STEP ONE: Know Where You Are Going
The best way to get your FS1 is to start by knowing exactly where you are going.
In skydiving, in the UK, that means starting with the British Skydiving Operations Manual. The Ops Manual is a document maintained and updated by the British Skydving Safety and Training Committee ('STC'). Every Chief Instructor ('CI') is a committee member of STC and they all get one vote.
Section 2 (pdf here) of the Ops Manual relates to the 'designation and classification of skydivers' and Paragraph 6.3 (screenshot below) lists the skills you must be proficient at, and, importantly, how to demonstrate them to obtain your FS1.
It's definitely worth reading - the section 6.3 is short - and it states that (6.3.1) you need to be able to be able to control your movement:
- forwards & backwards, (6.3.1.e)
- turns (6.3.1.a),
- fallrate (fast fall and slow fall) (6.3.1.a) and
- sideways (6.3.1.e)
- Altitude awareness. (6.3.1.c&d)
- Competency at tracking (6.3.1.c)
You are assessed on all this by doing TWO things (6.3.1.b & 6.3.1.f):
- A 'swoop to pin' where you leave the plane just after your coach and you dive down to them and dock softly and therefore safely.
- A 4 point 4way.... a skydive with four people making four different formations.
The Ops Manual only asks for 4 points but the FS Coaching Manual suggests that this is for jumps from 10,000 feet and that if your DZ goes higher, you should score more points accordingly. Your coach may be more demanding than the Ops Manual. But 4 points is the minimum.
You need to be very aware of the requirement to remain altitude aware and break off at the agreed height - I have seen many FS1 jumps failed by people forgetting this. Tracking does not need to be amazing but should be competent and in a straight line.
It's not perfect but it's really good. If you have time, read all of it. If you only have 5 minutes, read Appendices A-C.
Good luck with it all. Let me know if I can help with your progression. I'd be honoured.
PS STEP THREE: FS1 is bullshit. Read me getting on my soapbox here. (coming soon)