Essential Information

Glossary: Skydiving Terminology


Skydiver under a red parachute over Eloy, AZ
October 20, 2017

The skydivers term for a complete parachute system made of a container, main parachute, reserve parachute, and automatic opening device.

The harness and fabric enclosure that holds a skydiver’s parachutes.

Automatic Activation Device (AAD)
A device that can sense when a skydiver is still in freefall at low altitudes and automatically opens the reserve parachute.

Another term for parachute.

The act of jumping from an airplane and opening your parachute immediately in order to focus on canopy flight.

Main Parachute
The first parachute that a skydiver opens. This parachute is usually a higher performance canopy and is packed by the skydiver or a trained parachute packer.

Reserve Parachute
The secondary, backup parachute that a skydiver uses in-case of an emergency.

Pack Job
The act of packing a parachute.

Three Ring System
The quick release system that is used to attach the main parachute to the container.

Cut Away
The act of pulling a cut away handle to release the main parachute in case of an emergency.

Rigger / Master Rigger
An FAA certified parachute handler that can perform reserve parachute pack jobs and parachute system repairs.

The amount of time before a jump. For example: a ’15 minute call’.

A plane full of skydivers going up to make a jump. Usually the skydiving day is counted by loads.

Dropzone (DZ)
A location where skydiving takes place. Often a DZ is located on a small regional airport and features packing areas.

A non-skydiver.

The act of slowing the parachute down for landing.

The handles on the ends of the brake lines of your parachute. Used for steering and flaring.

Published: October 20, 2017 | Last Updated: July 28, 2022

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