Drop Zone Suspension

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Drop zones are facilities, usually at airports, offering skydiving opportunities and lessons for those who want to experience drop zone suspension. Affiliation with the United States Parachutists Association, the oversight body for skydiving and parachuting in the United States, is good but not required. Membership in the association is not guaranteed. As with any organization, especially those involved with personal risk and safety, standards are established. Drop zone suspension from the USPA's group member program is a problem, whether it arises from aircraft quality, teaching practices, or an individual skydiver on staff.

The USPA is not a regulatory body in the way that the FAA is for pilots and hang gliders, but it serves a similar function. Drop zone members pledge to comply with USPA basic safety requirements, themselves in compliance with federal aviation requirements. This is a significant credential.

Grounds for Drop Zone Suspension

Drop zone suspension from the USPA might arise on the basis any number of violations. These include, by are not at all limited to, falsifying records in applying for certificates, the use of drugs or alcohol related to airplane piloting or other aircraft operation, cheating on tests for certification, or false claims to certification when certification is not renewed.

The specifications for the various certifications in skydiving are too complex to encapsulate easily. Specifications for facilities and equipment are also intricate. Participating in USPA's Group Member Program is a privilege. Anyone operating, thinking of operating, or being employed by a skydiving drop zone must be aware that any violation could mean drop zone suspension. It is always the responsibility of anyone seeking certification to maintain the integrity of the standards. When looking for your skydiving school, make sure they are diligent and enthusiastic about complying with all USPA rules and regulations.


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