USPA Group Member
Left Banner

Definition and history of “HALO” & “HALO Oxygen Jumps”


In 1957 the US Army coined the term “HALO”, which is an acronym for “High Altitude, Low Opening”. Any freefall skydive that begins at a reasonably high altitude, say around 10,000’, and opening altitude of around 3,000’, is by definition a “HALO” jump.

The military adopted what civilian skydivers had been doing for some time as it was a useful combat technique to insert small groups of elite airborne troops without the exposure the aircraft and troops would have on a static line jump from around 800’.

We have adopted the term “HALO Oxygen Jumps” to differentiate those HALO jumps that require supplemental oxygen in freefall, which are typically those jumps made at or above 23,000’. At lower altitudes the jumpers may use oxygen in the aircraft, but not in freefall. For our 28,000’ jumps, each jumper is supplied with an integrated system that supplies oxygen in both the aircraft and freefall and includes helmet, goggles, oxygen mask, regulators, and oxygen bottles. This is what is defined as a complete “high altitude bailout system”.

Equipment


The West Tennessee Skydiving high altitude bailout systems consist of the latest equipment available.

Our HALO helmets are custom designed for us by Bonehead Composites (a major manufacturer of skydiving helmets). Historically, HALO helmets were simply adaptations of flight helmets and thus were not ideal for the HALO mission. Our helmets are lightweight carbon fiber and allow the user to actually look up and inspect the main canopy after opening. These are a major improvement in anything that was used previously.

We supply all jumpers with a special high altitude altimeter that will show altitudes over 30,000’ as a typical skydiving altimeter stops recording altitude around 20,000’.

Our oxygen masks are the MBU-20, which are the same masks used by all the frontline fighter aircraft (F-18, F-16, etc) to at least 45,000’, both in the aircraft and in freefall.

Our bailout bottles are current manufacture and will supply freefall oxygen to each jumper for approximately 11 minutes.

Our onboard oxygen system, using A-14 regulators and lightweight Kevlar oxygen bottles, is capable of supply oxygen to 8 jumpers up to 45,000’ for over 2 hours.

Altitude & Aircraft


At our location at West Tennessee Skydiving, we offer HALO Oxygen Jumps from an altitude of 28,000’ from our specially equipped King Air Twin-Engine Turboprop aircraft. Along with the specifically designed and unique oxygen system, our aircraft has been fitted with much larger 750 HP engines, replacing the stock 550 HP engines. This allows us to climb to the jump altitude of 28,000’ in around 18 minutes.

Why 28,000’, why not higher?


Our aircraft is FAA certified to a maximum altitude of 30,000’ (although it is physically capable of going much higher). We have made many jumps from 30,000’ but, in 2005 the FAA adopted a rule, “RVSM”, requiring special digital altimetry for any aircraft flying above 28,000’. These digital altimetry systems are not available for our aircraft and virtually only the most recent aircraft manufactured have these systems. In theory, a waiver can be requested from the FAA to go to our previous altitude of 30,000’ but the Air Traffic Control authority where we are located will not do it.

So, the maximum altitude we can jump from is controlled by the maximum certified altitude of our aircraft, 30,000’, and is also governed by the airspace restriction, 28,000’, the “RVSM” rule.

For examples of the altitudes available by aircraft, here is a list of the aircraft fleet in the US and their FAA maximum certificated altitudes:

Beechcraft King Air 200 & 300 series: 35,000’
Beehcraft King Air 90 & 100 series: 30,000’ (our aircraft)
Dehavilland Twin Otter: 25,000’
PAC 750: 20,000’

So, the only aircraft available to legally go to 30,000’ and above are the King Air 90 & 100, and the King Air 200 & 300. However, these aircraft can only go to 28,000’ due to the RVSM restriction, unless waivered by the FAA or RVSM equipped.

How about all the jumps you see on youtube from our aircraft from 30,000’, and higher?


Any jump made from the West Tennessee Skydiving aircraft after 5 January 2005, (except for a few jumps made in Rantoul, IL where we had a FAA waiver to go to 30,000’) were made from an altitude of 28,000’, regardless of what is claimed.

Prior to 2020, the HALO Oxygen Jumps made at West Tennessee Skydiving were made using the facilities and aircraft of West Tennessee Skydiving but the oxygen equipment, training, and all dealings with the HALO jumpers were made by an organization that was contracting to use only our facilities and aircraft. We were not aware that this organization was routinely telling the jumpers, falsely, that their jump altitude was higher that 28,000’ and in most cases were telling them that they jumped from 30,000’. When we discovered this, we dissolved ties with this organization and now use only our own highly experienced HALO staff and newly manufactured equipment.

