Learn How to Skydive Solo (AFF) with Jump Institute, the only school of its kind in the Midwest

Welcome to the Jump Institute at Start Skydiving!

We provide the finest skydiving instruction in the country through our Accelerated Free-Fall (AFF) program. All of our instructors and coaches are USPA Certified. They are dedicated to teaching you how to skydive solo using the most current training methods and equipment. We train more skydivers than any facility in the Midwest, stop by and find out why we receive FIVE STARS from our past students.

If this is a once in a lifetime jump or the beginning of an exciting skydiving journey. Start Skydiving and the Jump Institute have a program for you. Our state of the art equipment, highly trained instructors and first class facilities will provide you with an experience you will never forget. On the day of your skydive plan on spending the entire day at Start Skydiving. Weather such as high winds, low clouds and rain may cause delays. We make every effort to accommodate our customers for the times they schedule, but occasionally there are delays beyond our control.

You must be at least 18 years old or older in order to participate in the AFF program.

You must also weigh less than 235 lbs.

Accelerated Free-Fall

From your first AFF jump, you will experience first-hand the indescribable feeling of human flight.

The AFF ″First Jump Course″ is intended to provide each student at Start Skydiving with the necessary skills to safely complete their first solo skydive.

The United States Parachute Association protocol for training students is called the ″Integrated Student Program″ (ISP). The ISP is separated into ″Categories″, each with ″Targeted Learning Objectives″ (TLOs) that must be met before the student progresses to the next level.

The Jump Institute which is the training school of Start Skydiving classifies our jumps by category letter. Categories A through E are the instructional jumps where the student must be accompanied with an appropriately rated Jump Institute instructor. Our AFF program has 7 jumps, but there are only 5 letters between A and E, categories require more than one jump to complete. After Category E, students are cleared to self supervise. Categories F, G, and H are completed with the assistance of a rated Jump Institute Coach. Once the student has completed 25 skydives, and has their A license requirements signed off by an instructor or coach, they must perform an A License Check Dive with an Instructor. Now they are eligible for their A license and are no longer a student. While a license is not required to jump legally, the USPA license will allow the skydiver to travel to other USPA drop zones and use their license to prove they have the skills required to jump.

The Program

During the AFF program, two instructors jump with the student during their first three AFF jumps. On the initial category skydives, our instructors hold on to the student until the student deploys their own parachute. Hence, this method is called ″Harness Hold Training.″ Our AFF instructors have no physical connection to the student other than their grip on the student, so once the student’s parachute is deployed the instructors fly away and deploy their own canopies.

Deployment of the main canopy for students in the AFF program is generally 5,500 feet AGL. If the student experiences trouble in the deployment of their parachute, our instructors first use hand signals to remind the student to ″Pull.″ If the student still experiences trouble, our instructors will assist their student by physically placing student′s hand on the pilot chute, but if the student still has trouble, the instructor will deploy the canopy for the student. The instructor has the prerogative to pull the student’s main canopy at any time the student appears to be in danger. Extra ″pull″ handles are installed on student gear giving additional access for instructors.

Once the student has proven they can deploy their own parachute on the first few jumps, the student will be released on subsequent category skydives and will have the opportunity to prove to our instructors that they have the basic flying skills required to skydive without assistance. On release skydives there is a possibility an instructor may not be able to dock and assist at pull time, so it is important that the student has already learned the skills required to pull on their own.

Instructors on all AFF categories have a hard deck where they must pull their own parachute and save their own life. If they have not been able to assist their student by this altitude, the student rig is equipped with an ″Automatic Activation Device (AAD)″ that will fire the reserve parachute if the student passes the activation altitude at freefall speeds. While it is extremely rare that a student will have an AAD activation, this final level of protection protects the student as much as possible from the consequences of being out of control or not being able to deploy their own parachute.

As the instructors freefall with the student, they are able to correct student′s body position and other problems during freefall by communicating with the student with hand signals in freefall and debriefing the student and conducting corrective training after the jump. Later categories only require one instructor and involve the student learning to perform aerial maneuvers such as turns, forward movement, flips, and fall rate control. The purpose of the maneuvers are to prove to the student and instructor that the student can perform a disorienting maneuver causing intentional instability followed by regaining control. Each AFF skydive at Start Skydiving is progressive in nature, building on skills previously learned.

