LEARN TO SKYDIVE 2017-07-11T12:49:42+00:00


Skydiver Training Program

The IAF training program is used by skydiving centers that are members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA). All of our jumpmasters and instructors have USPA ratings. Training for your first jump begins with a Tandem Skydive. We use a minimum of three tandem skydives. IAF Tandem Level 2 is pass/fail. After completing the first tandem jump the student takes a Comprehensive Jump Course (approximately 6 hours), then continues on with Levels 2 thru 13. Learning objectives of IAF include exiting an aircraft correctly, freefall with stability and control, hook-ups, 360-degree turns, barrel rolls, tracking, packing your parachute and more.

Before each skydive, your jumpmaster will spend around half an hour reviewing previous material and teaching you a new set of targeted learning objectives (TLO’s). You progress to the next level when you have met all of the TLO’s for your current level. Each level consists of one or more skydives, depending on your rate of progression. For pricing, click here. Let us know in advance when you will be coming out, so that we can arrange adequate staffing. It is recommended that you make your jumps as close together as you can; you will have to repeat the previous level and take currency training if you wait more than 30 days between skydives. We encourage you to remain current! REMEMBER: You can’t skydive if you’re not here! We may have blue skies in Gardiner even if the weather is poor where you are.


IAF Level 1

Tandem Jump

With this introductory jump, you will skydive from our usual altitude of 13,500 feet with a free fall of approximately 60 seconds. You will then enjoy a 5 to 7 minute canopy flight with a spectacular view of beautiful upstate New York including the Shawangunk mountains and Wallkill river. During the tandem jump, you are physically attached to one of our highly skilled USPA certified tandem instructors for the entire skydive. Your tandem training will take about 15 minutes and you will jump from one of our DeHaviland Twin Otters or Pilatus Porters. We can easily accommodate any number of friends you may want to bring.

IAF Comprehensive Course

Before you advance to Tandem Level 2, you will go through the Comprehensive Jump Course. That will give the knowledge necessary for you to jump your own gear (other than tandem). You can download the Course Outline and print it if you desire.

IAF Level 2

Second Tandem


  • Student has hands on the harness. Instructor gives exit count: “Prop, Up, Down, Arch.”


  • Instructor gives student double tap on shoulders. Student does Circle Of Awareness (Heading-Altimeter-Instructor.)
  • Instructor, if necessary gives body position corrections, followed by a thumbs-up.
  • Student does 3 practice ripcord touches. Student checks altimeter.
  • Instructor gives 3 hand signals to Student: Arch, Toe Taps, Legs Out. Student checks Altimeter.
  • Student turns right 90 degrees. Student checks altimeter.
  • Student turns left 90 degrees. Student checks altimeter.
  • Instructor gives Legs Out signal. Student checks altimeter every 5 seconds
  • Locks on at 6500′. Student waves off and pulls at 6000′.


  • 4’s (Square, Stable, Slider down, Steerable)
  • Practice turning and Flaring (Canopy Control)
  • Airport Orientation
  • Student flies discussed flight plan to the airport for landing.


  • Fill out Log Book and Master Student Log.

IAF Level 3


    • basic body position
    • heading awareness
    • altitude awareness
    • turns and forward movement
    • Throw by 4500′,
  •  CANOPY  (upwind holding area )


  • Exit – May feel different because your instructor is on your side
  • Circle of Awareness COA (instructor gives signals if necessary)
  • 3 PPT’s, COA
  • 90 Right Turn (Arm dip), COA
  • 90 Left Turn (Arm dip), COA
  • Forward Movement (Straighten legs, arms neutral) COA every 5 seconds.
  • No maneuvers after 6000
  • Wave at 5500′ and pull by 4500′.

IAF Level 4


  • Hover control, heading maintenance (able to stop turn).
  • Adjust in-air emergencies for intentional release


  • Exit
  • COA
  • 1 PPT, Toe Taps, COA
  • Hover, maintain heading, check altimeter approximately every 5 seconds
  • Baby Wave at 5500′ – pull by 4500′.

Emphasis on relaxed freefall, be aware of signals from Jumpmaster prior to release and during hover and holding – Remember altitude awareness – Legs out if sliding away from Jumpmaster. If out of control, pull (5 Second Rule) – Jumpmaster may re-dock even if doing well – Altitude awareness and good Baby Wave at 5500′


  • Start to become more aware of the winds and advanced control – still upwind holding area

IAF Level 5


90-degree turns, Flat tracking, Heading and Altitude Awareness, wave off before pull. Always remember TLO’s from previous dives and work on them.


  • Exit
  • COA
  • Practice touch, release (hover)
  • Right 90, COA
  • Left 90, COA
  • Flat track 3-5 seconds then return to neutral
  • Can repeat turns if altitude permits.
  • No maneuvers below 6000′, 5500′ Baby Wave, pull by 4500′

Don’t rush- communicate with Jumpmaster – After release, good to hover 2-3 seconds before turning to instructor – Turn sequence may be adjusted to individual needs – Remember, keep altitude aware and move slowly, never rush – pull by 4500′


  • Start to rely less on radio. Work on advanced canopy skills as opposed to an upwind holding area, learn what winds are and how to get back

IAF Level 6


  • 360-degree turns, tracking with some separation


  • Exit poised can be unassisted per student’s past exit performance
  • COA
  • Release and hover
  • Right 90 degree turn, Practice touch, COA
  • Left 360, Altimeter Check
  • Right 360, Altimeter Check,
  • 180 degree turn then Delta Track 3-5 seconds, Return to neutral, Altimeter Check
  • Repeat turns if altitude permits – Check Altimeter approximately every 5 seconds
  • Baby Wave at 5500, Throw Pilot chute by 4000′.

Remember to relax and keep altitude aware – On release JM may either stay to side or move in front (determined based on students performance) – Try to keep heading on JM as much as possible – On tracking remember to pick a heading and go straight towards it – Remember to keep altitude aware, no maneuvers below 6000′ – 5500′ Wave Off, Throw Pilot chute by 4000′ –


  • Work more on advance skills to get to target

IAF Level 7


  • Poised exit, barrel roll, turns and track


  • Poised Exit ( No Contact)
  • Heading, Altimeter
  • Barrel roll if above 8000′, Altimeter Check (Be smooth and regain control)
  • Left 90 degree turn, Right 360 degree turn, Altimeter Check,
  • Left 360 – on heading, Altimeter Check,
  • Dock on JM, 180 turn and track away for 5 seconds (Remember not to reach)
  • No more maneuvers after 6000′, Baby Wave at 5500′, pull by 4500′

Remember keep altitude aware and don’t rush!


  • No assistance (unless necessary)

IAF Level 8

Solo Jump


– Solo poised exit from 13500′

IAF Level 9

Coach Jump


  • 2-way from 13500′
  • Spotting
  • Poised exit
  • Upward and Downward
  • Docking
  • Tracking

IAF Level 10

Coach Jump


  • 2-way from 13500′
  • Spotting
  • Diving exit
  • Box
  • Forward (Legs), Backward (Arms)
  • Docking
  • Tracking (legs straight, Butt up, Arms side or back, cupping air)

IAF Level 11

Coach Jump


  • 2-way from 13500′
  • Spotting
  • Poised exit
  • Swooping – Docking
  • Tracking

IAF Level 12


  • Solo Hop & Pop from 5500′

IAF Level 13


  • Solo Hop & Pop 3500′
  • (I) Sign Off Student!

Download IAF Course Outline