USPA Sim's Section 9-4
Demonstration Jump Recommendations

9-4.01 INTRODUCTION

A demonstration jump, also called an exhibition jump, is one made at a location other than an established drop zone for the benefit and entertainment of spectators.

9-4.02 PURPOSE

One purpose of the USPA is to promote successful demonstration jumps as part of an overall public relations program for the sport. These demonstration jump recommendations provide a checklist and guidance on suggested procedures to help demo jumpers reach this goal.

9-4.03 SCOPE

These recommendations cover the following:

• Experience, ability and attitude

• Professional Exhibition (PRO) Rating

• Landing area size

• Technical considerations

• Insurance

 

9-4.04 GENERAL

As with all jumps, safety must be the first consideration. Next, realize that the most important aspect of a demo jump is landing in the target area. Good aerial work is not impressive if the jumpers land out. A standup landing in the target area is usually the most visible and impressive portion of a demo jump.

Demo jumps have many variables which must be considered, including wind speed and direction, equipment type, jumper experience, target areas, and alternate landing areas. Each proposed demo needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.

9-4.05 EXPERIENCE AND ABILITY

The recommended license, ratings and currency requirements are:

A. Open Field and Level 1 (as defined by USPA and accepted by the FAA):

1. USPA D license or higher

2. 50 jumps on the same canopy within the past 12 months

B. Level 2 (as defined by USPA and accepted by the FAA):

1. Hold the USPA Pro Rating.

2. 50 jumps on the same canopy within the past 12 months

C. Stadium(as defined by USPA and accepted by the FAA):

1. Hold the PRO rating.

2. 50 jumps on the same canopy within the past 12 months

 

9-4.06 ATTITUDE

While a good demo jump is great public relations to the sport, a poorly performed demo may severely damage skydiving’s image. Therefore, it is important to recognize and understand that sometimes it may be in the best interest of the individual jumper and skydiving in general not to make the jump at all.
A mature attitude should be exhibited at all times.

A. Promise no more than you can produce and then perform with expertise and efficiency.

B. Take no unnecessary chances.

C. Know what you are getting into before getting there.

D. Recognize and deal with the air of excitement that surrounds a demo jump.

E Make mature and professional judgments in dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

F. Delay or cancel the demo when conditions are not right for a safe jump.

 

9-4.07 PROFESSIONAL EXHIBITION (PRO) RATING

The Professional Exhibition Rating is recognized by the FAA and serves as a certificate of proficiency. It is not required for all demos, but may be a valuable advantage for working with the FAA.

For further information on obtaining or renewing the PRO rating, please refer to SIM Section 3-3.

9-4.08 SIZE AND DEFINITION OF LANDING AREA

A. Level 1 and Level 2: All FAA-authorized demonstration jumps are classified as either Level I or Level II. USPA with the FAA’s concurrence defines these areas as follows:

1. Level 1: An area that will accommodate a landing area no smaller than at least 250,000 square feet up to 500,000 square feet (example: 500 x 500 feet, up to 750 x 750 feet, or an area with the sum total that equals 250,000 square feet, up to 500,000 square feet) with a one-sided linear crowd line that allows jumpers to drift over the spectators with sufficient altitude (250 feet) so as not to create a hazard to persons or property on the ground, landing no closer than 50 feet from the spectators. Many open-field athletic areas constitute a Level 1 area. Minimum requirements for this landing area are a USPA Class D License and 50 jumps within the previous 12 months, with five jumps within the previous 30 days on the actual canopy or the same make, model, and size of the canopy to be used during the demonstration.

2. Level 2: An area that will not accommodate a 250,000 square-foot area (500 x 500-foot area) but will allow an area no smaller than 5,000 square feet per four jumpers where a jumper can fly under canopy no lower than 50 feet above the crowd and land no closer than 15 feet from the crowd line. Parachutists who certify that they will use both ram-air main and ram-air reserve parachutes will be permitted to exit over or into a congested area, but not exit over an open-air assembly of people. Minimum requirements to conduct this demonstration jump are a USPA D license with a PRO Rating and 50 jumps within the previous 12 months, with five jumps within the previous 30 days on the actual canopy or the same make, model, and size of the canopy to be used during the demonstration. This area would require an FAA Form 7711-2 to conduct an approved demo and requires a USPA PRO rating.

3. Stadium: A Level 2 landing area defined as a standard athletic field that is 100 yards long or a similar-sized area (baseball soccer, football, field hockey, etc.) surrounded by stands or elevated structures on two, three, or four sides, or a stadium configuration that is shaped like a bowl. This area would also require an FAA Form 7711-2 to conduct an approved demo and requires a USPA PRO rating.

