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Memorandum

To: USPA Board of Directors

From: Douglas Spotted Eagle, Scotty Burns, Scott Callantine, Jeff Donohue,
Sean Horton, Jeff Nebelkopf, Phil Peggs, Justin Shorb, Chris Warnock,
and Taya Weiss

RE: Proposed new USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating

Attached: Proposed New IRM Section (―Wingsuit Instructor Rating‖)
Proposed Syllabus for USPA First Flight Course
Proposed Wingsuit Proficiency Checklist
Conforming Revisions to SIM
PowerPoint Slidedeck Summarizing Proposal

Date: 23 May 2009

This group of ten highly involved wingsuit flyers and coaches came together early in
2009 to propose changes to the USPA Instructional Rating Manual and Skydiver’s
Information Manual. In line with USPA’s goals and structures, we hereby submit our
suggested addition of materials to create a new USPA Wingsuit Instructor rating. Our
main concerns are the safety and future of the wingsuiting discipline, and we appreciate
this opportunity to communicate with the Board.

We would like to note that while our collective experience teaching both skydiving
students and new wingsuit students qualifies us to make this proposal, we strongly
believe that openness and transparency are fundamental to this kind of structural
change. With this in mind, we look forward to a well-publicized period of open feedback
from all USPA members before any changes are enacted.

We also believe that in choosing the initial Wingsuit Instructor Examiners who would
implement the new rating, the best method will be an open nomination. We suggest that
candidates be nominated and supported with letters detailing their qualifications. This
way, the wingsuiting community and the skydiving community at large will be give the
opportunity to participate in the process at every possible step.

For your convenience, we have attached a PowerPoint slidedeck summarizing the key
aspects of our proposal.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 1

1. Introduction and Orientation

A. WHAT IS A USPA WINGSUIT INSTRUCTOR?

1. The USPA Wingsuit Instructor is a discipline-specific instructor rating
administered by USPA. It is preceded by USPA Coach and followed by USPA
Wingsuit Instructor Examiner.

2. For the purposes of the Wingsuit Instructor Rating, a ―student‖ is a first-time
wingsuit flyer, regardless of jump numbers in other disciplines. Pursuant to
Section 6-9 of the SIM, among other things, USPA recommends that a
wingsuit student have:

a. a minimum of 200 jumps in 18 months; or

b. 500 jumps total before attempting a wingsuit first flight course.

3. A USPA Wingsuit Instructor may—

a. conduct wingsuit first flight training in accordance with the USPA first
flight course curriculum;

b. conduct the oral quiz and check dive on the wingsuit first flight course;

c. authorize skydivers who have successfully completed a USPA first
flight course to fly a wingsuit without a USPA Wingsuit Instructor
present; and

d. train and supervise wingsuit jumps for advanced skills acquisition
beyond the first flight.

4. Candidates who have met all of the following requirements may earn the
USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating:

a. Reached the age of 18 years;

b. Holds or has held any USPA instructional rating;

c. Earned a USPA C license or the FAI equivalent;

d. Logged 200 wingsuit jumps; and
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 2

e. Proven ability by successfully completing the written and practical
Wingsuit Instructor evaluation process with a USPA Wingsuit Instructor
Examiner.

B. WINGSUIT TRAINING BACKGROUND

1. Prior to the adoption of a Wingsuit Instructor Rating by USPA, wingsuit first
flight training had been done in varying forms by ―experienced wingsuit flyers‖
as recommended in SIM Section 6-9.

2. Wingsuit flying grew rapidly beginning with the introduction of modern suits in
1999, but training remained informal.

a. Some manufacturers of modern wingsuits had instituted non-
standardized, brand-specific training programs.

b. Two fatalities involving inexperienced wingsuit flyers led to new
initiatives in safety and training.

3. The USPA Wingsuit Instruction method of training was standardized in 2009
to provide a safer and more uniform experience for first-time wingsuit flyers.

C. THE NATURE OF THE COURSE

1. Strategy

a. This Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course teaches effective methods for
training licensed, experienced skydivers how to safely fly a wingsuit for
the first time.

b. Candidates learn to apply USPA instructional methods to wingsuit-
specific training and supervision.

2. Course Options. A candidate may either -

a. Complete the full Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course held over a series
of days or on a weekend, followed by testing with a Wingsuit Instructor
Examiner; or

b. Challenge the course by passing the written examination and making
two satisfactory ground preparations and four air skills evaluations with
a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Examiner (see Section F, ―Procedures for
Challenging the Wingsuit Course or Renewing an Expired Rating‖).
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 3

3. Course and testing arrangements

a. The host coordinates with an Instructor Examiner to schedule a
Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course.

b. The course host negotiates fees and accommodations with the
Instructor Examiner (borne by the host and candidates).

4. Each candidate is required to arrive at this course with all prerequisites
completed as per Section A(4) above.

5. Candidates may make a series of practice training evaluations and jumps with
the course Wingsuit Instructor Examiner prior to the actual evaluations.

6. Schedule for the camp format Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course:

a. The classroom training portion of this course is expected to be
conducted over a minimum period of two days.

b. The practice and evaluation portion is conducted subsequently over a
period of several additional days (typically, three days total for
classroom and evaluation are scheduled).

7. The schedule for abbreviated and other courses will be determined based on
the candidates, class size, and the Instructor Examiner and facility’s
schedules.

D. WHO MAY CONDUCT THIS COURSE?

1. A Wingsuit Instructor Examiner who has conducted at least two USPA
Wingsuit Instructor Rating Courses within the past 24 months; and

2. Who continues to meet all of the requirements to qualify as a Wingsuit
Instructor Examiner (as listed in Section E, ―How to become a USPA Wingsuit
Instructor Examiner).

E. HOW TO BECOME A USPA WINGSUIT INSTRUCTOR EXAMINER

1. A USPA Wingsuit Instructor who has met all the following requirements may
be rated as a Wingsuit Instructor Examiner to conduct the Wingsuit Instructor
Rating Course and issue Wingsuit Instructor ratings:

a. Completed at least 500 total wingsuit jumps, with at least 100 made
within the previous 12 months;

b. Conducted at least 50 USPA wingsuit First Flight Courses;
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 4

c. Successfully completed the USPA Instructor Examiner Rating Course;

d. Has participated in at least one Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course
within the previous 12 months;

e. Attended the biennial Wingsuit Instructor Standardization meeting;

f. Holds a USPA D License; and

g. Provides USPA Headquarters with a written recommendation from a
Wingsuit Instructor Examiner evaluator.

2. Wingsuit Instructor Examiner evaluators

a. Designated by USPA Headquarters for the purpose of evaluating
potential Wingsuit Instructor Examiners

b. The following is required for any Wingsuit Instructor Examiner
evaluators:

1) Must be a current Wingsuit Instructor Examiner;

2) Must have conducted at least 100 First Flight Course jumps;
and

3) Must attend the entire classroom portion of a Wingsuit Instructor
Rating Course every two years.

F. PROCEDURES FOR CHALLENGING THE WINGSUIT COURSE OR RENEWING
AN EXPIRED RATING

1. ―Challenging the course‖ refers to the practice of being evaluated without
sitting through the ground instruction portion of the Wingsuit Instructor Rating
Course.

2. Any person may obtain the USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating by challenging
the Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course and meeting the prerequisites for the
Wingsuit Instructor rating.

a. Foreign rating holders must present USPA membership and their FAI
country instructor rating.

b. USPA Coach or other instructor rating holders may choose to
challenge the course.

3. Persons with a current non-USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating (who meet
requirements in Section A(4), above) or who hold expired USPA Wingsuit
Instructor rating must:
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 5

a. Satisfactorily conduct at least one complete Wingsuit First Flight
Course jump with a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Examiner or his or her
designee acting as a student (see ―4. Dive Flow for USPA Wingsuit
Instructor Course‖, Section 4(c)(1)(b), below) , to include all jump
preparation, supervision during the jump and debriefing. On the jump,
the holder of the non-current or expired Wingsuit Instructor Rating
must:

1) Properly exit with the ―student‖ from a camera or rear-float slot;

2) Fly proximate to the ―student‖ throughout the jump;

3) Engage and communicate with the ―student‖ using eye contact
and hand signals;

4) Control heading on the jump to demonstrate effective flight
pattern and safety; and

b. Pass the USPA Wingsuit Instructor written examination with a score of
at least 80 percent.

