These definitions form part of the APF’s regulatory framework, and were adopted as such by the Board of APF under Rule 25 of the APF Constitution.  The terms, definitions and interpretations listed are reproduced in Regulatory Schedule 50.

Words not defined in Operational Regulations or Regulatory Schedules have the meaning ascribed to them in the APF Constitution or this Dictionary of Definitions unless a contrary meaning appears from the context.

The following acronyms and terms are used in the Operational Regulations (OR), associated Regulatory Schedules (RS), other APF manuals, or in general use in the sport parachuting/skydiving environment.  Terms used in specifically in APF policy documents may be defined in those documents.


Automatic Activation Device

Airworthiness Directive

Accelerated Freefall

Above Ground Level: Altitude expressed as feet above terrain or airport elevation

Aeronautical Information Publication – En route

Above Mean Sea Level

Australian Parachute Federation Ltd

Air Traffic Control

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Chief Instructor

Canopy Relative Work

Display Organiser

Drop Zone

Drop Zone Safety Officer 

Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

Flight Level

Ground Control Assistant

instructor-assisted deployment

Jump Pilot Authorisation

Maximum take-off weight.

National Aviation Officer 

National Rigging Officer

The APF Operational Regulations, as amended from time to time by the Board.

Personal flotation device. See flotation equipment.

Rigging Advisory Circular:  See ‘Service Bulletin’.

Regulatory Schedule

Reserve Static Line (or Reserve Static Lanyard)

Relative Work

Service Bulletin (Previously ‘Rigging Advisory Circular’)   

Solo Freefall

See “static-line deployment”.

Safety Management System

Senior Pilot

Safety and Training Manager, See RS 57.

Safety and Training Officer 

Target Assistant

Tandem Assisted Freefall

Training Operations Manual

Technical and Safety Committee


A method of student training in accordance with the Training Operations Manual, where the majority of descents are undertaken with one or two jumpmasters in freefall with the student.

Documentation of information necessary for en route air navigation which is published by Air Services Australia.

A directive issued by CASA or the aviation body of any other nation relating to the airworthiness of an aircraft or aeronautical equipment. A CASA airworthiness directive will take precedence over that of any other authority or nation.

Freefall in which there is a horizontal component, but the angle is diagonal relative to the ground, resulting in faster fall rate than flatfly or tracking and less horizontal movement than in tracking. The horizontal component in angles may involve several direction changes. Some parachutists call these “Atmonauti/Atmo” or tracing jumps.

The annual APF forum or symposium to promote safety and the objectives of the APF strategic plan, through an exchange of ideas and information between members.

Mandatory or optional standards for equipment, including certified and non-certified parachute parts, published by the APF in service bulletins including previously issued rigging advisory circulars.

The national administration and management office of the APF.

Individuals authorised to deal with misconduct and take appropriate action.  See Misconduct Policy and Procedures for further detail.

APF Board is a body consisting of Directors appointed under rule 18 of the Constitution. The Board manages the affairs of the APF in accordance with the Constitution.

A descent in which the parachutists attempt to bring themselves together, or near to each other, after their parachutes are open.

An APF parachutist Certificate Class A, B, C, D, E or F, issued to a parachutist who has achieved an APF level of proficiency. See also section five of this RS 50 for information on other use of ‘certificate’.

A Packer A or Rigger is satisfied that all components of a parachute system are fully functional and compatible. To ascertain this, the parachute system must be fully opened (reserve tray and canopy) and inspected. The reserve parachute must then be packed in accordance with the approved manuals for those components by, or the packing directly supervised by, the same Packer A or Rigger who inspected it. The accompanying data card must be completed in accordance with OR12.5.1.

A Senior Instructor appointed by the National Training Officer to supervise training for a club and ensure compliance with these regulations.

Any club, organisation, centre, corporation, company or other institution, association or community, in whatever legal form, meeting the criteria set by the APF for Club membership from time to time and which is admitted to the APF as a Club, defined under rule 9 of the APF Constitution.

A person appointed by a Chief Instructor as a coach in accordance with RS 53, 8. 

The Constitution of the Australian Parachute Federation (APF).

An APF Council Committee defined under rule 7 of the Constitution.

Recognition by the APF of a parachutist’s proficiency in a particular parachuting skill.

(For the purposes of parachute packing and parachute rigging.)

The replacement of component parts that require assembly only and no sewing other than hand tacking.

The height at which the parachutist initiates the activation sequence to open the main parachute.

A parachute descent, being the time from when the parachutist exits the aircraft until the parachutist lands.

The supervisor must be present throughout the operation, monitoring all relevant activities and ensuring compliance with regulations.   See also ‘Supervision’.

See ‘Parachuting Display’

A manual issued by the APF for the organisation of parachuting displays and Display Organisers.

A person appointed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations who is responsible for the conduct of a parachuting display.

A rating issued to allow participation in a parachuting display. 

A general term describing the intended landing area for a descent.  See also “Operation Centre”.

A person who is appointed as Drop Zone Safety Officer for an operation.

A parachute that meets APF Equipment Standards.  (An emergency parachute normally refers to a certified parachute intended for emergency use.)