B. Open Field

1. A minimum-sized area that will accommodate an area no less than 500,000 square feet (e.g., 750 x 750 feet, or an area with the sum total that equals 500,000 square feet), that allows a jumper to drift over the spectators with sufficient altitude (250 feet) so as not to create a hazard to persons or property on the ground, landing no closer than 100 feet from the spectators. Minimum requirements for this landing area are a USPA D License and 50 jumps within the previous 12 months, with 5 jumps within the previous 30 days, on the actual canopy or same make, model and size canopy to be used during the demonstration.

2. Jumper-to-spectator separation should not exceed those limits required of a Level 1 demo.

C. For PRO Ratings holders, there should be no less than 5,000 square feet of landing area per four jumpers. An additional 800 square feet per jumper is required for any jumper landing within 30 seconds of the last of any four jumpers.

D. Alternate landing areas (run-offs or escape areas) must be considered when evaluating a demonstration jump. Small targets often become acceptable when alternates are available. The alternate landing area must be of sufficient size to accommodate, as a minimum, a Level 1 landing area for the jumper(s) and as not to create a hazard to persons or property on the ground.

 

9-4.09 TURBULENCE AND TARGET PLACEMENT

Recommended minimum distances from major obstacles should never be disregarded, especially in windy conditions. Major obstacles affect air currents and can cause turbulence. Major obstacles include large buildings and trees. A single tree, pole, fence, etc., is not considered as a major obstacle. Stadium jumps usually involve turbulence that should be considered. Jumpers should be thoroughly familiar with the turbulent-air flight characteristics of their canopies.

9-4.10 MAXIMUM WINDS

A. When considering wind limits, include wind turbulence and the capabilities of the reserve canopy.

B. USPA recommends that all demonstration jumps be conducted with a maximum 15 mph ground wind limitation.

C. For stadium jumps, the wind should be measured at the top of the stadium and turbulence should always be anticipated.

 

9-4.11 EQUIPMENT

A. Main canopy:

1. Level 1, open field, and stadium: ram-air type
required.

2. Level 2: ram-air required by FAA.

B. Reserve canopy:

1. Open field: should be steerable.

2. Level 1, Level 2, and Stadium: the FAA requires that jumpers making a demonstration jump over or into a congested area use a square reserve canopy.

C. Smoke: should be hand-carried or attached to an easily ejectable boot bracket. Warning: military type (M-18) smoke grenades are extremely hot and should not be hand held.

D. Personnel: jumpers and support staff should have a sharp, clean appearance to make a better impression and present a professional image.

 

9-4.12 AERIAL MANEUVERS

Aerial maneuvers should be rehearsed, just as any professional would give a show a dry run. Participants should be aware of their exit point, freefall drift, and opening point. Landing on target takes priority over air work. One should be prepared to break off, track, or pull high if necessary. Some suggested maneuvers:

A. Freefall:

1. Barber pole: two or more jumpers with two or more colors of smoke, exit and hook up. The jumpers then spin the formation creating a giant barber pole.

2. Starburst: three or more jumpers exit and form a star, then break, make a 180 turn, and track apart.

3. Cutaway: one jumper opens, cuts away and deploys a second main canopy.

 

Note: The jumper is required to wear three parachutes, one of which must be a TSO'd reserve and the rating holder must wear a TSO'd harness.

B. Canopy: radical canopy maneuvers should not be performed below 500 feet. At this point the jumper has about 30 seconds to set up for landing. Some suggested maneuvers:

1. Smoke: after opening, ignite smoke and drop on a 10-foot line. Make a series of turns in one direction. Line should be releasable from the upper end if it becomes necessary. Be careful in crossing over obstacles on approach. Make sure the smoke container won’t burn through the line.

2. Flag: a flag may be attached to the rear lines or dropped below the jumper on a weighted line. A ground crew should catch the flag so that it won’t touch the ground.

3. CRW: should only be performed by experienced CRW jumpers. Efforts at CRW should stop no lower than 2,500 feet AGL.

 

Note: It is much more difficult and dangerous to land a canopy stack on target than it is to land canopies separately.

9-4.13 CROWD CONTROL

A. Fortunately, jumper-spectator contact rarely occurs and it should be avoided if at all possible. Reasonable precautions should be taken to keep the spectators out of the landing area. People not sitting may move toward the target, but they will not always move out of the way of the landing jumper.