4. All other persons must:

a. Pass the USPA Wingsuit Instructor written examination with a score of
80 percent or higher, and

b. Make two satisfactory ground preparation and four air skills evaluations
with a USPA Wingsuit Instructor Examiner or his or her designee
acting as student (see ―4. Dive Flow for USPA Wingsuit Instructor
Course‖, Section 4(c)(1)(a) – (d), below). On the jumps, the candidate
must:

1) Properly exit with the ―student‖ from a camera or rear-float slot;

2) Fly proximate to the ―student‖ throughout the jump;

3) Engage and communicate with the ―student‖ using eye contact
and hand signals; and

4) Control heading on the jump to demonstrate effective flight
pattern and safety.

G. WHAT IS REQUIRED TO PASS THIS COURSE?

1. Practical: Candidates for the USPA Wingsuit Instructor rating will be
evaluated during the Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course for their ability to:
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 6

a. Understand and communicate the USPA First Flight Course material;

b. Conduct effective first flight ground training, using other candidates as
stand-in students; and

c. Safely prepare, supervise, and perform in-air training of wingsuit first
flight students, with Wingsuit Instructor Evaluators acting as students.

2. Written: Prior to attending the course, each candidate must correctly answer
at least 80 percent of the questions on an open-book written examination
covering the following:

a. USPA First Flight Course Syllabus;

b. General wingsuit safety; and

c. SIM Section 6-9 (―Wingsuit Recommendations‖).

3. Commencement of privileges

a. The privileges of the Wingsuit Instructor Rating will commence upon
successful completion of the Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course and will
be valid for 30 days with a candidate log book endorsement by the
Wingsuit Instructor Examiner.

b. The rating must be processed at USPA Headquarters to be considered
valid after the 30-day grace period expires.

H. KEEPING A WINGSUIT INSTRUCTOR RATING CURRENT

1. USPA Wingsuit Instructors may annually renew their ratings with their USPA
membership by paying the annual rating renewal fee and providing
documentation of any of the following:

a. That the rating was initially earned within the previous 12 months
(renewal fee and signature required); or

b. That the applicant has met the annual rating renewal requirements by
performing all of the following within the previous 12 months:

1) acted as instructor on 15 wingsuit student jumps (these jumps
are not required to be USPA First Flight Course jumps)

2) attended a USPA Instructor seminar;

3) conducted at least one USPA First Flight Course; and
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 7

4) acquired the signature of a current S&TA, Wingsuit Instructor
Examiner, or member of the USPA Board of Directors on
the renewal application to verify that the renewal requirements
were met.

c. (If applicable) having met the renewal requirements for an expired
rating.

2. A skydiver may not verify his or her own rating renewal requirements.

3. Renewing a higher rating automatically renews all ratings below it.

I. WINGSUIT INSTRUCTOR RATING COURSE OVERVIEW

1. The First Flight Course Syllabus and Dive Flow;

2. General Instructor’s duties;

3. Jump preparation and equipment checks;

4. Demonstration and practice sessions; and

5. Evaluation section.

***
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 8

2. Instructor’s Duties

A. STUDENT PREPARATION

1. Introduction of the First Flight Course student to the USPA Wingsuit Instructor

a. Instructor takes initiative to establish dialogue and sets the tone for First Flight
Course (the ―FFC‖);

b. Instructor and student discuss goals of the course; and

c. Instructor assesses student’s special needs, if any.

2. Administrative

a. Confirm student’s skydiving experience meets or exceeds the USPA’s
recommendations set forth in SIM Section 6-9.

i. Determine that the recommended number of jumps have been made by
review of the student’s logbook.

ii. If logbook is not available, the Instructor should seek verification of the
student’s experience from a reliable third party source (e.g., the student’s
home dropzone’s owner, manager, or S&TA).

b. Waver/release forms.

c. Payment.

B. STUDENT PREPARATION

1. Introduce the performance objectives of the FFC. Use the First Flight Course
Syllabus as a training course guide for the ground school.

2. Inspect student’s rig and other non-wingsuit-specific gear before the container is
attached to the parachute harness system.

a. Assure that equipment meets all recommendations for wingsuiting, including
all USPA safety recommendations:

i. Confirm canopy is non-elliptical and lightly loaded;
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 9

ii. Use AAD on first wingsuit flight;

iii. Use a helmet with an audible altimeter;

iv. Students should not jump with a camera on first wingsuit flight.

b. Inspect rig

i. Three point harness check;

ii. Three point handle/release check;

iii. Main/Reserve pin; and

iv. AAD.

c. Inspect other non-wingsuit gear

i. Altimeters zeroed; and

ii. Audible set for appropriate altitudes.

3. Familiarize student with wingsuit design and function (for example, lace-up
wings, zip on wings, open wings, zippered legs, leg wing quick release systems
and any other applicable release systems) have the wingsuit attached in
accordance with the USPA FFC Syllabus.

4. Discuss the wingsuit flight plan, opening altitudes and landing direction

a. Flight pattern and its purposes:

i. Fly back to the dropzone;

ii. Stay clear of other jumpers and canopies on line of flight; and

iii. Fly predictably relative to air traffic.

b. Discuss break off and opening altitudes.

5. Discuss and practice wingsuit specific skills needed for successful, safe and fun
first flight using appropriate descriptions and demonstrations, including:

a. Exits from mockup;

b. Proper body position during flight;
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 10

c. Break-off and opening procedures:

i. Emphasize leg kick signal and symmetry on pull; and

ii. Emphasize closure of tail wing and arm wings during deployment.

d. Demonstration of signals that the Instructor may use during flight to the point
that:

i. Student understands all hand signals; and

ii. Student is aware that Instructor may provide guidance during flight to
direct the student back to the dropzone.

6. Conduct dirt dives until the student performs each point of the planned skydive
smoothly and correctly, without coaching or prompting.

7. Prior to boarding:

a. Perform pre-boarding equipment check;

i. Discuss importance of preparing early since a wingsuit may require more
time to gear up and check compared to a non-wingsuit skydive.

ii. Instructor checks student’s wingsuit and equipment while gearing up.

iii. Instructor talks through the gear check with student.

b. Coordinate exit position:

i. Discuss exit order with other jumpers or groups; and

ii. Inform pilot that wingsuit jumpers are on the airplane and their intended
flight pattern.

C. STUDENT PREPARATION

1. Monitor the student’s equipment.

2. Encourage wingsuit and gear awareness.

3. Conduct a pre-exit wingsuit and equipment check with the student.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 11

D. JUMP SUPERVISION

1. Instructor to supervise student’s spotting

2. Instructor should fly proximate to the student to be able to

a. Control heading/direction of student; and

b. Provide hand signals as needed.

E. POST-JUMP

1. Verify that the student has landed safely and returned to the meeting point.

2. Provide a post-jump debriefing and training:

a. Conduct a ―walk and talk‖, allowing the student to act out his or her
perceptions of the jump flight;

1) Explain the jump from the Instructor’s viewpoint:

a. Accentuate the positive; and

b. Discuss areas for improvement;

2) Review the video, if available.

b. Provide any necessary corrective training.

3. Record the jump in the student’s logbook.

4. Complete applicable portions of the Wingsuit Proficiency Card.

a. Instructor will explain that the student has now completed a First Flight
Course and is cleared to make wingsuit jumps without a USPA Wingsuit
Instructor.

b. Based on the student’s performance, the Instructor may make suggestions to
the student for future goals regarding additional training and appropriate suit
selection

***
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 12

3. Pre-Jump Checks

A. INTRODUCTION

1. One of the wingsuit instructor’s greatest responsibilities is equipment
management. Preparation before boarding prevents accidents. Having an
organized routine will make the operation run more smoothly.

2. While the student is responsible for rigging up and donning the gear under your
supervision, as an Instructor you must conduct at least three complete gear
checks:

a. Before rigging up;

b. Before boarding; and

c. Before exit.

