Jump Aerial 2022 Summer Session 2, Group 2
There was typical Colorado weather last week with shifting winds and higher wind gust which caused the 98th Squadron to pause jumping on Thursday and only two of the seven element groups jumped. But thankfully the winds were perfect on Friday and all remaining Jump 490 students were able to complete their first jumps.
As stated in the Jump Ground blog, 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.
Prior to each jump, they get their helmut and goggles and gear up. Their jump gear is inspected by the instructors, followed by a final briefing on weather conditions, exiting the aircraft, and proper jump technique.
As they walk out of the building they touch the Jump Wings for good luck!
Then it is time to load up into the Twin Otter Airplane which will take them up to the jump altitude of 4500 feet above ground level and out they jump when instructed by the jump master.
After they load up in the Twin Otter, the Landing Control personnel (LC's) and WebGuy photographer head out to the control area. The Twin Otter will first make a pass above the landing zone and drop two streamers, yellow and red, which will help determine wind direction and speed. During this drop, Jack, one of the LC's and Wings of Blue member, was challenged with catching the streamers. He caught one of them! Apparently they were bored and needed some amusement! :)
AM-490 is the only program in the entire world where the first jump is an unassisted freefall.
It must be quite a feeling being up in the air under a full canopy and being able to get a birds eye view of the Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs. Depending on how the winds are greatly determines where they land in the drop zone. Which means sometimes they land further away towards the edges. Other times they land close to the X where the controllers (and WebGuy photographer) is stationed. This can determine the quality of photos of the cadets while under canopy and landing.
There were a few jumpers on Friday who almost landed on the orange X!
During their first three jumps they have to do a 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. Some times they don't quite get it right and do what is called a "slide".
It is always wonderful to photograph the cadets after they have jumped. You can see the excitement and relief on their faces as they walk back to the landing zone to pack their chute.
*Note: The jumpers that are under the white and blue canopy are the Wings of Blue Jump Instructors that have taught the Jump 490 students throughout their ground training and aerial jumps. Thanks to the Wings of Blue for all of their hard work and dedication to Jump 490!
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 (329 -392) 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 Aerial Summer 2022 Session 2, Group 2 pgs. 329 (bottom of page, 9th row down) - 392