Responsibilities of a Drop Zone Controller
By Jason Thompson - UK Parachuting
Must hold a BPA B licence
DZ Control must be continuously established when parachuting is in progress.
The DZ Controller must be a nominated BPA ‘B’ Licence parachutist or above who has been fully briefed on his/her responsibilities and duties for the specific activities of the day and must be in place whilst parachuting is in progress.
The DZ Controller’s responsibilities will include the following:
- The setting up of and supervising the DZ Control Organisation as required by the CI.
- Briefing any assistant(s) put at his/her disposal.
- Ensuring that the PLA/DZ indicator (see Section 7 – Parachute Landing Areas/Dropping Zones, 1.3.) is in the correct position as required by the CI.
1.To ensure that the appropriate ground to air signals are displayed when necessary (see 4.7. below).
- To ensure that the descents of all parachutists are monitored from the ground.
- To suspend parachuting where necessary if weather conditions become unsuitable.
- To ensure that the PLA is clear of unauthorised vehicles etc.
- To ensure that First Aid assistance is given to any parachutist requiring it and that emergency services are contacted where necessary.
- Maintain a close lookout for aircraft, including gliders, and to suspend parachuting as soon as any interference with the safe conduct of parachuting becomes apparent. Particular attention should be paid to aircraft landing or taking off and to other aircraft with turning propellers or rotors on the ground, within or close to the PLA.
- To ensure that the PTO is equipped with a windsock, signal panels and telemeters or suitable high powered mounted binoculars and that they are positioned at the most suitable location.
- To maintain communication with other aviation activities on and adjacent to the PLA/DZ.
- Whenever Student Parachuting is taking place to maintain radio communications with the parachuting aircraft for the purpose of suspending parachuting. If there has been a breakdown of radio communications between the DZ Control and the parachuting aircraft, Student Parachuting must be immediately suspended and will only recommence when radio communication has once more been established.
- To report all injuries, incidents, malfunctions or contraventions of the BPA Operations Manual and/or local SOPs to the CI. It is also the responsibility of all parachutists to ensure that any injuries, incidents or malfunctions that they witness are reported in the same way.