Student Training Program

Learn to Skydive Solo

The Skydive Finger Lakes' student training program is designed to take you from novice to licensed skydiver in just 25 jumps.

There are four stages to the student program:

Stage 1: 5 Tandem Jumps
Stage 2: 5 Instructor Assisted Freefalls (IAF's)
Stage 3: 5 Solo Freefalls
Stage 4: 10 RW Coaching Jumps


Students must complete all qualifications to receive a USPA "A" skydiving license including a minimum of 20 solo freefalls (not including tandem jumps) and completion of all objectives listed in the back of the student log book.

STAGE 1

TANDEM PROGRESSION

Tandem #1 Minimum altitude 7500'

  • Stable exit, good arch, arms in
  • Good body position, student arms out
  • Instructor completes 360 degree turn (1 or more as time permits)
  • Instructor releases drogue (student arms in)
  • Instructor points out airport to student
  • Practice turns and flare
  • Student helps to steer, flare and land. (optional)

Tandem #2 Minimum altitude 8500'

  • Stable exit, good arch, arms in
  • Good body position, arms out
  • Check altitude, practice touches (3), check horizon / heading
  • Instructor does 360degree turn L & R
  • Check altitude & heading
  • Wave Off
  • Student pull (release drogue) at 5500' +/-200'
  • Help student identify good parachute and locate airport
  • Student assist in steering, Instructor demonstrates (above 1000') turns left and right at ¼, ½ and full toggle and landing flare. (¼ =shoulders, ½ =chest, full = arms length)

Tandem #3 Minimum altitude 8500'

  • Stable exit, good arch, student arms out
  • Good freefall body position, arms out
  • Check altitude, practice touch, check horizon / heading
  • Student does 360 degree right turn, check altitude, 360 degree left turn, check altitude
  • Practice touches and check altitude (as times permits)
  • Wave Off
  • Student pull (release drogue) at 5500' +/- 100'
  • Student identifies good parachute, brake release, locate airport, assist in steering and landing flare
  • Instructor demonstrates (above 1000') flying at ¼ and ½ brakes, turns from brakes, landing flare from brakes, canopy surge from flare to full flight and stall recovery
  • Instructor demonstrates landing pattern, down wind, base and final

Student may attend ground school before tandem #4
Student should join USPA at this time.

Tandem #4 Minimum altitude 8500'

  • Stable exit, good arch, student arms out, (Minimum input by instructor on exit to remain stable)
  • Check altitude, practice touch, horizon / heading reference
  • Delta (tracking position), arms back, legs straight, for 3 to 4 seconds
  • Return to freefall body position, check altitude
  • 360 degree right turn, check altitude, 360 degree left turn, check altitude
  • Wave Off
  • Pull (release drogue) at 5500' +/- 100'
  • Student identifies good parachute, brake release, locates airport
  • Student demonstrates (above 1000') turns at ¼, ½, and full toggle, flying at ¼, and ½ brakes, turns from brakes, and landing flare from brakes
  • Instructor demonstrates landing pattern, down wind, base, final and flare with student assistance, land at designated target.

Student must attend ground school before tandem #5
Student must join USPA before tandem #5

Tandem #5 Minimum altitude 8500'.

  • Stable exit, good arch, arms out. (Exit should remain stable with little or no input by instructor)
  • Check altitude, practice touch, horizon / heading reference
  • Instructor induces 90 degree turn, student returns to heading, check altitude, repeat as time permits, stop at 6000'
  • Student must be altitude aware
  • Wave Off
  • Pull (release drogue) at 5500'
  • Student, identifies good parachute, brake release, locates airport, initiates steering of canopy, follows landing pattern, flair and land at designated target.

From an altitude of 8500' it may be difficult to complete all tasks. Since most jumps are made at 10,000' or higher, tasks not completed on a lower jump may be included in following jumps.

Before proceeding to IAF jumps, students must complete the following:

  1. Have attended ground school
  2. Be a USPA member
  3. Completed at least 6 practice touches
  4. Completed 3 actual ripcord pulls at proper altitude, including last 2 tandems
  5. Demonstrate ability to turn right and left
  6. Demonstrate ability to hold a heading using the ground / horizon as a reference
  7. Demonstrate the tracking position
  8. Demonstrate altitude awareness
  9. Demonstrate ability to locate the airport while under canopy
  10. Demonstrate turns at ¼, ½, and full toggle
  11. Demonstrate flying and turns from ¼ and ½ brakes
  12. Demonstrate landing flare from brakes and full glide

Last tandem and first IAF should be done within 2 days and no more than 8 days.

