What Is An Automatic Activation Device For Skydiving?
You may have heard about skydiving with an AAD backup, but what is an AAD? AAD stands for “automatic activation device”, and it’s a valuable safety tool that can give skydivers peace of mind during freefall. This tiny microprocessor computer automatically activates your reserve parachute in case you can’t deploy it, so there’s additional safeguards during your jump. DZONE® utilizes AADs in all of our locations for added safety!
How Does A Skydiving AAD Work?
The automatic activation device for skydiving is not only lifesaving, but it’s also extremely easy to use. That’s why it’s the industry standard to use an AAD for skydiving. The biggest step is to turn on the device while stable, on the ground where you will be landing. After that, it’s smooth sailing! Here are the basics of how the device works on your jump:
- Make sure that you activate your AAD even before you put on all your gear so it can calibrate itself properly while you’re on the ground. Your instructor will show you how to switch it on and double-check that it’s working properly.
- Once activated, the AAD will automatically track your altitude and speed every few seconds.
- Jump as usual and enjoy the free fall! Should something happen to you like a medical emergency, having been knocked unconscious, or for any reason where you were unable to deploy your own parachute, the AAD is supposed to trigger the reserve parachute to deploy. This happens at different altitudes for different modes: approximately 2200 feet for Tandem and 750 feet for solo jumpers. These are extremely low altitudes to still be in freefall; do not ever RELY on your AAD! It’s a backup of last resort!
All skydivers use some form of altimeter to help time their parachute deployment. And while the altimeter is a great tool on hand, we recommend using it with the AAD as a backup. Why? Altimeters can malfunction in midair, and the automatic activation device is designed to provide a backup measure. What’s more, while it may not be required to use an AAD during a solo jump, they are required to have during a tandem jump.
The AAD can also provide extra security during tandem skydiving. If your instructor passes out, devices like the CYPRES 2 AAD will deploy the parachute. We recommend utilizing the parachute landing fall (PLF) if you find yourself in this situation:
- Attempt to gently steer the parachute into a SOFA (Soft Open Flat Area).
- Prepare for the impact and stay focused.
- Avoid concentrating force on your joints, which could cause damage or bruising.
- When your feet touch the ground, roll to the side of your body.
- Allow the momentum to push you forward.
Learn More about Skydiving Safety with DZONE®
Are you planning your next trip from Boise or Bozeman? Feel free to contact us with any questions about the automatic activation device in skydiving or any other piece of equipment. Our team also offers a list of frequently asked questions, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Book Your Skydiving Experience at DZONE®
Reading about how to skydive is one thing—experiencing the jump is another! If you’re ready to get first-hand experience with skydiving equipment and best practices, don’t wait to book your appointment! While you’re here, you can get an even better sense of how skydiving works by watching videos of experienced jumpers who were once just like you!