Explaining a Few Skydiving Instruction Terms:

Licenses  A, B, C, D
are how the experience level of Licensed skydivers is rated, requiring, among other things, 25, 50, 200, and 500 freefall jumps respectively. The list of requirements to get the license and what is allowed with each license is in the Skydiver's Information Manual (SIM), "A" License being the most immediately useful to the new skydiver since it allows them to jumpmaster themselves, signifying that they are finished with the student program. 

 USPA Licenses aligned with the FAI (international) requirements effective September 30, 2003.  the jump number requirements for any new license applications are:

                                              25 for a USPA A License (and complete the whole SKYDIVING
                                                             TRAINING PROGRAM, OF COURSE!)

       50 for a USPA B License
       200 for a USPA C License
       500 for a USPA D License

Complete license requirements are in the SIM

Categories  A-H
Categories A-H
are what you progress through in order to get your "A" License. The Integrated Student Program (ISP) Consists of Categories  A-H, the series of instruction to get your "A" skydiving license. Categories are described briefly in the Skydiving License Certification page, but explained in more detail in the Skydiver's Information Manual (SIM). The ISP is the most complete ever official skydiving training syllabus, and it was created by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) at the request of member Skydiving center operators. Previously, there was no official Skydiving Certification training program including complete enough instruction in certain areas, particularly Parachute control, that consistently graduated safe skydivers. AND it was written for USPA right here at good old Skydive Orange, Virginia! The more comprehensive ISP replaces the old "AFF syllabus". The 2008 Skydivers Information Manual is in stock at the hanger for $25.

Accelerated freefall is a faster method of learning than the old Static line progression method. 

1 The recommended way to progress through Categories A-H to get your license. "Accelerated" in Accelerated freefall means you learn at an accelerated rate, it does not mean you fall faster. (This is what we mean by "AFF" at Skydive Orange). 

2 The 7 jump program, as AFF was originally conceived, that teaches many basic skydiving skills, but does not include all the skills necessary to skydive safely without Instructor supervision. AFF "graduates" under the old AFF program were them left to themselves to acquire the rest of the necessary skills to get their license. (This is what they probably mean by "AFF" if someone is trying to sell a cheap skydiving instruction program).
AFF "Levels 1-7"
, IAF "Instructor Assisted Freefall"- (now obsolete) refers to the old AFF instructional program. It just had 7 levels, often completed in about 7-8 jumps, and left the student to pursue other avenues to complete the additional jumps and accumulate the additional experience to get a USPA license. Unfortunately, the net effect was that many licensed skydivers were roaming free who did not really have the skills to fly their parachutes with a reasonable level of safety, and as a result there were too many injuries, and skill levels were often lacking in other areas. That's why we use the complete ISP here at Skydive Orange. Skydive Orange Inc. is the birth place of USPA's far superior Integrated Student Progression, the newest standard in overall excellence in skydiving instruction.

Comparing our Sky Diving Certification Categories A-H with other skydiving centers-
The ISP is the official recommended instructional program to get a Skydiving license in the US. USPA group member Skydiving centers like Skydive Orange. Not all skydiving centers use it. Foreign Skydiving instructional programs are unique and varied. And there are some weird homemade programs at some skydiving centers, and that our Cat A-H is the only current complete USPA approved training program.

AFP, CFT, APF, AFP, "Accelerated Static Line" - odd terms for various forms of instructional programs, usually fully understood only by the Skydiving Centers that made them up. 

- Similar to Static Line, except instead of a static line, the jumpmaster holds onto the pilot chute while the student exits the aircraft. 

Static Line-
Isn't static line obsolete?? It depends who you talk to. An operator of a skydiving center with a turbine aircraft and no static line rated staff will probably tell you it is obsolete. When talking to different skydiving center operators, keep in mind that they might not be able to offer all three jump options- AFF, Static, and Tandem - so they are trying to convince customers that whatever they have is the best. A talented student skydiver might be able to make the most of the Static line progression and become a licensed skydiver for a  reasonable cost. We've found other students who start with the static line program, but then it becomes apparent that they need the in-air freefall supervision offered by AFF. AFF, after all, means you LEARN faster than static line. It has been said buy some instructors that by taking the students money for static line, you are offering an inferior program, and that is not a good thing. Personally, I think these instructors miss the point- static line students have fun too! Regardless which kind of jump someone makes, they usually all have the same size smile on their face after they land.

There is a great Glossary of Skydiving terms in the Skydivers Information Manual but here's a convenient  Glossary of Skydiving Terms for those who are too cheap to buy the SIM.  At least it was written by someone who started skydiving at Orange while he was going to UVA in Charlottesville, VA, so very long ago, so I figure it's OK. This outstanding glossary of Skydiving terms was written by Bryan Burke, was inexplicably taken off Skydive Arizona's website, but mercifully made available by our friends on dropzone.com.

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See also Coaching, Skydive University, Rating Definitions, Skydiving Definitions
















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