The Basic Safety Requirements (BSRs) have been established as the cornerstone of the self-policing principle upon which skydiving is based. The BSRs represent the industry standard generally agreed upon as necessary for an adequate level of safety. Research can be conducted to develop and document new methods and procedures within the BSRs and, when necessary, under waivers to the BSRs, in order to establish a justifiable basis to modify these standards.

2.02 SCOPE

This section includes two fundamental, interrelated USPA publications:

A. The Basic Safety Requirements

B. Waivers to the Basic Safety Requirements



Referred to as the BSRs and included below, these principles describe the generally accepted practices and conditions considered important for a desirable level of safety.

A. Purpose—The reason for the BSRs is to promote practices aimed at eliminating incidents in skydiving and, by doing so, make skydiving safe and enjoyable.

B. Safety is accomplished by reducing the risk factors. This requires everyone involved in skydiving to:

1. Acquire knowledge and make a continuing effort to add to and improve that knowledge.

2. Practice and prepare for both the expected and the unexpected.

3. Accurately evaluate personal capabilities and limitations.

4. Stay alert and aware of surroundings.

5. Keep options open.

6. Exercise good judgment.

7. Evaluate the risk factors.

C. The BSRs are established by evaluating incidents and identifying their root causes. Failure to follow the BSRs may not always result in an incident, but many incidents are the result of not following these risk reduction procedures.

D. The BSRs are changed from time to time by the Board of Directors, as equipment and practices develop and evolve.



Also included in this section, waivers to the BSRs describe
procedures for documenting exceptions to the BSRs.

A. Waivers also provide for the responsible development of new techniques and methods. The BSRs are designed to establish safety standards for common situations; however, local circumstances may allow for greater tolerance in some cases.

B. Each BSR is categorized as either waiverable or non-waiverable. Those which are waiverable are categorized as to who may file the waiver.

C. The purpose for filing a waiver is to document that the particular BSR has been evaluated in the individual case and that the prescribed deviation and conditions do not represent an unacceptable compromise of safety.


Note: Each paragraph in the BSRs has a marginal notation of: S, E, FB or NW, in a list at the end of this section, this identifies its waiverability as indicated in Section 2-2.


A. These procedures apply to all jumps except those made under military orders and those made because of in-flight emergencies. Voluntary compliance with these procedures will protect the best interests of both the participants and the general public.

B. A "skydive" is defined as the descent of a person to the surface from an aircraft in flight when he or she uses or intends to use a parachute during all or part of that descent.

C. All persons participating in skydiving should be familiar with:

1. SIM Section 2 through 2-2.

2. SIM Section 3-1 USPA licenses.

3. USPA Recommendations.

4. All federal, state and local regulations and rules pertaining to skydiving.



No skydive shall be made in violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. This includes the use of restraint systems in the aircraft by all skydivers during movement on the surface, take off, and landing.


All persons engaging in skydiving should:

A. Carry a valid Class I, II or III Federal Aviation Administration Medical Certificate; OR

B. Carry a certificate of physical fitness for skydiving from a registered physician; OR

C. Have completed the USPA recommended medical statement.



Civilian skydivers are to be at least:

A. The age of legal majority (to execute contracts); or

B. 16 years of age with notarized parental or guardian consent.



A. All student first jump instruction is to be under the direct supervision of a currently and appropriately rated USPA Instructor. All subsequent instruction is to be under the direct supervision of a currently and appropriately rated USPA Jumpmaster.

B. All student skydives are to be made under the direct supervision of a currently and appropriately rated USPA Jumpmaster aboard the aircraft until the
student has been cleared by a USPA Instructor to jumpmaster himself.

1. Accelerated Freefall students on Levels I, II or III require two currently rated USPA AFF Jumpmasters to accompany the student in freefall. All AFF jumps on Levels IV through VII require at least one USPA AFF Jumpmaster to accompany the student in freefall. All IAF jumps in the Tandem/IAF progression method require at least one USPA AFF Jumpmaster to accompany the student in freefall.

2. Foreign Jumpmasters and Instructors appropriately and currently rated by their national aero club may train students from that nation in the U.S., provided the instruction is conducted in accordance with Skydiver’s Information Manual Section 2-1. Appropriately and currently rated U.S. Jumpmasters and Instructors may assist in this training.

C. No skydiver will simultaneously perform the duties of Jumpmaster and pilot-in-command of an aircraft in flight.

D. Student skydivers are to:

1. Initially make five (5) static line or five (5) IAD jumps to include successfully pulling a practice ripcord (or throw out pilot chute on IAD jumps) on three (3) successive jumps while demonstrating the ability to maintain stability and control prior to being cleared for freefall; OR

2. Successfully complete all learning objectives of AFF Levels I through III before being cleared for Level IV and complete all learning objectives of Level IV through VII prior to being cleared to jump without direct supervision; OR

3. Initially make a minimum of three (3) tandem jumps with a USPA Tandem rating holder and complete all TLOs of the Tandem Phase of instruction prior to being cleared by a USPA Tandem Instructor for the IAF Phase of instruction of the USPA Tandem / IAF training program.


2-1.06 WINDS

Maximum ground winds:

A. For all solo student and novice skydivers:

1. 14 mph for ram-air canopies.

2. 10 mph for round reserves.