Our instructors determine when the student has passed the requirements or ″Targeted Learning Objectives (TLOs)″ for each level. During the AFF jumps, the student will have radio contact with ground personnel who direct student with maneuvers under their parachute; however the student must have the skills for a solo landing in case the radio fails.

All AFF Students will be given an application and encouraged to join the USPA before making their Category C skydive.

AFF Training Pricing

Accelerated Free-Fall First Jump Course (aka, AFF FJC): $100 (Includes six to eight hours of ground school training. Jump is purchased upon successful completion of FJC.)
AFF Cat-A Jump: $199 per jump
AFF FJC + Cat-A Jump with College/University Discount: $289 per college/university student
AFF FJC + Cat-A Jump with Military Discount:$269 per military service member
AFF FJC + Cat-A Jump for a group of six jumpers: $299 per person for five people plus one free person, OR $249 per person for all six people

Book your AFF Category A First Jump Course now!

Accelerated Free Fall Training: Categories B through E

AFF Cat-B (Leg extension and heading control): $199 per jump (ONLY $169 when purchased on the same day that Cat-A jump is successfully completed!)
AFF Cat-C1 (First two-instructor release-dive): $199 per jump
AFF Cat-C2 (First solo-instructor release-dive): $169 per jump
AFF Cat-D1 (Right and left 90-degree turns): $169 per jump
AFF Cat-D2 (Right and left 180 and 360-degree turns): $169 per jump
AFF Category E-1 (Right and left barrel-rolls): $169 per jump
AFF Category E-2 (Back-loops and front-loops): $169 per jump
AFF Category E-3 (First unsupervised solo free-fall jump): $69 per jump

Cat-B to E-3 (Eight AFF Jumps) Package: ONLY $1181! YOU SAVE 10% ($131)! (Must be purchased within 30 days of passing Cat-A before performing Cat-B.)

Coach Jumps: Categories F through H

Coach Category F-1 (Tracking): $109 per jump
Coach Category F-2 (Tracking): $109 per jump
Coach Category F-3 (5,500′ clear-and-pull): $69 per jump
Coach Category F-4 (3,500′ clear-and-pull): $69 per jump
Coach Category G-1 (Forward and backward movement): $109 per jump
Coach Category G-2 (Forward and backward movement with docking): $109 per jump
Coach Category G-3 (Downward and upward movement and fall rate control): $109 per jump
Coach Category G-4 (Down and up with forward movement to dock): $109 per jump
Coach Category H-1 (Diving and swooping): $109 per jump
Coach Category H-2 (Diving and swooping): $109 per jump
Coach Category H-3 (Diving and swooping): $109 per jump
Coach Category H-4 (Diving and swooping): $109 per jump

Cat F-1 to H-4 (Twelve Coach Jumps) Package: ONLY $1105! YOU SAVE 10% ($123)! (Must be purchased within 30 days of passing Cat-E3 before performing Cat-F1.)

Continued-Education Coach Jumps
Advanced Belly-Flying Body Position: $109 per jump
Center-point knee-turns with a coach: $109 per jump
Side-sliding with a coach: $109 per jump 

Any repeat coach jumps in addition to the jumps listed above: $109 per jump 

Self-supervised solo student skydives: $69 per jump

A-License Checkout-Dive
Before you are signed off as successfully meeting the requirements to earn your USPA A-License you must successfully perform an A-License Checkout-Dive with a USPA-rated AFF-Instructor: $169 per jump.

Professional Parachute Packing Class: $80 minimum for the first four hours, plus $20 per hour thereafter (paid directly to experienced packers; not included in any package pricing)

Logbook: $12

Total price if you pay alacarte: $3,247

FJC to A-License (25 Jumps) Package
We offer our popular AFF to A-License program that includes nine AFF jumps in Categories A through E-3, twelve coach jumps in Categories F-1 through H-4, three continued education coach jumps, one A-License Checkout-Dive, and one logbook with enough pages for logging your first 50 jumps for ONLY $2,599! YOU SAVE 20% OFF!

