Welcome! Sit back and enjoy this playlist film, great for both beginners and mega experienced too. This film is 16+, as it includes extreme skydiving footage and clips of fatal accidents to remind you that, although skydiving is relatively safe under the controlled conditions at skydiving clubs, skydiving still carries significant risks and is a potentially very dangerous sport. A how to get started guide can be found below. Please share this site on Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc. See buttons below the video section; thanks.

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Learn to Skydive in the UK

Congratulations to Andy Goodwin and Alex Dand current British FreeStyle Champions for 7th place in the World Championships at the 2014 WPC FS AE - Prostejov Czech Rep.>>Official scores<< More on Alex and Andy MOD Website


Indoor Skydiving

When skydiving and before you open your parachute, although you are falling, you can actually fly for about 50 seconds to a minute. With experience you can have considerable control. Just watch the videos if you need proof. After exiting the aeroplane you accelerate to terminal velocity which takes about 9 seconds. Terminal velocity can be simulated in a vertical wind tunnel and this is what indoor skydiving is. In fact the wind tunnel is basically a giant vaccum cleaner. Indoor Skydiving Experts Video

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Click buy now (£0.99)- to get information on indoor skydiving in the UK.

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Starting skydiving and your first 1000 jumps

There are 3 ways to start skydiving. Tandem skydiving What is Tandem Skydiving? is very popular and gives you the chance to experience free fall and canopy ride with the knowledge that you have a fully qualified instructor strapped to your back along with a large parachute that will be operated for you by the aforementioned instructor. It is ideal for those who want try skydiving as a 'do it before you die' one off, 'experience it all in one go', parachute jump. Unfortunately the minimal training required does not qualify you to continue skydiving / parachuting on your own. If you wish to continue, then you must either go on a RAPS static line parachute jump What is RAPS static line parachute jump? course or do AFF skydiving (Accelerated free fall).What is an AFF Jump?



Jumping on your own

The static line parachute jump course (RAPS) involves about 6 hours skydive training followed by a parachute jump from 3500 feet. There is no free fall involved as the canopy is attached to the aeroplane by the static line that automatically opens the parachute moments after leaving the aeroplane. The AFF skydiving course involves the highest level of skydive training as you will be jumping from 14000 feet and will be responsible for opening your own parachute at deployment altitude (although there is an automatic opening device in the event of a jumper or instructor not activating the system for any reason). Initial jumps are made with two skydiving instructors in free fall with you to keep you stable during the skydive and to deploy your parachute if necessary. In either case, static line parachute jumping or AFF skydiving, you will need around 20 skydives to become a qualified skydiver / parachutist (skydive category 8).

Click buy now (£ 0.99) buy ticket for a complete list of UK skydiving centres

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Free Skydiving

Skydiving is free for those of you who like raising money for charity. Although you may find it hard work. It is generally accepted that you may use up to half the money you raise to pay for your skydive / parachute jump. Tandem skydiving normally costs around £230 depending on where you go. Therefore you should be looking to raise at least £460 and your skydive is paid for and therefore free. The rest of your money is sent to a charity of your choice. I have met people on the drop zone that have raised many thousands of pounds through skydiving. Often motivated by the bereavement of a relative or some other form of adversity. Many people who decide that they want to parachute jump on their own also use this method to fund a first skydive and training by way of the RAPS (static line) parachute jump course.

The RAPS parachute jump course costs around £180 again depending on where you go. If you intend to become a 'serious' skydiver you will find that this is the most economical route. After your first parachute jump the cost drops significantly. You now pay student rates until you qualify as a category 8 skydiver. You will be paying around £35 for your skydive which will include parachute hire and parachute packing. Here is how you can get the rest of your student parachute jumps for free. Once you do your first skydive you need to go on a packing course. Your drop zone will normally provide a course for about £10 for a day's training on packing the parachuting equipment. Shriek! I hear. No worries. After the course you will be supervised during the packing of at least 10 parachutes and will be required to pass a number of tests including a tangle test. Once your instructor is happy with your ability you will get a parachute packing certificate that, once authorized by the British Parachute Association (BPA), is valid anywhere as far as I know. Now that you can pack your parachute, you can earn money at the drop zone to fund all your skydiving. Rates for a parachute pack job are about £4-5 for student kit and about £8 for tandem skydiving equipment. Not a bad hourly rate as a parachute pack job takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Hard work though when the drop zone is busy. So it is therefore possible to qualify as a category 8 skydiver with a parachute packing certificate and the whole process funded by your own initiative and effort. Later you can fund your skydiving by filming tandem jumps and passing an instructors course.



