There is a sea of programs and requirements to earn your skydiving license. Licensing is designed by the national organization called the United States Parachute Association [USPA]. There are several basic freefall, canopy and ground training requirements to earn the first basic license called the A-License. Skydive Chicago’s Advanced Freefall Program (AFP), seamlessly goes above and beyond these requirements. 

The Prerequisites to enter the AFP Program are: 

  • Must weigh less than 230 pounds
  • Complete at least 2 tandem jumps
  • Complete the objectives of the tandem progression
  • At least 1 tandem jump made at Skydive Chicago within 6 months of the AFP Ground School
Skydiving student ground preparation at Skydive Chicago

If you meet the prerequisites, this is the basic outline to earn your skydiving license at Skydive Chicago:

  • Sign Up for the Online Ground School
  • Complete the Online Ground School within 7 days
  • Schedule Your 1-2 Hour, In-Person Practical
  • Complete the AFP 18-Level Curriculum
  • Complete the USPA Basic A-License Proficiency Card
    • Complete 25 Jumps (including exit, freefall and canopy training objectives)
    • Complete Packing Class
    • Complete the A-license Prep with an Instructor
Skydive Instructor preparing to jump with a solo skydiving student in Skydive Chicago's AFP Program

Why Choose Skydive Chicago to Earn Your Skydiving License?

Skydive Chicago’s program is designed to take the guessing out of what’s next throughout the entire student program. Instructor’s help guide and inspire students on next steps tailored to where each individual is in the AFP program to ensure all qualifications are met. 

Skydive Chicago offers an in depth program that goes above and beyond industry standards. The program is taught exclusively by highly rated instructors throughout each level. Many other programs have coaches teach after approximately 7 jumps in the AFF program format. To earn an instructional rating one must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a Coach Rating (minimum 200 jumps) for at least 1 year OR have accrued a minimum of 500 jumps
  • Must have a minimum of a C-License 
  • Logged 6 hours of freefall time
  • Attend and pass a USPA Accelerated Freefall Instructor Course with a USPA AFF Examiner
advanced freefall program ground training

Skydive Chicago’s AFP program is ‘Advanced’ since you are jumping with an Instructor, they teach the basic freefall and canopy objectives in the first half of the program, then teach intermediate techniques as well as guided ground training that is essential for all licensed skydivers to know. 

Many of Skydive Chicago’s graduates become Coaches and Instructors themselves as well as competitors, world record holders and even World Champions!

All programs are not the same and will differ from skydiving center to skydiving center. This is a brief snapshot of what the main differences may be. 


Total Jumps7 Jumps20 Jumps
Total to Earn a License25 Jumps25 Jumps


Ground School4-6 Hours In PersonOnline (7 days self paced) with a 1-2 Hour In Person Practical
Number of Jumps7 Jumps20 Jumps
Instructors2 Instructors1 Instructor
Number of SolosVaries on Coach Jumps and Meeting A-license Requirements3 Jumps
Video of Each JumpAdditional CostIncluded
LogbookPhysicalOnline Digital Logbook with video of each jump (physical one may be purchased)
Packing ClassNoYes
A PrepWritten Exam1 Hour With Instructor
Altimeter UsedAnalogDigital
HelmetsGeneric open FacedCookie brand using open face, then full face
USPA MembershipAdditional CostIncluded in Full A-License Package
A-License in a WeekNot offeredAvailable by reservation
Private LessonsNot offeredAvailable by reservation

Skydive Chicago offers purchasing the Online Ground School and 1 Jump, a 3-Jump Package (at a discount) and/or the entire program for the biggest discount. 

Are you ready to take the next steps to learn to skydive? 


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