- Did you do a tandem and can’t stop thinking about it?
- Want to try skydiving but don’t want to do a tandem?
- Thinking about becoming a skydiver and want more information?
At Champaign Urbana Skydiving Club you can learn to skydive on your own and earn skydiving license! We have two United States Parachute Association (USPA) accredited training programs to choose from. Check out both and choose the program that’s right for you.
ACCELERATED FREEFALL (AFF)
This training discipline takes you straight to 10,000 feet on your first jump. The student first completes two to three tandem skydives, followed by a rigorous ground school. Afterwards, the instructor accompanies the student in freefall, holding onto the student’s harness, while the student demonstrates certain skills.
Tandem: Training time is short, generally 30 minutes or less.
AFF: Training consists of an eight-hour ground course where the student reviews both written and practical information on Aircraft, Equipment, Exit, Freefall, Malfunctions, Emergency Procedures, and Flying a Parachute. Training is extensive because the student is wearing their own gear.
How It Works:
Tandem: The first two to three skydives are tandem from 10,000 feet. The student exits the aircraft attached to a USPA Tandem Instructor. The student is responsible for deploying the canopy at the correct altitude and piloting the canopy with assistance from the instructor.
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 5,000 feet and pilots it to the landing area.
INSTRUCTOR ASSISTED DEPLOYMENT (IAD)
This training method starts on the ground with a rigorous 6 – 8hr first jump class. After completing class, the student will jump from 4,000 feet by hanging from the strut of the airplane and allowing the instructor to deploy the parachute immediately after exit.
Training consists of an eight-hour ground course where the student reviews both written and practical information on Aircraft, Equipment, Exit, Freefall, Malfunctions, Emergency Procedures, and Flying a Parachute. Training is extensive because the student is wearing their own gear.
How It Works:
If you want to skip the tandem this training method is for you. The first 8 jumps are from lower altitude with little to no freefall. The student hangs from the strut and drops away from the plane, while the instructor deploys the parachute for the student. Similar to the original static line method of training, IAD focuses primarily on the canopy skills initially, then slowly builds up to real freefall. The IAD method of training is every bit as challenging as the AFF program and offers a lower initial cost per jump with more total jumps.
TRAINING METHODS COMPARISON
The following table is a quick reference guide to compare the two training methods offered at CUSC. Each category shows the estimated or required number of jumps to demonstrate proficiency before progressing, the exit altitude, and the opening altitude in thousands of feet.
Once the student passes category E they are cleared for self-supervision and can jump alone, with an instructor or with a coach. Starting with category D the two training methods are practically the same.
This is just a guide; it can take more jumps if a student needs to repeat a jump to become proficient or if a student loses currency. Likewise, if a student masters a skill more quickly, they might be able to progress with fewer jumps. In our experience, wind tunnel time, at any major iFly can significantly accelerate a student’s progress.
GENERAL INFORMATION and FAQ
Who Issues a Skydiving License?
At CUSC we follow the United States Parachute Association (USPA) Integrated Student Program (ISP). The USPA issues the license and you must be a member to make your first student jump.
How High do We Jump?
Depending on the training method you choose either 10,000ft (AFF) or 4,000ft (IAD) above the ground.
Can I Wear a Squirrel Suit on my First Jump?
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.
Skydiving is a very dangerous sport. Being current helps mitigate the risk of serious injury or worse. Once you start the program you must jump at least once every thirty days to stay current. When a student becomes uncurrent they must, at a minimum, repeat their last jump. Depending on the length of time since the last jump the student may be required to retake portions of the ground school. If the student has not made a skydive within a year the student must retake the entire first jump course.
Estimated Cost to Get your License at CUSC:
Regardless of the program that you choose (AFF or IAD) we estimate the total cost of getting your A license at $3,500 – $4,000. This price includes the costs of instruction, gear rental, the airplane, support staff and parachute packing. It typically takes about three to four months for a very dedicated student to graduate with good weather. 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.