Illegal Aerial Delivery is a 1965 law originally set in place to prevent the resupplying of squatters in the National Parks via parachute. It has been repeatedly used against backcountry parachutists for decades.
CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 36 - PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY, CHAPTER 1 - NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, PART 2--RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION
36 CFR 2.17 - Aircraft And Air Delivery
(a) The following are prohibited:
- Operating or using aircraft on lands or water [...]
- Where a water surface is designated pursuant to paragraph (a.1) of this section, operating or using aircraft under power on the water within 500 feet [...]
- Delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
2006 NPS Management Policies
Parachuting (or BASE jumping), whether from an aircraft, structure, or natural feature, is generally prohibited by 36 CFR 2.17(a)(3). However, if determined through a park planning process to be an appropriate activity, it may be allowed pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
...and here is the old policy for reference:
2001 NPS Management Policies
184.108.40.206 BASE Jumping
BASE (Buildings, Antennae, Spans, Earth forms) jumping? also known as fixed object jumping? involves an individual wearing a parachute jumping from buildings, antennae, spans (bridges), and earth forms (cliffs). This is not an appropriate public use activity within national park areas, and is prohibited by 36 CFR 2. 17( 3).
BASE Jumping is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects that are utilized for these foot-launched skydives: (B)uilding, (A)ntenna, (S)pan, and (E)arth. BASE jumpers first skydive hundreds of times from aircraft before attempting to BASE jump, which is undoubtedly the world's most extreme sport. Unlike skydiving, BASE jumpers typically use only one parachute as the lower exit altitudes of 200-2000 feet above the ground do not normally permit deployment of a reserve parachute. While it is legal to jump at Bridge Day for six short hours, any jumps made outside this small window can result in $5000 fines, gear confiscation, and a year in jail as imposed by the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS owns a small landing area on the East side of the bridge, but they've arrested and prosecuted jumpers who've landed on private property several hundred yards outside the park border. Fortunately, there are many legal bridges and cliffs around the USA and Europe for parachutists to enjoy their sport, but the safest ones reside in National Parks.
Background checks are required because jumpers will be the only people permitted to carry "backpacks" on the bridge. When jumpers submit their names, date of birth, and SSN or passport numbers (if not a US citizen), this information will be used for a background check performed by the Sheriff. No background checks are needed if you previously registered for Bridge Day since 2002, as this process is only needed the first year you register to jump. Situations that would disqualify you from jumping would include: Outstanding felony warrants, previous arrests for explosives, terrorist-related activities, or similar records. Misdemeanor warrants for items such as traffic tickets, or prior arrests or convictions for BASE jumping offenses will NOT affect your jumping at Bridge Day. Since 2002, no BASE jumpers have failed the background check. All SSN and passport number information will be destroyed immediately after background checks are performed. The NPS has nothing to do with background checks, although it is possible (albeit illegal) that the Sheriff could share information with them.
Similar to a standard sail slider used for skydiving, a mesh slider contains a mesh material in the middle that permits air to flow through it. The increased air flow doesn't hold the slider up near the canopy as well as a sail slider during opening. Since they pose less resistance to the wind, mesh sliders come down faster and allow the canopy to open more quickly. "Large hole" mesh sliders are typically used for delays from 2 seconds up to terminal velocity (with proper reefing). "Small hole" mesh sliders are normally used big wall jumps consisting of longer delays (terminal velocity). Make sure you get one that is similar in size and shape to your current slider.
All jumpers and staff must bring a 2x2 headshot photo to Bridge Day. Once you arrive in Fayetteville, come to the Holiday Lodge Oak Hill for onsite registration and bring the photo with you. After you sign our waiver, we'll check your driver's license or passport to verify who you are, then we'll make you a Bridge Day ID badge using the photo you've given to us. The Bridge Day ID badge is mandated by the State of West Virginia and must be worn at all times during Bridge Day. This ID badge is very important and will provide you with the following opportunities:
- Access onto the bridge with your "backpack" or rig
- Access to the jumper exit area
- It will serve as your jump ticket
- It will contain important medical data in case you are injured or become ill
- It will allow us to categorize you into four groups of 113 jumpers
- It will allow us to mark the number of jumps you have made during the day
- Free bus rides from the Holiday Lodge Oak Hill to the bridge and from the LZ to the top of the bridge
- Access to the pizza and drink at the Saturday night party
- It will serve as a souvenir of the Bridge Day event
- We'll mark what time you jumped on your badge to help you find Bridge Day photos after the event
Your 2x2 photo should consist of the following:
- Photos can be in black and white or color
- Photos must be approximately 2" x 2" square in size
- We would suggest you use a Polaroid camera, passport photo services, or your own personal color printer to provide a suitable photo for your ID badge
- If you forget to bring a photo to Bridge Day, we can take your photo during onsite registration at Bridge Day for a small fee
Jumpers are required by order of the State of West Virginia to submit their names, date of births, and SSN's (passport numbers and country if not a US citizen) during registration for a background check, unless they previously registered for Bridge Day since 2002. Canadian jumpers who don't have a passport can simply provide their Canadian ID number (equivalent to US citizen's SSN). Jumper information is not given to the NPS.
A pilot chute is a miniature parachute released by a freefalling jumper in order to produce drag and subsequently pull the main or reserve parachute from the container. BASE jumping pilot chutes are typically 32"-48" in diameter and made from F-111 or zero porosity nylon with a mesh bottom. A 9' long bridle is utilized to attach a pilot chute to the main or reserve parachute. New jumpers often hold the pilot chute in their right hand for easier deployment while the more experienced prefer to store it in a spandex pocket at the bottom of the container. Contrary to popular belief, there is no ripcord or cord. Rather, jumpers typically reach for a circular disk made of thick fabric or a cylindrical plastic handle located at the apex of the pilot chute. Jumpers will be required to use a minimum 38" diameter pilot chute (4-7 second delays) and a 9' bridle. 42" pilot chutes are recommended for 2-4 second delays.
The tail pocket is a Velcro-closed pouch that holds the lines during deployment and is very similar to the pocket on most CRW canopies and reserve freebags. Parachute lines are symmetrically placed inside the tailpocket in a Figure 8 or "switchback" type pattern rather than using rubber bands as seen on skydiving rigs. Your rigger or a BASE gear manufacturer can easily sew on a tailpocket for you at a cost of $40-$50.