Monday, November 19, 2018

FAQs

General FAQs

USPA publishes the Skydiving Information Manual (SIM), which contains the most up-to-date information about skydiving. It contains everything from learning to skydive to obtaining all the skydiving licenses and ratings to extreme jumps. It’s available online.
There are currently over 200 USPA Group Member skydiving centers or “drop zones,” located within convenient driving distance of most major cities and towns. Find a Group Member DZ.
Anyone can become a member of USPA. You don’t need to be a pro skydiver to support the sport of skydiving and help keep it around for others to join in years to come. Learn about the benefits and join online.
Yes, the FAA regulates skydiving. USPA disseminates industry safety standards.

Competition, Records and Judging

All USPA members are welcome to attend the National Championships. Members not eligible for medals or the U.S. Team will be entered as guests. See SCM Chapter 1 for more information.
USPA has a stock of medals perfect for framing as gifts to sponsors. For more information please send an email to competition@uspa.org
Registration methods vary depending on the host. Please contact us for more information about a particular event.
All active USPA judges are listed on our website. Just go to "Find A Judge" and search by name, or by location and discipline to find a judge.
Any state record requires two officials to certify. One of these must be a judge rated in the discipline. For more details see SCM Chapter 3.
The USPA Open National Record is for records set in U.S. airspace that contains foreign jumpers. The U.S. National record requires that all jumpers be U.S. citizens for permanent residents.
Sporting Licenses are separate from USPA licenses (A, B, C, D) and are issued by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) , on behalf of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). They are required for participation in international competition or any international record (world or continental). Please see the NAA’s website for more information. You may use the following guide during your application process.

FAI Sporting License Application/Renewal Procedure Guide

Your First Jump

No official organization rates the safety of skydiving centers. Compiling a list of accidents by skydiving center would simply indicate the busiest, most active centers. Drop zones that abide by the rules can still be places where individual jumpers have accidents. Feel free to ask the DZ directly about their safety record; they've been asked before. Drop zones that join as USPA Group Members are required to use only USPA-rated instructional personnel and provide standard skydiving equipment.
Recommended attire is comfortable clothing for the weather on the ground. Also, be sure to wear sneakers or shoes without hooks. Students are oftentimes outfitted in jumpsuits which are worn over the clothing. Skydiving equipment is provided by the drop zone.
As with most sports, there are potential risks involved and it is standard to address safety concerns. Upon arrival at a skydiving school, all jumpers must fill out a registration form and sign a liability release.
Around 110 mph or approximately 1,000 feet for every six seconds of freefall.
Surprisingly no. There typically isn’t a “sudden drop” feeling. Falling at such a fast speed, the air acts almost like a cushion, supporting your body as you fly through the air.
No. The rush of air and adrenaline may make you feel that way, but just relax and breathe normally through your nose or mouth.
Approximately five minutes; a good time to take in the breathtaking views and practice maneuvering the parachute.
Prices vary depending on type of first jump and location. Tandem jumps typically range from $200-275. Most drop zones offer video and/or photos for an additional cost. Contact your local drop zone to get rates.
Skydiving centers or “drop zones” are located in nearly every state and many countries. There’s most likely a drop zone near you. USPA Group Member drop zones are skydiving centers who have pledged to follow USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements and use appropriately trained instructors. Find a USPA Group Member drop zone near you.
All participants should be in good health and physical condition and should not be on medication which could affect judgment or performance. Before scheduling a jump, check with the local drop zone’s weight requirements.
Typically, around 10,000 to 13,000 feet above the ground for tandem and AFF jumps, and 3,500 feet for Static-Line/IAD jumps.
For tandems and AFF, approximately 45-60 seconds before deploying your parachute between 3,000 and 5,000 feet above the ground. For Static-Line/IAD, deployment is almost instantaneous during the first five jumps, then freefall gradually increases as the training progresses.
On a tandem jump, the instructor is ultimately in charge of pulling the ripcord, so if you forget to do it, he will. In Static-Line/IAD jumps, main canopy deployment is initiated immediately via the static line (static line) or the instructor throwing your main pilot chute (IAD), once you let go of the airplane. As an added precaution, all student gear is equipped with an Automatic Activation Device designed to activate the parachute automatically at predetermined altitude should the student fail to do so.
In the US, skydiving schools require a minimum age of 18.

Earning Your License

Based on the training method and the individual’s learning curve, the first solo skydive without an instructor in freefall typically occurs between the fifth and 10th jumps for students learning by tandem or AFF training methods. Static-Line and IAD students jump alone beginning with the first jump and continuing throughout the training. The instructor is in the aircraft to observe the student’s performance then debrief the jump afterward.
Students must demonstrate certain skills in freefall and under canopy to obtain a skydiving license. The minimum number of jumps to obtain an A license is 25.
The cost varies depending on the brand of gear chosen and how new it is. A complete parachute system equipped with an Automatic Activation Device typically ranges from $2,000-6,000. Most drop zones have gear that may be rented either by the jump or for the day.

