Airmanship 490’s purpose is to develop leadership traits through overcoming their fears and coping with stressful situations. The program starts with 30 hours of instruction in basic free fall parachuting technique and procedure, to include emergency situations they may encounter when jumping. The successful completion of 5 Jumps results in being awarded the Air Force Basic Parachutist Badge “Jump Wings”, which they can wear on their uniform for the rest of their Air Force Career.
AM-490 is the only program in the entire world where the first jump is an unassisted freefall.
Before their first jump, they will practice the arch that is performed during the free fall portion of the jump. This is followed by practicing the flight path they will follow in the landing zone once their chute opens. Next is the landing practice where each jumper will perform two practice landings. And finally, they practice how to daisy chain the parachute ropes for proper packing of the chute into the bag to be carried back to the Rigger Loft.
Next they put on their jump gear, have it inspected by the instructors, get a final briefing and touch the Jump wings on the wall before heading out to the Twin Otter Aircraft which will take them to the drop zone.
Both days were beautiful days for jumping. One can just imagine what goes through each of their minds as they each take that first step out of the plane to start the freefall and the relief they feel when the chute opens!
Landing for each of them brought emotions of both relief and exhilaration. The smiles they had after completion of their first free fall jump was contagious and a wonderful sight to see.
Congratulations AM-490 Jumpers on a successful and thrilling first Jump!
To View all the photos, go to Galleries > Airmanship > Jump or click the link below.