B. For licensed skydivers are unlimited.



Minimum container opening altitudes above the ground for skydivers are:

A. Tandem jumps–4,000 feet AGL

B. All students and novices–3,000 feet AGL

C. A and B license holders–2,500 feet AGL

D. C and D license holders–2,000 feet AGL



A. Areas used for skydiving should be unobstructed, with the following minimum radial distance to the nearest hazard:

1. Solo students and novices–100 meters

2. A license holders–100 meters

3. B license holders–50 meters

4. C license holders–50 meters

5. D license holders–Unlimited

B. Hazards are defined as telephone and power lines, towers, buildings, open bodies of water, highways, automobiles and clusters of trees covering more than 3000 square meters.

C. Manned ground-to-air communications (e.g., radios, panels, smoke, lights) are to be present on the drop zone during skydiving operations.



The appropriate altitude and surface winds are to be determined prior to conducting any skydive.


A. Night, water, and demonstration jumps are to be performed only with the advice of the local USPA S&TA, Instructor/Examiner, or Regional Director.

B. Pre-planned breakaway jumps are to be made by only class C and D license holders using FAA TSO’d equipment.

C. Demonstration jumps into Level 2 areas, to include stadiums, require a D license with a USPA PRO Rating



A. Each skydiver is to be equipped with:

1. Flotation gear when the intended exit, opening, or landing point of a skydiver is within one mile of an open body of water (an open body of water is defined as one in which a skydiver could drown).

2. A light when performing night jumps.

B. All students are to be equipped with the following equipment until they have been cleared by a USPA-rated Instructor to jumpmaster themselves.

1. A rigid helmet (except tandem students)

2. A piggyback harness/container system that includes a single point riser release and a reserve static line

3. A visually accessible altimeter

4. A functional automatic activation device that meets the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule

5. A ram-air main canopy suitable for student use

6. A steerable reserve canopy appropriate to the student’s weight

7. For freefall, a ripcord-activated, spring-loaded, pilot chute-equipped main parachute (except tandem or IAD students)

C. Novices may make an equipment transition to another type of deployment system after being signed off for self-jumpmastering by an appropriately-rated USPA Instructor. The novice must receive additional ground instruction in emergency procedures and deployment-specific information before jumping the unfamiliar system.

D. For each AFF jump, each AFF Jumpmaster shall be equipped with a visually accessible altimeter.



Supplementary oxygen available on the aircraft is mandatory on skydives made from over 15,000 feet (MSL).


2-2.01 PURPOSE

The United States Parachute Association makes a concentrated effort to give maximum advice and information to the skydiving community. To meet this objective, USPA provides recommended procedures for conducting skydiving operations. The Basic Safety Requirements, however, represent the commonly accepted standards believed to be necessary to promote safety in average conditions. Since these standards may be an unnecessary burden in some individual circumstances, USPA provides procedures to document exceptions, known as waivers to the BSRs. These waivers also provide for the responsible research and development of improved techniques and methods.


Waivers to the Basic Safety Requirements are filed at three levels: the S&TA or USPA Instructor/Examiner, the Executive Committee of USPA and the full Board of Directors of USPA. Neither USPA Headquarters nor any other person or group of persons except those here stated has the authorization to file a waiver to any BSR.


A. Each paragraph of the BSRs will be identified as to who is required to file the waiver.

B. Waivers are to be filed only when the person(s) filing the waiver is assured that there will be no compromise of

C. The person(s) filing the waiver should make periodic inspections to ensure that safety is not being compromised and to determine if the waiver should be rescinded. In the case of waivers by the Executive Committee, the Regional Director will perform these inspections and make recommendations to the Board.

D. Any waiver filed by an S&TA or I/E will be in writing.
A copy of the waiver will be sent to both the Regional Director and USPA HQ.

E. S&TAs are not to file waivers for skydiving activities outside their assigned area.

F. If there is a conflict between an S&TA and an I/E as to whether a waiver should be filed, the decision of the S&TA will be final.

G. The Executive Committee or full Board of Directors will not file a waiver without consulting and notifying the local S&TA and Regional Director.



A. Persons filing waivers will maintain permanent records of all waivers filed by themselves.

B. The S&TA and Regional Director will maintain permanent records of all waivers filed for skydiving activities within their area. The records will be kept in such a manner as to indicate those waivers currently in effect and those which have been rescinded.

C. USPA Headquarters will maintain a permanent record of all waivers.



The following symbols are used to identify who may file a waiver:

S -- Safety & Training Advisor or Instructor/Examiner only

E -- Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only

FB -- Full Board of Directors only

NW -- May not be waived - (The waiver filing authorization code (NW) must first be eliminated by a vote of the full BOD before the BSR can be waivered.



Listed below is the identification of who may file a waiver to each of the paragraphs of Section 2-1–Basic Safety Requirements.

2-1.01     NW: May not be waived

2-1.02     NW: May not be waived

2-1.03     NW: May not be waived

2-1.04     NW: May not be waived


A     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only

B     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only

C     NW: May not be waived


1     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only

2     NW: May not be waived

3     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only

2-1.06    S: Safety and Training Advisor or Instructor/Examiner only

2-1.07     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only


A     S: Safety and Training Advisor or Instructor/Examiner only

B     NW: May not be waived

C     NW: May not be waived

2-1.09     NW: May not be waived


A     NW: May not be waived

B     E: Executive Committee of the USPA Board of Directors only



1     S: Safety and Training Advisor or Instructor/Examiner only

2     NW: May not be waived


1     NW: May not be waived

2     FB: Full Board of Directors only

3     NW: May not be waived

4     FB: Full Board of Directors only

5     FB: Full Board of Directors only

6     NW: May not be waived

7     FB: Full Board of Directors only

C     NW: May not be waived

2-1.12     NW: May not be waived


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