USPA Regional Directors appoint Safety & Training Advisors at each drop zone. Among their volunteer duties, S&TAs provide advice and training for many extraordinary jumps, verify rating renewal requirements and issue license tests. They may be called upon to investigate skydiving accidents and report safety problems and violations.

The S&TA is the USPA member's direct link to the Regional Director and USPA Headquarters. If you have a safety concern or question about anything related to skydiving, your S&TA is probably the best place to start looking for answers. If he doesn’t know the answer to your question, he will likely know where to find it or who to call for an answer.
The principal responsibility of the S&TA is to promote safe skydiving. Toward that goal, the S&TA serves specific advisory and administrative functions:

  • Observes skydiving operations to verify compliance with the Basic Safety Requirements
  • Informs the Regional Director of all flagrant and/or recurring safety violations
  • In grave cases, takes summary action under Section 1-6 of the USPA Governance Manual
  • Provides safety and training advice to skydivers, drop zone operators, and rating holders
  • Reviews plans for exhibition jumps
  • Verifies that drop zones qualify as “sanctioned” by meeting the minimum drop zone requirements (see the BSRs in the Skydiver’s Information Manual)
  • Assists and advises with extraordinary skydive operations (see the BSRs and Advanced Progression section in the Skydiver’s Information Manual)
  • Investigates accidents and submits reports (submit online)
  • Verifies the requirements on D-License applications and rating renewals
  • Promotes USPA policies and programs, for example, USPA Safety Day
  • Unless excused by the Regional Director, attends an annual S&TA meeting called by the Regional Director
Safety and Training Advisors are usually very experienced instructors (although instructional ratings are not specifically required), who possess a great deal of knowledge in all aspects of skydiving and drop zone operations. An S&TA should be available at the drop zone anytime skydiving operations are conducted. The drop zone owner will select an S&TA for the drop zone and notify his Regional Director of his choice. If the Regional Director agrees with the selection, the appointment is forwarded to the Director of Safety and Training at USPA Headquarters for processing. If you are interested in an S&TA appointment, contact your drop zone owner or Regional Director.
  1. Announce to your jumpers that your DZ is hosting a Safety Day.
    You may want to offer incentives to boost attendance. Many DZs offer free or discounted jump tickets, free food, discounted reserve pack jobs, door prizes, or any combination. And plan a party for afterward.
  2. Select a suitable location.
    Think comfort. If the hangar won't be warm or large enough, consider a restaurant, school gym, motel, or veteran's lodge. Anticipate a good turnout and be sure you have room for lectures, training-harness drills, and rig inspections.
  3. Put a training syllabus and staff together.
    Feel free to use the training ideas included here, which involve the four modules or stations below, with just some ideas on content.
    Gear Check and Review— Have jumpers inspect their rigs with a rigger. Check closing loops and flaps, pilot chute snugness and condition, velcro, three-ring condition, RSL routing, AAD compliance with battery and factory check, etc.
    Skydiving Emergency Review and Drills— Review all types of problems, reinforce altitude awareness, discuss disorientation, practice in a suspended harness.
    Canopy Flight and Landing Patterns—Use aerial photos to show acceptable and unacceptable outs, review hazards, establish or review landing patterns, and discuss canopy handling toward preventing low-turn accidents.
    Aircraft Procedures and Emergencies—Review exit order and loading procedures, seat belt and weight and balance concerns, spotting procedures, visibility minimums and cloud clearances, air traffic control requirements, and aircraft emergency scenarios.
  4. Don't forget the PR.
    Give recognition to those who turn out and those who teach. Remember that many local news organizations may want to provide news coverage. Take pictures and send them with a brief write-up to Parachutist. And consider that the skydivers who don't participate may need more of your staff's attention when the season kicks in.
Like skydiving, Safety Day is also about fun. It certainly won't be hard to encourage jumpers to get together at the end of the day's activities for some mid-winter socializing. Make sure to include that in your Safety Day plan, too!
Copyright 2017 by United States Parachute Association