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RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit

Parachute Training and Support Unit Crest

The RNZAF's Parachute Training and Support Unit (PTSU) was established in 1964 to provide parachute training for selected Army personnel. The unit has been based at whenuapai since its inception. Since 1964, the scope of training provided by the unit has steadily increased to today where it provides training to a wide range of personnel from the NZDF.

Located on RNZAF Base Auckland, PTSU provides basic instruction for initial parachute trainees through to advanced free fall courses for specially selected personnel. Members of foreign forces are occasionally trained as parachutists, jumpmasters and parachute jump instructors under the auspice of the NZDF Mutual Aid Program.

All parachutists initial training is carried out by using the traditional round static line parachute. The static line is attached to the interior structure of the aircraft and when the parachutist jumps out the static line initiates the deployment of the parachute canopy. The static line technique allows the dropping of many parachutists in a short time, and can also be used for the dropping of equipment. Training jumps are carried out from 1000ft (300m) down to 800ft (244m). In operational situations jumps can be safely made from around 250ft (76m) to minimise the time taken to reach the ground.

Static line parachuting is the foundation of all other forms of parachuting. To gain the right to wear parachutist "wings" a military parachutist must make eight static line descents. From there, selected personnel go on to advanced training in free-fall, high altitude parachuting techniques, and jumping with a range of different equipment.

Kiwi Blue Parachute Display Team

Kiwi Blue parachute team logo

One of the most visual aspects of the Parachute Training and Support Unit is the displays carried out by the Air Force Parachute display team called "Kiwi Blue"

Comprising members of the staff of PTSU the team performs at airshows, open days and other events where the Air Force participates. The team has carried out displays overseas in Australia and the United Kingdom, jumping alongside their compatriots of the host countries.

The use of smoke by the descending parachute team provides spectacular viewing, and on many jumps a large New Zealand flag is attached below one of the jumpers. 

Read more, visit Air Force News 2007 March Issue 79 page 18 - View From the Top.

For up coming events please visit Air Shows and Open Days section.

Join the Air Force, visit our Careers section and STEPUP.

 

For more information contact:
The Commanding Officer 
Postal Address: RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit
RNZAF Base Auckland
Private Bag
WHENUAPAI
Telephone: +64 9 417 7000 Ext 7512
Fax: +64 9 417 7837