B. GEAR CHECKS

1. Checking the Rig. Always check the wingsuit and rig in a logical order, such as
top to bottom, back to front.

a. Automatic activation device

i. Switched on

ii. Calibrated

b. Rig configuration

i. Closing loop tight for properly closed container

ii. Pilot chute handle easily reached

c. Main closing

i. Flap closing order and bridle routing correct

ii. Slack above the curved pin

iii. Pin fully seated
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 13

iv. Tight closing loop, with no more than ten percent visible fraying

v. Pin secured to bridle with no more than ten percent fraying

vi. Collapsible pilot chute cocked

vii. Pilot chute and bridle with no more than ten percent damage at any wear
point

viii. Main deployment handle in place

d. Canopy release system and RSL

i. Correct canopy release assembly

ii. RSL connected and routed correctly

iii. Canopy release handle

 Properly seated in Velcro

 No kinks or bends in the cable

iv. Reserve ripcord handle

 Seated properly in Velcro

 No kinks or bends in the reserve ripcord cable

e. Harness adjustments

i. Leg straps and hardware

 Threaded properly

 Clip type: clipped and secure

 Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running end
secured to prevent slippage

ii. Chest strap and (if in use) mud flap altimeter

 Snap-type: connected and adjusted
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 14

 Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running end
secured to prevent slippage

2. Checking the Wingsuit

a. All zippers intact

b. No rips, tears or excess fabric that may cover handles

c. Handles not pulled into or covered by wingsuit

d. All cables neatly secured (if applicable)

3. Checking the Helmet

a. Adequate protection

b. Fit and adjustment

4. Audible – settings:

a. 6500 feet

b. 5500 feet

c. 4500 feet

5. Chest Mount Altimeter (if in use)

a. Readable by student (check for student farsightedness).

b. Zeroed

6. Goggles

a. Clear and clean

b. Tight

C. CONFIRM WEATHER CONDITIONS

a. Confirm that the Instructor has an up-to-date weather forecast.

b. Confirm surface winds and winds aloft are appropriate for wingsuiting.

c. Confirm sufficient daylight is remaining.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 15

D. BOARDING THE AIRCRAFT

1. Student Equipment.

a. Monitor the student’s equipment.

b. Encourage wingsuit and gear awareness.

2. Instructor’s Equipment.

a. If other experienced wingsuiters are present, ask for a gear check from one of
them

b. This demonstration highlights to the student that even experienced
wingsuiters seek out gear checks.

E. PRE-EXIT GEAR CHECKS

a. Conduct a complete pre-exit equipment check with the student at 3,000 feet
below exit altitude.

b. Have the student shrug and feel the leg straps to verbally confirm that they
are on and properly routed.

c. Check that wings are fully zipped and thumb loops (if applicable) are on.

d. Remind the student to be aware of his or her movement in the aircraft during
climb out.

***
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 16

4. Dive Flow for USPA Wingsuit Instructor Course

A. INTRODUCTION

1. After the classroom portion and prior to evaluations, the USPA Wingsuit
Instructor/Examiner demonstrates how to conduct the student training and jump
activities for which the USPA Wingsuit Instructor rating candidates are being
rated and evaluated.

2. Candidates may practice the skills, supervised by the Instructor/Examiner and/or
staff, keeping in mind that course time is limited and evaluations must soon
begin.

B. WINGSUIT INSTRUCTIONAL SESSIONS

1. How to conduct training for the USPA First Flight Course (―FFC‖)

a. Pre-jump

b. Exit

c. Flatspins

d. Unstable flight

e. Loss of heading

2. How to conduct practice and evaluation jumps: review and training of a student
for the USPA FFC

a. Equipment preparation

b. Jump preparation

c. Pre-boarding equipment check

3. Pre-boarding, boarding, climb-to-altitude, and pre jump sequence

a. Protection of student’s handles, cables, equipment at the aircraft for boarding
and the climb to altitude

b. View of the airport, landing area, and flight pattern review
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 17

c. Dive flow review

d. Pre-exit equipment check procedures and reminder to check gear

e. Control of the student’s movement in the aircraft during climbout

f. Spotting and pilot communications

g. Exit recovery and flatspin techniques

h. Student in-air observation and instruction, including demonstration of hand
signals

i. Pull-time sequence

j. Post-jump debrief

C. DIVE FLOWS

1. The Instructor Evaluator or his or her designee will act as the student:

a. Evaluation Jump 1

i. Wingsuit Instructor candidate exits from camera slot.

ii. ―Student‖ exits with stability, flies with instability, fast fall rate, and wanders
over the sky.

iii. Wingsuit instructor candidate uses hand signals, eye contact, and flight
direction to lead the ―student‖ back to planned deployment spot and DZ
landing area.

iv. Wingsuit Instructor candidate and student verbally debrief the jump, then
review video (if available).

b. Evaluation Jump 2 (if only one jump is required to be conducted, Instructor
Examiners should use the following dive flow)

i. Wingsuit Instructor candidate exits from camera slot

ii. ―Student‖ exits with instability, goes into flatspin, recovers

iii. Wingsuit Instructor candidate maintains reasonable distance from the
―student‖, engages student in reassuring eye contact, provides hand
signals as necessary
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 18

iv. Wingsuit Instructor candidate and ―student‖ verbally debrief the jump, then
review video (if available)

c. Evaluation Jump 3

i. Wingsuit Instructor candidate selects exit method

ii. ―Student‖ may or may not fly with difficulty, at ―student’s‖ election

iii. Wingsuit Instructor candidate maintains reasonable distance from the
―student‖, engages student in reassuring eye contact, provides hand
signals as necessary

iv. Wingsuit Instructor candidate and ―student‖ verbally debrief the jump, then
review video (if available)

d. Evaluation Jump 4

i. Wingsuit Instructor candidate selects exit method

ii. ―Student‖ may or may not fly with difficulty, at ―student’s‖ election

iii. Wingsuit Instructor candidate maintains reasonable distance from the
―student‖, engages student in reassuring eye contact, provides hand
signals as necessary

iv. Wingsuit Instructor candidate and ―student‖ verbally debrief the jump, then
review video (if available)

2. The Wingsuit Instructor candidate must receive a Satisfactory grade on the
evaluation skydives.

3. Wingsuit Instructor candidates will be allowed one jump to achieve a Satisfactory
grade, if one jump is required for the course, and five jumps to achieve a
Satisfactory grade if four jumps are required for the course.

D. GROUND INSTRUCTION

1. Wingsuit Instructor candidate will teach an entire First Flight Course to a student,
beginning with greeting and ending with final pre-boarding gear checks.

2. Wingsuit Instructor candidates should demonstrate understanding of and ability
to present information set forth in the USPA First Flight Course syllabus.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 19

E. WRITTEN EXAMINATION

1. Instructor Candidate must score 80% or higher on open-book written test.

***
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 20

5. Conducting FFC Course Jumps

I. Manifesting.
1. Provide the correct information to manifest. Be sure manifest has a plan for pick-
up/retrieval in the event of an off-landing.
2. Perform a complete pre-boarding equipment check on the student.
3. Review the dive plan at 4,000 feet prior to exit.
4. Conduct the pre-exit equipment check.
II. Video

1. Video has proven to be an effective training aid, but the Wingsuit Instructor must
possess skills and experience allowing flight and training while operating a
helmet-mounted video camera.
2. Outside camera flyer may be used
a. Minimum experience qualifications:
i. 100 wingsuit skydives
ii. 25 jumps flying camera with experienced wingsuit skydivers
III. Gearing Up and Pre-flight Gear Checks.

1. Gear Checks.
a. Three Gear Checks. Instructors should perform a complete gear check at
least three times:
i. Before rigging up;
ii. Before boarding; and
iii. Before exit.
b. Check the Rig.
i. Always check the wingsuit and rig in a logical order, such as top to bottom,
back to front.
1) Automatic activation device
 Switched on
 Calibrated
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 21

2) Rig configuration
 Closing loop tight for properly closed container
 Pilot chute handle easily reached
3) Main closing
 Flap closing order and bridle routing correct
 Slack above the curved pin
 Pin fully seated
 Tight closing loop, with no more than ten percent visible fraying
 Pin secured to bridle with no more than ten percent fraying
 Collapsible pilot chute cocked
 Pilot chute and bridle with no more than ten percent damage at any
wear point
 Main deployment handle in place
4) Canopy release system and RSL
 Correct canopy release assembly
 RSL connected and routed correctly
5) Canopy release handle
 Properly seated in Velcro
6) Reserve ripcord handle
 Seated properly in Velcro
 No kinks or bends in the reserve ripcord cable
7) Harness adjustments
 Leg straps and hardware
1. Threaded properly
2. Clip type: clipped and secure
3. Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running
end secured to prevent slippage
 Chest strap and mudflap altimeter
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 22

