Air Force parachutists practice in Park City, startling some |

Air Force parachutists practice in Park City, startling some

The Air Force in August and early September practiced high-elevation parachute jumps in Park City, apparently surprising people who live near the landing zones, the Police Department acknowledged on Wednesday.

Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the training jumps occurred Aug. 18-19 and Sept. 1-2. The landing zones were at Quinn's Junction, on a field off Kearns Boulevard close to the Park City School District campus and on the Park City Golf Club course, Kirk said.

The Air Force conducted approximately 10 jumps involving between five and 10 parachutists each, he said. Kirk said the parachutists arrived in Park City from several bases outside of Utah. Some of the jumps occurred in the predawn hours while others were held in the afternoon, in the evening or at other times, he said.

Kirk said the Air Force received approval from the Police Department prior to the exercises. The police received a few calls from people wondering about the parachutists, Kirk said. There was also a complaint lodged with the police about parked vehicles in the vicinity of Three Kings Drive, which were positioned there to pick up the parachutists, Kirk said.

Police Chief Wade Carpenter said it was the second consecutive year the Air Force selected Park City for the training. He said Park City could be used to emulate parachute jumps in similar environments such as Afghanistan.

"It was a jump school designed to help them land in high, mountainous terrain," Carpenter said.

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Police Department logs indicated dispatchers received at least one call last week involving the parachutists. On Sept. 1 at 5:50 a.m., someone contacted the police reporting there were skydivers in the area of Gillmor Way, a street off Quinn's Junction.