Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost?

 

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popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 18, 2012, 5:44 AM
Post #26 of 40 (650 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, I wouldn't like to be anywhere near a person that obtained A-license in just one week.
We differ somewhat.

On the one hand, spreading it out tends to require more refresher training because people forget both performance AND knowledge training. Whereas a concentrated effort tends to enhance the learning curve.

On the other hand, your training is only as good as your instruction and with a shortened time frame instructors, bless their little hearts, tend to focus more on air skills than knowledge.

So, in my book, it's not so much the time frame, it's more about the quality of instruction.

In general, I'd feel more comfortable with a 1-week wonder than a 6-month wonder.

And yes, there are good students and not-so-good students in either approach.

And yes, the time frame very much depends on the student and how well he is absorbing information and developing skills.

Believe me, I've had students on both ends of the spectrum.

Meh, different strokes for different folks.


Skyper

Apr 18, 2012, 8:50 AM
Post #27 of 40 (634 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

Popsjumper, I get your point and it makes sense. Maybe I'm just too old and too conservative for these fast methods. Thanks for eyeopener.


GAskygirl  (D 21464)

Apr 18, 2012, 9:35 AM
Post #28 of 40 (627 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

Skyper, thank you for being open-minded to newer methods of training (and I also am on board with all that popsjumper said). I have no idea how long you have been in the sport, but for my part I did my A license in a week, as mentioned, in 1997 (standard AFF followed by several 2-ways to 7-ways with local instructors and jumpers). 15 years and 3300+ jumps later, it is irrelevant how long it took me to achieve my A license; my experiences and choices since then have a whole lot more to do with the skydiver I am today.

The complete license programs that Spaceland and many other drop zones are doing now include far more skydives (18 single-jumpmaster skydives here compared to the minimum 7 one- or two-JM jumps when I did standard AFF--two hop and pops were added where I trained for a total of 9). Better training? Absolutely! More skydives, more supervision, more things learned. These students graduate with far more skill than I did. And they don't HAVE to do it in a week; weather or student needs may dictate an extension of the program. No problem at all.

Most of these programs involve a single instructor for each skydive AFTER the student has proven basic stability, altitude awareness, and the ability to pull and help fly a parachute on a tandem or few. Those single instructor jumps are cheaper than 2-jumpmaster AFF, and in addition most of the instructors in these programs, if not all, wear video on EVERY skydive (often a GoPro or similar mini cam), included for free. These students learn SO MUCH from seeing what they are doing in hi-def video and debriefing in detail.

I am lucky enough to observe license-in-a-week students and instructors at Skydive Spaceland on a regular basis. We have had people come here from other states and overseas just to get their skydiving licenses here. Particularly during the week, the instructors are able to devote a huge amount of time to each student, as much as is needed, and the additional education for the student of hanging out with mostly instructors on a "slow" weekday between loads is huge. They get closer to the instructors and the information they get is of higher quality compared to random discussions around the bonfire among jumpers who may have no instructional background and limited time in the sport. Not to disparage that part of the sport at all... it's one of my favorite parts. :) But from a student education standpoint, of course instructors will usually provide better information tailored to that student's needs.

That's my 2 cents (OK, more like 15!). Hope you have a great day.


(This post was edited by GAskygirl on Apr 18, 2012, 11:23 AM)


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Apr 18, 2012, 9:53 AM
Post #29 of 40 (621 views)
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Re: [GAskygirl] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I am lucky enough to observe license-in-a-week students and instructors at Skydive Spaceland on a regular basis. We have had people come here from other states and overseas just to get their skydiving licenses here. Particularly during the week, the instructors are able to devote a huge amount of time to each student, as much as is needed, and the additional education for the student of hanging out with mostly instructors on a "slow" weekday between loads is huge. They get closer to the instructors and the information they get is of higher quality compared to random discussions around the bonfire among jumpers who may have no instructional background and limited time in the sport. Not to disparage that part of the sport at all... it's one of my favorite parts. :) But from a student education standpoint, of course instructors will usually provide better information tailored to that student's needs.

