COA: altitude ...

Your altimeter is your best friend, both in freefall and under canopy.

When do you check your altimeter? Base your altitude check on all three of these moments:


about every 5 seconds.

That's about 1,000 feet of altitude. Altitude as a part of your COA makes this happen easily.


between each maneuver.

After you complete a freefall maneuever, such as a turn or flip, check your altitude. Mastering this habit allows you to accomplish tasks in freefall more safely and increases your awareness.


when something unusual happens.

"Problem solving" can be deadly. Many times in freefall, if something unusual happens--not necessarily bad, just unexpected--a jumper might be tempted to stop the flow of COA and put all their attention on fixing the problem. This causes loss of altitude awareness and can escalate to a worse situation. An altitude check at this point brings the COA flow back in and actually allows for more awareness (hence "time") in freefall to deal with anything unplanned.


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