1. Snap-type: connected and adjusted
2. Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running
end secured to prevent slippage
c. Check the Wingsuit.
i. All zippers intact
ii. No rips, tears or excess fabric that may cover handles
iii. Handles not pulled into or covered by wingsuit
iv. All cables neatly secured (if applicable)
d. Checking the Helmet.
i. Adequate protection
ii. Fit and adjustment
e. Audible – settings:
i. 6500 feet
ii. 5500 feet
iii. 4500 feet
f. Chest Mount Altimeter
i. Readable by student (check for student farsightedness).
ii. Zeroed
g. Goggles
i. Clear and clean
ii. Tight
2. Attaching the Wingsuit to the Parachute Harness System.
a. Student Responsibility.
i. The student is responsible for attaching the wingsuit to the harness under
the supervision of the Instructor.
ii. The student should be able to attach the wingsuit with minimal guidance
from the Instructor.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 23

b. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor is responsible for inspecting the attached wingsuit/harness
system once it has been attached by the student. The Instructor should
complete the first complete gear check at this point.
ii. Any mis-attachments or errors should be pointed out to the student for
correction by the student. Consider delaying the FFC jump to focus on
gear issues if the student appears to have difficulty with this subject.
3. Donning the Gear.
a. Student Responsibility.
i. The student is responsible for attaching donning the gear.
ii. The student should be able to don the wingsuit and parachute harness
system without input from the Instructor.
b. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor is responsible for inspecting the gear once it has been
donned by the student. The Instructor should complete the second
complete gear check at this point.
ii. Areas of particular focus:
1) Instructors should pay particular attention at this point to harness
attachment systems (i.e., leg straps and chest straps):
 Instructors should instruct the student to feel his or her leg straps
through the wingsuit fabric to make sure that they are on and tight.
 Instructors should have the student shrug. The student should feel
tension from the leg straps if they are on properly.
 The Instructor should lift the back of the rig, under the BOC, to
ensure that the leg straps are on and tight. If the rig moves more
than 2‖, the leg straps may be too loose or not properly attached.
iii. Consider delaying the FFC jump to focus on gear issues if the student
appears to have difficulty with this subject.
iv. Once the gear has been donned, the student should be instructed not to
remove any gear without informing the Instructor.
IV. Walk-through; Boarding; Ride to Altitude.

1. Full Walkthrough.
a. Complete a full, geared up walk through of the skydive, from climb out to
deployment.
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b. Demonstrate several hand signals that may be used by the Instructor.
Confirm that the student understands them.
c. The student should be able to complete the walkthrough with minimal input
from the Instructor.
2. Confirm Weather Conditions.
a. Confirm that the Instructor has an up-to-date weather forecast.
b. Confirm surface winds and winds aloft are appropriate for wingsuiting.
c. Confirm sufficient daylight is remaining.
3. Boarding the Aircraft.
a. Student Equipment.
i. Monitor the student’s equipment.
ii. Encourage wingsuit and gear awareness.
b. Instructor’s Equipment.
i. If other experienced wingsuiters are present, ask for a gear check from
one of them.
ii. This demonstration highlights to the student that even experienced
wingsuiters seek out gear checks.
4. Review dive plan
a. Review dive plan at 4,000 feet below exit altitude.
5. Pre-exit Gear Checks.
a. Conduct a complete pre-exit equipment check with the student at 3,000 feet
below exit altitude.
b. Have the student shrug and feel the leg straps to confirm that they are
properly routed.
c. Remind the student to be aware of his or her movement in the aircraft during
climb out.
6. Spotting.
a. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor should ask the student to identify the proper spot for exit.
ii. The Instructor is responsible for confirming the spot and should not allow
the first flight to occur unless the Instructor approves of the spot.
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V. Wingsuit Exit and Flight.

1. Spotting.
a. Proper spotting techniques will help to assure an on-field landing.
b. Most students travel an average of 1 to 2 miles on their first wingsuit jump
and the spot needs to be adjusted accordingly.
c. Flying a standard box pattern will help to avoid other skydiver traffic and will
increase the likelihood of making it back to the dropzone.
d. The student should make a visual confirmation of the landing area as well as
make a note of where other jumpers are relative to the drop zone.
e. The airspace also needs to be checked for aircraft or any other air traffic.
2. Climb Out and Exit.
a. The student gives the instructor a thumbs up.
b. Climb out or set up in door, breathe and prepare to exit.
3. Exit.
a. The Instructor should observe the exit to evaluate:
i. the students’ stability; and
ii. that the student delayed opening his or her wings as instructed to avoid
the tail wing.
b. The student should establish stability as soon as possible.
4. Practice Pulls/Touches and Circle of Awareness.
a. After establishing stability, the student should complete three wave offs and
practice pulls/touches as taught in the Ground School component of the FFC.
b. The student should demonstrate awareness by responding to hand signals
from the Instructor and by being aware of his or her altitude.
5. Navigation.
a. The student should fly a standard pattern with minimal input or prompting
from the Instructor.
b. The Instructor should note any discrepancies between the student’s actual
flight path as compared to his or her planned flight path.
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6. Deployment.
a. The student will wave off at 5,500 feet AGL and deploy not lower than 5,000
feet
AGL.
b. If possible, the deployment sequence should be captured on video.
VI. Debrief.

1. Verify that the student has landed and returned safely to the hangar.
2. Provide a post-flight debrief.
a. Conduct a walk and talk, allowing the student to act out his or her perceptions
of the jump first.
i. Particular attention should be paid to whether the student was aware of
any mistakes he or she made during the jump.
ii. The Instructor should enquire whether the student had difficulty
unzipping/opening the wingsuit following deployment.
b. Explain the jump from the instructor’s viewpoint.
1) Accentuate the positive.
2) Discuss areas for improvement.
ii. Review the video, if available.
c. Provide any necessary corrective training.
d. Conduct or overview the training for the next jump.
e. Record the jump.
i. Student’s logbook; and
ii. Appropriate segments of the Wingsuit Proficiency Card.

***
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USPA First Flight Course Syllabus

I. Background.
1. Purpose of this Syllabus.
a. This USPA First Flight Course (the ―First Flight Course‖ or ―FFC‖) Syllabus
was created to provide USPA Wingsuit Instructors (―Instructors‖) with a
convenient reference document.
b. The FFC is intended to provide skydivers with the necessary instruction to
allow them to conduct basic wingsuit flights.
c. Advanced training (for example, flocking in large groups, back flying, or night
jumps) is outside the scope of the FFC, but is strongly encouraged by the
USPA.
d. This Syllabus should be read together with:
i. Section 6-9 of the USPA Skydiver’s Information Manual (the ―SIM‖);
ii. The Wingsuit Instructor Rating portion of the USPA Instructional Ratings
Manual (the ―IRM‖); and
iii. USPA Wingsuit Proficiency Card.
e. In the event of any conflict between the information set forth in this Syllabus
and the information in the SIM or IRM, the SIM or IRM shall prevail.
2. USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating.
a. The USPA Wingsuit Instructor and Instructor Examiner Ratings were
developed by the USPA in response to several accidents involving
inexperienced wingsuiters.
b. These accidents highlighted the need for uniform and standardized training
for new wingsuiters at USPA member dropzones.
c. As part of that standardization, the USPA developed the FFC.
3. SIM Recommendations and Requirements.
a. Section 6-9(C)(1) of the SIM recommends that ―Before attempting a wing-suit
jump, a skydiver should: have a minimum of 500 freefall skydives; or a
minimum of 200 freefall skydives, made within the past 18 months; and
completely read and understand all documentation and training information
provided with the wing suit; and have the ability to perform exits and skydive
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 28

in the deployment position described in this outline before making a jump with
the wing suit.‖
b. Before the adoption of the USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating, the USPA
recommended that skydivers ―receive one-on-one instruction from an
experienced wingsuit jumper before attempting to fly a wingsuit‖.
c. With the adoption of the USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating, the
recommendation for instruction has been replaced with a requirement that all
skydivers – regardless of experience level – successfully complete a FFC
taught by a current USPA Wingsuit Instructor before attempting to first use a
wingsuit.
II. Accepting a New Student into a FFC.

1. Confirm Student’s Experience. Before accepting a new student for a FFC,
Instructors should confirm that the student’s skydiving experience meets or
exceeds the USPA’s recommendations for wingsuiting set forth in SIM Section 6-
9(C)(1).
a. Instructors should determine that the recommended number of jumps have
been made by a review of the student’s logbook.
b. If a logbook is not available, the Instructor should seek verification of the
student’s information from a reliable third party source (for example, the
dropzone owner or manager of the student’s home dropzone).
2. Confirm the Student Has Appropriate Gear.
a. Instructors should then confirm that the student has appropriate skydiving
gear to conduct a wingsuit skydive:
i. a lightly loaded, non-elliptical, docile main canopy with consistent opening
characteristics and which is familiar to the student (see Section V(A)(1),
below);
ii. a bottom of container, throw out pilot chute deployment system (see
Section V(A)(2), below);
iii. an AAD (see Section V(A)(3), below); and
iv. a helmet with least one audible altimeter (see Section V(A)(4), below).
b. Students without appropriate gear should not be taken on FFC jumps.
3. Sign Wavers. Instructors should have the student read and sign appropriate
waver and release forms as may be determined by the Instructor and/or the
dropzone.
4. Arrange for payment of the Instructor.
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III. Students Not Meeting USPA’s Wingsuit Recommendations. If a skydiver wishes
to obtain wingsuit instruction without meeting the USPA’s recommended experience
levels (or if a student otherwise presents a safety concern), the Instructor should:
1. decline to take the student on a first flight; and
2. encourage the student to obtain the necessary skills to safely wingsuit, through
a. learning more about wingsuiting and the ways in which it differs from
traditional skydiving; and
b. completing tracking skydives, either Instructor-led or solo (skydivers should
be reminded not to track up or down the line of flight), with the goal of
i. establishing basic navigation skills;
ii. emulating wingsuiting body positions; and
iii. emulating wingsuit deployment procedures.
IV. Learning Theory.

