Skydiving is a pleasurable sport once you have overcome your initial
fears of it. If you are planning your first jump, you have three
varieties to choose from: tandem skydiving, static line and accelerated
Tandem skydiving is most popular for beginners. Tandem skydiving refers
to a type of skydiving where a beginner or student is connected via a
harness to an experienced skydiver. The experienced skydiver or tandem
instructor controls the whole jump. The student needs only minimal
instruction before making a tandem jump.
The first time skydivers gets exposed to the skydiving routine in tandem
skydiving. Some training programs, still gives instruction on how and
when to deploy the main canopy themselves. But the tandem instructor
remains primarily responsible for safe and timely parachute deployment.
The tandem skydiving equipment is relatively different from the normal
skydiving gears. Tandem skydivers use the drogue parachute. The drogue
parachute is immediately deployed after leaving the plane in order to
slow the free fall speed of two people. This would lengthen the duration
of the jump. Tandem skydivers also use larger main parachutes so that
the weight of two people can be supported.
A tandem instructor is not just an experienced skydiver you know. There
are rules and regulations that limits who may skydive with a student. In
the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration or FFA requires a
skydiver to have more than five hundred dives and three years of
skydiving experience before becoming a tandem instructor.
Tandem instructors who have passed the requirements demanded by their
laws are required to pass an instructor certification course before they
start jumping with their students of the plane.
Static line skydiving is said to be the oldest method of learning how to
skydive. This is similar to the way parachuting for military airborne
soldiers. They have to jump 3,000 feet high with a cord hooked on a
plane that pulls your parachute open.
Students would have to undergo the Static Line First Jump Course, which
take 4 to 6 hours. After taking the course, the student could
immediately to the static line jump under the direct supervision of a
USPA certified jumpmaster or instructor.
A static line parachute jump involves no freefall. As the student exit
the aircraft, the parachute is opened by a static line attached to the
aircraft. Unlike tandem skydiving, this requires the student to land on
his own. But his descent to the ground is done with the guidance of
Static line skydiving can bee similar to the technique, Instructor-
Assisted Deployment or IAD. The IAD is when the instructor initiates the
deployment of the student’s parachute when the student jumps off the
The last skydiving variety that beginners could try would be the
accelerated free fall. Accelerated free fall is commonly called AFF,
with this training discipline, there are two certified instructors that
jump off the aircraft with the students. They would accompany the
students while in free fall and will hold onto the student’s harness.
That is why it can also be called Harness Hold Training.
The students have their own parachute with AFF. As part of the AFF
training, the students are trained to handle emergency procedures. Since
the students will also direct their landing, their training also includes
proper landing procedures.
Since instructors would also be free falling side by side with students,
they would be able to correct the student’s body positions and other
problems encountered during the free fall. The students may also radio
ground personnel to direct the student to the landing spot, but the
student must develop the skills for solo landing.
There are many skydiving methods and varieties to choose from. Are you
ready to take the jump?