Ah, wintertime. We’re lucky enough here at Spaceland-Houston to have jumpable temperatures year-round, but cooler days and holidays often result in many of us taking a bit of a break from jumping this time of year. This break can result in a lack of currency, which is an additional risk factor for injury in skydiving. No one wants that!
If you are a licensed jumper, but you haven’t jumped in however many days your license level requires for currency, you will have to complete ground training and/or a recurrency jump with a coach or instructor to demonstrate survival skills before you can skydive here unsupervised. If you’re not yet licensed, you’ll need to jump every 30 days to avoid a recurrency jump.
As you already know, skydiving is a very technical sport. Taking a lot of time away from it means our brains aren’t thinking about jumping as much, and our bodies aren’t going through the motions. Our ability to recall the details of how to skydive safely decreases over time, as does our knowledge of anything else! And then there is the additional risk with very long layoffs that equipment or safe skydiving procedures may have evolved during our absence from the sport, and thus recurrency training will be critical to safety.
Sometimes people feel recurrency jumps are money grabs (and they aren’t shy about telling us!), but this has nothing to do with money and everything to do with safety. Uncurrent skydivers are at higher risk of injuring themselves and those around them, and no drop zone wants that additional risk in their skies. Our currency requirements are those recommended by the United States Parachute Association, with additional requirements for C/D license holders after years of layoff time.
Currency requirements vary by your license level, with higher license levels requiring less frequent recurrency training than lower levels. We all learned about currency requirements as students, but it’s easy to forget them. So here they are from our policies and the United States Parachute Association Skydiver’s Information Manual (as of January 2015):
|License Held/Last Item Completed||Time since last jump/item||Must do or repeat|
|Tandem level 2||30+ days||Tandem level 2 (TL2) must be done 30 days or less before ground school and Skydiver Training Program (STP) level 1|
|Ground School||30+ days||Ground school must be done 30 days or less before STP level 1. Must repeat TL2 and do a ground refresher course before STP1.|
|Solo STP student (no license)||30+ days||STP-15 or last passing dive flow|
|A license||60+ days||Coach jump|
|A license||90+ days||STP-15|
|B license||90+ days||Coach jump|
|B license||180+ days||STP-15|
|C license||180+ days||Coach jump|
|C license||2+ years||STP-15|
|D license||180+ days||Coach jump|
|D license||3+ years||STP-15|
Please note: If your last jump wasn’t done here at Spaceland, we will need to see your logbook to verify the date and place of your last jump, and the signature of the experienced jumper who witnessed your jump. Don’t leave home without it!