STAGE 2

IAF SEQUENCE (See last page for TLO's)

IAF #1 Minimum Altitude 9500'

  • Stable Exit ( instructor has grips)
  • Good Body Position
  • COA (Circle of Awareness) check altitude, heading
  • Student responds to hand signals
  • 1 - PRCT (Practice Ripcord Touch)
  • 5000' Wave Off - Look, Reach, Pull at 4500', Check (If extra altitude (i.e. 13,000') repeat COA and PRCT to occupy time down to 5000')
  • NO release by instructor
  • Ground assistance for canopy control

IAF #2 Minimum Altitude 9500'

  • Stable Exit ( instructor has grips)
  • Good Body Position
  • COA (altitude, heading, instructor)
  • Respond to signals
  • 1 - PRCT
  • 360 degree Turn, check altitude
  • 360 degree Turn opposite direction, check altitude
  • No maneuvers below 6000' hold heading
  • 4500' Wave Off - Look, Reach, Pull at 4000', Check
  • NO release by instructor
  • Ground assistance for canopy control


IAF #3 Minimum Altitude 9500'

  • Stable Exit (Instructor has grips)
  • Good Body Position
  • COA
  • 1 - PRCT
  • Respond to signals
  • Instructor transitions to the front
  • Release at instructor's discretion
  • Student to follow instructor for turns and forward motion to redock
  • Check altitude at the completion of each maneuver
  • Stops maneuvers at 6000' (hold heading)
  • 4500' Wave Off, Look and Pull at 4000'
  • Ground assistance for canopy control on standby

SHOULD ATTEND PACKING CLASS AT THIS TIME

IAF # 4 Minimum Altitude 9500'.

  • Poised solo exit (No grips by instructor)
  • Good body position, hold heading of aircraft if able
  • COA - instructor set's up in front of student
  • Respond to signals
  • Student does 360 degree turn, stop, check altitude
  • Repeat as altitude allows - no maneuvers below 6000'
  • 4500' Wave Off, Look and Pull at 4000'
  • Self canopy control, landing at pea gravel target

IAF #5 Minimum Altitude 9500'

  • Solo exit, diving at instructor
  • Hold heading
  • COA
  • Try backloop
  • Regain stability ASAP, turn back to heading
  • Check altitude
  • Repeat back loops to 6000'
  • Hold heading below 6000'
  • 5500' turn 180 degrees, hold heading and track for 3 seconds
  • 4500' Wave Off, Look and Pull at 4000'
  • Self canopy control, landing at pea gravel target

Before Proceeding to Solo Jumps, students must complete the following:

  1. Completed at least 4 actual ripcord pulls at proper altitude (including #4 and #5).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to maintain stable freefall and hold a heading.
  3. Demonstrate ability to turn 360 degree right and 360 degree left.
  4. Demonstrate ability to regain stability from an unstable position.
  5. Demonstrate forward movement while in the tracking position.
  6. Demonstrate altitude awareness.
  7. Demonstrate ability to steer the parachute and land safely on the airport (unassisted).
  8. Demonstrate ability to properly pack the main parachute or attend packing class.
  9. Demonstrate ability to inspect the parachute system and dress oneself.
  10. Demonstrate ability to perform gear checks on others skydivers.

CANOPY CONTROL SKILLS
TO BE COMPLETED DURING STAGES 3 AND 4.

Students will attempt to land at the pea gravel target on all jumps during the training program except when wind conditions (south east) may cause turbulence in that area. Instructor will inform the student of an alternate landing area.

The following objectives must be completed during the SOLO and RW portions of the program. More than one objective may be performed on each jump.

  1. Students will aquire practice spotting.
  2. Demonstrate a correct parachute landing fall on an actual landing.
  3. Demonstrate an approach to the target using ¼ to ½ (shoulder to chest) brakes with a landing flare from brakes.
  4. Perform turns left and right using rear risers with brakes set and released (above 2000 feet).
  5. Perform 90 degree full toggle turn followed immediately by a 180 degree full toggle turn in the opposite direction, perform once in each direction (above 2000 feet).
  6. Perform full canopy flare to stall followed immediately by toggles to full glide (all the way up) (above 2000 feet).
  7. Perform stall recovery, flare canopy to full stall followed immediately by toggles to ½ brakes (above 2000 feet).
  8. Perform front riser dive and turns in both directions (above 2000 feet).
  9. Land within 20 meters of the target on at least 5 jumps.

STAGE 3

SOLO FREEFALL SEQUENCE AND CANOPY CONTROL SKILLS

PHASE 1 TURNS.

  • Poised exit (facing aircraft direction of flight)
  • Get stable
  • Assume aircraft heading
  • 360 degree turns right and left stopping on aircraft heading between turns
  • 5000 - 5500' turn 180 degrees, track, wave off, look, pull at 4000'
  • Repeat Phase 1 until heading and turns can performed +/-15 degrees of aircraft heading
  • Do not proceed to Phase 2 until turns are perfected

PHASE 2 BACK LOOPS.

  • Diving exit
  • Get stable
  • Assume aircraft heading
  • Practice back loops one at a time
  • Regain stability, heading, check altitude between each attempt
  • No attempts below 5000'
  • Tracking not necessary unless practice is needed
  • Wave off, look, pull at 4000'
  • Repeat Phase 2 until heading can be maintained +/- 15 degrees of aircraft heading and back loops can be stopped +/- 45 degrees up or down of level
  • Do not proceed to Phase 3 until back loops are perfected

PHASE 3 TURNS AND BACK LOOP SERIES.