That's a really interesting point re: time with instructors during slow times on weekdays. In retrospect, I appreciate the amount of time it took me to get my A license (over the winter/spring in Washington State), where weather delays were par for the course and I had lots and lots of (mostly) weekend time sitting around the dropzone waiting for clouds to clear where I could spend that down time with instructors. However, I imagine if I'd been a weekend-only student at a larger, better-weather DZ, I probably wouldn't have gotten as much time as I did.

So - if the students and instructors do make the most of that time in the "A in a week" program, sounds like you can achieve many of the same informal learning benefits as the "extended plan."

However, I agree with others that rushing it just for the sake of getting it done in a week could ultimately wind up being detrimental. I know that as a student more than 3-4 jumps in a day was too much for me, so getting 25+ in a week (plus all the ground work) might have been too much. Others are obviously more able to push.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Apr 18, 2012, 9:55 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 18, 2012, 9:53 AM
Post #30 of 40 (620 views)
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Re: [GAskygirl] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I did my A license in a week, as mentioned, in 1997

To be fair, AFF and the A licesne program were shorter and easier in 1997. There are more jumps required, more supervised jumps, and more non-jumping activites involved, and a week is an ambitious time frame to fit it all in.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Apr 18, 2012, 10:02 AM
Post #31 of 40 (613 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, I wouldn't like to be anywhere near a person that obtained A-license in just one week. I really wonder how do you combine jumping and learning a theoretical part of examination + folding a chute? And everything in one week? I'd really like to see it with my eyes. Especially to access the "proficiency" level of such person after he obtained his license.

Entire story sounds like "become a tandem master in 500 jumps". Well, wish you a lot of success with that, but please dont manifest the same load with me.

My son earned his A license and went through the Scott Miller canopy course in a week at age 17.

He then went on to get his D license and compete in 4 way that same season.

Prior to his training he had packed roughly 2500 canopies (and I may have spoken with him a bit about jumping during his previous years on the DZ).

He also purchased the AFF Instructor's Manual and studied it for a few months prior to his spring training.

He has since gone on to achieve some good stuff in the sport.

Not all is as it seems on the surface.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Apr 18, 2012, 10:07 AM)


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Apr 18, 2012, 10:51 AM
Post #32 of 40 (598 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, I wouldn't like to be anywhere near a person that obtained A-license in just one week. I really wonder how do you combine jumping and learning a theoretical part of examination + folding a chute?

There isn't much theory. Pull, pull at a safe altitude, and be stable if you can. Don't run into obstacles when landing, don't conflict with the landing pattern, land into the wind if you can, be prepared to PLF, and do it to save your joints and bones if needed. You have a few numbers to memorize surrounding USPA authorized pull-altitudes and FAA required cloud clearances but that's not much.

Packing main parachutes isn't much harder than folding laundry. I hung out for a few hours with a couple of hippie skydivers, practiced once my self, and then got a little help on parts of the next few pack jobs "How does that burrito thing go?" One condition of the packing class was teaching other people to pack and I don't think any of them took much longer.

Packing faster takes a few tricks and experience, although without paying customers waiting on you taking closer to 50 minutes than 5 doesn't matter.

In reply to:
And everything in one week? I'd really like to see it with my eyes. Especially to access the "proficiency" level of such person after he obtained his license.

Proficiency should be higher for people finishing in a week instead of months because they didn't let any time lapse before trying something again and made fewer jumps where they didn't learn as much because they weren't fresh enough to still be comfortable jumping out of a plane.

I finished 3 AFF levels in one day, was making 4-5 jumps a day after I had my own gear for jump 13 and was packing for myself, and don't find a week at all unreasonable given perfect weather especially with long summer days and/or a jumper who does not sleep in.

In reply to:
Entire story sounds like "become a tandem master in 500 jumps". Well, wish you a lot of success with that, but please dont manifest the same load with me.