Membership

Membership in USPA provides education that keeps you safe, benefits that keep you secure and services to keep you satisfied. As one of a kind in the United States, USPA is a membership services association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving and the support of those who enjoy it. Through membership and your support, USPA keeps the skydiver informed. USPA establishes minimum standards and recommends procedures for safe skydiving. USPA promotes unity within the skydiving community and represents the interests of skydivers at local, state and federal levels of government.

An Annual Individual Membership is a 12-month membership that includes:

  • receiving USPA’s publication – Parachutist
    • members residing in the US and Canada will receive hard copies
    • all others will receive an electronic version
  • receiving the monthly USPA Update – an e-newsletter covering the latest news
  • eligibility to earn licenses, ratings and awards offered by USPA
  • participate in our triennial elections
  • coverage through our 3rd party liability insurance

Join USPA here!

A Lifetime Membership is valid for life. Benefits include:

  • All the benefits of an annual membership
  • Special recognition in Parachutist (name and picture of new lifetime members published – if provided)
  • A special engraved lifetime membership card
  • No additional fees to maintain your membership; however, other fees may apply such as fees for additional ratings and rating renewals.

USPA also offers Temporary Membership. Temporary membership includes:

  • Coverage for 3 months through our 3rd party liability insurance
  • Purchases can only be made online
  • Temporary members are not eligible to
    • purchase licenses
    • purchase or renewal of ratings
    • participate in our triennial elections

If you are joining USPA for the first time, create a new online account, then apply for membership.

Call: (540) 604-9740
Download Application: USPA Membership Application
Fax: (540) 604-9741
Online: Join/Renew
E-mail: membership@uspa.org
Mail: 5401 Southpoint Centre Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

VISA, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, U.S. check or money order accepted. Please do not send cash!

With normal processing it takes approximately 2-3 weeks to process and receive your membership card in the mail. Online orders are in real time and it takes 5-7 days to receive your membership card in the mail.
  1. For an additional $20, your membership can be processed within 24-48 hours, $30 within 2 hours or less. Provide an e-mail address to receive a free confirmation until you receive your membership card within 2-3 weeks.
  2. Another option is to check with the drop zone where you plan to jump to see if they will renew your membership and forward the information and payment to headquarters. Membership processing varies among drop zones, so be sure to research your options thoroughly.
  3. Online renewal is instant and in real time. Drop Zones can confirm your currency immediately after your renewal payment has been processed online.
You should receive your magazine between the 1st and the 15th of each month. A new member should receive the first issue within 45 days after the new membership is processed in the system.
Parachutist magazine is a standard benefit for members residing in the U.S. and Canada, and is mailed through a publisher's periodical class. For deliveries within the United States, members can upgrade the delivery service of the magazine to the first class delivery service for an extra fee. This service should make the delivery time more consistent each month. The airmail delivery service is available for deliveries outside of the United States for an extra fee. This service will make the delivery considerably faster and the delivery time should be more consistent each month.

USPA has three options for displaying your credentials:

Learn more here...

Third-party liability insurance comes with membership through the Standard Benefits Program. Members are eligible to purchase other types of insurance through the Optional Benefits Program and/or the Affinity Benefit Program. Insurance types vary and subject to change. You will find the most current list of insurance programs in the benefits section on this site.

At no cost, you may order another Membership card:

Call: (540) 604-9740
Fax: (540) 604-9741
Email: membership@uspa.org
Mail: 5401 Southpoint Centre Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Online: My Profile – Log in to view and print your credentials.

Online: Log In to your account to view and change your address in the “Edit My Profile Information” section.
Email: membership@uspa.org
Fax: (540) 604-9741
Mail: 5401 Southpoint Centre Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Call: (540) 604-9740

Online: Log In to your account to view and change your address in the “Edit My Profile Information” section.
Email: membership@uspa.org
Fax: (540) 604-9741
Mail: 5401 Southpoint Centre Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Call: (540) 604-9740

Download the USPA Membership and Rating Renewal Application, acquire the appropriate signature(s) and send with payment via:

Fax: (540) 604-9741
Email: membership@uspa.org
Mail: 5401 Southpoint Centre Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

VISA, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, U.S. check or money order accepted. Please do not send cash!

We do not release personal information about our members. If time permits, we can forward your contact information to a person you are looking for, with your written permission to do so. As another option, you can place a classified ad in Parachutist magazine to try and have the person contact you.
A complete listing of the USPA Board members with all of the contact information appears in the front of your Parachutist magazine each month, or you can go to USPA Board Members for the listing.
You can contact USPA’s Membership Services Center at (540) 604-9740 or email membership@uspa.org.