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

Category C

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  • two jumps


  • three jumps


  • 4,000 feet

By this time, you have had several opportunities to learn controlled, stable fall. Freefall students (AFF and tandem) have a head start on the point of the next lesson’s freefall skills: relaxed control using the procedure, “altitude, arch, legs, relax.”

Tandem and AFF students usually begin this category with two AFF Instructors but should jump with only one before advancing.

IAD and static-line students perform the first jump in this category identically to the last jump in Category B, preferably on the same day. On subsequent jumps, they practice controlled freefall for ten seconds before deployment on at least two jumps to become accustomed to the shift in direction of the relative wind from ahead to below. It also introduces them to the speed of a near-terminal-velocity freefall.

You need to establish confidence and relaxed freefall control. A controlled freefall in Category C may include some random heading drift, which you learn to lessen by relaxing and focusing on the basics: altitude, arch, legs, and relax.

The instructor shows you more about how to plan a canopy pattern for various wind speeds and directions to improve traffic flow and avoid conflicts with obstacles and other jumpers. You learn to predict, avoid, and react to turbulence induced by wind over obstacles and heated areas.

You’ll learn ways to approach an off-field landing, and the drop zone staff explains how off-field landings may affect neighbor relations.

You’ll meet the FAA-rated parachute rigger, who packs and maintains the reserve parachute. He or she will familiarize you with the closed parachute system, and you’ll observe the pre-flight equipment check.

Emergency review includes discussion on an inadvertently opened parachute in and around the aircraft and how to avoid and respond to it. Also, your instructor provides more details on recognizing and avoiding landing obstacles and how to approach off-field landings.

Instructor: Transition Protocol

The USPA Tandem program terminates after Category B. All former tandem students may continue in the AFF program, or the remainder of the USPA IAD or static-line progression.

Crossover students to AFF who have completed Category B in the IAD and static-line program will need additional training on the AFF climbout, set-up, and count; AFF freefall communications; use of the altimeter in freefall; and the main parachute deployment device, including deployment device malfunctions. IAD and static-line students may make the first jump in this category with one AFF Instructor on the recommendation of the USPA IAD or Static-Line Instructor and with the concurrence of the USPA AFF Instructor.

Crossover students to IAD or static line who have completed Category B in another training method will need additional training on the IAD or static-line climbout, set-up, and exit commands and use and malfunctions of the IAD or static-line deployment system. AFF and tandem students who have completed Category B must demonstrate a stable practice deployment on an IAD or static-line jump before proceeding to a clear and pull.