U.S. Parachute Association A-License
The USPA Class A license is the first license you would go for if you wanted to get certified to skydive solo and do aerial maneuvers with other skydivers. It’s a rather straightforward process and your instructor and drop zone operators will walk you through every step of the way to help you pass the flight check and the written exam.
You’ll need to get a couple of tandem jumps in with your instructor first so that you can get the basics down, like jump position, body positioning during freefall, chute operations, landing procedures, and post jump clearance.
Depending on your instructor and how well you perform, you may only need 2 or 3 tandems before you get to jump semi-solo.
Once your instructor feels comfortable with you being on your own, you get your own parachute. You’ll not be jumping totally alone just yet. You’ll jump wearing a special suit that has “handles” where your instructor holds onto you to help you get into position and communicate the procedure as you go. A couple of these to demonstrate your competency and you’ll be able to go at it without the handlebars.
Jumping On Your Own
When you’re ready to go at it alone, you’ll still be accompanied by your instructor, but you won’t have anyone holding your hands or such, they’ll watch you from a distance and take not of your performance. How you handle things like wind, cloud, getting close to your landing zone, and landing mechanics will be what they’ll look for.
You’ll need to complete at least 25 jumps total before you take your written exam to apply for your A license.
A note of warning: do not lose your flight records or that sheet you’re given that has the instructor’s signature on each jump. You’ll need to send that in to get your license.
Getting Your Parachute A License
Once you’ve passed everything and filled in all the required jumps on your application, you can send that in to the USPA site. They clearly state on the application that you can fax it in or email it in. How convenient is that? You’ll get your license in no time flat.
Class A License Cost
SInce you’ve already paid for the course to get yourself set up for the application, all that’s left is the USPA fee. You can send that in with your application. If emailing in your application, there’s a place you can put down your credit card number. What I did was just fill in the application, take a photo with my phone and emailed that to them. They accepted that and processed the payment. Easy peasy.
The USPA Class A License fee is $56.00 at the time of this writing. Check with the USPA website for updated info.