The Ram Air Progression System – Static Line
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This course involves intensive ground school training where you will learn:
• How your parachute equipment works and how check and fit it.
• How to board and exit the aircraft.
• The correct body position to make a safe, solo and stable exit
• How to recognise the airfield and land your parachute.
• How to deal with any unforeseen situations or emergencies.
The BPA system is organised into Categories 1 to 8 and requires the following jumps to be completed. It takes a minimum of 16 jumps to complete these, however the average number of jumps to reach qualification is around 20-22.
Categories 1 to 2:
The training day prepares you for the first jump. A Static-Line is used on exit to deploy the main parachute automatically, but allows you to demonstrate a good exit, body position and safety count as you leave the aircraft.
The parachute is still deployed by a static line but now ‘dummy ripcord pulls’ (DRP) are used to simulate a freefall exit and canopy deployment by practicing opening your parachute with a ‘pretend’ ripcord. Once these simulations have been demonstrated successfully and consistently on 3 occasions, then your instructor will approve your first freefall skydive.
These skydives involve freefalling and opening the main parachute at a predetermined time after leaving the aircraft (known as a delay). The first freefall delay is five seconds and must be completed within 24 hours of your last successful DRP. Once you have completed two successful five second delays you move on to Category 5.
2 freefall descents of 10 seconds.
2 freefall descents of 15 seconds, reading an altimeter in freefall, with the ‘relaxed’ body position. Exit altitude is another 1000 feet up.
Freefall descents of at least 20 seconds demonstrating precise 360° turns in both directions. Exit Altitude is a minimum of 6000 feet. Around this point, you’ll receive further canopy control training helping you achieve your Canopy Handling (CH1) certificate.
Once you can maintain and change your direction in freefall you can start having some real fun in the sky jumping from full altitude of 14,000ft. You will learn new skills including how to exit the aircraft in an unstable position and recover, dive exits, tracking (moving horizontally across the sky) and track turns.
In order to be awarded an A-Licence as a British Parachute Association qualified skydiver, you will need to complete the final stage qualification jump. Exiting the aircraft at 14,000 feet, you must show control, pecision and awareness throughout and perform the following manoeuvres:
Tracking (fast forward movement);
End of dive ‘wave off’.