Becoming a solo skydiver involves taking 7-8 levels of skydiving training. Your solo skydiving school training starts off with your first jump, during which you'll be attached to two master skydive instructors throughout your freefall and canopy-guided flight back to the drop zone.Your training tests each of your practical skills and theoretical know-how about skydiving well being and safety and flight management. Every level of skydiving school training includes in-flight training alongside experienced skydive experts.
New students in our Accelerated FreeFall (AFF) system are required to make their first three skydives with 2 jump masters taking the skydive along with them. For these first three jumps, Skydive Pennridge affiliate instructors hang on to the student until they release their own parachute. Thus, this technique is called ″ Harness Hold Training. ″ There is no physical connection to the student aside from the hand hold and once the student deploys their canopy, the coaches fly a safe distance away and deploy their own parachutes.
Release of the main canopy for students in the AFF program is commonly 5,500 feet above ground level. If the trainee encounters difficulty in the deployment of their parachute, our coaches first use hand signals to advise the student to "Pull." Typically, the hand signals are enough to remind the student jumper to pull their parachute, but if they still do not take action, the instructor will try to position the student's hand on the pilot chute pull. If the student still does not respond, the instructor will deploy the canopy for them. The instructor has the authority to deploy the student's main parachute at any time the student looks at risk. Extra "pull" handles are placed on student equipment giving additional accessibility for coaches.
Once the student has proven they can pull their own chute on their first few jumps, they will be permitted to take more advanced level skydives and will get the chance to prove to our coaches that they have the essential flying skills needed to jump without guidance. On release skydives there is a chance that an instructor may not be able to dock and help at pull time, so it is very important that the student has absolutely learned the skills needed to pull on their own accord.
The Accelerated Freefall Course is, without a doubt, the most safe and secure skydiving instructional training in the United States. Every trainer has a minimum elevation or "hard deck" at which they MUST release their own parachute. This ensures the safety of the instructor and fellow divers. The student rig is equipped with an "Automatic Activation Device" (AAD) that fires the reserve parachute once the trainee passes the activation altitude at free fall speeds. Though rarely used, the AAD offers an added layer of protection in case the student loses control and is unable to deploy their chute.
In the course of these training jumps, instructors are able to coach the student on body position using hand gestures. After each jump, the instructors then review the skydive with the student and administer helpful instruction. When the trainee advances to higher levels, he or she masters airborne maneuvers including freefall speed control, flying forward, executing turns as well as flips! These maneuvers are important as they show the instructor that the student has the skill to restore control after encountering lack of stability and disorientation. As the trainee continues to understand and display more sophisticated abilities, they will continue to climb to higher levels.
Once the student has passed all "Targeted Learning Objectives" (TLOs,) the trainer is then able to confirm that all requirements have been met. Airborne instructors are not the only coaches helping trainees at Skydive Pennridge. There are also dropzone staff who stay in radio contact with the student while they are flying their canopy. In case of radio failure, however, it is essential that the trainee knows the essential skills of flying under canopy.
Upon finishing the AFF at a Skydive Pennridge partner dropzone, you are urged to sign up with the United States Parachute Association. Call Skydive Pennridge today at 215-258-2255 and kick off your freefall instruction today!