Must be prepaid in full upfront within 30 days of passing your AFF Cat-A jump and before performing your Cat-B jump. The amount paid for the most recent AFF Cat-A jump that was successfully passed within 30 days of performing the AFF Cat-B jump may be prorated off this package price. Payment for this package is not transferable and is not refundable after acquisition of an A license. Jumps in this package are only valid during the current skydiving season during which the purchase was paid and will be forfeited thereafter. Any repeated jumps will be charged at their respective regular prices. 

When pursuing your A-license, we strongly recommend performing at least two skydives per week until you earn your license. This will result in a better learning curve and faster progression. We have suggested several different program schedules below that we recommend for our students who wish to earn their A-license. We recommend the compressed programs be performed during late July or early August when the weather is the most predictable for student jumping. Please keep in mind that all aspects of the weather affect your ability to jump. We strongly recommend the three month summer program or the two week program as they provide the most leeway for any weather that may prevent you from jumping.

FJC to A-License in Three Months Summer Program
The first jump course and Cat-A jump should be performed within the first week of June and then at least two jumps should be performed every week thereafter through the last week of August until you earn your A-license. The summer months are the best weather months for jumping. We recommend coming out on the weekends as we typically have more staff on hand. 

Example Two-Week (14-Day) A-License Program
Tuesday: FJC
Wednesday: Cat A & B
Thursday: Cat C1 & C2
Friday: Cat D1 & D2
Saturday: Cat E1-3
Sunday: Cat F1 & F2
Monday: Cat F3 & F4
Tuesday: Packing Class
Wednesday: Cat G1 & G2
Thursday: Cat G3 & G4
Friday: Cat H1 & H2
Saturday: Cat H3 & H4
Sunday: Advanced Body Position & Knee-Turns
Monday: Side-Slides & A-License Checkout-Dive 

Example Nine-Day A-License Program
Tuesday: FJC
Wednesday: Cat A, B, & C-1
Thursday: Cat C-2, D-1, & D-2
Friday: Cat E1-3
Saturday: Cat F1-4
Sunday: Cat G1-4
Monday: Cat H1-4
Tuesday: Packing Class
Wednesday: Advanced Body Position, Knee-Turns, Side-Slides, & A-License Checkout-Dive 

Example Eight-Day A-License Program
Wednesday: FJC, Cat-A, & B
Thursday: Cat C-1, C-2, D-1, & D-2
Friday: Cat E1-3
Saturday: Cat F1-4
Sunday: Cat G1-4
Monday: Cat H1-4
Tuesday: Packing Class
Wednesday: Advanced Body Position, Knee-Turns, Side-Slides, & A-License Checkout-Dive 

Example Alternate Eight-Day A-License Program
Tuesday: FJC
Wednesday: Cat A, B, C1, & C2
Thursday: Cat D1, D2, & E1-3
Friday: Cat F1-4
Saturday: Cat G1-4
Sunday: Cat H1-4
Monday: Advanced Body Position, Knee-Turns, Side-Slides, & A-License Checkout-Dive
Tuesday: Packing Class 

Example Seven-Day A-License Program
Wednesday: FJC, Cat A, B, C1, & C2
Thursday: Cat D1, D2, & E1-3
Friday: Cat F1-4
Saturday: Cat G1-4
Sunday: Cat H1-4
Monday: Advanced Body Position, Knee-Turns, Side-Slides, & A-License Checkout-Dive
Tuesday: Packing Class 

Example Alternate Seven-Day A-License Program
Tuesday: FJC & Packing Class
Wednesday: Cat A, B, C1, & C2
Thursday: Cat D1, D2, & E1-3
Friday: Cat F1-4
Saturday: Cat G1-4
Sunday: Cat H1-4
Monday: Advanced Body Position, Knee-Turns, Side-Slides, & A-License Checkout-Dive

While you may pursue your A-license at any rate that you wish, you must perform at least one skydive every 30 days in order to stay current and continue to progress. Waiting past 30 days will result in you needing to repeat the previous completed category. Waiting over four months will result in you needing to repeat the entire first jump course again and then starting back off at Cat-D or the previous category that was most recently completed if Cat-D was never completed.
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