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Integrated Student Program
This first category of the ISP includes the first-jump course, presented according to your training discipline.
USPA Coach may teach the solo general section, which contains topics
and procedures common to all solo first jumpers in the AFF, IAD, or
static-line programs. A USPA Instructor in that student's training
discipline is required to teach any sections unique to the student's
on school policy, tandem skydivers may train for only the minimum
information required to make a tandem jump safely, or they may train to
meet the Category A advancement criteria. Only a USPA Tandem Instructor
may conduct skydiving training in the tandem method, but a USPA Coach
ISP categories include recommended minimum deployment altitudes and the
number of skydives it takes on the average to complete that category of
training (column at right). They vary within a category, according to
your training discipline.
each category introduction is a category overview called "Category at a
Glance." It lists the advancement criteria you should meet before
progressing to the next category of training. The school should provide
you a USPA A-License Card and begin checking off training sessions and
advancement criteria early in the training program.
the end of each category, the supervising USPA Instructor conducts an
oral quiz based on topics from the training outline and the recommended
readings ("book stuff") listed with the "Category at a Glance."
plans (dive flows) for freefall and under canopy follow each outline.
Notes for the supervising USPA Instructor are also found there.
Naturally, Category A
includes the longest training outline, because there is a lot you must
learn prior to making a first skydive. To improve retention, the school
introduces only what you might need to know to make a first jump
safely. Other important information can be presented as it becomes
relevant and as you make a firmer commitment to learning more about the
USPA recommends that skydivers complete training in
the Integrated Student Program (ISP), an effective means of preparing a
student for the USPA A license.
B. What is the ISP?
USPA developed the ISP as a comprehensive training outline that meets
the USPA Basic Safety Requirements (BSRs) for student training in all
a. Some schools have developed equivalent programs that train the student to meet all the qualifications of the USPA A license.
b. A prospective student should be able to ask a school to compare its program against this industry standard program.
2. USPA recognizes the following training methods, or disciplines:
USPA Accelerated Freefall (AFF or harness hold), where the student
exits with two instructors who hold the student by the parachute
harness for guidance and observation.
b. Instructor-Assisted Deployment (IAD) and Static Line, the same method using different equipment during the initial jumps
(1) pilot chute deployed by the instructor as the student exits (instructor-assisted deployment)
(2) deployment via a static attachment to the aircraft that separates once the parachute deploys (static line)
Tandem, where the student's harness is attached to the front of the
instructor's harness as part of a specially designed and built
parachute system for tandem skydiving
d. vertical wind tunnel training, where a student receives instruction and practices basic freefall control and maneuvering
As ISP students progress, those training in one method demonstrate an
equivalent level of knowledge and skill as ISP students trained in
C. Choosing a school
1. Many regions are served by more than one skydiving center, so shop around.
Ask questions (personal observation is even better) about the types of
training offered, the type of equipment used, staff qualifications, etc.
3. Skydiving schools are often listed in the local yellow pages under "parachute" or "skydiving."
D. What to expect
a. Upon arrival at the jump center, register with the skydiving school.
All jumpers will be required to fill out a registration form which will
usually ask for name, address, age, height, weight, occupation and the
name, address, phone number, and relationship of someone to contact in
case of emergency.
2. Liability release
a. Each participant will also be required to agree to and sign a liability release.
This release will verify that the person understands that there is risk
involved in skydiving and that the participant freely agrees to accept
The legal release will usually contain a contract or covenant by which
the participant agrees not to sue the skydiving school or anyone else
if the participant is injured.
3. All participants in skydiving must meet the USPA BSRs for medical fitness.
A person should be in good health and physical condition to skydive and
should not be onmedication; however, some conditions can be properly
managed if the instructor knows about them.
b. An FAA flight physical or a doctor's statement of fitness for skydiving may be required in some cases.
c. The instructor also needs to know about any recent donations of blood.
d. People who participate in SCUBA diving should not fly for at least 24 hours afterward.
e. Refer to www.faa.gov/pilots/medical/ for more information on medical fitness for flight.
4. All participants in skydiving must meet the BSRs for age.
completion of ground school and before the first jump, students should
be required to pass written, oral, and practical tests.
E. Student equipment
1. Students are provided with additional safety devices not usually found on equipment used by non-students.
2. Special requirements for student parachute systems are listed in the BSRs.
a. From the start, a student should be taught to be self-reliant and to respond quickly to emergency situations.
Safety devices and features should be designed as emergency overrides
or backups only, in the event that the student does not properly
perform emergency procedures.
c. Students should never use these features as a substitute for proper training and supervision
d. Emergency back-ups give confidence to the student and peace of mind to the instructor.
3. Student equipment should be well maintained.
a. Changes in type of equipment and procedures should be avoided or minimized whenever possible during student training.
b. When changes are made, adequate transition training must be provided in compliance with the BSRs.
c. Foresight should be used to minimize the need to change emergency procedures as a student progresses.
5. Canopies used for students should be large, docile, and appropriate for the student's weight.
F. Training priorities
1. The most important skill a skydiver must develop is the ability to cope with and respond to emergency situations.
Development of these skills should start with the first jump rather
than at a point where supervision of jumping activities is reduced.
3. Initial training, even if the student intends to
make only one jump, should be designed to establish a foundation for
the continuing growth and development of skills.
$195 for the ground school and first jump.
Consecutive static line jumps through the student training syllabus are
After you graduate the program and are permitted to jump without
lift tickets are just $25 to 9,500 feet, or $25.00 to 11,000
USPA Online Ground School