United States Parachute Association > Experienced Skydivers > SIM > Skydive School > CAT A Intro

Category A

Category at a Glance   |   Academics   |   Dive Flows   |   Quiz   |   Reading— Mental Relaxation



  • one jump


  • two jumps


  • AFF: 4,500 feet
  • IAD and static line: 3,500 feet
  • Tandem: 5,500 feet

This first category of the ISP includes the first-jump course, presented according to your training discipline.

A 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 training method.

Depending 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 may assist.

All ISP categories include recommended minimum deployment altitudes and the number of skydives it takes on the average to complete that category of training (column on right). They vary within a category, according to your training discipline.

Following 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.

At 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.”

Recommended 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 sport.