1. Overview.
a. This section is intended to provide a refresher on certain subjects addressed
in the USPA Coach Rating Course.
b. Instructors are encouraged to regularly review the materials under the
heading ―Basic Instructional Methods‖ found at Section 4 of the Coach Rating
Course portion of the IRM.
2. Characteristics of a Good Instructor.
a. As teacher, you should:
i. assess each student’s current abilities and determine the starting point for
the lesson;
ii. help the student set goals;
iii. ensure that learning takes place; and
iv. compare the student’s performance to his or her goals.
b. As leader and role model, you should:
i. set a good example;
ii. maintain a positive image;
iii. practice professionalism; and
iv. act as a motivator.
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3. Applying Sports Psychology.
a. The student’s self-image is crucial to his or her ability to learn.
i. The Instructor’s feedback and assessment can significantly affect the
student’s self-image.
ii. The ways in which suggestions for improvement are presented can
change the message heard by the student. Instructors should:
1) provide positive feedback;
2) follow the positive feedback with suggested areas for improvement;
and
3) follow the discussion of areas for improvement with a positive closing.
b. Apply the ―SMART‖ method to goal setting:
i. Specific – the training should be straightforward and designed to achieve
the intended outcome;
ii. Measurable – there should be a means of gauging the student’s progress;
iii. Achievable – meaningful goals will improve the chance for success and
reinforce a positive self-image;
iv. Relevant – the training should focus on the short and long term goals of
the student, building from simple to complex; and
v. Timely – the short and long term goals need to be scheduled within a
realistic timetable that provides enough time to achieve the goals while
keeping the training focused.
c. Focus on the positive and avoid ―pink elephants‖.
i. Try to not think about a pink elephant – it’s almost impossible.
ii. Instructing students to ―not do‖ something may backfire; under stress,
students will often revert to information that they are told – even if they if
they were told not to do it.
iii. As an example, avoid saying phrases like ―don’t arch‖, and instead instruct
students to ―fly flat‖ or ―cup the air‖.
d. Remember that different people learn in different ways:
i. Most are visual learners – they comprehend and retain information well
when presented in visual form, so consider using:
1) pictures; and
2) personal demonstrations.
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ii. A much smaller percentage are auditory learners – they comprehend and
retain information well when presented in lecture format.
iii. Almost all are kinesthetic learners – they learn by doing.
1) For motor skills, this is particularly the case.
2) People remember 80% of what they hear and 20% of what they do.
3) Retention is greatest when practiced at repeated intervals separated
by other activities. Consider:
 repeating critical information several times during the course
interspersed with other information; and
 having students demonstrate key activities several times
interspersed with other activities.
e. Apply the 90:20:8 Rule:
i. Training sessions should last no more than 90 minutes;
ii. Instructors should change the pace or activity every 20 minutes; and
iii. Involve the student every 8 minutes, through:
1) questions; or
2) engaging in an example.
f. Consider using the ―whole-part-whole‖ presentation strategy (See IRM,
Coach Rating Course, Section 4-2(B)).
i. Describe the entire activity to be trained and tested in the lesson (―whole‖).
ii. Break the lesson into 7 (+/- 2) manageable related information segments
and teach them (―part‖).
iii. Recombine the segments into the correct order before beginning the
application (―whole‖).
4. Lesson Design and Presentation.
a. Instructors should establish a course outline and lesson plan:
i. Plans can be based on this Syllabus.
ii. Written plans are useful to help ensure all critical information is presented.
b. Instructors’ lesson plans should address the following issues:
i. Preparation of the student:
1) Explain the purpose of the course and what material will be taught;
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2) Explain how course will be taught; and
3) Explain duration of the course.
ii. Presentation:
1) How will information be conveyed?
 Which aspects will be discussed?
 Which aspects will be ―hands on‖?
2) Will ―props‖ or other teaching aids be used?
3) Physical environment?
 Avoid areas with excessive background noise.
 Provide reasonable privacy to reduce self-consciousness.
iii. Application:
1) Use practice and repetition.
2) Use of simple words to describe important issues.
3) Arrange for uninterrupted practice.
iv. Evaluation:
1) How does the Instructor determine if information is understood?
2) Can student recap the lesson?
V. Ground School Syllabus.

