One of the most commom question we are asked is what weather will stop me from making my jump, Below is section 8 of the Brithish Parachute Association Paracuting Operations Manual "Parachuting Limitations" which sets out the limitations for making a skydiving decent in the UK. The conditions may depend on type of skydive and experiance of the person making the skydive. This is for information only and the full BPA operation manual can be downloaded from the BPA website.
Note it is the wind and cloud sections that will prevent most Tandem and AFF and Static Line jumps from taking place.
SECTION 8 PARACHUTING LIMITATIONS
Parachuting may only take place under the conditions laid out in the BPA Operations Manual. Variations from, or amendments to the requirements of the Operations Manual must be the subject of formal application to and acceptance by the Council of the British Parachute Association, usually via the Safety and Training Committee (STC). Because of the need for prompt action in some circumstances the decisions of STC will be considered as having immediate approval of Council unless the Council subsequently rescinds those decisions.
N.B.(1) Memorandum & Articles of Association for the BPA can be obtained from the BPA office.
N.B.(2) Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure for STC can be found on BPA Form 160.
2.1. Ground wind speed limits for Parachutists.
2.1.1. AFF & Category System Student Parachutists 15 Knots
2.1.2. FAI ‘A’ Certificate (Red) parachutists and above
and Student Tandem Parachutists 20 Knots
2.2. Suspension and Resumption of Parachuting.
Suspension of parachuting will be ordered for the designations of parachutists concerned after two gusts above the limit have taken place within five minutes. After parachuting has been suspended it will not be resumed for at least thirty minutes during which time no gusts above the limit have occurred.
2.3. Wind Speed and Direction
2.3.1. Every club must use an anemometer for measuring ground wind speed.
2.3.2. Further information about wind speed and direction will be obtained using Wind Drift Indicators (WDIs) or meteorological forecasts.
2.3.3. This information will be obtained:
a. Before parachuting begins.
b. Following a significant change in wind speed or direction.
c. Following any break of more than thirty minutes caused by winds
in excess of the limits laid down. (see 2.1. above).
d. After parachutists have failed to land in the intended landing area and a faulty ‘spot’ or bad canopy control is not suspected.
e. A WDI must be thrown if Static Line Students are on the first lift of
the day, or before the start of a parachute display.
3. CLOUD AND VISIBILITY
Parachutists may not leave the aircraft if, at the point of exit, the ground between the opening point and the intended landing area is not visible.
The minimum flight visibility must be at least 5km.
4 OPENING HEIGHTS
Minimum opening heights for main parachutes:-
4.1. AFF & Category System Student Parachutists 3,000ft AGL
4.2. FAI ‘A’ Certificate (Red) parachutists and above 2,000ft AGL
4.3. Student Tandem Parachutists 5,000ft AGL
4.4. FAI `C’ Certificate (Red) holders, on displays 1,500ft AGL
5. MAXIMUM ALTITUDE
5.1.1. Normal parachuting will not take place above Flight Level (FL) 120.
5.1.2. Parachuting will only take place between Flight Level 120 and 150 without oxygen, provided that:
a. Parachutists are not above FL100 for more than 30minutes before leaving the aircraft.
b. Parachutists are not above FL120 for more than 6 minutes before leaving the aircraft.
c. The aircraft commander monitors these flight levels and time limits.
d. If the flight level or time limits are exceeded, the drop will be aborted and all parachutists will land with the aircraft.
See Section 9 (FLYING), paragraph 5.6. (Flight Crew Oxygen Requirements).
5.3. Members who wish to parachute above FL150 (with oxygen) will need STC and
CAA approval and must submit their plans and details of their equipment in advance
(via a CCI).
6.1. FAI ‘A’ Certificate (Red) parachutists and above may perform cutaways (at a club
PLA/DZ) with a cutaway `rig’ designed for the purpose, provided they have CCI permission and have been thoroughly drilled in the cutaway procedures.
6.2. Display cutaways will only be performed by FAI ‘C’ Certificate (Red) holders when a cutaway ‘rig’ designed for the purpose is being used.
7. NUMBER OF PARACHUTISTS PER PASS
No more than 2 Category System Students Parachutists will be dispatched per pass.
8. WATER JUMPS
Water jumps may only be made under the following conditions :-
8.1. When there is a minimum of one power boat to each parachutist in the air.
8.2. When all parachutists are equipped with suitable buoyancy aids and have been briefed on their use.
8.3. When DZ Control is organised by an Advanced Instructor, who must be present during the entire programme.
9. NIGHT JUMPS
9.1. FAI ‘B’ Certificate (Red) is the minimum qualification to participate in a night descent. (Also see Section 13 - Display Parachuting, para 3.2.5).
9.2. DZ Control must be organised by an Advanced Instructor, who must be present during the entire programme.
9.3. All parachutists are to be briefed on the position of all obstructions adjacent to the PLA.
9.4. The PLA/DZ is to be marked in a standardised manner (see Fig 1 below).
9.5. Any obstructions within the PLA are to be lit.
9.6. The PLA should be indicated to the parachutists by the Jumpmaster from the air prior to exit.
9.7. Torches should be available for use inside the aircraft.
9.8. All parachutists must have at least one light.
9.9. The pilot is to be in communication with local Air Traffic Control (ATC).
9.10. Local Police are to be informed of proposed night descents.
9.11. Notification of night parachuting is to be made in writing at least five working days in advance to Airspace Utilisation Section (AUS) (see 9.12. below) and copied to the BPA giving the following information:
9.11.1 Name, address and telephone number of club/display team.
9.11.2. Name of CCI/Team Leader.
9.11.3. Date and time of proposed night parachuting.
9.11.4. Name of PLA/DZ together with it’s 6 figure grid reference using Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 series.
9.11.5. Proposed maximum dropping height.
9.12. Airspace Utilisation Section (AUS)
Directorate of Airspace Policy