Once you graduate from a USPA approved training program, skydives cost less than tandems for licensed skydivers when Skydiving in Utah. The following describes the two most advanced training programs available in the USA.
The alternative to the 7 level progression.
This level is designed to introduce you to the Arch body position, freefall turns, altitude awareness, deploying the main parachute, and canopy control. the advantage to this progression method is that you have an instructor there with you for the entire freefall and parachute ride. During the canopy (parachute) portion of your skydive, the instructor will provide you with a practical understanding of canopy procedures as you perform the maneuvers.
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Level 2 provides you with the opportunity to control more pronounced freefall turns, greater freefall stability. You will be required to wave off and deploy your main parachute at 5,000ft, and assist with the landing.
During level 3, you will be introduced to advanced heading maintenance, controlled 360 degree freefall turns, forward movement while in freefall, and canopy deployment. After this level you enter the AFF program at level 4 following the AFF 4-6 hour ground school.
Accelerated Free Fall
Your training begins with a 4-6 hour ground school that will provide you with a basic orientation, aircraft procedures, freefall body position, canopy control, landing, practice parachute deployment, and more. Two Accelerated Freefall Certified Jump Masters will be assigned to you, and will remain with you for the freefall portion of your skydive.
Safety is greatly enhanced by direct in-air jump master supervision. You will freefall for approximately approximately 60 - 70 seconds, deploy your own parachute, and land under radio supervision.
You exit the plane with 2 jump masters, and continue to learn the basic skills for body flight.
You exit the aircraft with 2 jump masters and continue to enhance your basic skills. As you progress, and your flying skills improve, your jump masters will release, but at all times be close by your side. You'll now experience the feel of acceleration on your first solo freefall.
As your skills continue to improve, you will be learning "Heading Control" using 90 degree turns and forward movement, this time with only one jump master.
This level continues instruction, with more controlled 360 degree turns and forward movement with 1 jump master.
Your first solo exit with 1 jump master close by your side. You learn more advanced maneuvers as you dive out, and demonstrate delta tracking (gliding across the sky), freefall flips and recovery from pre planned unstable body positions.
One jump master remains with you in freefall while you make a solo DIVING exit and demonstrate your newly acquired skydiving skills. Video is always good to have on this dive, but it is an optional extra.