If you’ve made a tandem skydive and can’t wait for more freefalling fun, you’re probably wondering: what’s next? Ultimately, the start of your solo skydiving journey will begin with pursuing your skydiving A license, and this inevitably leads to another important question: how do I get a skydiving A license? My oh my, are we glad you asked!
To work toward earning your skydiving A license, you will need to enroll in an Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program. An AFF program is a standard curriculum developed in part by the United States Parachute Association and modified from dropzone to dropzone to help individuals meet the requirements for solo skydiving certification.
The AFF program at Skydive Danielson begins with two training tandem skydives. Following these jumps, you will need to attend a four to six hour First Jump Course. This course will prepare you to make your first solo skydive sporting your very own parachute, joined by two skydiving instructors to assist you in freefall. After passing these initial curricular levels, you will move on to jumping with one instructor and then eventually all by yourself!
Each AFF program category requires skydiving students to demonstrate various competencies in freefall and under canopy. Additionally, before passing each level, you’re required to demonstrate your knowledge with oral and/or written quizzes.
To earn your skydiving A License, you’ll need to pass all of the AFF program categories, accrue a total of 25 skydives, learn to pack a parachute, and pass both a written and oral exam.
The skydiving A license is an introductory skydiving license. This skydiving certification allows you to jump with other licensed skydivers and enables you to jump at nearly any dropzone around the world!
The skydiving A license is just the beginning. There are four different skydiving licenses you can work towards as a skydiver (A, B, C, and D). Each of these license levels affords you new and exciting opportunities.
Here are what the other skydiving licenses offer!
After accruing 50 skydives, you can apply for your B license. To receive this skydiving certification, you will also need to attend a canopy course, attend water training, and pass a written exam. Aptly named, water training teaches you how to handle a water landing, whether intentional or unintentional. B license requirements also include a series of accuracy landings and 10 formation skydives with three or more skydivers.
Once you earn your B license, you are no longer considered a "sky baby" and can take on more responsibilities and tasks. B license holders can do all the same things as A license skydivers, as well as complete night jumps, helicopter jumps, and hot air balloon jumps (wooohoooooo)! Once you reach 100 jumps as a B licensed skydiver, you can obtain your coach rating to help student skydivers progress in the sport.
The skydiving C license can be earned after reaching 200 skydives. To receive this skydiving certification, you must complete several maneuvers including landing accurately within a small radius of a target and making 50 formation jumps.
Once you’ve received your skydiving C license, you are allowed to finally jump with a camera and record all your epic freefall fun. Having a C License also makes you eligible for wingsuiting, which is an advanced type of skill where you wear a specifically designed nylon suit with fabric that stretches from wrist to hip and between the ankles. The design of a wingsuit enables you to fly horizontally at a rapid speed.
At this license level, you can also work toward your USPA instructor rating. This enables you to work with students in an official capacity at a skydiving school and sign off on their progress.
After making 500 skydives, you then qualify for a D License. If you were wondering what is the highest skydiving license? This is it!
The D license is the most advanced license level in the extreme sport of skydiving. With this license, you can do everything included with the A, B, and C licenses as well as work towards a tandem rating. With a tandem rating, you can take tandem skydiving customers on a jump using a dual harness parachute system.
D license skydivers may also work toward earning a PRO rating. This skydiving certification qualifies you to perform demonstration jumps, landing in stadiums, parks, and other public spaces.
If skydiving is something you're passionate about, don't hesitate to check out our learn to skydive program here at Skydive Danielson. Take the first step to obtaining your A License today! Blue skies.