Jump 490 Ground, Summer Session 1 Group 1

One of the more challenging programs provided by USAFA, Airmanship 490 or AM-490 is a Basic Freefall Parachuting Program that the Academy offers, and it is the core mission of the Wings of Blue and the 98th Training Squadron, all the Cadets on the Wings of Blue team are certified AM-490 Instructors and Jumpmasters. Its purpose is to develop leadership traits through overcoming their own fears. They will be given instruction in basic free fall parachuting and familiarization with emergency parachuting. The successful completion of 5 Jumps results in award of the Air Force basic parachutist badge "Jump Wings", which they can wear on their uniform for the rest of their Air Force career and completion during summer before sophomore year fills one of the few military training requirements that Cadets at USAFA have. Several hundred Cadets over the course of year will have to "STAND IN THE DOOR."



AM-490 is the only program in the entire Air Force where the first jump is an unassisted freefall. Because of this unique difference all students, cadet or staff who go through this program will have roughly 40 hours of ground training before their first jump.


Part of their training takes place in the wind tunnel where they can practice the proper free fall form.  This summer the cadets will be taking advantage of the new wind tunnel just outside the North Gate entrance called I FLY.  The three owners are '79 grads from the Academy, Michael "Omar" Bradley, Karl "Korky" von Kessel, and Joel Maynard. They are all retired Colonels with extensive flying careers. The tunnel is a 40-foot-tall, 14-foot-diameter, enclosed glass wind tunnel, the tallest in the nation and the newest generation. They take flyers as young as 3 years old with no prior experience necessary. Other amenities they offer include a full bar and pizza oven, an outdoor deck with mountain views, several rows of stairstep seating to watch fliers, conference room for company meetings or other gatherings and a party room.



Each cadet gets 4 minutes of tunnel time with an instructor.  The first two minutes are done in just flight suit, helmut, goggles etc.  The instructors use hand signals to help direct the cadet get into the proper free fall form.  Once all the cadets in the group have gone through their initial 2 minutes, they will then put on the parachute and do another two minutes practicing the pull sequence after free fall to release the parachute. ***Note: They do NOT pull the chute while in the tunnel. 



***Note: There were five groups that participated in the wind tunnel. So you will see the groups in their flight suit first, then again in the harness. When you see them in their flight suits, you will know a new group started in the tunnel.

To view this session of Ground Training go to GALLERIES> Airmanship > Jump. Set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Then select your start page(1-62). Or click on the link below.

***Photo order must be set OLDEST to NEWEST for the link to take you to the correct start page.

Summer 2022 Ground Training Session 1 Group 1 Jump 490 Ground Training pgs. 1-62         

 Summer Session 1, Group 1 Jump Ground Training