Paper on the Four Sections of the Canadian Forces Parachuting Program - Landings, Flight, Aircraft Drill and Rigging

Paper on the Four Sections of the Canadian Forces Parachuting Program - Landings, Flight, Aircraft Drill and Rigging

The Canadian forces split their basic parachuting program into four sections. Each of these sections undergoes vigorous training. Every section is just as important as the other sections; no one takes priority over the others. There is also a high fitness requirement in order to attend this course and a minimum standard must be met.

The fitness requirement for to become a parachutist isn’t easy, you must meet the standard in every aspect of the fitness test. It consists of Chin-ups, Sit-ups and a mile run. The BAM (Bare ass minimum) requirement is to be able to do 7 chin-ups, 32 sit-ups and be able to complete the mile in 7:30 minutes. (“CF Parachutist Physical,”2011). This is only to become a parachutist. A higher fitness level is most definitely needed in order to pass the parachutist course.

One of these sections is referred to as rigging. This is just a fancy word packing and preparing your equipment. There are two things you need to be able to rig before you jump and one thing after you jump, or once you land. Pre-jump, you must rig your rucksack so that the jettison strap is connected on the top and that the harness clips aren’t on backwards. A few more areas to check are the 13 buckles and if they are all connected. All the straps are tightened as much as possible and must also be run back through themselves so there is nothing hanging off your rucksack. Zippers are also key, make sure they are all done up. Once the rucksack is completely packed and ready to go it should weigh approximately 50lbs. The other thing you must rig before you jump is your snowshoes and your rifle. One snowshoe goes on top of other, with the rifle on the top of both of them. The muzzle of the rifle must be perfectly in line with the heels of the snowshoe. The straps from the snowshoes along with a small piece of rope are used to fuse the rifle to the snowshoes. They must be so tight that there is absolutely no movement between them. If there is movement then there is a very large chance of losing your rifle when you jettison your equipment. The snowshoes and rifle connect to the rucksack via the jettison strap.

Post-jump rigging is just packing your parachute in a specific way. You must first twirl your parachute so all the lines are twisted together and there is no air inside of the parachute itself. Then you pack the parachute into its original bag in an “S” formation so it takes up the least amount of space possible. Once this is finished the parachute goes on top of your rucksack connected to your reserve.

Aircraft drill is another one of the sections that parachuting is divided into. This section is based on preparing to exit an aircraft and actually exiting the aircraft. This includes emergency exits and when to return the seats and reconnect the seatbelts.
When preparing to leave the aircraft all equipment must be checked. Equipment checks always start from the head down. First is the chinstrap, canopy release, harness straps, reserve clips, jettison strap and remove genitals from between the legs and the leg straps. Once all of the jumper’s equipment has been checked, the jumper in front turns inward and checks the equipment of the jumper behind them just to make sure nothing was missed. If one thing is found that isn’t proper, the jump master will see if the problem can be fixed. If it cannot be fixed then that particular jumper must disconnect his static line, move to the back of the aircraft, and strap themselves back into the last seat.

Jumping is all on the jump masters command. The pilot must let the jump master know the wind speed level, so the information can be passed on to the jumpers. This is vital information because the wind level lets everyone know what to expect when they exit the aircraft. Once the winds have been stated and the aircraft is over the drop site, the jump master will give each jumper an individual go. If the jumper does not exit the aircraft exactly when told to, it can cause an extremely dangerous situation for people behind them. After you have exited the aircraft, you move onto the third section of parachuting.

While in the air you must go through the 5 points of flight procedure. The first point of flight procedure is checking to see if the canopy has deployed and to make sure that there are no twists in the lines. If the canopy has not deployed then the reserve must be pulled to insure that the jumper can land safely. If the reserve needs to be pulled then the lines from it must be grasped and pulled up around the back of the jumper’s helmet so the other four points of flight procedure can take place.

The second point of flight procedure must be carried out throughout the jumper’s entire descent. Keep a sharp look out during descent. This point is also very important because there is high probability of hitting another jumper while in mid descent. If two jumpers are about to collide then they must both pull slips in the opposite directions so they avoid hitting each other in air. When the jumper is about 500 feet above ground, the waist belt must be undone. This is the third point of flight procedure. Without this step, then the next point would be rushed and could put the jumper into a panic.
All equipment must be released at 200 feet. This includes the shoulder load and the rucksack. Releasing equipment takes a lot of stress off of the jumper and allows the fifth point of flight procedure to be a lot easier. Letting go of all the equipment is the fourth point of flight procedure.

The fifth and final point of flight procedure is preparing to land. This is the most strenuous point because the jumper must reach up and squeeze the parachute straps together as well as move his feet about six inches forward out of alignment. This takes a lot of core strength to do. While in the fifth point of flight procedure constant lookout must be done; the jumper does not want to land on a fellow parachutist. Landings are by far the hardest and most important aspect of the jump. If the parachutist does not land properly, then a lot of injuries can occur, usually a broken limb will come from a bad landing. Injuries occur because the parachutist is still falling at a rapid base; between 18 and 23 feet per second, so landings are important in preventing injuries. There is always a possibility to land facing forward, backwards and to each side. When the jumper is about to land, he turns his feet either to the right or the left depending on how comfortable each direction feels. Once the lower body is turned off, the jumper will point his toes towards the ground and prepare to land. Once he hits the grounds, his body must be controlled to land on muscles portions of the body. The body must hit the ground in this order; toes, calves, thighs, buttocks and then across the back.(“Static Line Parachuting,” 2003.) This landing technique keeps injuries from occurring if it is done properly.

After the parachutist has landed, all of the gear must be packed up. This includes the parachute, rucksack, reserve and the shoulder load. Once everything is packed properly, the jumper must run a minimum of 2 kilometres with all of the gear. This is very physically demanding because the weight of all the gear is huge. When the jumper has reached the desired location, the jump has been successfully completed.

Canadian forces parachutists must have a very high level of physical fitness in order to become a parachutist and to complete all of the tasks that are needed when parachuting. Fitness also helps to reduce injuries that can occur during landings. Landings, flight, aircraft drill and rigging are the four sections that the Canadian Forces emphasize when becoming a parachutist.