For those who can't wait and have plenty of cash for skydiving

If you are fortunate enough to have cash to burn you can take the AFF skydiving course. This skydiving course involves several days of one to one training with your skydiving instructors who will teach you all you need to know to exit the plane from 'the top'. After completing a minimum of 8 skydives with one or both of your skydiving instructors, you are on probation until you have completed all the required exercises to allow you to qualify as category 8 skydiver. Clearly the best way to do it but very pricey. You will initially need to shell out about £1000 to complete the first 8 skydives. Student rates there after until skydiving category 8 has been achieved.


Your Skydiving life after Cat 8

Once you have reached category eight and have a parachute packing certificate, it is time to buy your own skydiving equipment. Parachutes (known as rigs for a complete unit with reserve ready to skydive) can be purchased from about £600 second hand up to £3,500 for new skydiving equipment complete with AOD (automatic opening device). You will also need an altimeter, and probably an audio altimeter as well. Skydive jump suit, gloves, goggles, jump knife and a skydiving helmet. All this can add up to another £500. However you will probably be able to make good acquisitions on the drop zone or on Ebay. Each skydive will now cost about £20 depending on where you go.


Certificates (Licenses)


FAI (National) 'A' Certificate (Licence) - Category 8 and at least 'CH-Grade 1'

Once you have got your skydive category 8 you need to take your CH-grade 1. The Canopy Handling Manual is free and available from the CCI (Club or Centre Chief Instructor- Advanced instructor) at any drop zone. You can also download the manual here: Canopy Handling. The test is simple because you must copy the answers word for word out of the manual. However to do this you must read the manual which is what is required. Low turns are a cause of unnecessary accidents in parachuting. This test is aimed at preventing parachuting accidents happening due to ignorance. When you have passed your test. I.E. had it marked and signed off by a suitable parachuting authority like a club CCI, you can send an application complete with passport photos to the BPA and receive your skydive FAA Licence. If you parachute in other countries you will be able to prove your experience with this booklet and your log book. It looks a bit like a passport.


FAI (National) 'B' Certificate (Licence) - FAI 'A' Certificate + minimum of 50 skydive descents and at least 'CH-Grade 2 and JM-Grade 1'

As with CH-Grade 1, CH-Grade 2 is an open book test on the second half of the manual. As before you will need to get the test paper from the CCI and have it marked and signed off. In addition you will need to get the JM-Grade 1 sheet too. This sheet can be downloaded here: The Jump Master Grading System Record Sheet. Each section including briefings and practical exercises in the form of pre-declared parachute landings and avoidance maneuvers under canopy. On completion you may send your FAA licence along with an application form to the BPA for the B certificate stamp. All paperwork and application forms are available from any parachute centre office.


FAI (National) 'C' Certificate (Licence) - FAI 'B' certificate + a minimum of 200 parachute descents and at least one further 'Grade 1'

I am not sure if there are any other grade 1's left other than the FS1 but you do need this for your skydive category 10 and is often necessary to do stuff like free flying. A discussion on this is beyond the scope of this article and completely unnecessary as it is fully laid out in the FS (Formation Skydiving) Manual here: Training Manuals. It is all practical skydiving ending by successfully completing a '4 point' 4 way. You will need to talk to an FS skydive coach to get started. Your CCI will be the person to point you in the right direction. C licence is an important milestone as this gives you the necessary basic qualification to do most things including skydive camera flying and becoming a skydive basic instructor.


FAI (National) 'D' Certificate (Licence) - FAI 'C' Certificate and minimum of 1000 skydives.

When you are ready for D licence you will know more than me so I won't teach you to suck eggs! :) but you will need this if you want to become a basic accelerated free fall skydive instructor for example.


Everything about skydiving

I wrote this document several years ago when I was more involved with that aspect of the sport so some details may have changed by now, However, the ultimate skydiving authority in the UK is the BPA who produce the skydive operations manual that details every aspect of the sport and the rules and qualifications. See this link: BPA Operations Manuals


How safe is skydiving?

If you are curious see this article: How safe is sport parachuting /skydiving?

All BPA Training manuals can be found here:BPA Skydive Training Manuals

Article author: Dave Dand

External links: Danny Rowlands