USPA Category D Information for Student Skydivers

Exit and Freefall

Freefall time = roughly 10 secs for the first 1000’ +  5.5 secs for each additional 1000’


Steering using just the rear risers can be advantageous in some situations (eg. avoiding a canopy collision after opening or trying to make it back from a long spot when the wind is at your back).  By pulling on the rear risers you are deflecting a greater portion of the canopy than you would by just pulling on a toggle.  Read an in-depth post about rear riser use for more information.

If you are having a malfunctioning toggle or have lost it completely, then you must decide by 2500’ if you will execute your emergency procedures.  Landing on your rear risers is quite difficult and should not be attempted unless you have practiced flaring with the rear risers many times before.  Landing a student canopy on rear risers is not recommended at any time.

Emergency Review

cloud clearance requirements

From the USPA SIM

Review the procedures for landing on obstacles (eg. trees, water, buildings, etc) and how to handle having two canopies out that are found in Category A.

Rules and Recommendations

  • USPA Basic Safety Requirement (BSR) states that all student jumps must be completed (feet on the ground) by official sunset.
  • The FAA sets visibility and cloud clearance requirements so that we may avoid other aircraft flying over the DZ. Notice in the figure that requirements may change depending on the altitude that you are exiting the plane from.


You should begin performing your pre-flight equipment check on your own (top to bottom, back first and then the front).  In the plane, a few minutes before exiting, you should perform a “check of threes”: look at your 3-ring assembly, check for the correct routing of your chest and leg straps, and touch your three operation handles in the order of use (main deployment, cutaway, and reserve).

If someone asks you for a pin check in the plane, then they want you to look at their reserve pin, main pin (and bridle routing), and the main deployment handle.

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