Wingsuit Flying has varying rules and regulations per country.
Most share the same basics but demands on student, coach and gear do tend to vary per region.
Published here is a set of rules we believe to be a solid foundation for safe and structured learning during a First Flight Course (FFC) and subsequent wingsuit skydives.
These rules can be used as reference in creation of local regulations and/or club rules.
It is important to understand that there is a direct correlation between wingsuit size and how much a suit can control a person on exit, deployment as well as during instability. A complete, unbiased and always up to date list of all suits available on the market can be found on www.paralog.net/ppc/. Any wingsuit model can be identified in the list together with the recommended (minimum) experience level
10 – 50 Wingsuit Skydives – Rookie
50 – 200 Wingsuit Skydives – Intermediate
200+ Wingsuit Skydives – Advanced
Always check if a wingsuit pilot flies a suit in the correct category for their experience level.
Commerce, peer pressure and social media can be of big influence in pushing people to fly wingsuits above their experience levels, posing an increased risk with regards to airplane tailstrikes, navigational problems and parachute deployment issues.
Tracking is not seen as an essential or mandatory training for wingsuit flying. Experience in formation skydiving and/or freefly tends to create a better sense of spatial awareness and control, that will lead to better student progression. Should students choose to jump trackingsuit before learning to fly a wingsuit, we advise the following experience levels, combined with a briefing covering all essential information on exit, navigation and (practice) deployment(s).
80+ Freefall Skydives – 2 Piece ‘classic’ TrackSuit
150+ Freefall Skydives – Onepiece TrackSuit
- An experienced, current and licensed skydiver
- 200 freefall skydives
- suitable gear
- liability insurance
- Trained on teaching students through a recognized (manufacturer) course
- Rating and/or permissions (if applicable) from local organisation
- Able to guide and brief a student on gear, exit, navigation, practice deployments, deployment, canopy handling and (freefall) emergencies
- Able to safely fly with a student, within a 10 meter distance to guide and correct a student where needed on navigation, altitude awareness, body position and deployment
- A current and active wingsuit pilot with a minimum of 250 wingsuit skydives
FFC Gear Demands
- Suitable main canopy
- BOC Throw Out deployment
- RSL, MARD or Skyhook*
- AAD (no FXC or similar mechanical devices)
- Helmet / No camera
- Visual Altimeter (Analog readout recommended)
- Audible altimeter
*Use of an RSL, MARD or Skyhook increases safety, and is advised to be seen as a mandatory asset.
- Good Exit
- Good Navigation
- Good Deployment
- Performance is not of importance
- Wingsuit Design and Rigging
- Gear up sequence and practice handle touches
- DZO/CCI, Manifest and/or Pilot communication
- Airplane exit order and seating
- Flight Path relative to jumps run & other jumpers / traffic
Though briefing style and course elements may vary per educational model, a good FFC should always contain the following elements:
- Exit, Body Position and aircraft tail awareness / avoidance
- Body Position
- Navigation and directional control
- Practice Pull (DRCP) & Altitude checks
- Canopy drills
- Canopy emergencies
- Freefall emergencies
A coach should always sign a student logbook and further advise a student on progression in skill, as well as making sure a wingsuit model is always fitting for the students the experience level.
Written by Jarno Cordia