Procedures for Licensed Skydivers (for Tandem Skydivers, including 1st Time Tandem Skydiver, please scroll down)


For licensed skydivers (any Skydiving License from any country that is at least equivalent to the USPA “A” License) we offer the 28,000’ HALO Oxygen Jump on most any Friday, with an arrival time at our facilities of 9 AM.

Each jumper will then be completely briefed on all procedures, fitted with the oxygen equipment, and allowed to practice breathe on the ground with both the aircraft onboard system and the bailout system. Onboard on all jumps will be our trained HALO Jumpmaster and Oxygen monitor to handle any problems.

Freefall time on the 28,000’ HALO Oxygen jump is approximately 2 minutes, 30 seconds. For Wingsuit pilots, who knows?

Jump time is planned for 3:00 PM, with the following Saturday and Sunday as weather days.

IMPORTANT: Non-resident foreign jumpers who bring their own parachute are required to comply with the FAA regulation concerning such gear. If both your reserve parachute and harness/container assembly have US FAA TSO approval then your reserve MUST have been packed by an FAA rigger. No exceptions. If either your reserve or harness/container assembly is not FAA TSO approved then your reserve need only to be packed by the rules of the country you normally jump in or reside in.

Your rig must be equipped with either a Vigil, Cypres, or m2multi AAD and be in compliance with the manufacturer’s maintenance program. If it is a Vigil, make sure the high altitude service bulletin has been complied with. No other AAD brands are acceptable.

If you do not wish to bring your own rig, or cannot comply with the above, we have a wide range of rental rigs. Aerodyne Icons with Vigil AAD and Skyhook, available for $30.00 per jump.

The price of the 28,000’ HALO Oxygen Jump for licensed skydivers is $700. We need at least 3 to fly, can take a maximum of 6. If you cannot provide a group of 3, let us know when you would like to come and we will try to provide any other jumpers needed to make it fly.

Must be at least 18 years old. As the oxygen masks need a good seal, no beards allowed. A moderate moustache is OK.

To make your reservation, or for more information, contact Michael Mullins:
michaelmullins@skydivekingair.com
or, 901-355-2629

Jumps are made at our airport, Wings Field (2TN2), near Memphis, TN:
West Tennessee Skydiving
Wings Field
985 Laverne Davis Rd
Whiteville, TN 38075
USA

Nearest large airport with passenger service: Memphis International Airport (KMEM)

Tandem 28,000’ HALO Oxygen Skydive, including 1st Time Tandem Skydivers


A Tandem Skydive is a training skydive where you will experience all aspects of skydiving with little training or time required. You will jump with a parachute harness that attaches to your instructor's harness. It is similar to taking flying lessons, as the instructor is along to give you hands-on experience before solo. Our instructors average well over 1,000 jumps and have completed certification courses in the use of the Tandem Parachute System.

A Tandem 28,000’ HALO Oxygen Skydive is a Tandem Skydive taken to the extreme. Along with the normal training for a Tandem Skydive, you will receive specific high altitude training with our state of the art HALO Oxygen gear.

You may make an appointment for this jump for most any Friday with an arrival time of 9:00 AM. You will then be fitted with all the oxygen equipment and gear needed to make this extreme skydive, including practice breathing with the onboard and freefall oxygen systems.

Our equipment, along with being the latest available, includes a communication system that allows voice communication with you and your instructor at all times, including freefall. It is voice activated and requires nothing more than to speak into your oxygen mask.

You and your instructor will exit the aircraft at 28,000’ for a freefall of approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds. This is the longest freefall available anywhere.

Cost of the jump is $3600.00, includes all equipment, training, and the jump itself. If you wish to have the entire experience filmed, one of our highly experienced freefall videographers will document the entire experience on the ground and in freefall, on both video and photos, for an additional $400.

Must be at least 18 years old and weigh no more than 225 lbs. As the oxygen mask needs a good seal, no beards allowed, moderate moustache is OK.

To make your reservation, or for more information, contact Michael Mullins:
michaelmullins@skydivekingair.com
or, 901-355-2629

Jumps are made at our airport, Wings Field (2TN2), near Memphis, TN:
West Tennessee Skydiving
Wings Field
985 Laverne Davis Rd
Whiteville, TN 38075
USA

Nearest large airport with passenger service: Memphis International Airport (KMEM)

Give us a call @
901-759-3483
Gift Certificates Available!

Our Gift Cert NEVER expire and are FULLY refundable at any time!

West Tennessee Skydiving
< January 2021 >
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Click on dates in red for schedule details.

To Receive our free Newsletter, type your email address here.