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NicolaM

BPA 'A Licence' jumper jumping in the US- There for 3 months.

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Hi guys, just putting a post out to get some information on jumping in the US.

I'm a little apprehensive coming from a small drop zone where everyone cares for each other to becoming unknown, not having that care at a machine like drop zone which bang out jumps.

Outside of Northern Ireland I have only ever jumped in Portugal.

Currently, I have 38 jumps, 4.5hrs of tunnel-- FS/FF. I'll be working in California from 14th June- 1st September.

My question is, what would be required from me to prepare myself for jumping in the US?

Dropzones close to me are Skydive Bay Area (2hr 19m), Skydive California (2hrs 7m) or Skydive Lodi (2hrs 9m).. scared of Lodi though because the reviews seem a little sketch; not a place to go for safety.
However, obviously I haven't been here so they are reviews I have read. If you have visited this DZ please let me know.

How good is public transport in the US? I would have to be getting multiple buses to arrive to these drop zones.

I have additional Insurance that covers me for the US (Skycover), equipment; jumpsuits, alti, audible, helmet etc.
I don't have a rig so it's going to cost me a bomb having to hire.

I assume I will have to get a temporary USPA membership, would you know roughly the cost of this?

Also, although it seems more common in America for rigs to be stolen from cars I'm also concerned my gear could be stolen.. although it's not the same value of a rig haha. Is this common?

Please let me know if there's anything I have missed.

It's March 9th. I don't leave until 14th June so I'm hoping to get my B Licence before leaving. 12 jumps away.

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I can't really comment on the DZs or their culture. I would not suggest you go to Lodi, but that's only based on their reputation. However, even some of the larger DZs have a "caring" culture, where the older and more experienced jumpers look out for the 'new guy' (or girl).

Public transport sucks in the US, especially compared to Europe. Your best bet would be putting out the word that you want to share a ride back and forth. Depending on where you are working, it's likely someone is close enough for that to work.

For three months, you might consider getting a used rig. Rental cost for that time, compared to the cost of an older used rig are probably comparable.

USPA offers temp memberships. Look on their site for details.

General rule of thumb in California is to not leave anything in your car. Yes, there are people that will steal everything that even looks like it might be valuable. And they can do it very fast.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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That's fair.
Haha, I guess I'm just preparing for the worst. The fact I'm away for 3 months means I just want to settle into a DZ pretty well.

I heard that also. Maybe once I've travelled out of the remote area that I'm at someone will be close by. However, I don't know any Facebook groups for getting lifts with jumpers :(

Really? See the issue with that is that I'm on a Sabre 2 210 atm and 54kg so the cost of buying a rig when I will prob downsize quick enough doesn't seem feasible. However, spending jump money for rig hire isn't ideal either :( :(

Thanks, I'll take a look.

I haven't decided if it's worth having a car. I'm working in the same place for 3 months. I'm working a minimum of 40 hours a week and I don't know my shift schedule days-- they make not be set-- could be different every week so therefore the car would be sitting around unless I'm going to the drop zone. Also can't guarantee I will have 2/3 days off consecutively.. hopefully I will :(

Ok noted, be extremely vigilant.

Is there anything else I should keep in mind?

I'm hoping to progress when I'm over there so might need some coached jumps also.

Once I've finished working there I have 14 days where I'm looking to visit LA, San Fran and Las Vegas.


Sorry this is such a long message haha.

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Why not reach out to see if there is anyone that jumps at the DZ you're thinking about to see if they have a spare or 2nd rig your could borrow or rent from them instead of the DZ. It will save you money and from having to coordinate using the DZs gear with other students ect.

Also look up the Sisters in Skydiving. It's a great way to network with other female jumpers.
diamonds are a dawgs best friend

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countzero

Why not reach out to see if there is anyone that jumps at the DZ you're thinking about to see if they have a spare or 2nd rig your could borrow or rent from them instead of the DZ. It will save you money and from having to coordinate using the DZs gear with other students ect.

Also look up the Sisters in Skydiving. It's a great way to network with other female jumpers.




Fair point! Might actually be cheaper to pay someone else.

Ah sweet, thank you! :D I'll post in that group and see. It would be more likely I'll get a rig to fit a 5ft 2, 8 stone 8 girl from that forum haha.

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USPA membership is quite inexpensive compared to BPA. In the US, it will be either $65/yr or $20 for a 3mo temporary.

Regarding travel, unless you live in either New York or Chicago, life is very difficult without a car.

On one hand, you'll fill out a roughly 12-page legal waiver at most dropzones, but then they don't do flightline checks as you are probably used to.
"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to attend his classes"

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I'll probably go with the 3 month option.

That's crap. Plus driving on the other side of the road haha. See if I'm doing it every other weekend the car would be just sitting there throughout the week. Need to look into potentially the costs of insurance being more because I'm 21 and perhaps a liability.

Yea I thought that. Also, some AAD's aren't mandatory in some DZ's. I need to ensure any rig I use has one.

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Yea I thought that. Also, some AAD's aren't mandatory in some DZ's. I need to ensure any rig I use has one.



You are not likely to find any rental rigs without AADs. They are required for students everywhere. Although AADs are not mandatory at all DZs, you will find very few people jumping without them these days.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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jumpsalot-2

Lodi (Acampo) is great. Top quality jumpers (world class). Great rental and tandem gear. Camping. Etc. You may never want to leave.




I've never jumped in NoCal. But someday soon I've got to go check out the mythical Lodi DZ and meet Mr Dause!
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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