Solo Skydive License
Earn Your Wings: Inside the AFF Program
A chain of events led your tiptoes to the edge of a perfectly good airplane a few kilometers above the planet. Perhaps you were destined for a life in the sky. Or, maybe that one-time life experience of tandem skydiving awoke a curiosity you didn’t even realize you had. Regardless, that skydive had a profound effect: it confirmed a deep-rooted desire for flight, and it obviously piqued your curiosity to answer what else is possible in skydiving. You sampled human flight and now you need more!
Imagine authoring the rules in a world where you can bend time, move and travel in a way that is literally impossible to do when you’re on the ground. Your playground is in the clouds, the sunsets, the bright blue skies that are inaccessible for most people. But not you. You’re going to learn how to fly on all axis, rotate your body with fine precision, change vertical and horizontal speeds dramatically, fly in formation with other skydivers, flock in a wingsuit, explore the very edge of performance parachute flight, and experience a culture built upon safe, fun-seeking experiences and lifestyle adventures.
The Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program is your gateway to this world of human flight: a world that is challenging, magical, transformative, and rewards every visit with a strong hit of neurochemical blissfulness. The AFF, or Solo License, the program is an immersive and advanced training program that utilizes all methods of learning to maximize skills development and skydiving technical knowledge. Our program uses visual media, practical on-ground training, two in-air instructors, parachute radio instructors, and video debriefing, all with highly experienced, top-rated Canadian AFF Instructors.
Alberta Skydive Central is a top student skydive development center within Canada. During the past five years, our dropzones have produced more solo student skydivers than any other skydive center in Canada. This is largely due to the success rate, and thus the fun level, our students achieve with our program.
Change your perspective of the world, find your boundaries and fly past them at 200km/h!
Ranking For Solo Licenses
First Jump Courses/Season
Our Accelerated Freefall “AFF” Program
Accelerated Freefall (AFF) is a 9 level, 9 skydive program that culminates with you achieving all of the necessary requirements to acquire your Canadian Sport Parachute Association (CSPA) Solo license. This enables you to do solo skydives, without an instructor, anywhere in Canada and the United States.
From your Level 1 AFF jump, you’ll wear your own parachute system, deploy that parachute system at the proper altitude and fly your parachute safely back to the ground. This is an immersive and highly attentive feedback-based program. For every jump, you’ll be briefed in detail and practice on the ground with your instructor to learn the practical, physical skills of using your body to control human flight, the theory and practical application of parachute flight, and the technical aspects of skydiving equipment.
Your instructors will be with you in-flight, freefall, and provide radio guidance under the parachute system. During freefall, instructors will take a “harness hold” on your parachute system. That means that during your jumps, two instructors fly with you, securing a grip on each side of your harness from inside the airplane until you deploy your main parachute. During exit and freefall, they are with to ensure stability and altitude awareness and provide in-air coaching and skill analysis. During the parachute flight, they’ll provide ground-to-air radio guidance.
AFF begins with a full day of Skydive Ground School. It is an interactive, media-rich, visual, auditory and practical learning environment. Students must take ground school prior to the Level 1 jump as it provides the basic safety and flying principles for both freefall and parachute flight, such as equipment operation, aircraft exit technique, freefall communication (hand signals), freefall body position for stable flight, parachute opening technique, and sequence, emergency procedures, parachute operation maneuvering, landing pattern, and procedure. It typically requires about 6 hours.
Dual Instructor Jumps (Levels 1-2)
During the Level 1 and 2 skydives, you’ll be jumping with two instructors that are holding onto your harness, assessing body position and performance, and providing immediate feedback or corrective instruction during freefall. These levels focus on the very basics of safe, stable solo flight: stable exits, stable freefall, altitude awareness and focus heavily on practicing and executing proper, stable parachute deployment body position. While a ground-to-air instructor is providing assistance during parachute flight, students are taught how to properly fly their parachutes to the landing area and land safely.
Single Instructor Jumps (Levels 3-4)
Once stable freefall and exits are achieved (typically by Level 3), students jump with a single instructor. Specifically, in Levels 3 and 4, solo students refine skills such as hover and heading control with the use of turns and manipulating freefall body position. Level 3 or 4 is a “release” jump in which the instructor removes their grip on the student to allow them to fly stable unassisted. Students will also be pushing their understanding of parachute flight dynamics by undertaking skills that use more of the range of the parachute’s capabilities while receiving less and less radio guidance. Typically by this stage, students are flying and landing parachutes completely by themselves.
Stable Solo Flight (Level 5-6)
By Level 5, students are exiting the airplane “unlinked” – or without a hold by the instructor. Since stable solo flight begins from the moment jumpers leave the airplane until there is a fully functional parachute above their head, this is a key objective. To that end, Level 6 (always a favourite), involves an intentionally unstable exit designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to recover to stable freefall flight. We like to have fun with this level and literally toss you out of an airplane in a variety of fun ways! Depending on rates of progression, we may include more advanced freefall and parachute skills during these jumps.
