Horizontal movement dives are fun… free flowing… and inherently potentially much riskier than dives that fall straight down. Any dive in which jumpers plan horizontal movement other than tracking for separation after breakoff requires good planning and execution to minimize the additional risks to everyone on the load.
Above photo by Daniel Angulo!
That responsibility is 100% the job of the organizer(s) doing movement jumps, and it should not be taken lightly.
Spaceland has developed several policies for tracking/angle dives with the blessings of our staff and experienced tracking organizers. Please read all of and follow these guidelines to help keep us all safe.
Movement Dive Safety Basic Guidelines
- Design your dives and select your group with safety in mind. Consider jumper experience, dive plan, group size, and winds to develop a plan that will minimize any chances of compromising other groups’ airspace. Then discuss the plan with the rest of your load, adjusting as needed to maximize safety. If you need help, ask a more experienced angle/tracking organizer and/or consider getting coaching before leading these dives.
- Use the dry erase board in the loading area to draw your dive plan for the jump, and make sure all other movement groups on the load do as well, so you can visualize the plans and adjust as needed to divide the airspace safely. Jump run is marked with a black magnetic arrow.
- DO NOT break off towards the line of flight.
- Always have a straight-down dive as a backup plan in case conditions such as clouds, changed jump run direction, modified exit altitude, etc., will make your primary plan unsafe.
- New to these dives? Jump with an experienced organizer/coach until you fully understand the risks and have sufficient technique and awareness to not increase these risks.
- Each jumper should carry a mobile phone in a secure pocket, and program the following three numbers into it: Manifest (281-369-3337), ICE or In Case of Emergency number (family/responsible person for us to contact in case you are hurt), and the jump organizer. Call 911 first if you land out and are badly hurt, and call us second. Call us also if you land out but are unhurt to let us know you are OK and if you need a ride. Also call your jump’s organizer with the same information.
- These dives have a higher chance of landing off the DZ. Also, since you’ll open away from the usual jump run, we may not see you if you land out or have a malfunction. Don’t expect a ride if you land out; we’ll do our best to get you if we see you, but assume you’re on your own. If you have a cutaway, note where you opened so we can help you find your main. Identify an appropriate alternate landing area right after opening and fly conservatively to it, then make the phone calls described below.
- We highly recommend AADs for all skydivers.
- Make sure to manifest your group as a movement dive. If you don’t declare your intentions with manifest, the increased last-minute load organizing may result in you missing the load.
Suggested Minimum Experience for Horizontal Dives
|Dive type/role||Minimum experience||Notes|
|Track with coach||No minimum||Experienced coach/organizer strongly recommended|
|Solo track||200 jumps||Consult with safety officer or experienced tracking/angle organizer on dive plan|
|Group track||At least 100 jumps||3 or less people per group; we recommend that your first 10 tracking/angle dives be
with an experienced organizer/coach
|1 on 1 angle dive||At least 100 jumps||Experienced coach/organizer strongly recommended|
|Group angle dives||At least 200 jumps||We recommend that your first 10 tracking/angle dives be with an experienced organizer/coach|
|Lead tracks/angles||At least 500 jumps||We recommend that leaders have at least 25 tracking dives as a follower and consult with a safety officer on your flight plan|
* Individual experience and skill vary widely. You may be more or less skilled at a certain jump number than others, so please consult with our safety officers/instructors/more experienced organizers before trying new types of dives or if you have any questions at all.
Coach/Organizer Recommended Requirements
- See above minimums table. No one should lead or coach angle flying without suitable experience, and all leaders should consult with a safety officer if they have any questions.
- Make a flight plan that ensures you won’t fly into others’ airspace and lets you land on the DZ. If your jumper(s) land off due to poor planning, you may be barred from organizing these jumps until the problem has been solved.
- Screen all jumpers for skill/experience needed for the type/size of the dive. We suggest that you do not allow open participation without regard for each jumper’s skill and experience (no zoo dives).
- You are responsible for the safety of yourself, your group, and its plan. Select your skydivers and your plan carefully.
- We strongly recommend that you only lead on your back if you have an experienced tracker as your mirror face-to-earth as a directional control.
- Design your skydive to fly perpendicular to jump run, and account for any other trackers and wingsuiters.
Ensure that everyone on the dive knows:
- These dives have an increased risk of forceful freefall collisions due to combined horizontal/vertical movement, and many people can be in your blind spot. Reduce risks by keeping groups small, especially with less experienced jumpers, and thoroughly briefing good technique and awareness.
- Getting clear of the normal jump run is essential.
- These dives require a safety-focused plan. Know your dive’s plan and DO NOT deviate from it unless danger requires it.
- Determine where other jumpers/groups are before flying back towards jump run and the landing area under canopy.
- Know what to do if a jumper is left behind in freefall.
- We suggest limiting the dive to max one skydiver with a high risk of not getting to the formation, and have a plan for this.
As with other type of skydives, flyers involved in incidents caused by unsafe planning/execution may be prohibited from jumping until they obtain further training/guidance from organizers/safety officers.