B. Jumpers should pick up their canopies immediately after landing, or some spectators may decide that they make good souvenirs. If you plan on packing in the crowd, keep an eye open for drinks and cigarettes.

 

9-4.14 GROUND SIGNALS

Ground-to-air communication should be maintained. This may be accomplished by a radio, smoke or a panel. It is best if a backup to your primary signal exists in case the primary fails.

If a Certificate of Authorization (FAA Form 7711-1) is issued, it may require ground-to-air radio communication .

9-4.15 ANNOUNCER

An experienced skydiver on the public address system contributes to a quality demonstration jump:

A. The announcer can point out the aircraft, explain each phase of the jump, give general information and explain any unusual occurrences such as a reserve activation or a jumper missing the target.

B. The announcer can contribute to crowd control by asking spectators not to enter the target area.

 

9-4.16 OTHER ACTIVITIES

Activities after the jump add to the entertainment of the spectators.

A. Packing demonstration: Team members pack their parachutes in view of the spectators. Pack slowly, explaining each step and answer questions. Often this facet of the demonstration is more effective if one person packs while another does the talking.

B. Answer questions: Respond to spectator questions politely and factually. Direct persons interested in jumping to the USPA or distribute brochures advertising a drop zone.

 

9-4.17 ADVICE AND APPROVAL

Approval may need to be secured from Federal, State or local officials before a demo can be performed.

A. Local:

1. It may be necessary to contact local authorities prior to a jump.

2. The FARs require airport management approval prior to a jump onto the airport. (Reference section 11, FAR 105.17).

3. A call to the local police is recommended. They may offer to help in crowd control and with prior knowledge of the jump, they are less likely to respond to a call that "there has been a mishap and people are falling out of the sky."

B. State:

1. It may be necessary to contact the state department of aviation.

2. The local S&TA or I/E notified of the demo should be able to assist the organizers in meeting all state requirements.

C. FAA:

1. Almost every jump requires that the FAA be notified. (Reference section 11, FAR 105.25)

a. For any jump the nearest ATC or FSS must be notified at least one hour before the jump.

2. Congested areas and open air assembly of persons:

a. FAR 105.15 states that no jump be made over or into a congested area or open air assembly of persons until a application for a certificate of authorization (FAA form 7711-2) has been filed and a certificate of authorization (FAA form 7711-1) has been issued.

b. The local S&TA or I/E notified of the demo should be able to assist the organizers in meeting all federal requirements.

D. USPA:

1. The jumper is required by the BSRs to contact the local S&TA or an I/E for demonstration jump advice. The following information should be provided:

a. Date and time of jump

b. Exact location

c. Exit altitude

d. Aircraft identification

e. Pilot

f. Participants by name and qualification

g. Planned routines

2. The S&TA or an I/E providing advice for a demonstration jump should use this section as a guideline. The I/E whose advice was sought should contact the S&TA for the area or the drop zone at which the flight will originate.

3. The S&TA should assist the jumpers in meeting all applicable state and federal requirements and check that the requirements have been met. All authorizations and permits should be carried on the jump by the organizer or team captain.

4. The S&TA should investigate both the proposed area and the participants. The rating holder may recommend the use of specific jumpers or advise the organizer to use only individuals meeting certain experience requirements. General advice allows the organizer greater flexibility in making last-minute substitutions of aircraft and participants.

5. When consulted for a demonstration jump, the S&TA may recommend certain additional limitations such as wind speed and direction, altitude, etc. The S&TA should consider the information in this section when making recommendations and should question, "All things considered, are the chances of performing a safe and professional demonstration jump reasonably good?"

 

9-4.18 INSURANCE

A. USPA membership insurance (public liability and property damage) will NOT cover any jump made for professional demonstration purposes.

B. Professional is defined by the insurance company as any jump done for reward, remuneration or promotional purposes. Just because a demonstration jump is done without compensation (for free) or is done for a charitable or religious group or occasion does not remove the jump from the professional demonstration category. Spectators at charitable and religious affairs can be injured and can bring suit, just like spectators at any other occasion.

C. Demonstration Insurance can be obtained through USPA Headquarters. Applicants are reminded that insured jumps must be made in compliance with USPA BSRs and FAA Regulations, including seeking advice, in advance, from an S&TA or an Instructor/Examiner in order for the insurance to be valid.

 

9-4.19 RELATED READINGS

A. FAA Part 105, Parachute Jumping

B. FAA AC 105-2C, Sport Parachute Jumping

C. FAA AC 91-45C, Waivers: Aviation Events

D. SIM section 3-4

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