Low Altitude Exit (Level 7)
AFF includes an intentional lower than normal altitude exit. Once proficiency in stable exits is achieved, students practice exiting the airplane and opening their parachute within a couple of seconds to simulate an emergency aircraft exit. It’s never happened at our skydive center, but we prepare and train for all scenarios to ensure safety first. The Level 7 jump exit altitude is 5000’, which provides adequate time to achieve stability and safely deploy the parachute. Affectionately called “hop n pops”, a whole segment of skydivers prefer these jumps over freefall because of the focus on parachute flight.
Graduation & Advanced Skills (Levels 8-9)
Levels 8 and 9 are somewhat interchangeable depending on student progression, weather conditions or flight operations. Level 8 is the “Solo Checkout” jump in which the student must demonstrate all of the mandatories to complete a safe, solo skydive. Level 9 is the graduation jump in which you and your instructor can design whatever skydive you want, whether that’s to learn a new skill or just enjoy freefall without specific performance objectives. During both of these levels, students will continue to be introduced to more advanced flying skills, both for freefall and parachute flight.
∙ Ground school training course and learning materials
∙Nine (9) skydives (8 from 14,000 feet, 1 from 5,000 feet)
∙ Gear rental (parachute system, altimeter, helmet, jumpsuit)
Learning & Skills Objectives
∙ Aircraft safety and exit positioning
∙ Freefall body positions
∙ Parachute system equipment and accessories operation
∙ Emergency procedures and safety checks
∙ Parachute landing patterns and landing techniques
∙ Basic skydive safety rules and technical knowledge
∙ Completed one skydive (tandem or solo) within the last three years
∙ Be in reasonable to good physical condition
∙ Have a fun, positive attitude and willing to
AFF Program Costs
Alberta Skydive Central has created its own advanced version of the AFF program by pooling the expertise of our staff that has worked all over the world in the skydiving industry. While the CSPA model covers the very basics required to acquire a solo license, our model also incorporates additional skills development, teaching techniques, and requirements that we’ve deemed fundamental to accelerating learning at a hyper pace.
Some solo license programs do not include instructor harness hold jumps. In our opinion, this is an archaic, less safe, and slower progression model. Without an instructor in the air assessing, providing real-time coaching, and debriefing, the quality of instruction is dramatically reduced. While these programs may be advertised at a lesser rate, it’s ultimately about acquiring basic, fundamental flying skills. In the end, you’ll spend the same amount of money and have fewer freefall skills. And the whole point of the license system is to become a proficient flyer.
It’s also important to note that all of the skydives in our AFF program (with the exception of Level 7 – Five Second Delay jump) are from 14,000 feet. That is the highest jump altitude in the country. On each skydive, you’ll have about 9000 feet of freefall to practice. In comparison, that’s about 35-90% more freefall than any other skydive center in Western Canada.
|Jump/Level||Phase 1 – Skills & Learning||Price|
|Ground School||Equipment Orientation & Practical Familiarization |
Exit, Freefall Body Position & Deployment Procedures
Parachute Malfunctions & Emergency Procedures
Parachute Flight, Landing Patterns & Landing Techniques
General Aviation & Skydive Safety Rules & Practices
|Level 1||Stable Freefall Position |
Parachute Deployment Procedure & Practices
Parachute Flight Control Check & Landing Pattern
|Level 2||Forward Movement |
Introduction to Turns
|Level 3||First Single Instructor Jump |
90 Degree Turns
Forced Heading Control
Parachute Flat Turns
|Level 4||First Instructor Release Freefall |
180 Degree Turns
Parachute Rear Riser Turns
|Level 5||Unlinked Exit |
360 Degree Turns (Figure 8’s)
Parachute Rear Riser Spirals
|Level 6||Intentional Unstable Exit & Recovery |
Advanced Turn & Turn Precision
Advanced Heading & Hover Control
Parachute Front Riser Turns
|Level 7||Intentional “Low Altitude” Exit |
Five Second Delay Jump
Parachute Front Riser Spirals
|Level 8||Solo Checkout Jump |
Parachute Collision Avoidance Practice
|Level 9||Graduation Jump |
Advanced Freefall Skills (TBD)
Advanced Parachute Skills (TBD)
|Total AFF Program Price (pay level by level)||$3080|
|Total AFF Program Price (prepay)*||$2900|
Upon completion of the AFF program, you will qualify to take the CSPA Solo Certificate license. As a holder of a CSPA Solo Certificate, you are able to do solo jumps at any skydiving center in Canada (most dropzones around the world recognize this license and provide the same privileges as in Canada).
* Please note the prepay option is not refundable.