Skydiving.com Skydiving School
If you are going to jump out of a airplane, you may as well learn to do it right!
Accelerated Freefall is the fast track method of becoming a full-fledged licensed solo skydiver. With intense training on the ground and in the air, student skydivers have to go through seven levels of training before being certified. Safety is always the emphasis.
Although you can jump on the first day, you are required to have 5 to 6 hours of ground training before your first skydiving jump. Training includes how to activate your parachute, how to maintain a stable body position in the air, and teaches the importance of altitude awareness.
When it's time to make your jump, at altitudes between 11,000 and 14,000 feet, your two instructors will jump with you. They will continue to instruct you in the air from the moment you jump from the aircraft through your landing, using hand movements and radio assistance to guide you.
Your instructors will remain attached to you until you have earned their confidence. This usually continues up to Level Five.
For the best skydiving experience, you want to have confidence and you want your body to be stable and relaxed. At this level, you continue ground training along with a jump that focuses on body awareness. During your jump, you will practice turning techniques and body maneuvers, and will land with radio assistance.
At this level, you continue to maintain a balanced body position. You also learn hover control, which is the ability to jump straight down, as well as heading control. Heading control involves using 90-degree turns and forward movement. You will continue to land with radio assistance.
This level reviews and consolidates all of the learning from the past three levels, with a repeat of Level Three. You may only need one instructor at this level. Depending upon the confidence your jumpmasters have regarding your competency at this point, you may or may not land with radio assistance.
Similar to level 4, level 5 involves practicing your turns in the air in both directions. But turning 360 degrees is more complicated than the previous 90 degree turns. After the jump, your instructors will evaluate whether you are ready for the next level or if you require more practice. You are now competent and confident enough to need only one instructor who will decide whether your jump will be a linked or unlinked freefall.
Emphasis at this level is on learning to turn and jump. Your instruction will include how to make 360-degree turns, along with a review of previous body maneuvers.
Level Six is a repeat of the instruction received at Level Five, with an emphasis on forward movement.
It's your graduation skydive and you will exit the airplane solo! However, the training continues. Your instructor will teach you back loops and tracking as well as an exit dive.
You will do 180-degree turns, and be expected to wave off. (Wave off is the term used when a skydiver makes an arm motion indicating he about to deploy his parachute.)
Also included in your instruction will be "flare," which is when you pull down the brakes of your canopy to slow down, thus reducing your descent rate.
The conclusion of the seventh level is indeed a time for celebration and you can expect a lot of pats on the back from those on the ground. You have become one of the few who have chosen an extreme sport for the love of adventure – a unique club of courageous and skilled sports people.
"The sky's not the limit, the ground is, so shut up and jump."