That's different. As a tandem master you're responsible for a passenger and expected to jump in arguably marginal wind conditions. As an A-licensed skydiver you only have yourself to worry about and should be choosing not to jump in gusty and/or high wind situations in the unlikely event that your DZ lets you.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Apr 18, 2012, 11:08 AM)


Skyper

Apr 18, 2012, 1:45 PM
Post #33 of 40 (563 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

guys thank you for reply. After I see you all with so many experience claiming that this might work in some cases I'll use the first chance I get to see it with my eyes. It's never to late to learn new things. Smile

(This post was edited by Skyper on Apr 18, 2012, 1:57 PM)


joshua.toenyes  (Student)

Apr 18, 2012, 3:33 PM
Post #34 of 40 (542 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am an AFF student, just passed level 4 this morning. If I could do my A License in a week, I'd love to! But so far, there's no way I'd be mentally capable of absorbing the skydive, then getting right back on the plane for another jump.

I am sure that some people are completely capable of jumping several times in one day during AFF and prior to their A license. However, I would hate to be pressured by a schedule into my next jump. Me personally, I am completely satisfied to do a jump then take a couple days to absorb and reflect, then go back for the next.

If you haven't started AFF, just be prepared for your mind to handle the experience differently than you expected. You may have to wrestle with demons after a jump that didn't go as well as you hoped, I know that I have.

Learning how to fly is difficult, but learning how to convince your mind that you CAN fly is more difficult.


djmarvin  (D 22292)

Apr 18, 2012, 6:53 PM
Post #35 of 40 (530 views)
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Re: [GAskygirl] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

There has been a lot of discussion on here lately about A in a week programs. I have been lucky enough to work in a program like this and have seen GREAT success. I addressed some concerns on another thread linked here, but I have also copied and pasted that post.



All programs in the world have weak links, human beings. Some instructors are more thorough than others in any program. I do agree with Andy (popsjumper) that some information can be lost on the way. However that is true with any program. With the right student and right instructors, retention will be higher. It is about what each individual puts into the training, both the student and the Instructor. If you take an A in a week and go uncurrent afterwards and rarely jump, then of course your retention will be week. However the same can be said if you do your license in a year. In my experience with A in a week students v standard learning time students, I have seen retention rates very similiar, the varying factor always seems to be the dedication of the student.

There is no doubt repetition is a good thing, that is why a good A in a week program will make sure you have a thorough review of your emergency procedures daily, with continuing education throughout the day. Good lesson plans are also key to a strong A in a week program (or any learning environment). Having flight plans for each jump helps the student retain the information and encourages discussion and reinforcement by the Instructor.

I understand that people can focus too hard on one objective (in this case, 25 jumps) and important knowledge and experience that comes from class time may be neglected. It is important for an A in a week program to have a schedule that manages everyone's time well. 3-4 jumps a day in seven days will get you an A license. That means there is a lot of time for ground training, whether it is book knowledge, hands on time working with gear, training for new procedures, etc. These things can easily be neglected, but with a good schedule and Instructor a lot of those things can and should be covered easily. It is up to each of us to continue committing those thoughts to memory. Many jumpers of any type of progression has forgotten everything they were taught the day they graduated. We are all students of the sky and should be striving to retain what we have and learn everyday.

I do believe in time spent on the dropzone over years being a major benefit to jumpers, but there is also something said for immersing yourself into a environment that also foster strong growth. The years on a dropzone will come over time, the learning over that time will come with an open mind. Regardless of what time frame program you learn with I am sure you will enjoy what you find and that you will walk away excited about your new license. (research where you want to learn of course)


Maksimsf  (B 37743)

Apr 18, 2012, 8:59 PM
Post #36 of 40 (516 views)
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Re: [w-r-u] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hi

I am completely knew here so first of all hello! Smile

I wondered if you could help me with some questions I have about skydiving as I have never done it before.

I live in the UK and plan on heading to Burning Man festival this year at the end of August.

I plan on spending three weeks in the states, one week prior to the festival and one week after.

I wanted to know if it is possible to get a fully certified USPA "A" license in one week and how much I am likely to look at paying?

I also don't really know where to start looking for decent schools in the vicinity I will be flying into. (LA or San Fran).

