Like many other sports, skydiving appears to have its own language. Here is a guide to the jargon that you might hear around the DZ..!
Automatic Activation Device. A back up device which initiates the deployment sequence of the reserve parachute in certain emergency situations. Common types include; Cypres, FXC 12000, Astra, Argus, Vigil.
Abbreviation for aircraft
A competition discipline, where the skydiver tries to land on, or as close as possible to a specified target
Accelerated Free Fall - A quick and very efficient method of learning to skydive. You jump from about 12,000 ft on the first jump with 2 instructors. You would normally be qualified to jump solo in as few as 8 jumps
Above ground level
The speed of a flying object through the air, commonly used in reference to aircraft or canopies.
Altimeter- A barometer device which indicates height above the ground
Army Parachute Association, affiliated to the BPA, based at Netheravon
Air Traffic Control
To move backwards in freefall relative to a neutral reference, Usually unintentional and undesirable, usually caused by a bad body position.
The core around which a formation skydive is built. Can be a single person or a group of people, depending on the number of skydivers involved.
A jump made from a fixed object rather than an aircraft. BASE is an acronym for Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth
A malfunction of a freefall system where lines have deployed but the canopy is still trapped in the bag
British Collegiate Parachute Association- A group run by and for college students, associated with the BPA. Runs regional and annual competitions for BPA members still undertaking education
Freefalling in a belly to earth position i.e. formation skydiving
Swooping under canopy through a series of wind blades along the ground
Bottom of container
A gathering of parachutists, whether National or International, normally associated with organised jumping, using large aircraft
Jumpsuit 'feet' which hook over the front of the shoe
British Parachute Association- The governing body of sport for parachutists within the BPA, run by an elected Council of 15 sport parachutists, with a number of full-time employees fulfilling the administration tasks
Used to slow down and steer the canopy, located on the risers of square canopies
The time jumpers stop playing in freefall and find safe clear sky to open their parachutes
A line attachment from the pilot chute to the top skin of canopy
An error of judgment by the jumpmaster, in which you have been dispatched at a point at which you will probably find it impossible to get back to the PLA
Rubber band used for stowing lines
The area of turbulence behind an object going through the air, whether a person in freefall or a canopy in flight.
Civil Aviation Authority - The body responsible for air standards, safety and operations in UK airspace
The time remaining before you board the aircraft. For example a twenty minute call means you will board the aircraft in twenty minutes.
A stage of progression from 1-8, with a specific set of guidelines for achievement, laid down by the STC. Followed by all students undertaking training at BPA Affiliated Parachute Clubs. Category 1-8 jumpers are classified as student parachutists
Club (or Centre) Chief Instructor - Advanced instructor (or Advanced Instructor/Examiner) nominated as the person in charge of a parachute operation
Canopy Formations- Formation Work with 2 or more square canopies. Used to be known as CRW (Canopy Relative Work).
Canopy Formation qualification, Grade 1
Style and accuracy
The small loop that holds the flaps of the container closed once the pin has been guided through the loop.
A committee of the BPA which runs competitions
The harness and pack parachutes are contained in
Point canopy across wind line (the wind pushes the canopy sideways)
A board with wheels on that jumpers use to practice their skydive
Canopy Relative Work, old term for CF
Category System Instructor
Command given to the pilot to slow the aircraft speed for exit
Jettison of the main canopy usually after a malfunction
A Type of AAD. Made by Airtech of Germany, this is the most common type of AAD and the first modern design to be widely adopted by expert skydivers.
Dead Centre - Top score in accuracy competitions
To flatten out your arched body position in freefall to slow your fall rate.
Post skydive analysis
The period of time in freefall
A parachute jump performed as a demonstration at an event (Also known as a display)
The curious looking dance that skydivers use to practice their FS positions, prior to emplaning
One of the methods of exiting the aircraft and can be short for skydive
Development Officer - BPA employee responsible for implementing polices of the Development committee
Take up a grip on a freefall formation or the linking of one canopy to another
CF formation with 2 jumpers linking legs and flying their canopies straight down
Pointing the canopy in the direction the wind is blowing
Dummy-pull (also known as DRCP). Training stage, as part of preparation for Free-fall used while still on static line
Individual packing mat that container rests on during packing
Audible altitude warning device worn next to the ear
Drop Zone - A notified portion of airspace within which skydives / parachute descents are made.
Exit Point - Point over the ground determined as the release point from the aircraft, such that freefall drift, throw-forward and other factors cause you to arrive at the opening point at the correct height.
The cell on the end of a canopy.
Leave the aircraft and enter freefall.
The total weight of the jumper and all equipment and clothing
Federal Aviation Administration - US equivalent of the CAA, who set standards for many items of parachute equipment
Federation Aeronautique Internationale - International Governing Body for all air sports, based in Switzerland. (See RAeC)
Type of full face helmet
A ladder of qualification, starting at `A' and ending in `D'
The speed at which a skydiver falls
FF 1 & 2
Freeflying Qualification, grade 1 and 2
To pull down both brakes to turn forward speed into lift for landing
Continuous warning tone from audible altimeter (Time Out) at 1500 ft meaning act now
Exit position where the jumper holds on outside the aircraft
Two or more jumpers linked in freefall
A freefall discipline of any orientation other than flat flying
A freefall discipline performing aerial gymnastics
Bag the reserve canopy is packed into, inside reserve container
Formation Skydiving. Used to be called RW (Relative Work). The building of formations by a number of people in freefall, for fun, or for competition.
