Ever thought about getting your Skydiving License?

Champaign Urbana Skydiving Club offers a student training program called Tandem Progression-Accelerated Freefall. Here’s some general information on our student program:

Overview: Commonly abbreviated “Tandem-AFF” this training discipline starts with three tandems, then an instructor accompanies the student in freefall holding onto the student’s harness while the student demonstrates certain skills.


Tandem: Training time is considerably less than methods where the student is wearing his or her own parachute, generally 30 minutes or less.

AFF: Training consists of an eight-hour ground course where the student reviews both writtenand practical information on Aircraft/Regulations, Equipment, Exit, Freefall, Malfunctions/Emergency Procedures, and Canopy/Landing. Training is extensive because the student is wearing his or her own parachute.

How It Works:

Tandem: Student exits the aircraft attached to a USPA Tandem Instructor. The student and the instructor are attached to the same parachute system, they freefall together for 30 to 50 seconds, depending on jump altitude and descend together under a single large parachute with dual controls.

AFF: Student exits the aircraft wearing his or her own parachute with a single USPA AFF instructor. The instructor and student freefall together for 30 to 50 seconds, depending on jump altitude. The instructor maintains grip on the student’s harness to provide in-air instruction and assist with stability if necessary. The student opens his or her own parachute by 4,000 feet and pilots it to the landing area.

Minimum Jumps to Get Your License: Students must demonstrate certain skills in freefall, in ground school, and under canopy, then pass a written test to obtain a skydiving license. The minimum number of jumps to obtain a USPA A license is 25.

Estimated Cost to Get your License at CUSC:
We estimate the total cost of getting your A license at $3,500. This price includes the costs of instruction, gear rental, the airplane, support staff and parachute packing. It typically takes three to four months for a very dedicated student to graduate with good weather. As you progress through the program, and become more self-sufficient, the jumps become less expensive. Keep in mind that this cost is an estimate, we all learn differently and at different rates so you may have to repeat a jump until you become proficient at a particular skill, in which case you might end up paying more to complete the program.

Personal Cost:
Skydiving is a dangerous and demanding discipline, which requires a considerable amount of time, focus, and money to become proficient. It takes even more time and money to master; no, you cannot jump a squirrel suit with an A license. Skydiving doesn’t make the world a better
place and regardless how long you have jumped, there is always a possibility that you might get seriously injured or die. Skydiving is also very gear intensive, you actually need an airplane to play this sport! Once you have a license you’ll need a parachute, helmet, goggles, altimeter and
jumpsuit which is very costly. Please don’t feel like we’re trying to discourage you, we feel it’s very important to be upfront about the necessary commitment. For those about to rock we salute you.