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How to Transition Areas with Skydiving Activity

Discussion in 'CFI Corner' started by Vflyer, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Vflyer

    Vflyer Well-Known Member

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    Just curious what your method is for transitioning an area with a parachuting symbol next to the airport. I didn't really see a concrete answer in the AIM so I thought I'd see what your thought process and proximity to the airport would be. I'm mainly focused on the airport attached where it's a fairly tight squeeze between the alert area above and the charlie below.

    I would venture to say that staying around I4 would be far enough and then just monitor the frequency and be very alert as to what is going on.

    Let me know your thoughts!
     

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  2. gotWXdagain

    gotWXdagain Highly Visible Member

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    LEEEERROOOYY JEEEENNNKIIIIINNNSSS!!!!

    But really, might want to give the drop zone a call on the land line before you take off to see what kind of activity they'll have going on and where.
     
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  3. MikeD

    MikeD Administrator Staff Member

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    Just monitor the freq, like you said. You can pretty easily get an idea if the DZ is in use, as jump planes will be announcing jumping activity for next X minutes, as well as calls a few minutes prior to jumpers away. Additionally, if near a Class C or such, the jump planes will often make an announcement to ATC to advise of same, with ATC often repeating that announcement. The Alert Area shouldn't be an issue; just heads up for the training traffic operating within.
     
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  4. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    KDED is a very busy dropzone. If you listen to the AWOS, it will basically tell you "skydiving operations during the daylight hours. Do not overfly the airport" - there's two places to eat at on the property - so if you decide to do that don't overfly to join a pattern, go around to whichever side you need.

    Alert area is just that - busy training area. Freq is 122.85 if nothing's changed. Reporting points are lakes - from north to south - Crescent lake (bigger lake with a hook at the bottom), lake Diston (diamond shaped lake), lake Dias/twin lakes (couple of west-east lakes just west of Lafayette private strip). Listen in on who's where, say where you are (Practice area North, Cherokee 123AB east shore of lake Crescent southbound 5500 feet) and that's about it. Stay couple of miles to the either side of DED.
    If going south, cut from DED to I4, watching for DAB airspace bit, and follow the I4. There will be one more jump site further south at Dunn airpark.
    Best thing to do is get flight following, they will notify you of the dz activities.
    If not, listen in on ctaf - Deland is very good about announcing and/or asking you to drive around.

    Lived in Deland for 6+ years, ask if you have any questions about the area
     
  5. mshunter

    mshunter Well-Known Member

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    You go around if it's currently active. Explain to me why that's not an option there?
     
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  6. Grabo172

    Grabo172 Well-Known Member

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    Another similar issue that is near and dear to my heart... Hang gliding/paragliding zones.

    Just my $.02 for information to those who aren't that familiar. Where the sailplane "H" symbol is, is usually the launch and or landing zones. For those areas though, don't just look below, a lot of the time we're in thermals up to 500 ft below the clouds. We can be anywhere in the area. Another place to especially be mindful is along the windward side of a ridge.

    Best thing to do for those areas is stay upwind of the area and keep those eyes open. We're most likely be circling in a thermal, so you should be able to see us turning.

    Thanks! (End PSA)
     
  7. tcco94

    tcco94 Professional GTA V Pilot

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    Listen to the frequency. If they are dropping, I avoid transition all together. If the AIM needs to explain that to a pilot, they've got some real issues.
     
  8. Vflyer

    Vflyer Well-Known Member

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    Yea I'm just wondering what an appropriate distance away is to safely avoid any skydivers if I'm in the general area and they are jumping. I think I have my answer though
     
  9. tcco94

    tcco94 Professional GTA V Pilot

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    Generally they don't drop without talking on frequency. Best way to figure out what to do. I've even heard it on the ASOS before with times and distances or in the AF/D. I haven't experienced an airport that doesn't get the information out on any of those resources.

    I've even seen NOTAM's
     
  10. Flyinthrew

    Flyinthrew Well-Known Member

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    This is actually a valid question for those who have dropped jumpers. Is there any lateral offset from the DZ when you dump them or are you directly overhead the DZ? Perhaps upwind some amount?
     
  11. Grabo172

    Grabo172 Well-Known Member

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    Usually they'll drop upwind. The distance, of course, depends on the wind velocity and drop altitude. Typically within about 2 miles.

    Most canopys will be open around the 5000'-3000' zone which will make them much more visible.

    Like everyone else said, they will be making radio calls ("2 minutes till jumpers away at kxxx, use caution. Expect canopys 5000' and below over kxxxx" etc.) and the local approach frequency they'll be talking to as well, so ATC should be giving announcements too for transiting aircraft.
     
  12. TonySolis13

    TonySolis13 Well-Known Member

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    SoCal controllers are generally really good with calling out stuff in your area. I have heard a bunch of calls near KCMA. Usually help out by telling you to stay a specific direction away from a local VOR if you are transitioning through the area. "Stay north of Camarillo VOR. Drop expected in 10 minutes." Etc.
     
  13. n57flyguy

    n57flyguy Well-Known Member

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    Generally right over the drop zone, upwind of the 'spot' and maybe offset. I have used linear landmarks - peas to intersection, up the runway, etc. which is local speak at the DZ. The spotter will ask "where is the spot?" and I will respond with the 'lines' we generally use and we are both on the same page.. With higher winds up top, the jump run is extended past 'normal' marks on the same linear landmark line of the prevailing winds. Without GPS is mostly qualitative and Kentucky windage. Then blame the divers anyway when they screw it up.
     
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