Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Mikeandcris, May 27, 2011.

  1. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

    Jul 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Can someone please describe the summer "Jump" program? How long are the classes each day, what is taught, is there PT along with it, when do the first jumps occurr, and how many jumps can you expect (if the weather cooperates?) Any other details would be appreciated...thanks.
  2. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    from what i remember (i had it two summers ago..)
    The day goes from like 0530 til 1700 every day, depending on weather. There's a PT test the first day, and if you dont pass it you can't jump. Every day after that, there's morning PT. The "ground school" portion lasts 3 full days, from right after PT til you leave in the afternoon. It covers almost exclusively the emergency procedures, and how you recover from them. You practice in a few different types of harnesses to get a feel for body position in freefall and under canopy. You practice exiting the aircraft ("Stand in the door!") and the pattern for landing once you're under canopy.

    On the day of your first jumps (Day 4 i think) you go up to the wind tunnel in Denver to get a feel for freefall , body position, and how to be stable in the air. You'll come back and start jumping that day! Then the rest of the days are jumping, depending on weather. 5 Jumps is the max (it gets your wings), provided you are safe. If your jumps aren't safe, they'll pull you from the program pretty quickly.
  3. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Feb 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Mike - is your son in first "Go" for jump? If so, my son emailed me the entire summer OPORD (overall general dates and times for everything over the summer) and the specific AM-490 (Jump) schedule/welcome letter/info for the first session (28 May- 8 June). If you'd like to PM me your email, I'd be glad to forward them to you - the schedule has each day broken down into a schedule by elements, along with the requirements for the PT test, etc.
  4. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

    Oct 8, 2008
    Likes Received:
    On the jump days, they do alot of sitting around and waiting, especially if the wind is too high (which doesn't take much to make it where they can't jump). One day noone jumped all day. They just sit around the airfield building and wait for conditions to improve. Pretty boring if wind conditions don't cooperate. Last June, the 1st session/2nd go the whole group only got in 2 jumps per cadet. We went up for the days he was to Jump and did ALOT of sitting and waiting...

    Our cadet called us when it was close for the time he would be going up. He would tell us, i.e I will be the 5th jumper and I have a blue chute. The blue chute will be right but the 5th jumper could change, i.e. someone chickened out, or equipment problem, etc.

    If the windsock at the Thunderbird display area (which is the best place to watch from) is moving out from the pole in the least bit, they probably won't jump.

    Our cadet went up for his third jump, but circled in the plane twice before landing because the wind was too high. Said that was the pits after you had got yourself siked up to jump.

    After they jump, you can drive back over to the airfield and be there when they walk back and get pictures of his group in their flight suits and jump equipment.

    Their start times are after Soaring starts and they end before Soaring ends. I guess it is more like 8-5 since they have the pilots that pilot the drop planes. I always wondered why they didn't start earlier in the morning when the winds were calmer. Seems like the first group never dropped until well after 9 am and they were done by 4 pm (usually because of winds in the afternoons).

Share This Page