1. Non-Wingsuit Gear.
a. Canopies. Instructors should discuss canopies that are appropriate for
wingsuiting.
i. Non-elliptical, docile main canopies with consistent opening
characteristics, with a wingloading of not more than 1.3, and having a
bridle length of at least six feet from pin to pilot chute, are strongly
recommended for FFC jumps.
ii. Students should be familiar with any canopy used on FFC jumps.
b. Pilot Chutes and Deployment Systems. Instructors should discuss pilot
chutes and possible bridle modifications for wingsuiting.
i. Wingsuits create a large burble above and to the back of a skydiver, and
may not provide the pilot chute enough air for a clean inflation and
extraction of the deployment bag from the pack tray.
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ii. Pilot chutes smaller than 24‖ are not recommended, due to wingsuiters’
slower fall rates, which may result in reduced snatch force.
iii. If wingsuiting becomes the student’s primary skydiving activity, bridle
length should be increased as the wingsuiter moves into larger suits that
create larger burbles.
iv. The bottom-of-container throw-out pilot chute is the only deployment
system that should be used when wingsuiting.
1) Leg-mounted throw-out systems may not be used for wingsuiting as
most wingsuit designs are intended to cover legstraps.
2) Ripcord-activated, spring-loaded pilot chutes should never be used
when wingsuiting, because the suit’s large burble may prevent the pilot
chute from functioning as intended.
v. A heavy deployment handle (pilot chute hackey) is not optimal for wingsuit
skydiving, as the handle may prevent the pilot chute from clearing the
suit’s burble.
c. AAD.
i. FFC students must use an AAD for FFC jumps.
ii. Instructors should encourage the use of an AAD while wingsuit skydiving
generally.
d. Helmets and Audible Altimeters.
i. Students should wear a helmet for FFC jumps. Open face helmets are
preferred but not required due to improved visibility and ability to
communicate. Students should not wear video or still cameras on their
FFC jumps.
ii. Audible altimeters are generally recommended for wingsuiting, due to the
altitude disorientation that can occur as a result of the slow fall rate
permitted by wingsuits.
1) Students must use at least one audible altimeter for FFC jumps.
2) Instructors and students should discuss appropriate alarm altitudes for
FFC jumps. Typically, these are:
 6,500 feet AGL (preparation for wave off and deployment);
 5,500 feet AGL (deployment altitude); and
 4,500 feet AGL (―low altitude‖ warning).
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e. Chest or Mudflap Mount Altimeter.
i. Mudflap or chest mount altimeters permit wingsuit skydivers to check their
altitude without significantly changing their body position or disrupting their
flight.
ii. Students are encouraged, but not required, to wear a chest or mudflap
mount altimeter for FFC jumps.
2. Wingsuit Selection and Attachment.
a. Discuss Wingsuit Designs.
i. Provide a general overview of the popular wingsuit models and
advantages and disadvantages of different designs.
1) Monowing and triwing designs;
2) Wing sizes and shapes, and their advantages and disadvantages for:
 Flocking;
 Aerobatics;
 Distance; and
3) Discuss popular cutaway and emergency systems in general.
ii. Provide all information concerning wingsuit designs and specifications in a
neutral manner, without expressing any brand loyalties.
b. Wingsuits for Use in FFC Jumps.
i. Instructors should select a wingsuit for FFC jumps that is appropriate for
use by a novice wingsuiter.
ii. Instructors should explain why a particular suit has been selected and
should ask the students questions to confirm that they understand these
concerns.
iii. Students should be encouraged to continue to use suits appropriate for
novice wingsuiters following completion of the FFC. In no event should
students be encouraged in the FFC to use or purchase an expert or
advanced suit.
c. Care for Wingsuits.
i. Demonstrate care of the wingsuit:
1) Like canopies, wingsuits are made of nylon and other synthetic fabrics
and will deteriorate when left exposed to sunlight for long periods of
time.
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2) Zippers on a wingsuit should be stowed fully open or fully closed.
3) Cables should be stowed either threaded through suit tabs, or loosely
coiled to prevent kinks in the cable. Kinked cables may cause
hesitation or complete failure of release of a wing or leg in an
emergency situation. Instructors may wish to provide examples of
damaged or poorly maintained suits as instructional aides.
ii. Ask the student questions about care and maintenance of wingsuits to
make sure that he or she understands this information.
d. Attachment.
i. The Instructor must ensure that his or her student is fully capable of
properly connecting the wingsuit to the parachute harness system used in
a First Flight Course. Instructors should demonstrate the following:
1) Lay the parachute harness system on its back, placing the wingsuit on
top of the harness system.
2) Pull the leg straps through the openings in the body of the wingsuit.
3) Assure that the entire leg strap system, including any articulated
harness points, is fully through the suit access point. Fully zipping the
body of the suit after placing leg straps inside may help reduce any
potential confusion during the connection of the arm wings to the
wingsuit body, although this varies with different suit designs.
4) The wingsuit may use cables, lacing, zippers, or other material to close
the wing over the main lift web of the parachute system. Each of these
systems may provide unique benefits and potential issues. The student
should be advised how each of these systems differ, how to spot
potential issues, and how to be certain the system is secure and
properly connected to the parachute harness system.
 Cable Thread Systems consist of a cutaway-style cable that runs
through alternating torso and wing tabs, which keep the wing
attached to the torso. By pulling on the cutaway cables, the
wingsuiter can release the arms of the suit in an emergency. Cable
Thread Systems (unless recommended otherwise by manufacturer)
should always start on the bottom tab, body-side first, threaded to
bottom wing-side tab. Threading the cable in this manner allocates
the stress on the suit to the stronger (body-side) tab.
 There are many different suit designs on the market that use a
Zipper Attachment System. These systems generally come in two
types:
1. ―Over the shoulder zippers‖. Generally, in this design, the wing
isn’t detached from the torso even in an emergency, and the
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―over the shoulder‖ zipper is usually only unzipped if the
wingsuiter is removing the suit from his or her rig while on the
ground. There may be a Velcro breakaway or other cutaway
system or a ―safety sleeve‖.
2. ―Bottom of wing‖ zipper attachment. These may consist of a
single zipper that attaches the wing to the torso or a Velcro
mesh cutaway with an RSL-style latch at the bottom, used to
release the wing.
3. Some wingsuit models have a ―safety sleeve‖ – a liner – that
allows the arm wing to slide up the jumper’s arm upon
deployment.
5) Instructors should demonstrate a wingsuit gear check without the
student wearing the equipment
 For a Cable Thread System, look to see if the cables are threaded
correctly through the tabs, all the way up, with the wing cutaway
handles properly secured
 For a Zipper Attachment System, look to see if the zipper is
attached properly and completely. If applicable, check that the
velcro breakaway system isn’t bunched or pinched
 Tug on the wing to make certain that it is well attached.
ii. Remove the suit from the parachute harness system, and have the
student attach the wingsuit. Observe the attachment and provide
guidance as necessary.
1) Have the student repeat this process until he or she can complete the
attachment without guidance.
2) Have the student perform a wingsuit gear check while the parachute
harness system and wingsuit are on the ground.
iii. Students should be able to recite the differences among each popular
attachment system, and must be capable of connecting the parachute
harness system to the wingsuit prior to being allowed to make their first
FFC jump.
iv. The Instructor is responsible for checking the wingsuit and parachute
harness system prior to the first flight to ensure they are safely, securely,
and completely connected.
3. Wingsuiting’s Special Concerns. Instructors should generally describe the
unique concerns created by wingsuit flight.
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a. Restrictions on Motion.
i. Arm movements are generally more restricted during a wingsuit skydive,
although the amount of restriction is model-specific. This can create
hazards if a wingsuiter is unable to reach his or her toggles.
ii. Some suits do allow for a full range of arm motion, although pressurized
cells in the wingsuit may make full arm movement more difficult.
b. Fall Rates.
i. A typical belly-to-earth skydiver has a vertical (downward) descent speed
of approximately 120 miles per hour and a horizontal (forward) speed of
zero.
ii. A typical wingsuit skydiver has a vertical (downward) descent speed of
approximately 65 mph and horizontal (forward) speeds ranging between
40 to 90 miles per hour.
iii. The deployment of the parachute following a wingsuit skydive results in
the canopy leaving the pack tray at approximately a 45 degree angle from
the flight direction.
iv. The slower speed of the wingsuit skydiver generally provides for a slower
opening, and skydivers may wish to pack their main canopy accordingly.
c. Importance of Navigation.
i. Wingsuits are capable of traveling tremendous distances from standard
exit altitudes when compared to traditional skydivers.
ii. This means great care must be taken when planning exit points.
iii. Winds aloft must be taken into account, as should the potential for other
canopy traffic.
4. Exits.
a. Exit Order and Position.
i. The minimum exit altitude for conducting a FFC course’s first flight is
9,000 feet AGL.
ii. Wingsuiters should be the last to exit the aircraft (i.e., after tandems),
except for any skydivers deploying at or near exit altitude (―high clear and
pulls‖).
iii. Exit position will vary with the aircraft used.
1) Regardless of the aircraft, Instructors should always choose an exit
position for the student that allows the student to:
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 38

 exit the aircraft in a stable manner; and
 maintain eye contact with the instructor.
2) The Instructor’s exit position will vary with the aircraft and the
Instructor’s ability. The Instructor may exit from a front or rear float,
camera slot, backfly, or follow the student out the door. When choosing
an exit position, the Instructor should place priority on:
 maintaining proximity to the student;
 maintaining stability and eye-contact with the student; and
 not creating a distraction to or colliding with the student.
iv. Typical FFC Jump Exit:
1) As an example of a FFC jump exit from a typical aircraft:
 Instructor checks the spot with student.
 Instructor signals for an engine cut (if applicable).
 Instructor climbs out.
 Student takes position.
 Instructor taps student on shoulder to indicate readiness.
 Student provides an up, down, exit that puts his or her face toward
the propeller of the aircraft.
2) This method not only provides a clean exit for both skydivers, but also
provides for a good angle for video of the student exit.
v. Exit procedures should be practiced on the ground several times at the
mockup until the student can physically and verbally demonstrate all
points of the exit clearly and with confidence.
b. Avoiding Tail Strikes.
i. Students should be informed of the danger of collision with the tail of the
aircraft if they open their arm wings immediately upon exit.
ii. Students should demonstrate a one second delay between exit and
opening of their wings.
iii. Instruct student to open arm wings and then the leg wing. Opening the
arm wing first helps prevent a head down body position.
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5. Body Position for Flight.
a. Demonstrate Basic Neutral Body Position.
i. The Instructor should present the basic neutral position for the suit that the
student will be flying in the FFC jump.
ii. Have the student practice this position.
b. Demonstrate How to Accelerate.
i. The Instructor should demonstrate how to accelerate.
1) To increase forward speed extend toes and de-arch.
2) Place the chin towards the chest with arms extended, head low.
ii. Have the student practice this position.
c. Demonstrate How to Decelerate.
i. The Instructor should demonstrate how to decelerate.
1) Forward speed may be slowed through several techniques. The most
basic method is to bend the leg at the knee, bringing the feet up.
2) Additionally, arms may be brought down, decreasing the angle of
attack.
ii. Have the student practice this position.
d. Demonstrate How to Turn.
i. The Instructor should demonstrate how to turn.
1) Turns can be completed through shifting shoulder position.
2) Small turns and sideward slides can be completed by cupping the air
on the side of the turn.
ii. Have the student practice these motions.
e. Flat Spins and Tumbling.
i. Poorly aligned body position and overly aggressive turns can result in flat
spins or tumbling.
ii. Students should be instructed that, in the event of a flat spin, they should
―ball up‖ (close both arm wings and the leg wings) to become stable, and
open the wings gradually to achieve a stable, belly to earth configuration.
iii. If the student’s flat spin is uncontrolled after 10 seconds, or if the flat spin
occurs below 6,000 feet AGL, the student should immediately deploy.
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iv. Have the student practice this process.
f. Signals.
i. Present any hand signals that the Instructor intends to use during the first
flight.
ii. Quiz the student on these signals after presentation and periodically
throughout the remainder of the FFC.
6. Body Position for Deployment and Emergency Procedures.
a. Wave Off and ABCD. At 5,500 feet AGL, the student should wave off and
deploy by 5,000 feet AGL. This altitude provides ample time to deal with any
emergency procedures and provides ample time to unzip/release and stow
any parts of the wingsuit that may require release.
i. Wave off by clicking the heels together three times.
ii. Arch;
iii. Bend knees;
iv. Close the leg wing; and
v. Deploy
1) Collapse both arm wings and reach right hand to the pilot chute handle
2) Throw the pilot chute symmetrically: the left hand makes a symmetrical
―fake pitch‖ as the right hand throws the actual pilot chute
3) Following release of the pilot chute, bring both hands forward
symmetrically to the front of the harness.
4) Keep tail wing closed until the canopy is fully deployed.
b. Stability and Deployment Issues. Instructors should stress the importance
of maintaining body symmetry and a closed tail wing throughout the
deployment sequence to avoid difficulties with deployment (for example, line
twists due to asymmetry or a pilot chute caught in the legwing burble).
c. Emergency Procedures. Emergency procedures for wingsuiting are no
different than in traditional skydiving.
d. Following Deployment.
i. Unzip arm-wings first; remove thumb loops (if necessary); unzip leg
zippers and remove booties.
ii. Tuck away or snap up leg wing (do this on the ground until it can be done
without looking, so student can keep eyes on surrounding airspace under
canopy).
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 41