See separate definition for ‘reserve parachute’.

May include any manufacturer directives such as but not limited to: Technical Service Bulletins, Service Bulletins, Technical Bulletins, Product Service Bulletins, Information Bulletins, Technical Standards or Airworthiness Directives.

Mandatory or optional standards for equipment, including certified and non-certified parachute parts, published by the APF in Equipment Standards, including previously issued APF Service Bulletins (SB) and Rigging Advisory Circulars (RAC).

A manual issued by the APF for the conduct of assessments for APF instructor, coach and other ratings and endorsements.

The position of the aircraft over the ground where the parachutist, having regard to the prevailing weather conditions, must exit in order to land on the target.

The international body that administers sport aviation throughout the world.

Any material or flag attached to a parachutist and having a suspended weight.

Freefall in which the parachutists fall in a predominately belly-to-earth, without substantial horizontal movement (except for safe separation prior to opening). 

A personal flotation device (PFD) that meets the APF Equipment Standard.  (Refer to APF Service Bulletins)

A judge approved by the National Judging Officer to adjudicate APF formation skydiving competitions and records.

The period from when the parachutist exits the aircraft until parachute deployment.

Freefall in which the parachutist’s orientation is predominantly vertical to the ground, head-up (HU) (Standing or sitting) and/or head-down (HD) without substantial belly-to-earth or horizontal movement except for safe separation prior to opening.

A visitor or parachutist who has paid the appropriate subscription to the APF, from date of joining to June 30.

A person’s given first name and surname, not a nickname or alias.

In relation to parachute equipment.

To prohibit the use of that equipment for descents.

The person who is responsible for communicating to the jump aircraft as to the advisability of exiting the aircraft.

Wind that affects the parachute upon landing.

A camera mounted on the hand or wrist area.

A landing approach in which the parachutist uses canopy inputs to induce vertical acceleration to increase horizontal distance travelled across (close to) the ground.

Any unplanned or uncontrolled event which may or may not result in injury, illness, property damage or a near miss, or significantly increased the risk of a descent.  See RS 55 for more detail.

The holder of a valid APF Instructor or Senior Instructor rating.

A Senior Instructor appointed to assess APF instructor candidates.

A main canopy deployment system where the instructor deploys the student’s parachute by throwing the pilot-chute down and clear of the aircraft door as, or after, the student exits.

The pilot in command of a jump aircraft holding a valid Jump Pilot Authorisation (JPA).

A free of charge APF membership available annually to Jump Pilot Authorisation holders.

An authorisation issued by the APF to certify that a pilot is qualified to conduct flights for parachuting activities at member training organisations.  See RS 56 for more detail.

The instructor with an AFF or SFF endorsement who supervises student or novice parachutists in the aircraft and throughout the descent.

An object or group of objects on the ground, including power-lines and water hazards, likely to cause injury to a parachutist when landing and which cannot be avoided by steering the canopy away at a height of 100 feet above the object or group of objects.

Sporting Licence or Student Licence. Not to be confused with Certificates or Ratings

A parachute operation from aircraft take-off to landing (sometimes referred to as a ‘sortie’).

The parachutist on each load with responsibilities in accordance with OR 6.1.9.

(For the purposes of parachute packing and parachute rigging)

The restoration of any part of a parachute assembly to its original specifications and/or condition, but does not include alteration of existing components or construction of alternative sections to the parachute assembly.

A person or club of the APF, defined under rule 6 of the Constitution.

See 'Club'

The person responsible for matters relating to aircraft operations.

A person appointed to a position of technical responsibility under RS 57.  National Officers may form part of the Technical and Safety Committee.

The person responsible for matters relating to parachute rigging and packing.

A descent made during the period of darkness that is taken to commence one hour after official last light.

An APF club with no Chief Instructor that provides for parachuting by holders of at least a Certificate Class B.

A novice parachutist who holds a Certificate Class A but not a Certificate Class B.

For the purposes of the OR and RS, refer to “incident”.

The height at which the parachute is fully open.

The central location of club parachuting operations, generally where parachutists are inducted, trained and manifested and parachuting equipment is stored and refurbished; however not necessarily where aircraft depart or at the DZ.

The holder of a valid APF packer rating (Class A or Class B).

Performing or participating in any APF authorised or recognised activities as described in APF Rules and Regulations, including but not limited to parachuting, training, displays, packing, rigging, flying in any aircraft being used for or in connection with parachuting and related activities.

Excluding descents made at an APF-approved DZ, a descent:

  1. made within 600 metres of a populous area; or
  2. at a public gathering; or
  3. at a DZ set up temporarily involving Tandem descents (see OR 10.1.10) and used no more than seven operational days in any one-month period and no more than three months in any one calendar year.

The holder of an APF parachutist certificate or an APF Student Parachutist Licence.

See ‘certificate’.

A personal flotation device that meets an appropriate marine or aviation standard. (Refer to APF Service Bulletins)

The height at which the parachutist initiates the deployment sequence to open the container.

A qualification issued by the APF to a parachutist who has achieved a level of proficiency in instructing, packing, rigging or the conduct of displays.