I would really appreciate the answers to these questions and I'm sure more will follow!

1. Can I get a fully certified USPA "A" license in a week?

2. How much should I expect to pay?

3. Where shall I look to do this?

Many thanks

Mark

if you have a cash and time - go for it!


skiskyrock  (A 45989)

Apr 19, 2012, 9:47 AM
Post #37 of 40 (485 views)
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Re: [GAskygirl] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
They get closer to the instructors and the information they get is of higher quality compared to random discussions around the bonfire among jumpers who may have no instructional background and limited time in the sport. Not to disparage that part of the sport at all... it's one of my favorite parts. :) But from a student education standpoint, of course instructors will usually provide better information tailored to that student's needs.

That's my 2 cents (OK, more like 15!). Hope you have a great day.

While I fully agree that at motivated student could complete an A license in a week, I think you are selling some of the informal instructional aspects short. BSing around a bonfire is an instructional technique with 400000 of history to recommend it.

In a formal course you get information, hanging around the dropzone you get perspective. More time at the dropzone= more time watching other people make mistakes, and these are the most comfortable kind to learn from. You get to watch other people land, you get to watch video of other jumps, listen to other students get debriefed, etc. Yes there is an opportunity to get bad information, but that is an important lesson, too.

Again, nothing wrong with a 1 week course, but it does eliminate the opportunity for other kinds of learning.


GAskygirl  (D 21464)

Apr 19, 2012, 11:17 AM
Post #38 of 40 (476 views)
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Re: [skiskyrock] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi skiskyrock, I think you missed what I was saying a bit. What I meant was that during the week when there is a much lower turnout of fun jumpers, the informal discussions will usually be with instructors. Those instructors will generally have a much higher signal to noise ratio than the general skydiving public AND they will know that student's capabilities (very important).

Again, I am not knocking bonfire discussions AT ALL... just saying that for a student, bonfire discussions with fun jumpers has a greater potential to lead students astray than those same discussions with instructors. Once they have some basics under their belts, they are more ready for perspective and more able to filter what they hear.


deltron80  (A License)

Apr 19, 2012, 1:53 PM
Post #39 of 40 (457 views)
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Re: [artard] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think it's a bad idea to plan on skydiving at Burning Man this year. The jump minimum may only be 100 for Burning Sky but I really think it should probably be raised to 200 and even then, you should only be jumping on the playa if you are VERY confident in your ability to land a parachute in challenging conditions.

It's not unusual to land in dust storms, variable wind direction, 20mph winds, gusts, etc. Also there is no pre-set landing area and you will be dodging guy wires, pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic when you land.

On top of all that, if you've never been to Burning Man before I think it's a bad idea to spend your first year skydiving because that's a big commitment/time investment and you should be focused on having a safe and fun first burn. Non-jumpers are welcome to camp with us at Burning Sky though Smile

+1


cderham  (D 29951)

Apr 23, 2012, 10:44 AM
Post #40 of 40 (403 views)
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Re: [Skyper] Can I get fully certified (USPA "A" license) in one week and how much will it cost? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, I wouldn't like to be anywhere near a person that obtained A-license in just one week. I really wonder how do you combine jumping and learning a theoretical part of examination + folding a chute? And everything in one week? I'd really like to see it with my eyes. Especially to access the "proficiency" level of such person after he obtained his license.

Entire story sounds like "become a tandem master in 500 jumps". Well, wish you a lot of success with that, but please dont manifest the same load with me.

Just to chime in... I received my A license in 12 days in Texas back in 1998. AFF and multiple jumps a day. I came home to a home dropzone with more ability and understanding then many 50-75 jump static line taught skydivers. I am a fan of AFF in a week programs and wind tunnel incorporated training. I believe the learning curve is accelerated and the "eyes open" aspect of the safety side of things is more explored. when a student can make multiple jumps in a day or weekend there progression in the sport is usually smother. There nerves are less of an influence in there skydive. Don't get me wrong they are still nervous but their less of a factor... Just my $0.02


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