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Skydive Safety - Exit Order Explained (Simplified)

This article goes over some points explained in the above video, the full explanation will be found in the video. Enjoy!

The goal to have an exit order is to avoid to the maximum the risk of collision between skydivers. We need to make sure every skydivers or groups have their own airspace to play and open.

We manage to do that by allowing enough horizontal separation between skydivers or groups of skydivers.

The relative wind (caused by the plane speed and the air speed) makes skydivers drift from their initial exit point in their freefall. This means that they don’t fall straight down but they cover a horizontal distance as well.

That drift is impacted by the fall rate of the skydivers or groups; a slower fall rate will cause the skydivers to be in the relative wind longer hence make them drift on a largest distance and vice-versa for faster fall rates.

How can we control the horizontal distance?

By considering the type of jumps and the group size.

Type of jumps

As an example, we know that belly flyers are falling at a slower rate than the freeflyers, so they will tend to drift more. We then want them to get out first to get away from the freeflyers in their freefall.

Another type of jump to consider are the ones that create movements like tracking, angle flying… Since they are moving a lot, we will want them to get away from the main jump run to avoid intersecting with other groups. It’s recommended to have no more than 2 movement groups per load and to make sure they both go on opposite side of the jump run.

The wingsuiters can be in a separate group since they are doing so much distance that they can get out later on the jump run and by the time they get to their opening height over the dropzone, most of the other skydivers are likely landed.

Size of groups

The group size as an impact on the fall rate since with having many skydivers holding hands, they are creating a larger surface that slows down and drifts more.

Another good thing to consider in the exit order is the opening altitude. We will want skydivers who are pulling higher to get our first.

Watch back the video above to get the full blown explanation of the elements mentioned above.

Check out this chart I created to summarize the exit order:

Share this chart so all skydivers better understand the exit order — by Catherine Bernier
Share this chart so all skydivers better understand the exit order — by Catherine Bernier

Attention: Always ask & verify with your dropzone, instructors, coaches or load organizers about the right exit order for each specific jump as many elements can affect the order. (wind, type of plane, type of jump run, weather…)

Skydive City FB page:
Skydive Spaceland:
Special thanks to Rook Nelson from Skydive Chicago for his knowledge.

Now, share this article so all skydivers are safer, better educated skydivers!

Be safe, keep jumping & Blue Skies!