  • Diving exit
  • Get stable
  • Turn to and maintain aircraft heading
  • 360 degree Right turn, stop +/- 15 degrees of aircraft heading
  • 360 degree Left Turn, stop +/- 15 degrees of aircraft heading
  • Back loop, stop +/- 15 degrees of aircraft heading and +/- 45 degrees up or down of level
  • Repeat as time permits
  • No maneuvers below 5500'
  • 5000' turn 180*, track, wave off, look, pull at 4000'
  • Repeat Phase 3 until series perfected
  • Do not proceed to Phase 4 until turn and back loop series is perfected

PHASE 4 EVALUATION DIVE, MUST BE DEMONSTRATED TO AN INSTRUCTOR (supervised freefall).

  • Dive out of aircraft
  • Get stable
  • Assume aircraft heading
  • 360 degree right turn +/-15* on heading
  • 360 degree left turn +/- 15* on heading
  • Backloop +/- 45 degrees up or down +/- 15 degrees on heading
  • Fall stable on heading +/- 15 degrees
  • 5000' turn 180degrees, track minimum of 100 feet horizontally on heading
  • Wave off, look, pull at 4000'
  • Instructor exits after student and remains out of sight (10 ft. above and 10 ft. off to the side)
  • Student is to use the ground / horizon for reference, not the instructor

PHASE 5 FRONT LOOPS AND BARREL ROLLS.

  • Stable or diving exit
  • Assume aircraft heading
  • Practice front loops and barrel rolls
  • Maintain altitude awareness
  • Wave off, look, pull at 4000'


ADDITIONAL FREEFALL SKILLS

A. Student must make one solo jump from 4000' with stable pull within 5 seconds of exit. This jump may be done any time after solo jump # 4.

B. Student must demonstrate to an instructor, one front loop and one barrel roll. This may be done any time after Phase 5 and may be done on an RW Training jump.

NOTE: DO NOT FORGET TO COMPLETE THE CANOPY CONTROL SKILLS.

STAGE 4

RW TRAINING SEQUENCE AND CANOPY CONTROL SKILLS

This stage of training has the following student objectives (performance) as its goal:

PHASE 1 RATE OF DESCENT AND FLYING LEVEL DRILL.

  • Linked exit, drop grips when stable, fly face to face and maintain 3 to 5 feet horizontal separation
  • Instructor moves up 3 feet, student slows rate of descent and moves up level with instructor
  • Instructor moves down 3 feet, student increases rate of descent and moves down level with instructor
  • Repeat as altitude allows
  • Student maintains altitude awareness
  • Student initiates breakoff at 4500'
  • Student turns, tracks, looks, waves, and pulls by 3500'
  • Repeat this Phase increasing distance to 10 feet vertically until student can perform consistently

PHASE 2 APPROACH AND DOCKING DRILL.

  • Linked exit, drop grips when flying stable
  • Instructor backs up 6-8 feet, student flys approach to instructor and docks
  • Repeat as altitude allows
  • Student maintains altitude awareness
  • Student initiates breakoff at 4500'
  • Student turns, tracks, looks, waves, and pulls by 3500'.
  • Repeat this Phase increasing distance 15 to 20 feet horizontally until student can perform consistently

PHASE 3 DIVING AND DOCKING DRILL.

  • Instructor does poised exit and maintains aircraft heading, student dives after instructor
  • Student dives a minimum of 100 feet, flys approach and initiates a safe dock without any assistance from instructor
  • Student maintains altitude awareness
  • Student initiates breakoff at 4500'
  • Student turns, tracks, looks, waves, and pulls by 3500'
  • This jump must be satisfactorily performed two times


Stage 2, IAF Sequence includes the following Targeted Learning Objectives (TLO's):

  • All IAF's. Stable exit
  • Good body position in freefall
  • Maintain proper heading
  • Awareness in freefall (COA)
  • Solo pull at proper altitude

IAF# 2. 360 degree turns, stop on heading

IAF# 3. Stable hover in freefall

IAF# 4. Solo poised stable exit

  • 360 degree turns, stop on heading
  • Forward motion to dock with instructor
  • Self canopy control

IAF# 5. Solo diving stable exit.

  • Regain stability and heading after backloop
  • Track while holding heading
  • Self canopy control


NOTE STUDENTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED ALL STAGES OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM
INCLUDING:

  1. Practice spotting.
  2. Canopy control skills.
  3. Low jump from 4000 feet.
  4. All requirements in back of student log signed off.
  5. A license card completed and signed off.

Learn to Skydive Student Training Program

Option Cost

Tandem 1

$279.00

Tandem Jumps 2-5

$229.00 each

IAF 1-5

$155.00 each

Solo 1-5

$65.00 each

Coaching 6-10

$95.00 each

Ground School

$75.00

Packing Class

$35.00

USPA Membership

$65.00
Test Ad

Gabriella jumped with me and even though I was scared out of my mind, she calmed me down, explained everything, and when I landed, i said I would do it again!

» Melisa E.