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It is common for different hobbies and sports to use a tiered approach to differentiate novice from expert and to indicate experience levels. For example, in Karate or Jiu Jitsu, experience and skill is indicated by belt color. In aviation, it is indicated by various certificates.
Well, in skydiving, it is a four-tiered licensure system that ranks from A-D that was put in place by the United States Parachute Association. It can seem a bit mysterious, but we can help clear it up for you. We use these skydiving licenses to indicate how much skill and experience a skydiver has. Each of these skydiving licenses requires a jumper meet certain requirements, and below we will break them down for you.
One of the things each license indicates is that a minimum number of jumps has been reached.
Skydiving License Minimum Jump Number Requirements
|Skydiving License Level||Minimum Jump Number|
|Skydiving A License||25|
|Skydiving B License||50|
|Skydiving C License||200|
|Skydiving D License||500|
Receiving a skydiving license isn’t just about numbers, it is also about skill.
The first license that a jumper can attain is the A License. An A license opens the door to the skydiving world. After completing a series of jumps demonstrating to experienced skydiving instructors that they possess the skills necessary to skydive safely and competently by themselves, a jumper can receive their A License. The jumpers must be able to remain stable in free fall, pack their own parachute, complete a written and oral exam, and a whole list of other requirements and skills completed in free fall as identified by the United States Parachute Association. After a new skydiver successfully completes their training and demonstrates the necessary skills, they are awarded an A license. This serves as proof that they are ready to skydive without supervision and with their peers! But, there is quite a bit more beyond the A license.
To obtain a Skydiving B License, a jumper must have reached at least 50 jumps. These skydivers will have also proven their canopy piloting skills by completing the canopy maneuvers required by the United States Parachute Association, have live training to make a water landing, have passed a written exam, and have successfully completed the required freefall flying maneuvers. Why get a Skydiving B License? Well by demonstrating that you have the skills to attain your B License (and receiving it) shows that you are ready to handle even bigger and better things. We are talking about jumps at night, jumps from high altitude (up to 30,000ft!) jumps from helicopters, and jumps from hot air balloons!
If you have your B License and reach 100 skydives, you are eligible to receive training to become a skydiving coach and assist other skydivers to progress in the sport.
The Skydiving C License is the next step up from a Skydiving B License. The C License is achieved by jumpers who have reached 200 skydives. These jumpers have also been able to land within 7 feet of a target on at least 25 skydives. In order to be awarded a C License, the skydiver must have also passed a written exam. So, what’s the perk of the Skydiving C License? You know those sweet go pro videos? Well, you have to have at least a C License to wear a camera! Instead of talking about the cool jump you did last weekend, you can actually show your non skydiver friends. C License jumpers can also now begin looking into wing suiting and now qualify to take a wingsuit course.
The Skydiving D License is the most advanced skydiving license. In order to qualify, a jumper must have at least 500 skydives. These skydivers have proven that they possess advanced skills and a great depth of experience. D License holders are able to apply for all instructor ratings provided by the United States Parachute Association including pro ratings and the ability to jump into stadiums! To obtain a Skydiving D License, these skydivers have also made at least 2 skydives at night and have passed a written exam.
To begin any journey, you need only take one step. Think skydiving might be for you? Check out our AFF training and get started!