Tracking dives are fun… free flowing… and inherently potentially riskier than dives that fall straight down. Any dive in which jumpers plan horizontal movement will require additional safety considerations to reduce the additional risks. Spaceland has developed several policies for tracking/angle dives with the blessings of our staff and experienced tracking organizers. Please follow these guidelines to help keep us all safe.
- DO NOT track back to the line of flight after tracking away (except when breaking off as planned from your group).
- 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 skydives.
A tracking dive is one in which most of the freefall is spent in a track, with a fairly normal freefall descent rate and a lot of horizontal movement. These jumps often cover up to a kilometer (0.6 mile) or more horizontally in a straight line or with minimal course changes.
An angle flying dive is one in which there is a horizontal component, but the angle is much steeper than a conventional tracking dive. These are often also called atmonauti or tracing dives. These dives have a faster fall rate than typical belly or tracking dives, and less horizontal movement. There may be several horizontal direction changes.
Both types of dives are significantly more dangerous than typical dives where participants fall straight down as they can potentially encroach on other groups’ airspace, increasing the risk of freefall and canopy collisions.
Tracking/angle flying dive organizers (solos included) must turn in a flight plan and be familiar with our tracking/tracing dive policies before each jump. Make sure to manifest your group as a tracking/angle flying dive. If you don’t declare your intentions with manifest, the increased last-minute load organizing may result in you missing the load.
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.
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 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 please).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. 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.
Tracking/Angle Flying Dive Policies
- Provide manifest with a flight plan (get these in manifest) for each dive so they can note it on the load sheet and inform the pilot and loader.
- If there are multiple tracking and/or wingsuit groups on a load, work together to divide the airspace safely. If you need help, ask a more experienced angle/tracking organizer.
- Be careful who you jump with. These dives have a higher rate of injuries from freefall collisions due to combined horizontal/vertical movement, and many
people can be in your blind spot. 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.
- It’s your responsibility to plan/fly a flight plan that guarantees you won’t fly into others’ airspace and lets you land on the DZ.
- Do not fly up or down jump run under canopy until you are sure the airspace is clear of the prior/next groups.
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.