A supplementary document to the Operational Regulations, which provides more detailed information on a regulation or group of regulations.

Performed by parachutists in a descent in which the parachutists attempt to bring themselves together or near to each other. 

Note: This term includes flatfly, camera, wingsuit, freefly and CRW, as well as any other types of descent in which parachutists attempt to fly near/relative each other.

A parachute that meets APF Equipment Standards.  (A reserve parachute normally refers to a second or auxiliary parachute worn by a person making a premeditated jump.  For the purposes of these Regulations, it refers to a ram air canopy.  Where a round canopy may be used, stricter requirements may apply.)  See separate definition for ‘emergency parachute’.

The Review Officer is an authorised person with functions and disciplinary authority under the Misconduct Policy and Procedures Manual.

A panel consists of a person or persons appointed to deal with matters referred to it in accordance with the Misconduct Policy and Procedures Manual, provided for under rule 13 of the Constitution.

The holder of a valid APF rigger rating.

A Rigger appointed to assess APF packer and rigger rating candidates.

Rules, regulations, bylaws, statutes, instructions, policy and/or procedure as determined by the APF under the Constitution.

The STM manages the safety management system (SMS), chairs the Technical and Safety Committee and oversees the training operation approvals, incident, and accident investigation and related disciplinary matters.

A Senior Instructor or other highly experienced instructor acceptable to the STM and APF Office, appointed to encourage safe parachuting, conduct audits, supervise instructional standards, examine display ratings and various compliance matters.  

See RS 57.

A systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures (ICAO definition adopted by CASA).

A pilot appointed by the Chief Instructor of a training organisation, responsible for oversight of all aircraft related aspects of the operation.

A document released by the APF or other organisation overseeing parachuting, to provide technical safety information. Includes documents previously issued as Rigging Advisory Circulars (RACs) and/or documents issued by manufacturers relating to their equipment.

A membership option that is available to a visiting overseas parachutist or parachutist who has been trained outside the APF system, and may be purchased for a minimum period of one month.

A method of student training in accordance with the Training Operations Manual, involving either some Static-Line Deployment (SLD) or Instructor-Assisted Deployment (IAD) in the early stages, where the majority of descents are undertaken without a jumpmaster in freefall with the student.

A parachute operation from aircraft take-off to landing (see ‘load’).

A licence issued by the APF, through its affiliation with the FAI, to undertake parachuting activities in accordance with the rules and regulations of the APF. A Sporting Licence in not valid unless the holder is also a full member.

A freefall descent in which the parachutist maintains control of body position from exit through freefall and deployment of the parachute.

Deployment initiated by use of a line attached to the aircraft and to the parachute (as opposed to Instructor-Assisted Deployment or by the parachutist initiating the deployment).

A descent in which parachute deployment is activated upon exit by means of a static-line attached to the aircraft.

See student parachutist

The holder of an APF Student Parachutist Licence but not an APF parachutist certificate and who must be under the direct supervision of a DZSO.

The licence issued by the APF to a member to enable that member to be trained for parachuting.

The periodic surveillance and assessment of operations and persons conducting operations in order to maintain established standards and compliance with regulations. See also ‘direct supervision’.

A freefall training method utilising a tandem descent(s) in the early stages of that training.

A descent in which two parachutists exit the aircraft linked to a common harness/parachute system. 

The holder of valid APF instructor rating with a valid tandem endorsement.

The parachutist holding at least APF student parachutist membership, carried on the front of a Tandem Master during a tandem descent.

The area free of landing hazards within the DZ, for use in assessing landing accuracy, marked as: (a) a runway; or (b) a circle, in accordance with RS 52, 4.1.

The person responsible for communicating canopy control directions to a student parachutist.  May also be known as Canopy Control Assistant.

The operational committee comprising the STOs, NRO and NAO, chaired by the STM and reporting to the CEO.  See RS 57 and committee charter for further detail.

A document issued by the APF to provide technical safety information in any operational areas of parachuting.

Freefall in which the parachutist uses their body position to attain maximum horizontal (relative to the ground) direction.

A descent in which the majority of the freefall is spent in a track with a fall rate similar to flatfly, achieving significant horizontal movement.

Note: A tracking jumpsuit may be worn but these differ from a wingsuit in that they do not have the additional surface area under the arms and between the legs.

A parachutist making or training to make a descent which is required to be made under the supervision of a Chief Instructor.

A descent under OR 11.1.3 ‘Deemed Training Descents’.

Mandated requirements for parachute training issued by the APF as the industry standard manual, for adoption by Clubs as their parachute training manual.  A proposal for a non-standard TOM or modified sections of a TOM must be submitted by the Club’s CI for consideration and approval by the STM.

An APF club that has an appointed Chief Instructor, and provides facilities for training parachutists.

A descent table listed in the Training Operations Manual.

A parachutist who has been trained outside the APF system or any visiting overseas parachutist.

An open body of water that has a horizontal dimension of more than 100 metres and a depth of more than one metre.

A descent in which the parachutist uses a gliding jumpsuit with additional surface area under the arms and between the legs to generate significant lift during freefall, resulting in reduced fall rate and flight over large horizontal distances (relative to the ground).