of parachutists is extremely important when evaluating the suitability of the landing site.

      (1)  Holders of USPA class D licenses, have proven themselves to be highly skilled. Anyone holding a class D license who has actively participated (at least 50 jumps) in the sport within the last 12 months should be competent to participate in any jump where the separation criteria meets or exceeds that established for a level one landing area. (See paragraph 11E.)

      (2)  Those persons holding a USPA class D license with a current exhibition (PRO) rating have demonstrated the additional skills necessary for exhibition demonstrations in accordance with separation criteria for a level two landing area. (See paragraph  11E.)

      (3)  USPA issues the PRO rating with an expiration date that coincides with the expiration date of the holder's USPA membership.  USPA members are renewed on the basis of continued demonstration of the original certification requirements. USPA original certification requirements are membership in USPA, a USPA class D license, and the accomplishment of 10 successive jumps into a 10-meter (32-foot) diameter target area in accordance with the following:

       (a)   all required jumps are accomplished with a stand-up landing;

       (b)   the size of the canopy used during the PRO rating qualification determines the smallest canopy allowed in demonstration jumps; and

       (c)   qualification jumps are witnessed by either a safety and training advisor or by an instructor/examiner and at least two spectators.

  E.   Landing Areas.
   Generally, landing areas fall into one of two categories depending on the demonstrated competency of the parachutists and equipment used.

      (1)   Level One Landing Area.   An open area that will accommodate a safe, rectangular shaped landing area no smaller than 500 by 500 feet, up to 750 by 750 feet, with one or two adjacent sides of the rectangle used as a crowdline is a Level I landing area. The area must also permit the jumpers to land no closer than 50 feet from the spectators and to pass over the spectators no lower than 250 feet, including the canopy and all external paraphernalia. Many open field athletic areas and airport operational areas constitute a Level I landing area. Minimum competency and recency of experience requirements for Level I landing areas are at least USPA Class D license and 50 jumps within the previous 12 calendar-months, and 5 jumps within the previous 30 days on the actual canopy, or same make, model, and size of canopy to be used during the demonstration.

      (2)   Level Two Landing Area.   An open area that will not accommodate a rectangular shaped landing area no smaller than 500 by 500 feet, but will accommodate a generally round or square safe landing area no smaller than 5,000 square feet per 4 jumpers under canopy is a Level II landing area. The area must also permit jumpers to land no closer than 15 feet from the spectators and pass over the spectators no lower than 50 feet, including the canopy and all external paraphernalia.  An athletic field of similar sized area surrounded by bowl shaped structures constitute a Level II landing area.   Minimum competency and recency of experience requirements for a Level II landing areas are at least a USPA Class D license with a PRO Rating and/or members of DOD-sanctioned parachute demonstration team and 50 jumps within the previous 12 calendar-months, and 5 jumps within the previous 30 days on the actual canopy, or same make, model, and size of canopy to be used during the demonstration, Additionally, jumpers must certify that they will use both a steerable main and reserve ram-air parachute.

       (3)   Other Landing Area Considerations.  A landing area that exceeds the maximum dimensions of a Level I landing area and that permits a parachutist to drift over a congested area or open air assembly with a fully deployed and properly functioning parachute if they are at sufficient altitude to avoid creating a hazard to persons and property on the ground and that have no other safety concerns would likely not require a Certificate of Authorization as required by $ 105.15. However, any parachute jumping demonstration planned in conjunction with a public aviation event such as an airshow conducted in accordance with a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization issued by the FAA will always require a Certificate of Authorization with appropriate special provisions as required by $ 105.15 even if the landing area exceeds the maximum dimensions for a Level I area.  A parachute jumping demonstration planned in conjunction with a public aviation event is one that takes place any time after the first spectator arrives for the event that day.

  F.   Alternate Landing Areas.
  
Regardless of the parachutist's experience, "runoff" or escape areas must be considered.

  G.   External Paraphernalia.
   
Parachute teams occasionally use smoke canisters, weighted flags, and other paraphernalia attached to the jumper's boot and to long ropes attached to the jumpers. The attaching ropes are often long enough to cause a hazard to the crowd. The proximity limitations described in paragraph  11E include all attached paraphernalia.   Each jump team leader should inspect every jumper to ensure that the pyrotechnics and other paraphernalia are securely attached so inadvertent dropping is prevented. Cutaway acts may not be performed if cutaway equipment will drift into the spectator area.

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