As the year draws
to a close, many are planning to jump
at other drop zones as they head off
for the holidays. Remember that
many drop zones have local rules, so
make it your business to be familiar
in a new environment. Take care and
respect the fact that you are a visitor.
Introduce yourself to the chief instructor
and have the relevant documentation
The year to date
has been very successful within many
- A chief instructor
seminar, a rigging seminar and a
host of updates within the MOPs.
- Close liaison
with Neil De Lange at the Aero Club
to update Part 105 within the Civil
Aviation Regulations and Technical
Standards (CATS and CARS) has also
taken place. This will effectively
give us more control over our own
sport and the ability to govern ourselves
through the MOPs.
- The changeover
from CAA to RAASA with respect to
various administrative issues.
This is my worst
year ever with respect to major and
fatal incidents. We have had 5 fatalities
this year of which 3 were within the
canopy piloting discipline. Every other
aspect of our sport has shown an improvement
incident wise. The canopy piloting
fatalities have taken of our top people,
they were all educated and all understood
the risk. Sadly, the inclusion of these
fatalities within our stats reflects
and paints a bleak picture for SA skydiving
to the outsider.
Of concern for
me at this time is the depleting pool
of knowledge within the instructor
and jumpmaster base. The dynamic has
changed and the incentives for people
to become jumpmasters and instructors
have changed. People, having the jump
numbers but much less drop zone time,
are technically qualified but lack
the wisdom of operational involvement.
Clubs should acknowledge the instructor
base and their chief instructor in
As a final word
for the year, have a merry Christmas
and a fantastic new year.
National Safety & Training Officer