As you probably already know, the weather here in Colorado Springs has been unpredictable this fall. We have scheduled ourselves numerous times down at the airfield trying to capture cadets going through their Jumps. The cadets finished their ground training a few weeks ago but due to weather this GO was extended through this week to try and get them their 5 Jumps necessary to qualify them for their Jump Wings. We were able to capture most of the sessions the last 2 days. This GO had many international cadets going through the program before departing back to their respective country’s academies. These are the last classes of the year; the program will start back up at the beginning of 2020.
Airmanship 490 (AM-490) is the basic free fall course instructed by members of the Wings of Blue. Students enrolled in the course undergo more than 30 hours of ground training prior to their first free fall jump. The rigorous ground training introduces and develops procedures and techniques for high altitude free fall, and for operating a steerable parachute system. The course focuses on safety and emergency procedures to aid the students' ability to overcome their fears and perform under the extremely stressful and potentially life-threatening situations they may encounter.
Prior to each of the five jumps, students in the AM-490 class receive two gear inspections to ensure their parachutes are fitted and working properly. These thorough inspections guarantee that the parachute's main and reserve canopy firing devices are on and accurately calibrated, and their gear is not defective. Students also receive a comprehensive briefing from the jumpmaster before loading the aircraft. Once airborne, the jumpmaster determines the exit/opening point, which varies with the day's wind patterns, student's receive their third and final gear inspection as the plane turns inbound for the jump run. At 4,500 feet above ground level (AGL), winds rush into the fuselage as the jumpmaster opens the door then instructs the first jumper to: "STAND IN THE DOOR!" "Airmanship 490 (AM490) Basic Parachuting". United States Air Force Academy Department of Astronautics.
To view all the photos from this GO, go to Galleries > Airmanship > Jump or click the link below.