e. Video. If video of the first flight is being recorded, the videographer (or
Instructor, as applicable) should attempt to obtain footage of the complete
deployment sequence.
f. Post-deployment Awareness.
i. Wingsuit skydivers often share canopy airspace with tandems and
jumpers still on student status (as well as other jumpers that may have
deployed higher than 3,000 AGL feet).
ii. As experienced skydivers, the FFC student should exercise care around
these other canopies to avoid canopy collisions.
7. Navigation and Clouds.
a. Navigation.
i. Because wingsuiters can travel miles from exiting the aircraft to the point
at which they deploy, navigation is a critically important skill.
ii. Winds aloft should be determined prior to FFC jumps. Students should not
exit when the winds aloft exceed 40 knots. The pilot is often a useful
resource for winds aloft information.
iii. Wingsuits generally fly a standard pattern, which may vary with the
dropzone and air traffic concerns.
1) In a typical ―left hand pattern‖, the wingsuiter exits the aircraft and
immediately turns 90 degrees from the line of flight for 10 to 30
seconds. They make a second 90 degree turn back along the line of
flight, with significant separation between the wingsuiter and any
deploying canopies.
iv. Instructors should plan the navigation for the jump using an aerial
photograph of the dropzone and surrounding areas.
1) After outlining the desired pattern, the Instructor should plan the
skydive with the student. Ask the student to identify where the proper
exit point, turns, and deployment point should occur. Have the student
identify and indicate reference points for the skydive.
2) The student should be able to plan a basic exit point, flight path, and
deployment point that assures vertical and horizontal separation from
other skydivers on the load.
3) Wingsuiters often deploy at altitudes where large canopy traffic may be
found (for example, tandems and AFF students). The planned flight
path must take this into account. Emphasis should be placed on
deploying at a safe distance from tandem skydivers.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 42

v. If multiple groups of wingsuiters are to exit on the same load, the groups
should exit and fly in opposite directions (for example, the first wingsuit
group to exit will fly a right hand pattern, and the second group will fly a
left hand pattern). FFC students should exit with their instructor before
experienced wingsuiters.
vi. There should be a minimum 10 second separation between wingsuit
groups.
vii. Instructors should anticipate possible student out-landings and
communicate a plan with the dropzone’s management. Students should
be encouraged to carry a cell phone with them on all wingsuit jumps.
viii. The Instructor is not required to land with student that is landing off.
ix. If a student lands off, flies close to traffic, or makes any gross navigation
mistakes, the Instructor should require another jump before signing off on
the FFC.
b. Clouds and Visibility.
i. A hole in the clouds suitable for typical skydivers (see SIM Section 9, Part
105), may not be sufficient for wingsuit skydivers.
ii. Wingsuit skydivers must meet the requirements of (and it is recommended
that they exceed the requirements of) FAR 105.17.
1) Below 10,000 MSL:
 Three mile flight visibility;
 Not less than 500 feet below clouds;
 Not less than 1,000 feet above clouds; and
 Not less than 2,000 feet horizontally from clouds.
2) Above 10,000 MSL:
 Five mile flight visibility;
 Not less than 1,000 feet below clouds;
 Not less than 1,000 feet above clouds; and
 Not less than 1 mile horizontally from clouds.
iii. Instructors should avoid taking students on first flights if weather
conditions may present visual obstructions.
iv. If clouds are present, and there is any possibility that a student could
accidentally enter a cloud, the student should be instructed prior to exit
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 43

that he or she should maintain a straight line flight path if he or she
accidentally enters the cloud and should avoid making any radical turns
while in the cloud.
8. Communication with Pilots and Other Skydivers.
a. Pilots.
i. Wingsuit skydivers often exit the aircraft following tandems, and are
usually the last to exit the aircraft. Some factors to be carefully managed:
1) Inform the pilot if wingsuiters will remain in the plane for a minute or
more following the exit of the last of the ―traditional‖ skydivers
(especially when there are significant winds aloft)
2) Inform the pilot in advance if wingsuiters need an extended jump run
requiring the pilot to power up the aircraft again prior to the wingsuiters’
exit.
3) A solid engine cut is necessary for wingsuiters to avoid colliding with
the tail, particularly in low-tail aircraft. If the aircraft uses a ―cut switch‖
for pilot communication, remind the pilot of a necessary cut via the cut
switch.
ii. The Instructor should demonstrate proper communications with the pilot of
the aircraft and make any special arrangements on the ground if possible.
1) Pilots should not be distracted during takeoff or jump run.
2) Instructors should plan any communications with the pilot between
4,000 and 10,000 feet AGL.
3) Instructors should inform the pilot of any special needs, the number of
wingsuiters exiting, and of any wingsuit floating exits.
b. Other Skydivers.
i. Wingsuiters should be aware of the deployment altitudes and types of
skydiving activities (for example, tandem, RW, freeflying, etc.) that are
being conducted on their loads.
ii. Wingsuiters should be aware of any skydivers on the load intending to
deploy above 6,000 AGL.
iii. In no event should a FFC jump involve an intentional canopy flyby.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 44

9. Confirm the Student’s Understanding.
a. Ask Questions.
i. Instructors should ask questions throughout the FFC to make sure that the
student understands the material.
ii. At the conclusion of the presentation set forth above, the Instructor should
encourage the student to ask any questions that the student may still
have. The Instructor should repeat any material that appears to have
been misunderstood or which requires additional explanation.
b. Perform a Walkthrough.
i. Following the completion of the First Flight Course Ground School but
before gearing up, the Instructor should walk the student through the
complete FFC jump.
ii. The student should be able to verbally relate the flight plan without
prompting or coaching.
iii. The Instructor should confirm that the student knows any hand signals that
the Instructor intends to use, and that the student is aware instructor may
guide student via flight pattern.
iv. The student should be able to complete all of the activities without
prompting by the Instructor.
VI. Gearing Up and Pre-flight Gear Checks.

