Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Training & progression » Further progression
Once you have achieved your B Licence, at least 200 total jumps and one further grade 1 qualification (FS1, FF1 etc.) you can apply for your C Licence. This demonstrates you have achieved a high level of competence in the sport and are now able to begin participating in more demanding disciplines (CP1, SS1 etc). Obtaining a C Licence gives you permission to wear any auxiliary equipment that your Chief Instructor (CI) is happy with, such as camera helmets, etc. This is also the minimum level from which you can start to coach less experienced but qualified skydivers in disciplines such as FS1 and FF1.
In order to obtain your FF2, you first need your FF1, and be able to demonstrate all of the FF1 techniques in a head down (head first) body position. These include controlled fall rate, flying and turning relative to others. In order to coach people leaning to freefly you need at least your FF2.
Skysurfing is a type of skydiving in which the skydiver wears a board (resembling a snowboard) attached to his or her feet and performs surfing-style aerobatics during freefall requiring distinct skill and significant practice. The simplest skysurfing technique is to stand upright on the board during freefall and tilt the nose down to generate forward movement.
Even this basic technique is a balancing act which experienced skydivers find tricky. The extra drag of the board tends to upset the balance and make the skydiver flip upside down. Demonstrating basic control and manoeuvrability of the board during exit and freefall is required to achieve SS1. More advanced aerobatics such as loops, rolls and helicopter spins are more difficult still and covered by SS2.
Learning the basic and intermediate skills needed to control canopies reliably and accurately is covered by the CH1 & CH2 qualifications. Once you have achieved a suitable level of skill and experience - minimum C Licence - you can start flying smaller, higher performance, canopies in a radical fashion low to the ground.
The goal of such manoeuvres is to pilot the canopy along ground level, possibly while performing a plethora of tricks, also known as a swoop. In order to do this successfully, over large distances, high speeds (in excess of 90mph) are required with little margin for error. Unfortunately, this exposes you to considerably more risk; a number of fatalities and serious injuries have resulted from impact with the ground at high speed under canopies that have still been diving at ground level. Executed successfully, a fast swoop is arguably one of the most exhilarating aspects of skydiving, after the free-fall bit of course.
The CP1 qualification demonstrates the ability to perform these dangerous manoeuvres without supervision and CP2 a skill level suitable to participate safely in competitions.
Wingsuits, when flown correctly, greatly reduce your vertical speed in exchange for horizontal speed. To get started, you need 500 jumps or at least 200 jumps within the last 18 months. Once you can demonstrate you’ve mastered basic belly to earth techniques - those covered in FS1 - you can be introduced to wingsuiting by a coach.
The WS1 qualification covers the skills needed to safely exit, fly and deploy in a wingsuit, as well as understanding the extra flight planning that is needed due to the horizontal distance that will be covered. After WS1 you can learn the skills needed to jump with other wingsuiters, including diving down to a target, increasing and decreasing forward speed, sideways movement and recovery from instability. WS2 is the proof that you have accomplished these skills to a level where you may safely plan wingsuit jumps with others.
After A Licence, you have more choices. You usually begin with a sticker to signify basic competence in a discipline, such as FS1 or FF1. With experience, you can qualify for higher Licences, which open up more possibilities.
To apply for a B Licence, you will need an A Licence, at least 50 jumps and to have completed the JM1 & CH2 qualifications. Achieving your B Licence demonstrates a level of competence in the sport that allows you to take on greater responsibilities, such as acting as jump master, checking equipment on flight line and making more choices about the personal equipment you use.
Once you have achieved your C Licence and at least 1000 jumps you are eligible to apply for your D Licence. You need at least a D Licence to become an AFF instructor.
Updated 19 July 2016