Jump Ground Training Summer Session 2, Group 1
One of the more challenging programs provided by USAFA, Airmanship 490 or AM-490 is a Basic Freefall Parachuting Program that the Academy offers, and it is the core mission of the Wings of Blue and the 98th Training Squadron, all the Cadets on the Wings of Blue team are certified AM-490 Instructors and Jumpmasters. Its purpose is to develop leadership traits through overcoming their own fears. They will be given instruction in basic free fall parachuting and familiarization with emergency parachuting. The successful completion of 5 Jumps results in award of the Air Force basic parachutist badge "Jump Wings", which they can wear on their uniform for the rest of their Air Force career and completion during summer before sophomore year fills one of the few military training requirements that Cadets at USAFA have. Several hundred Cadets over the course of this summer will have to "STAND IN THE DOOR."
AM-490 is the only program in the entire Air Force where the first jump is an unassisted freefall. Because of this unique difference all students, cadet or staff who go through this program will have roughly 40 hours of ground training before their first jump.
Today they practiced their emergency procedures under pressure. Instructors try to distract them by playing loud music, jumping on them and talking to them while they are trying to go through an emergency procedure. They get swung and spun in mulitple directions as well which is designed to help the student learn how to think clearly under stressful and distracting situations. This will help them when they are preparing to jump out of the airplane for the first time as a solo jumper.
WebGuy also had the chance today to drive up to Denver where the wind tunnel is and captured some of the cadets practicing the correct body position while in free fall. Each student had two turns in the tunnel. The first one just in their flight suit and helmut.The Wings of Blue instructor and the I-Fly Instructor helped the student learn the proper position. The second try was in the jump harness and they practiced the sequence of steps after the free fall for pulling the rip cord on their chute. It is a lot tougher than it appears!
To view all photos, go to GALLERIES > AIRMANSHIP > JUMP. At the top of the JUMP page, set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Select your start page (119-164) or click on the links below.
Summer Session 2, Group 1 Pgs 119-139 - Jump Ground Harness Training
Summer Session 2, Group 1 Pgs 139-164 - Jump Ground Wind Tunnel