Category A

The first jump in your AFF progression.


You must complete the following before you can attempt the category A jump.

What to expect

We require a USPA membership before you can jump because you will need one to get you A-liscense and because it provides you with valuable insurance for your self and things on the ground that you may collide with. We are all members and so is the drop zone so we truly say it is worth it. This is your first solo (not attached to your instructor) skydive from 11,000ft and you will use everything you were taught during the first jump course. Don't worry and relax because you trained for this. Just take your time and you will be successful. This first jump is 'easy', all you are required to do is stay aware of altitude, try to get stable, and pull at the right time.


  • Exit and Free-Fall

    • Reasonable arch and stability 10 seconds prior to deployment
    • Reasonable altitude awareness
    • Initiate deployment procedures within 1000 ft of planned altitude
  • Canopy

    • Plan and execute canopy descent with assistance
    • Assisted flare within 60° of proper heading
    • Land within 330 ft of planned landing area

Dive Flows

  • Free-Fall Dive-Flow

    • Exit in a relaxed arch
    • Instructors release arm grips
    • Circle of Awareness
    • Three practice deployments
    • Circle of Awareness (again-important)
    • Altitude, arch, legs, relax
    • Begin wave off at 5,500 feet
    • Pull by 4,500 feet
  • Circle of Awareness consists of horizon check, altitude check, instructor checks but what all this means will be covered during the first jump course (we told you it was all important). Following the free-fall part of the skydive is, naturally, the canopy flight portion.
  • Canopy Flight Dive-Flow

    • Release brakes and fix routine opening problems
    • Look left, turn left
    • Look right, turn right
    • Flare
    • Check altitude, position, and traffic
    • Locate holding area, pattern "checkpoints," and target
    • Remain in holding area until 1,000 feet
    • Follow pre-assigned pattern over landing area
    • Flare to land and PLF
  • Don't be fooled, the things you learned about parachutes and their flight during the first jump course will come in handy during this portion of your category A skydive. You will not be expected to fly the entire time truly 'solo' as the instructor will be giving you guidance and instructions via a radio mounted in the helmet, but the instructor is not there with you and cannot control the parachute for you.

Book Stuff

Read the following before arriving at the DZ for your jump

  • Category A USPA SIM Sections A-F
  • USPA SIM Section 4.II
  • USPA SIM Section 4.III
  • FAR 91.107 Use of safety belts

Category A Quiz

Take the Category A Quiz to see if you have the knowledge to continue!!

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