WestPoint Skydiving Adventures
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WestPoint Skydiving Adventures: Professional Skydiving Instruction - The Safest Place To Skydive In Virginia*

Skydiving Safety

As a consumer you should make an informed choice about where you would like to make your skydive and train for your skydiving license. In order to do this you need to know what types of questions to ask and what to look for in a skydiving operation. There are very few FAA regulations governing skydiving, and they deal with the airplane and equipment only. The FAA has no rules or guidelines for student training or quality of equipment beyond the minimum safety standards. Skydivers have historically been a free spirited group and have worked hard at keeping the FAA from creating a lot regulation for skydiving operations. But because there is so little regulation, some skydiving operations may be using outdated equipment or unqualified staff for training students.

The United States Parachute Association is the voluntary Association for skydivers and skydiving operations, that establishes Basic Safety Requirements and training outlines that have proven to make skydiving as safe as possible. The USPA maintains programs for issuing licenses and instructional rating programs to skydivers who wish to earn licenses or earn an instructional rating to work with students. West Point Skydiving Adventures is a Group Member of USPA and each of the staff members are current members of the USPA.

West Point Skydiving Adventures is the only drop zone in the world to participate in the new USPA Voluntary Courtesy Inspection Program. This program uses an independent inspector to check the aircraft, equipment and operations of a drop zone to make sure safe operations are conducted and that the aircraft and student equipment are maintained according to USPA and FAA regulations. We were the first DZ, and so far the only DZ, in the world to request an inspection once this program was in place.

West Point Skydiving Adventures uses only USPA Certified Instructors, who have proven that they have the skills and knowledge to train students by meeting the requirements, and passing a certification course for Tandem, Accelerated Freefall or Coach ratings. These Instructors are very experienced skydivers, many of the staff are also Instructor Examiners, Tandem and Coach Course Directors, AFF Evaluators and FAA Parachute Riggers. They have taken the time and effort to earn higher ratings and become as knowledgeable as possible. This helps them to be better instructors which will always benefit the student. The school is owned by Jim Crouch, who is the Director of Safety and Training for the U.S. Parachute Association. It is important to Jim that this school holds a higher standard than any other. The staff is constantly re-trained to ensure that the students are benefiting from the best training methods available.

West Point Skydiving Adventures uses the best equipment available for student training. All of our rigs are equipped with the latest zero porosity high performance main parachutes and ram air reserve parachutes. Zero porosity main parachutes provide outstanding performance for turns and landings, and allow for the most powerful landing flare available. This translates to smoother and softer landings for the student. Ram air reserve parachutes provide a much greater margin of safety over a old style round parachute. We also equip each rig with a CYPRES or Vigil Brand computerized Automatic Activation Device. This is a small computer that monitors the jumper's descent rate and altitude. It will automatically deploy the reserve parachute if it senses that the rate of descent is near freefall speed going through 1,000 feet. This is a back-up device that helps to ensure that a parachute gets deployed even if the student does not manually activate the parachute. We do not believe in using older style mechanical AAD's that are less expensive, but not reliable. The skydiving equipment is replaced often to ensure that you are as safe and comfortable as possible while jumping gear with the most recent design technology.

We lease our aircraft from one of the largest skydiving aircraft maintenance facility operators in the Mid Atlantic area. They have all of their airplanes on a maintenance schedule to make sure that the airplanes are checked out on a regular basis. We also own our own Cessna 182 airplane, which is constantly maintained and cared for with regular service and inspections. Each pilot is also required by the Federal Aviation Administration to hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate and has been trained to fly aircraft in a skydiving environment, which is unlike any other type of flying!

However, we are jumping from airplanes at more than two miles above the earth, and there is a risk of injury, or even death in this sport. We take every possible precaution to provide a safe and enjoyable skydiving experience.

We are confident that you will find West Point maintains the highest standards that are possible for training people to skydive. Whether you decide to come to us for your training or go somewhere else, you should make sure that the facility is using safe equipment and staff. Of course, we feel confident that West Point Skydiving Adventures would be your best choice!

Blue Skies,

Jim Crouch
Owner-West Point Skydiving Adventures