Solo Skydive License

Solo Jumps on Calgary Skydiving

Something or someone led you to the edge of the airplane that appeared for the first time in the skydiving Calgary area. That experience had a profound effect: it confirmed a deep-rooted desire for flight, it piqued your curiosity to answer what else is possible, and it awoke a new part of you. You’ve tasted human flight, and now you have a ravenous appetite For more.

While a tandem jump is a perfect introduction to skydiving in the Calgary area, it only provides a thin slice of the entire skydiving experience. If you think about skydiving like an iceberg, a tandem is the visible, above-the-surface part. It’s gorgeous, magical, and breathtaking but relatively speaking it’s a superficial experience. What you see or know is only a fraction of what you can learn and understand. The Solo License program, known as Accelerated Freefall (AFF), enables unhindered human flight with you fully in control, in freefall and parachute flight. You’ll 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. And at the same time, you’ll get a deeper understanding of the skydiver culture and lifestyle.

The AFF program is known as a “harness hold” student training program. That means that during your jumps, unlike a tandem jump, you’ll wear your parachute system, deploy that parachute system at the proper altitude and fly your parachute safely back to the ground. But you’re most certainly not on your own. Two instructors fly with you on the jumps, 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.

Throughout AFF, ownership of safety, skills development, and autonomy are increasingly transferred to the student. The program is designed to make you a safe, competent, solo skydiver, able to make solo jumps at any skydive center in the world. We consider it a license to learn and continue your path to become a rock star flyer, a friend, and maybe someday an instructor.

The Accelerated Freefall “AFF” Program

Calgary Skydiving uses the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program for teaching student skydivers, and ensure they earn a solo license in the most efficient and rapid learning environment. In partnership with our sister company Edmonton Skydive, which has the country’s largest student training program, we’ve created our advanced version of AFF.

While the Canada Sport Parachute Association model covers the very basics required to acquire a solo license, our model also incorporates further skills development, teaching techniques, and requirements from programs around the world, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. This provides the best opportunity to become more skilled, knowledgeable, and safe in a much shorter amount of time. At Calgary Skydiving, AFF is a two-phase, eight-level program. There are a minimum of eight jumps. During each level, a specific curriculum of freefall skills development, parachute flight theory, and equipment is covered with corresponding criteria to be completed in the air and on the ground. Phase I begins with Ground School and includes Levels 1-5. Ground School provides the fundamental basics required before performing a solo skydive. It covers knowledge of how the equipment operates, proper aircraft exit techniques, freefall hand signals, freefall body position, deployment technique, emergency procedures, parachute controls, performing wind assessments, and how to fly a parachute landing pattern. The ground school is a combination of theory and practical exercises. It typically requires about 6 hours.
“It felt like making love with angels.”

– Solo Student

Levels 1-2 focus on stable exits, stable freefall, and altitude awareness and focus heavily on practicing and executing proper, stable parachute deployment body position. During these levels, two instructors will exit the airplane holding each side of the harness of your parachute system to assist in stability, and coach and assess in freefall. Students are taught how to properly fly their parachutes to the landing area and land safely. During these early levels, instructors do have backup ground-to-air radios to provide coaching during parachute descent. For more…..

In Levels 3-5, we focus on hover control, turns, and instability recovery. By Level 3, the jumps are one-on-one with a single instructor. More advanced freefall and parachute skills and tasks are performed. 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. By Level 5, the student is performing an unlinked exit and the entire freefall is a full release, or “no instructor grip” jump. During all of these levels, you’ll also be tasked with a variety of parachute drills to help you understand the full range of performance of the parachute. After completion of Level 5, the student moves to Phase II. While Phase I focused on more, stable freefall and basic parachute flight, Phase II levels added additional variables designed to improve freefall and parachute skills further. By the end of Phase I, students are no longer using ground-to-air assistance for parachute landings.
AFF Level 1Practice Pulls
AFF Level 4Release Dive
AFF Level 6Unstable Exits

Level 6 is always a favorite! It involves an intentionally unstable exit in which your instructor tosses you out of the airplane (we’re a fan of the “This is Sparta” foot push technique) to induce multiple tumbles and rolls. You’ll utilize the skills you’ve acquired in previous levels to achieve stability and continue with your jump.

Level 7 is the only jump in the program specifically designed to exit from a lower altitude. During this jump, you’ll exit from 5000’ above the ground, perform a stable exit, and open your parachute within seven seconds. The purpose of this jump is to simulate an emergency exit from an airplane. During the course, you’ll learn about freefall acceleration, freefall time, and distance traveled during each second of freefall; a concept that will explain that seven seconds is significantly more time than is required to safely deploy your parachute from 5000’. And finally, Level 8 is the “Solo Checkout Jump”. At this point, you’ve completed all of the requirements in the AFF course. To acquire your Solo License, you must complete and pass this jump. Essentially, you must demonstrate to your instructor that you can plan a safe jump, and do all of the necessary tasks in flight, in freefall, and during parachute descent to be a safe solo jumper. Upon successful completion of Level 8, you must pass the Solo Certificate exam and file a membership to the Canadian Sport Parachute Association to finalize your application and receive your Solo license.

Includes Calgary skydiving

  • Ground School Training Course
  • Eight (8) Jumps from 12,500′
  • One (1) Jump from 5,000′)
  • Parachute Gear Rental
  • Accessories Rental (altimeter, jumpsuit)

Learning Skills of Skydiving in the Calgary area

  • Aircraft Exits & Positions
  • Freefall Body Positions
  • Parachute System Equipment Operation
  • Skydive Accessories Operation
  • Safety Checks
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Parachute Landing Patterns & Landings
skydiving calgary

AFF Prerequisites for Calgary Skydiving

  • One skydive (tandem, IAD, or Solo jump)
  • Decent physical conditioning

AFF Program Costs

Level Phase I – Objectives Price
Ground School Equipment, In-Flight, Freefall, Aircraft Safety, Parachute Patterns, Landing Techniques, Emergency Procedures $395
Level 1 Body Position, Stable Exit, Altitude Awareness, Main Deployment $395
Level 2 Body Position, Delta Dive, 90-degree Turns $395
Level 3 Unlinked Exit, 180 Degree Turns, Heading Maintenance $395
Level 4 Unlinked Exit, Released Stable Freefall, Hover Control $325
Level 5 Unlinked Exit, Figure 8 Turns $325
Phase I – Total Price $2230
Phase I – Prepaid Price $2100
Level Phase II – Objectives Price
Level 6 Unstable Exit, Turns, Forward Movement, Slow/Fast Fall $325
Level 7 Five (5) Second Delay from 5,000′ $175
Level 8 Solo Checkout Jump $175
Level 9 Graduation Jump $175
Phase II – Total Price $850
Phase II – Prepaid Price $800

Purpose Built Student Training Center

Calgary Skydiving is one of the few skydive centers in the country that was specifically built as a student training center. The dropzone was built to provide efficient training for a large number of student skydivers.

While the focus of the skydive center has shifted solely to sport skydiving in the Calgary region, we are the benefactors of the most extensive collection of high-end student training aids and tools. The dropzone has a large, wide-open, flat landing area, ideal for students and junior jumpers.