If you’ve landed on this page, you have either done your first tandem skydive and want more OR you are a person who is interested in learning some cool new skills to add to your resume. Whatever the reason, the idea of getting your skydiving certification and becoming a licensed skydiver has crossed your mind, right? Or maybe you’re just curious? Either way, we’re here for it.
Getting your skydiving license requires a significant commitment of time and resources, and is best pursued by someone passionate and dedicated to achieving their dreams of flight. Is that person you? It can be! We’re going to break down the process of how to get your skydiving certification and why it is, indeed, a good idea!
The obvious benefit to getting your skydiving certification is that you will have the knowledge and skills to jump completely on your own. Not only that, but you will also have the ability to jump with your sky friends and have the opportunity to learn a plethora of new skills.
A not-so-obvious benefit to becoming a certified skydiver is that it opens the door to a whole new world. The skydiving community is made up of individuals from all walks of life and from all over the world. You will establish relationships with the most interesting people – many (all?) of whom you may otherwise never have met – and you’ll bond over the passion you share for this incredible sport.
As a proud member dropzone of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), WNY Skydiving follows the Integrated Student Program (ISP) for learning how to competently and confidently skydive. Earning your skydiving certification through the USPA allows you to travel all over the globe to jump at different drop zones – and if you’re not already aware, they are in some absolutely spectacular locations.
What do you need to do to get those 25 skydives? So glad you asked! Check out these four steps.
At WNY Skydiving, we follow a Tandem Progression which means we require that you complete a Level 1 tandem skydive and a Level 2 tandem skydive before you are cleared to begin our skydiving course. The reason for this is threefold: 1) you experience the freedom, exhilaration, and overwhelm of skydiving without having much of any responsibilities, 2) you have the context and clarity necessary to transition to student status learning, and 3) your sky-high training starts immediately.
A Tandem Skydive Level 1 introduces you to the basics of skydiving: this includes the basic body position required for stable freefalling, the plane ride, and the airplane exit.
The Tandem Skydive Level 2 is a little more interactive as you will be responsible for deploying the parachute. The purpose of this jump is to go over some of the gear (altimeter and ripcord) and introduce you to flying the canopy, while under canopy! You will also learn how to maneuver your body in freefall to be able to turn and go forward in the sky. If you pass with flying colors, you will be invited to the next step in earning your skydiving certification!
Once you’ve successfully completed your Tandem Skydive Level 2 jump, you will be ready to schedule your First Jump Course (FJC) and Packing Class! The first jump course is an 8-hour training class that solely takes place on the ground, taught by a USPA-certified skydiving instructor. That’s right – you won’t be performing any jumps during your ground course, but there will be plenty of hands-on learning!
The FJC is broken down into different sections: parachute gear/how it works, freefall body position, emergency procedures, flying the canopy, and landing. The packing class gives you a deep dive into your gear and how it works and, of course, prepares you for packing your own parachute.
Following course completion, your instructor will test your knowledge and confirm that you are ready to begin your solo skydiving journey!
And now you’ll want to buckle up; it is all about to get very real. The Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course begins with your first solo jump, meaning you’re no longer attached to a certified instructor. At WNY Skydiving, your AFF course will include 6 different category jumps.
For your first jump, you will have two certified instructors jumping by your side, holding onto you to help guide you on the airplane exit, flying stable in freefall, and deploying your own parachute. As you progress, you will need to demonstrate altitude awareness, stable body position, and deployment of your own parachute. Once you cross off everything on your training to-do list, you’ll have all the requirements necessary to achieve your “A” license.
The final stage of completing your skydiving license at WNY Skydiving is the Skydiving Coach Program. This part of the program will prepare you to jump with others in groups by advancing your freefall skills and learning control. You will also further develop your parachute flying abilities.
When ready, you’ll test for your A License! From here, the learning never stops! There are three other skydiving certification levels to achieve (B, C, and D), where you can develop new skills and open yourself up to even more exciting opportunities (like wingsuiting)!
Have questions or need more info on getting schooled? Contact us! Blue skies!