Formation Skydiving, grade 1
Fairly porous fabric used on some types of canopies
Acronym often used in student logbooks, meaning "Good All The Way"
Ratio of forward movement to descent rate under canopy
Global Positioning System - Navigation system used by aircraft which confirms ground position
Handle on a jumpsuit used for FS
The illusion of the ground appearing to accelerate towards you
Popular skydiving game using a bean filled bag (Hacky Sack)
A succession of manoeuvres, two alternate turns and a back-loop
Webbing assembly which is part of the container system
Facing canopy into the wind
Small knife with protected blade carried in case of line entanglements
A radical manoeuvre with a square parachute close to the ground, resulting in a rapid rate of descent, followed by extra lift in the flare (when executed correctly). Executed poorly, injury often follows
Hop & Pop
Slang for a very short freefall delay
Individual canopy qualification, grade 1
International Parachute Commission, a sub section of the FAI.
Individual style qualification, grade 1
Jumpmaster- An experienced Skydiver, or Instructor, responsible to the CCI and pilot for the parachutists on each lift
Joint Services Parachute Centre. 4 Centres around the world, formed to give skydiving opportunities to servicemen
Line through bridle which collapses pilot chute after canopy opens to reduce drag
Two or more jumpers exiting the aircraft together (stable)
Malfunction - A failure in some part of the parachuting system, causing you to carry out your emergency procedures
List of all on board the aircraft
The person responsible to the CCI for allocating jumpers to aircraft, and keeping the legally required records
National championships (annual event) organised by the BPA
National Coach and Safety Officer - An employee of the BPA responsible to Council for the safe conduct of parachuting in the UK, and the training of Instructors
The disciplines of Freeflying, Freestyle and Skysurfing
Opening Point- The point over the ground at which the parachutist should open their canopies such that taking into account wind drift, they will land on the target. OP and EP will be the same for a SL jumper
The force felt due to sudden deceleration as the canopy opens
Combination ski / accuracy event
A small parachute used to create drag and pull the main parachute out into the air
1) Basic FS manoeuvre in which one jumper formates with another in freefall 2) Closing device for main and reserve parachutes
The area where it is intended skydivers / parachutist will land. Sometimes (mistakenly called DZ)
Parachute Landing Fall - The controlled collapse and roll which absorbs the landing impact, usually under a round parachute, but may save you under a fast moving square parachute
In FS or CF, each successfully completed formation scores one point. The formations themselves are often referred to in this way
The amount of air that will pass through a given area of canopy material
Parachutists Over Phorty Society; an association for the more mature skydiver
A type of altitude warning device which gives additional freefall speed and distance information
One way of packing a square canopy. PRO stands for "Proper Ram-air Orientation"
Deploy main parachute (also dump)
Method of deployment where the pilot chute is packed inside the container, the owner pulls out the pin and the pilot chute
Short length of line or binding tape used to close a parachute container
Royal Aero Club of Great Britain- The UK representatives on and of the FAI
Royal Air Force Sport Parachuting Association, based at Weston on the Green
Ram-Air Progression System - A program for beginners using square parachutes from jump 1
A set of equipment, comprising main, reserve and container(s).
A person qualified who can maintain and repair parachute systems, and manufacture component parts.
Webbing strip running from your harness to the lines of your canopy
A classic parachute
Reserve Static Line - A back up device that opens the reserve on releasing the main
Facing canopy down wind
Final line that the aircraft flies to reach the pre determined spot for jumpers to leave. Also called jump run
Relative work- See FS
Skydive University- a world wide training system for formation skydiving
Skydiving on a surfboard
Freefalling in a sit position
Device to slow down the deployment of ram air parachutes by sliding down the suspension lines
Static Line - a deployment system for beginners (except AFF and tandem)
Abnormally slow canopy opening
A competition where jumpers build a formation as quickly as possible
Technically, the release point- The point you should exit the aircraft to reach the target
Skysurfing qualification, grade 1 and 2
When toggles are pulled down further than full brakes, causing the canopy to lose forward speed and collapse
A basic FS formation, with 3 or more skydivers linked in a circle by their arms
A group of canopies in the sky vertically above each other
Vertical freefall position, feet to earth, crucifix style. Also a type of landing
Safety and Training Committee (of the BPA). A sub-committee of Council, made up by CCI's who make appropriate decisions on safety and training
When the main canopy has left the bag but not inflated at all. Also sometimes a slang name for a WDI
The execution of a specific set of freefall manoeuvres in the shortest possible time
A high speed landing
An introduction to skydiving by a Tandem Instructor, in which the student is strapped to the Instructors front, and conducts a free-fall descent from altitude, and a long canopy ride under a very large parachute, remaining attached throughout!!
Three Ring Release
Release mechanism for main canopy, attaches the risers to the harness
Type of hand deployment where the pilot chute is packed externally in a spandex pocket
Audible altitude warning device
Steering loops on risers
Malfunction where there is nothing out of the container
To move fast horizontally in freefall often to achieve separation from other jumpers
Technical Officer- An employee of the BPA responsible to Council for technical and overall
running of the association
Technical Safety Order - These are American FAA safety standards, but for the guidelines for much of parachute design
United States Parachute Association
Very Good All the Way
Worldwide Advanced Relative Work Progression - A programme of FS tuition once Category 8 has been achieved in which individual instruction is provided by an FS Coach
The Wind Drift Indicator- a paper streamer used to predict canopy drift, and hence the OP. Also known as a Woody or a streamer
A line through the target in the wind direction
Zero-Porosity - Non permeable fabric used in modern very high performance canopies
A jump that didn't go quite as planned!