If you are interested in wingsuit flying then, then here's a quick a - z of what you are taking on.

You must first learn to skydive and to do this you need to find a drop zone. Depending on how much time you have, your budget, and how much of an adventure-freak you are, you have three methods for skydiving:
  • tandem (where you are strapped to the front of your instructor),
  • static line (where a cord attached from the plane to your parachute pulls the parachute open almost immediately after you jump out)
  • accelerated freefall (AFF) (you pull your own rip cord and you float to the ground solo). These offer varying levels of airborne freedom and varying levels of training time.
Subsequently, you must go through levels 1 - 7 of the AFF course which will teach you, in 7 jumps, how to belly fly and how to land a parachute. 'Belly fly' is the most basic style of free fall body control.

Follow the AFF up with a few coached jumps where you are jumping on your own. By the end of 25 jumps you will know how to pack a parachute, airplane protocol, belly flight body control and what to do in an emergency. You can easily complete the course within a week but constant repetition will give you more confidence which is important if you want to continue your skydiving into wingsuit flying!

Graduating to Wingsuit Flying

Wingsuit flying is more regulated and far more dangerous as your arms and legs are zipped up into the wings of the suit. It is highly unlikely that you will be allowed to progress to wingsuit lessons if you do not already have at least 200 skydives.

By becoming an adept skydiver you will learn the various types of skydiving such as belly flying (the most basic), free flying, tracking (where you use your body to choose the direction of your flight) and relative work, where you join with other people in the air. Learning how to do tracking is one of the most important factor of wingsuit diving.

A wingsuit instructor will teach you everything from how to connect the wingsuit to your skydiving rig, to how to exit the plane and throw your pilot chute, and what flight pattern to take.

Wingsuit flying is quite similar to an aeroplane flight. So the more you know and understand the actual flight of a plane the more you will be able to control your flight in a wingsuit.

Wingsuits or Squirrel Suits

There are various types of wing suits to use. It is advisable to start off with a small, simple suit like the Birdman Classic or the Phoenix Fly Prodigy. When you are learning in these suits you will be able to do jumps out of helicopters, flips and barrel rolls, plus flying relative with other people. When you have built-up your confidence you can move on to the Phoenix Fly Vampire 2. Remember big, high performance suit take some getting used to and are not easy to fly.

Learning how to wingsuit fly is expensive, and requires time, it is recommended that you keep the lessons tightly packed so you create a habit not a hobby - skydivers call it 'being current'. You cannot afford to become overconfident at any point.

If you are serious about wingsuit diving, we suggest that you head for a skydive club and learn from qualified instructors.