Safety First!

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Without a doubt, the most important consideration we, as skydivers, have is the safety of
ourselves and our fellow jumpers. Most experienced jumpers are well versed in ensuring that
they maintain their own equipment and environment in a safe manner, but just as important is
helping ensure that you, as a licensed jumper, do the same for your friends and fellow skydivers.

  • Gear checks are second nature for experienced skydivers. Just as important as checking
    your own equipment is giving a gear check or pin check to your fellow jumpers, as well
    as keeping an eye on jumpers sharing your load. It isn’t all that uncommon to spot
    something out of the ordinary on someone else’s gear and pointing out anything that
    looks incorrect is always the right thing to do.
  • Dirt dives are an incredibly important part of planning any skydive, even if there is no
    plan. Knowing how you’ll exit the aircraft, as well as planning for any eventualities
    during the skydive will help to ensure a safe jump. Pre-planning break off altitudes and
    even discussing current weather conditions and landing patterns help to avoid off
    landings and dangerous flying patterns.
  • Staying vigilant on your flight to altitude is an incredibly important part of overall safety.
    You as the jumper have a view of the aircraft and its surroundings that your pilot does
    not, giving you the ability to avoid potentially dangerous situations well before they
    escalate. As a jumper, you are also able to ensure you and your fellow jumpers are
    properly belted in, along with your equipment.
  • Altitude awareness and situational awareness are paramount. From exiting behind the
    previous group at the proper time and having a general idea of their location while in
    freefall, to keeping an eye on your group both in freefall and under canopy, it is very
    important to know your environment.
  • Always remember, an off landing is better than flying into a traffic pattern unaware.
    Know your pattern before you jump, keep a sharp eye out for other canopies, be ready
    for any eventuality and know where all your outs are during each phase of your canopy
  • Once your jump is done, safety considerations don’t stop. As you leave the landing area
    its always important to be aware of landing canopies as they have limited options on
    short final, so keep your head on a swivel.

These, and many other safety habits adopted not only for yourself but for all your fellow
jumpers will greatly increase our overall safety and ensure that we all have years more
incredible fun with our sky family.


Douglas Smith is CEO/President, and Guest Relations Associate at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He has owned and operated the business since 2000. He has been skydiving since 1994, and in addition to leading the CSC Team, is currently an instructor, videographer and pilot for CSC.