WNYSkydiving is the premier skydiving training center of Western New York! If you loved your first skydive and just have to do it again, congratulations! You’re hooked just like all of us were after our first jumps! You have officially started along the path that will take you from tandem student to licensed skydiver. If you would like to truly learn to skydive, here is the basic progression at our dropzone.
As a Group Member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), WNYSkydiving follows the Integrated Student Program (ISP). The ISP is an approved skydiving training program recognized around the world. This program is outlined in the Skydiver’s Information Manual published by USPA. At WNYSkydiving we are committed to providing our students with a truly comprehensive skydiving training program. After completing this progression you will have earned your USPA “A” license.
An “A” license is the first license that you can get in skydiving. It is issued by USPA and requires a minimum of 25 skydives along with demonstration of several basic skydiving skills. The “A” license allows you to skydive almost anywhere in world. It allows you to jump in groups with other licensed skydivers. Once you have earned your “A” license, you no longer need to jump with a coach or instructor of any kind.
Training for a first tandem jump focuses on the basic body position required for skydiving as well as the plane ride and aircraft exit. A tandem level 2 introduces students to an altimeter which measures altitude and the ripcord used to deploy the parachute. and an introduction of canopy flight by your instructor under canopy!
Your goal on your level two tandem is to be able to shut out the insanity of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and focus on that altimeter. At an assigned altitude, you are responsible for pulling the ripcord for you and your instructor, saving your own life! If you don’t pull at the appropriate altitude, your instructor will be right there to get it for you.
In addition to using the altimeter in freefall, you will also be taught how to turn and go forward in freefall. There are two reasons we teach these skills. The first is that these are the exact skills you will be using on your next jump (using your own parachute…) and the second is so we give you too much to think about so you forget to pull the ripcord! While the second reason may sound cruel, we are trying to show you that time is a factor in skydiving. While we have lots of fun in the sky, at some point we have to pull a parachute out to save our own lives so we can jump again!
Following the successful completion of a level 2 tandem jump, students are ready to move on to their First Jump Course! This is an 8 hour course and it is broken up into self-study, classroom, and physical demonstration / hands on learning sections.
First WNYSkydiving will provide you with the information you need to go over on your own. You will also be directed to Skydive School and be asked to review particular sections. When you are comfortable with this new information, it will be time to schedule the classroom time.
During the classroom portion of this course a USPA rated Accelerated Free Fall Instructor will review all of the information you learned on your own. This information will then be expanded upon to cover everything you need to know to make your first jump with your own parachute. Your instructor will test and confirm that you understand everything necessary to begin your solo skydiving career!
Once you have finished your first jump course, you are ready to make that milestone first jump with your own parachute. This is the beginning of your six jump Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) program. During AFF you will learn, with instructors at your side to help, how to save your own life in the air. You will learn the fundamental live saving skydiving skills which all additional skydiving training will build upon.
The first jump in the program consists of jumping with two instructors that act as “smart training wheels” in the air. They will exit the plane holding on to you and help you maintain stability in the air. Your instructors will give hand signals as necessary in order to help correct your body position in freefall if need be. Finally your instructors will remain by your side until it is time to deploy your parachute and assist you if necessary.
As you progress through the six jump AFF program, you will learn a variety of in air skills. You will learn different methods of exiting the aircraft. You will learn basic freefall maneuvers including turns and forward motion. Finally the program culminates with you performing front flips, back flips, and barrel rolls on your own.
The final portion of your skydiving training leading to your “A” license is the coach program. This section of the student program is meant to prepare you for more advanced freefall control. According to the USPA, “Skydiving is a sport for individualists who like to do things together.” Your coach jumps will teach you the skills necessary to skydive with your friends. In addition to essential group freefall skills, your education is parachute flight will also continue. At the end of this program you will be ready to perform your “A” license check dive and will officially graduate from the student program. At this point you will be a licensed skydiver!