1. Gear Checks.
a. Three Gear Checks. Instructors should perform a complete gear check at
least three times:
i. Before rigging up;
ii. Before boarding; and
iii. Before exit.
b. Checking the Rig.
i. Always check the wingsuit and rig in a logical order, such as top to bottom,
back to front.
1) Automatic activation device
 Switched on
 Calibrated
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 45

2) Rig configuration
 Closing loop tight for properly closed container
 Pilot chute handle easily reached
3) Main closing
 Flap closing order and bridle routing correct
 Slack above the curved pin
 Pin fully seated
 Tight closing loop, with no more than ten percent visible fraying
 Pin secured to bridle with no more than ten percent fraying
 Collapsible pilot chute cocked
 Pilot chute and bridle with no more than ten percent damage at any
wear point
 Main deployment handle in place
4) Canopy release system and RSL
 Correct canopy release assembly
 RSL connected and routed correctly
5) Canopy release handle
 Properly seated in Velcro
6) Reserve ripcord handle
 Seated properly in Velcro
 No kinks or bends in the reserve ripcord cable
7) Harness adjustments
 Leg straps and hardware
1. Threaded properly
2. Clip type: clipped and secure
3. Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running
end secured to prevent slippage
 Chest strap and mudflap altimeter
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 46

1. Snap-type: connected and adjusted
2. Friction adapter type: threaded correctly, adjusted, and running
end secured to prevent slippage
c. Checking the Wingsuit.
i. All zippers intact
ii. No rips, tears or excess fabric that may cover handles
iii. Handles not pulled into or covered by wingsuit
iv. All cables neatly secured (if applicable)
d. Checking the Helmet.
i. Adequate protection
ii. Fit and adjustment
e. Audible – settings:
i. 6500 feet
ii. 5500 feet
iii. 4500 feet
f. Chest Mount Altimeter
i. Readable by student (check for student farsightedness)
ii. Zeroed
g. Goggles
i. Clear and clean
ii. Tight
2. Attaching the Wingsuit to the Parachute Harness System.
a. Student Responsibility.
i. The student is responsible for attaching the wingsuit to the harness under
the supervision of the Instructor.
ii. The student should be able to attach the wingsuit with minimal guidance
from the Instructor.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 47

b. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor is responsible for inspecting the attached wingsuit/harness
system once it has been attached by the student. The Instructor should
complete the first complete gear check at this point.
ii. Any mis-attachments or errors should be pointed out to the student for
correction by the student. Consider delaying the FFC jump to focus on
gear issues if the student appears to have difficulty with this subject.
3. Donning the Gear.
a. Student Responsibility.
i. The student is responsible for attaching donning the gear.
ii. The student should be able to don the wingsuit and parachute harness
system without input from the Instructor.
b. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor is responsible for inspecting the gear once it has been
donned by the student. The Instructor should complete the second
complete gear check at this point.
ii. Areas of particular focus:
1) Instructors should pay particular attention at this point to harness
attachment systems (i.e., leg straps and chest straps):
 Instructors should instruct the student to feel his or her leg straps
through the wingsuit fabric to make sure that they are on and tight.
 Instructors should have the student shrug. The student should feel
tension from the leg straps if they are on properly.
 The Instructor should lift the back of the rig, under the BOC, to
ensure that the leg straps are on and tight. If the rig moves more
than 2‖, the leg straps may be too loose or not properly attached.
iii. Consider delaying the FFC jump to focus on gear issues if the student
appears to have difficulty with this subject.
iv. Once the gear has been donned, the student should be instructed not to
remove any gear without informing the Instructor.
VII. Walk-through; Boarding; Ride to Altitude.

1. Full Walkthrough.
a. Complete a full, geared up walk through of the skydive, from climb out to
deployment.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 48

b. Demonstrate several hand signals that may be used by the Instructor.
Confirm that the student understands them.
c. The student should be able to complete the walkthrough with minimal input
from the Instructor.
2. Confirm Weather Conditions.
a. Confirm that the Instructor has an up-to-date weather forecast.
b. Confirm surface winds and winds aloft are appropriate for wingsuiting.
c. Confirm sufficient daylight is remaining.
3. Boarding the Aircraft.
a. Student Equipment.
i. Monitor the student’s equipment.
ii. Encourage wingsuit and gear awareness.
b. Instructor’s Equipment.
i. If other experienced wingsuiters are present, ask for a gear check from
one of them.
ii. This demonstration highlights to the student that even experienced
wingsuiters seek out gear checks.
4. Pre-exit Gear Checks.
a. Conduct a complete pre-exit equipment check with the student at 3,000 feet
below exit altitude.
b. Have the student shrug and feel the leg straps to confirm that they are
properly routed.
c. Remind the student to be aware of his or her movement in the aircraft during
climb out.
5. Spotting.
a. Instructor Responsibility.
i. The Instructor should ask the student to identify the proper spot for exit.
ii. The Instructor is responsible for confirming the spot and should not allow
the first flight to occur unless the Instructor approves of the spot.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 49

VIII. Wingsuit Exit and Flight.
1. Spotting.
a. Proper spotting techniques will help to assure an on-field landing.
b. Most students travel an average of 1 to 2 miles on their first wingsuit jump
and the spot needs to be adjusted accordingly.
c. Flying a standard box pattern will help to avoid other skydiver traffic and will
increase the likelihood of making it back to the dropzone.
d. The student should make a visual confirmation of the landing area as well as
make a note of where other jumpers are relative to the drop zone.
e. The airspace also needs to be checked for aircraft or any other air traffic.
2. Climb Out and Exit.
a. The student gives the instructor a thumbs up.
b. Climb out or set up in door, breathe and prepare to exit.
3. Exit.
a. The Instructor should observe the exit to evaluate:
i. the students’ stability; and
ii. that the student delayed opening his or her wings as instructed to avoid
the tail wing.
b. The student should establish stability as soon as possible.
4. Practice Pulls/Touches and Circle of Awareness.
a. After establishing stability, the student should complete three wave offs and
practice pulls/touches as taught in the Ground School component of the FFC.
b. The student should demonstrate awareness by responding to hand signals
from the Instructor and by being aware of his or her altitude.
5. Navigation.
a. The student should fly a standard pattern with minimal input or prompting
from the Instructor.
b. The Instructor should note any discrepancies between the student’s actual
flight path as compared to his or her planned flight path.
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 50

6. Deployment.
a. The student will wave off at 5,500 feet AGL and deploy not lower than 5,000
feet AGL.
b. If possible, the deployment sequence should be captured on video.
IX. Debrief.

1. Verify that the student has landed and returned safely to the hangar.
2. Provide a post-flight debrief.
a. Conduct a walk and talk, allowing the student to act out his or her perceptions
of the jump first.
i. Particular attention should be paid to whether the student was aware of
any mistakes he or she made during the jump.
ii. The Instructor should enquire whether the student had difficulty
unzipping/opening the wingsuit following deployment.
b. Explain the jump from the instructor’s viewpoint.
1) Accentuate the positive.
2) Discuss areas for improvement.
ii. Review the video, if available.
c. Provide any necessary corrective training.
d. Conduct or overview the training for the next jump.
e. Record the jump.
i. Student’s logbook; and
ii. Appropriate segments of the Wingsuit Proficiency Card.

***
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 51

Wingsuit Proficiency Card

USPA Wingsuit Proficiency Card
Student
Name:__________________________________________________________ License: ________

Instructor
Name:__________________________________________________________ License: ________

First Flight Ground School Inst. Initial
 Non-wingsuit gear
 Wingsuit selection
 Gear up and suit rigging
 Exits
 Basic flying skills (body position, instability recovery, etc.)
 Deployment procedures
 Emergency procedures
 Navigation and clouds
 Communication with pilot and other skydivers

First Flight Jump Inst. Initial
 Attachment of parachute harness system to wingsuit
 Donning the gear
 Ground gear check
 In aircraft gear check
 Spotting
 Exit
 Altitude awareness
 Navigation
 Deployed at proper altitude
 Stable deployment
 Execution of post-deployment procedures

Completed USPA First Flight Course and
Cleared for Wingsuit Skydiving without a USPA Wingsuit instructor
Instructor
Signature:__________________________________________________________ Date: ________
USPA Instructional Rating Manual: Wingsuit Instructor Rating Course page 52

Conforming Amendments to SIM

To conform to the proposed Wingsuit Instructor rating program, Section 6-9(c) of the
SIM would be amended as follows. Deleted text is marked as strikethrough, new text is
marked as italic and bold.

1. Before attempting a wing-suit jump, a skydiver should:

a. have either (i) a minimum of 500 freefall skydives; or (ii) a minimum of 200 freefall
skydives, made within the past 18 months, and receive one-on-one instruction from an
experienced wing suit jumper

b. completely read and understand all documentation and training information
provided with the wing suit

c. have the ability to perform exits and skydive in the deployment position described
in this outline before making a jump with the wing suit

2. Training by an experienced wing-suit flyer should cover the following topics:

a. gear selection, especially canopy choice and the deployment device

b. rigging and wearing the wing suit

c. aircraft pilot briefing and skydiver heading awareness during wing-suit flights

d. aircraft exit techniques

e. basic flight techniques for wing-suit flights

f. deployment procedures

g. emergency procedures

2. Skydivers first attempting to wingsuit on or after [insert date of adoption of
USPA Wingsuit Instructor Rating] must satisfactorily complete a USPA First
Flight Course taught by a rated and current USPA Wingsuit Instructor before
attempting to wingsuit either alone or with non-Wingsuit Instructor rated
skydivers.
jpd final rev