Frequently Asked Questions
Learning To Skydive
Your Questions, Answered
These are our most frequently asked questions about PFF and our A Program. Have others? Get in touch!
Is there a minimum age requirement for learning how to skydive?
Yes, PFF students and A Program candidates must be at least 18. Remember to bring your valid, government-issued, photo ID on your first day. Unless you have spoken directly with the DZ, you’ll also need proof of a previous tandem or military equivalent for the PFF Program, and your Solo CoP (Certificate of Proficiency) or military equivalent for the A Program.
Is there a maximum age requirement for learning to skydive?
No! If you are physically and mentally fit, age is just a number! We teach people of all ages to skydive. If you have particular concerns, please consult with your doctor before enrolling in PFF or the A Program.
Is there a weight restriction?
Yes. For safety reasons, PFF students and A CoP candidates cannot weigh more than 230 lbs and must be height/weight proportionate. Our weight restriction is not intended to be discriminatory or exclusionary – we value safety above all else.
I have a disability. Can I learn to skydive?
If you have made a tandem skydive and think you can learn to skydive solo, you probably can! Phone us to discuss your specific disability and we’ll see if our programs are right for you.
How do I learn to skydive?
In compliance with the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association (CSPA), you must first earn your Solo Skydiving CoP through a sanctioned program, including Progressive Freefall (which is what we offer at Parachute Ottawa), Static Line training, or Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD). After achieving your Solo CoP, you are eligible to pursue additional CoPs.
How many skydiving certifications are there?
The CSPA issues five skydiving Certifications of Proficiency: Solo, A, B, C and D. Our A Program provides you with a dedicated coach who will prepare you for attaining your A CoP.
What if there is bad weather?
In the event weather shuts us down, we will reschedule camp for the next favorable day. If the weather looks uncertain on the morning of camp, please phone us before you head to the DZ.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably, and according to the day’s weather – but remember, we’ll provide you with a jumpsuit. Shoes must be secured to your feet; lace up runners are best.
Will I learn to pack in my learn to skydive course?
No, the PFF and A Program are all about freefall proficiency, canopy training, mastery of emergency procedures, and skills development. We host packing classes on Monday nights for $25. Sign up!
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes – and they’re good for tandem jumps, PFF courses, the A Program, our packing class, fun jumps, and merch! Check out our gift certificates page for more information.
Have other general questions about skydiving at Parachute Ottawa? Check out our Tandem FAQs.
What’s the difference between PFF, Static Line training and IAD?
Progressive Freefall, is a deliberate progression that starts with ground school, then features instructor-accompanied jumps before enabling you to make supervised solo jumps. At Parachute Ottawa, we have elected to use the PFF method because it is the most modern parachute training method. The curriculum is consistently updated to include enhancements in skydiving technology and best practices. We believe PFF is the best choice for building comprehensive and relevant foundational skills, setting up new skydivers for success.
Static Line training, first used by the military, tethers the pilot chute of the parachute to the plane, resulting in immediate deployment on exiting the aircraft. Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD) is essentially an updated take on Static Line training, whereby the instructor throws the chute clear of the aircraft door as the student exits. As you progress through the Static Line and IAD curricula, you gain more altitude and, therefore, freefall time.
Do I have to make a tandem jump before enrolling in PFF?
Yes, we require PFF students to have logged at least one tandem skydive (or military equivalent) before beginning camp. If you feel you have other relevant experience, such as static line jumps, please contact the DZ.
How much does PFF cost?
Our weeklong PFF training camp costs $3,487 and includes ground school, 10 planned jumps, and gear and jumpsuit rental. A deposit of $1,000 is due at the time of enrollment, and your balance is due on the first day of camp. Re-jumps require additional payment; meals and footwear not included.
Can I jump solo after I finish PFF?
YES! At course conclusion, you will earn your Solo CoP – the first of five CSPA CoP levels. Note that your Solo Certificate is valid only in Canada.
What’s the PFF course schedule?
PFF starts on Sunday and, weather permitting, concludes on Thursday. Ground school starts at noon on Sunday and lasts four to five hours. Subsequent camp days begin at 8am daily. Plan to spend the whole day at the dropzone on jump days.
How do I enroll in PFF?
Enroll in our PFF course online, or phone us if you need additional information before you book. A $1,000 deposit is required at the time of booking.
Can I cancel my PFF course reservation?
Yes. Cancel with at least seven days notice to receive a full refund of your $1,000 deposit. If you cancel within seven days of your course start date, you will forfeit your $1,000 deposit.
Do I have to get my A CoP?
While you do not have to earn your A CoP to continue skydiving, you must have your A CoP in order to earn privileges and progress in the sport.
What are the benefits of having the A CoP?
Earning your A CoP through our 8-jump curriculum unlocks a number of skydiving privileges that you are not afforded with the Solo CoP, including:
- Jumping with other A CoP holders
- Participating in night jumps
- Participating in water jumps
- Getting sign-off from your certified peers
- Participating in provincial and national competitions
Do I have to have my Solo CoP before enrolling in the A Program?
Yes, we require A CoP candidates to have earned the Solo CoP (or military equivalent) before beginning the A Program. Please contact the DZ with questions.
How much does the A Program cost?
Our eight-level A Program costs $1,292 and includes 8 planned jumps. Re-jumps require additional payment; gear is not included.
What’s the A Program training schedule?
You progress through the A Program at your own pace. Because you’ll train one-on-one with a coach, though, you’ll need to schedule each level ahead of time.
How do I enroll in the A Program?
You can enroll in our A Program either in person at manifest or by phoning us.
Can I reschedule an A Program reservation?
Yes – but as a courtesy to your coach, please reschedule your training day at least two days in advance.
Can I withdraw from the A Program?
Yes, you can withdraw from the A Program. However, the program is non-refundable after program materials have been delivered. Unexpended funds at the time of withdrawal can be credited to your jump account for future use.
What do I do after I earn my A CoP?
What can’t you do after your A CoP?! Each subsequent CoP earned opens up a world of endorsements for additional privileges in the sky. Explore different skydiving disciplines, from freeflying to wingsuiting; enjoy night jumps; enroll in ratings courses; earn rigging certificates; get permission to fly with wearables (e.g. GoPro). The sky is not the limit!