Spotting & Separation in 2000

Larger jump planes with more groups

Multiple planes on jump run

Mixed disciplines with different fall rates

Higher exit altitudes (and winds)


Faster canopies

The state of skydiving in 2000 is very different from what it was 25 years ago. Developments in equipment, aircraft, drop zone business practices and skydiving styles have brought new problems in their wake while reducing the importance of some old problems. In no particular order, (a) we are typically jumping from aircraft that can carry 20+ jumpers, so that many more groups may be in the air at the same time. (b) some DZs operate multiple aircraft during busy times, so that a go-around may be difficult to manage safely. (c) new disciplines such as board flying, freeflying and speed skydiving mean that groups with significantly different fall rates may be on the same load. (d) exit altitudes from turbine aircraft may be as high as 15,000ft msl leading to longer freefalls, and greater exposure to higher winds typical of these altitudes. (e) The advent of GPS spotting by pilots has reduced the opportunities for students to practice spotting, and (f) faster, high performance canopies both allow us to get back from longer spots, but increase the distance flown immediately after opening when we are most vulnerable to a collision.