Two USPA drop zones in Arizona have recently experienced an increase in general aviation traffic flying directly over their airports during skydiving operations.
Skydive Arizona, at the Eloy Municipal Airport (E60) and Complete Parachute Solutions, at the Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) are located southeast of Phoenix and conduct intensive parachute activity.
Both drop zones are depicted with a parachute symbol on the Phoenix Sectional Aeronautical Chart. Pilots are encouraged to monitor the airport radio frequencies and avoid over-flying these airports by five miles.
Let’s safely share the sky!
The popularity of skydiving is increasing. The U.S. Parachute Association is experiencing growth and currently represents some 32,000 skydivers from all 50 states. An estimated three million individual jumps were made in 2009, the safest year since 1961. Skydivers jump at 220 USPA-affiliated drop zones, all of which are located on public-use and private-use airports throughout the United States. Skydivers generally exit between 10,000 and 14,000 feet AGL and deploy their parachutes between 2,000 and 5,000 feet above the ground, above and inside the airport traffic pattern.
The FAA recognizes skydiving as an aeronautical activity, with skydivers enjoying the same rights and responsibilities as other general aviation users. FAR Part 105 – Parachute Operations, contains the operating rules and specifics regarding parachute equipment and packing. ATC is always notified of the locations of parachuting activity and jump pilots are in radio communication with ATC prior to every drop. ATC advises nearby aircraft of the activity and can provide vectors around skydiving if requested. Jump pilots also announce parachute operations on the airport UNICOM/CTAF prior to every drop.
USPA is officially recognized by the FAA as the representative of skydivers in the United States. The USPA Basic Safety Requirements have been established as the cornerstone of a self-policing principle. The BSRs represent the industry standard generally agreed upon as necessary for an adequate level of safety. All USPA-affiliated drop zones have pledged to abide by the FARs, BSRs, ensure all employees and staff are appropriately qualified and trained, hold USPA ratings and/or FAA licenses and certifications commensurate with their duties.
For more information visit the U.S. Parachute Association’s Web site at www.uspa.org