Jump 490 Ground Training Summer Session 2, Group 1

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.

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 year will have to "STAND IN THE DOOR."



Part of their training takes place in the wind tunnel where they can practice the proper free fall form.  This summer the cadets will be taking advantage of the new wind tunnel just outside the North Gate entrance called I FLY.  The three owners are '79 grads from the Academy, Michael "Omar" Bradley, Karl "Korky" von Kessel, and Joel Maynard. They are all retired Colonels with extensive flying careers. The tunnel is a 40-foot-tall, 14-foot-diameter, enclosed glass wind tunnel, the tallest in the nation and the newest generation. They take flyers as young as 3 years old with no prior experience necessary. Other amenities we offer include a full bar and pizza oven, an outdoor deck with mountain views, several rows of stairstep seating to watch fliers, conference room for company meetings or other gatherings and a party room.

There were five separate groups of cadets that did their wind tunnel training yesterday.  Each cadet has four minutes total with I Fly instructors (Black windsuits with red I Fly logo) as well as their Wings of Blue instructors and/or active duty 98th Squadron Jump Instructor (Black with blue striped windsuits). 


The first two minutes are done geared up in their flightsuit, helmut and goggles. The instructor first gets them positioned on the grated floor of the wind tunnel and uses hand signals to help them get into the proper freefall position. The wind speed is increased which lifts them off the grate and they are flying in the tunnel where their freefall position training continues.



The second two minute session is done geared in the flightsuit, goggles, helmut, and the parachute they will wear during their jumps.  There is a different feel and different air dynamics with the parachute on, so this is valuable training for them to have prior to their first freefall jump.



They will also practice the freefall sequence of counting, Arch, Look, Pull, Check***Note: They do NOT pull the chute while in the tunnel. The rip cord is secured to the harness strap and not attached to the chute.



To view this session of Ground Training go to GALLERIES> Airmanship > Jump. Set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Then select your start page (211-259). Or click on the links below.

*Photo order must be set OLDEST to NEWEST for the link to take you to the correct start page.

** Note: There were 5 Groups yesterday.  There is a link below for each group so if you know what group your cadet was in, it will make your search easier.  They were uploaded in order from 1st to 5th group.

2022 Summer Session 2, Jump Ground Training Group 1. pgs. 211 

Group 1 pgs. 211 (bottom of page, 8th row down) - 225    Group 1

Group 2 pgs. 225 (bottom of page, last row) - 234     Group 2  

Group 3 pgs. 234 (bottom of page, 9th row down) - 244    Group 3

Group 4 pgs. 244 (middle of page, 4th row down) - 253  Group 4

Group 5 pgs. 253 (top of page, 2nd row down) - 259    Group 5