Skydivers in California Cited for Using Ham Radio Frequencies

Skydivers in California Cited for Using Ham Radio Frequencies

Recently, a group of skydivers in California was cited for using ham radio frequencies during a skydive jump. This incident caught my attention and makes for an interesting story. Let's dive into the details.

The Incident

Some of you may be familiar with Carlos K9, who is known for his "parachute mobile" activities. Carlos purposefully jumps out of planes with a handheld transceiver (HT), sometimes even an HF radio, and calls CQ parachute mobile while floating down with his parachute. He makes contacts and records his activities, logging them later. It's a fun and thrilling way to engage with ham radio, combining it with the adrenaline rush of skydiving.

However, the story we're discussing today involves a different group. According to an article from Natcom Mag, the FCC issued a notice to a California skydiving business, Skydive Elenor LLC in Lake Elenor, for unlicensed use of the 70 cm ham radio band. The business had been using the frequency 442.725 MHz without a proper license, prompting multiple investigations by the FCC.

FCC's Enforcement

The FCC's Los Angeles regional office conducted direction-finding operations and discovered unlicensed communications on 442.725 MHz on multiple occasions. The business was cited for these violations and given a notice of unlicensed operation. The FCC's letter, dated May 17, required the business to respond within 10 days, providing evidence of authorization to operate on the ham frequency.

Legalities and Recommendations

Operating on ham radio frequencies without a proper license is illegal. In the United States, anyone transmitting on amateur radio bands must have an appropriate license from the FCC. Listening, however, does not require a license.

For those involved in activities like skydiving or any other adventurous pursuits, it's crucial to understand and comply with FCC regulations. The business could have avoided this issue by obtaining the necessary licenses or by using other available communication options like GMRS.

Carlos K9's Legal Parachute Mobile Operations

Carlos K9 continues to legally operate his parachute mobile setup, making contacts during his jumps at various ham radio events. His activities are well-documented and within the legal boundaries set by the FCC, serving as an example of how such operations can be conducted responsibly.


This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to legal requirements when using radio frequencies. For those interested in integrating ham radio with adventurous activities like skydiving, it's essential to ensure all operations are conducted legally and safely.

📻 Enjoy Radio Time responsibly and ensure you are operating within the legal limits!

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