When a new skydiver has completed their training, they receive a skydiving A license. This is their proof that they are safe and cleared to skydive without supervision.
Skydiving is all about continuing to learn and improve, so here in the USA (and many other countries around the globe), we use a tiered system of skydiving licenses, each progressively more advanced and proving the skydiver has a wider range and depth of skill and experience.
Here, we’ll explain the skydiving license levels and what’s needed to achieve them.
There are four types of skydiving licenses. These are categorized as A, B, C, and D licenses. Each license is progressively more challenging to achieve, requiring the skydiver to prove certain skills and reach certain experience levels. The A license is the first license obtained by a new skydiver. The D license is the highest level of skydiving license and requires skydivers to have completed all requirements of the previous licenses, a minimum of 500 jumps, as well as two specific advanced skills requirements.
Here are some of the key requirements for each skydiving license level:
|Skydiving License Level
|Minimum Number of Jumps
|Minimum Freefall Time
|Skydiving A License
|Skydiving B License
|Skydiving C License
|Skydiving D License
The skydiving A license is the first license a new skydiver achieves. It is proof that the skydiver has completed their training and is now cleared to jump without supervision. A licensed jumpers are also permitted to pack their own main parachute, do group jumps, and jump near water.
Achieving an A license is really exciting! To get to this point, the skydiver will have completed all of their basic training and will have learned all about their equipment, how to exit the aircraft, how to fly their bodies in freefall, how to control their parachute during the descent and landing, and what to do in the event things don’t go to plan.
What is required to get a skydiving A License? According to the United States Parachute Association (USPA), a skydiver must:
The next level of skydiving license is the skydiving B license. This level is achieved by skydivers who have completed a minimum of 50 skydives. B license skydivers have proven a basic level of experience in jumping unsupervised and with others.
While the A license gives you the freedom to jump unsupervised, the B license shows that you have been able to do so for at least 25 jumps, including planned jumps with groups. According to the USPA, a B license skydiver has:
A B licensed skydiver is eligible to become a USPA skydiving coach once they have completed 100 jumps and can perform night jumps.
A skydiving C license is a step higher than the B license. A C license holder can do all of the things listed under A and B and is also eligible to get their USPA instructor rating (though not the Tandem rating).
They can also be a passenger on a USPA tandem instructor training course and rating renewal jumps and can participate in certain more advanced level jumps. To do this, a skydiver must:
The skydiving D license is the top license you can achieve. Skydivers holding a D license have proven a wide range of skills and have a great depth of experience, having completed a minimum of 500 jumps.
D license skydivers have all of the privileges of A, B, and C licenses and are eligible for all USPA instructor ratings. To achieve this, a skydiver must:
If you’re located in the Southeast, we’d encourage you to check out our comprehensive Paraclete Student Program (PSP), taught by some of the most skilled skydiving instructors in the world. Still have questions? Contact us today!