Jump 490 Ground Training 2022 Summer Session 2, Group 2
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 this summer 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.
WebGuy was unable to capture them during their harness training due to a schedule change.
WebGuy did capture them going through different ground training exercises in preparation for their first jump later Thursday morning.
During their 40 hours of ground training they will practice various exercises. The 98th Ground Training Facility has two mock Twin Otter bodies that cadets practice standing in the door, jumping out of and performing the freefall 10 count sequence with counts 7-10 being " Arch, Look, Pull, Check."
Perfecting the proper arch is a key component of freefall skydiving. The arch is what helps stabalize the body during freefall so the jumper is in the proper position when pulling the rip cord for the chute to deploy.
Once their parachute opens, they will follow guidence from the landing control personnel on the ground. They are given information such as wind strength and direction which helps them determine where to hold in the landing zone pattern until it is time for them to start their downwind in preparation for landing. They practice this by using a small wind sock and a taped landing zone on the floor with a Wing of Blue Jump 490 instructor calling out wind direction etc.
Once they have started preparing for landing by heading into the wind and decreasing their altitude, they must start thinking how to land safely. They will practice what is called a "Parachute Landing Fall" or PLF for short. The technique is used to displace the energy of the body contacting the earth at high speeds. The parachutist ideally lands facing the direction of travel with feet and knees together. At the moment first contact is made with the ground, the person goes from an upright position to a "buckled" body position. Then they go into a horizontal position while rotating to the side. They will practice the PLF from various heights to help them get used to the impact of landing.
After completing as successful jump and safe landing, they must now Daisy Chain the parachute lines so that they can carry the chute back to the packing area without damaging the chute.
To View photos, go to Galleries > Airmanship > Jump. At the top of page, Sort Photo Order OLDEST to NEWEST. Click on the start page you want (313- 329) or click on the link below.
*** Sort Photo Order must be set OLDEST to NEWEST for the link to take you to the correct start page.
Jump Ground Training Summer 2022 Session 2, Group 2 pgs. 313 (top of page, 2nd row) - 329
*** Jump Aerial blog and photos will be published on Thursday, July 7th.