Canopy Handling Working Group Update

On 25th February 2021, British Skydiving’s Safety and Training Committee (STC), comprised of Chief Instructors from every Parachute Training Organisation (PTO), voted to implement the new canopy system with effect from 1st April 2021. 

The system comprises of three main parts: 

Landing Areas All PTOs that wish to allow high performance landings with a final turn of more than 90 degrees will now have to have a dedicated area for those landings and guidelines for those carrying them out.  As each landing area is different, all CIs will write their own SOPs for how, when and where those landings may be carried out at their PTO. 

Canopy Training (CT).  A new canopy training system has been devised to replace the existing CH and CP grades.  The system will now comprise of further Canopy Training for students and CT 1,2,3 and 4 for licensed jumpers. 

  • Further Canopy Training – To be completed by all students prior to applying for their A Licence.  Students currently in training will be accredited for those parts of CH1 that they have already completed. 
  • CT1 – To be completed by all skydivers before applying for B Licence.  Many of the exercises are similar to those carried out for CH2, and these will be carried over, with jumpers needing to complete the extra exercises. 
  • CT2 – Needed for C Licence.  This reviews all basic exercises previously taught and covers more advanced elements of canopy control, designed to teach the skydiver the skills required to be able to convert from intermediate to more advanced canopies. 
  • CT3 –  To be able to carry out high performance landings up to 90 degrees. 
  • CT4 –  for high performance landings over 90 degrees. 

Skydivers that are part way through training for CP1 will be integrated into the new system as appropriate 

Canopy Size Charts.  A series of Canopy Sizing charts:

have been devised to ensure that all skydivers who have not yet completed 2000 descents, use a canopy that is a suitable size for their experience and training.  To allow for fluctuations in weight and differences in how canopy manufacturers size and label their equipment, jumpers may use a canopy that is up to 10% smaller than stated on the chart. The figures on the chart are a combination of wing loading, and for the smallest and largest canopies, a fixed size where wing loading alone would result in the lightest jumpers jumping dangerously small canopies and the largest having to jump student equipment for hundreds of jumps. For all those that have their B Licence as of 31st March 2021, CIs are authorised to permit them to carry on jumping their own canopy, but they will not be permitted to downsize any further until they are within the guidelines on the chart for their weight and experience.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Chair of the Working Group. 

Mark Bayada