Accelerated Freefall program (AFF) is a comprehensive, 19 jump program (including one skills evaluation tandem skydive) designed to train an individual with a strong foundation to become a solo, certified skydiver by building strong freefall and canopy skills. Upon completion of the AFF program, students will need to make 6 solo jumps (or the number remaining to reach the mandatory 25 total skydives), and learn to pack in order to attain an A license.
Yes, a tandem evaluation with a multi-rated instructor is required after the First Jump Course. Each level within the AFF program requires an individual to achieve different skill sets while in freefall. If the feeling of freefall has never been experienced, it can be a distraction as your senses process this new feeling. A tandem skydive allows you to experience freefall and will give you a better understanding if skydiving is an activity you would enjoy pursuing.
The first jump course involves six hours of classroom training followed by a tandem skydive with a multi-rated Tandem/AFF instructor. This is called a Tandem evaluation jump that is required for your first level jump & weather permitting is done right after your class is over. The first jump course will identify the parachute gear and how it works, correct freefall body position, identifying and handling emergency procedures, and flying the canopy. The CAT A level one jump is the next level & will include two freefall instructors alongside while in freefall until the time of deployment. Once under canopy, a member of the ground crew will instruct you on proper flying techniques and landing via wireless radio.
Each level represents a skill set the student is required to learn and demonstrate while in freefall. Advancement to the next level will not occur until each student properly demonstrates that he / she can execute the specific skills introduced for the particular level. Failure to demonstrate this skill set may require the student to repeat the level.
Phase I can be completed in a long weekend (barring weather issues) or as slowly as one jump every 30 days. Students are encouraged to stay as current as possible and not allow too much time to elapse between jumps. Ideally, the more jumps one can make in a shorter period of time, the better. This helps improve confidence and allows you to progress more quickly. Students who go beyond 30 days from their last jump will be required to repeat their last, successfully completed level. Students who surpass 90 days since their last completed jump will be required to sit through the first jump course as a refresher on procedure
Note, that you can pay as you go through the program, but the expense of starting with a first jump course to the A license is approximately $3,500 This fee includes all gear rental fees for your 9 solo jumps after the AFP program is completed.
Following Phase I, the student will be jumping without radio assistance and will begin to develop freefall and canopy skills beyond basic competencies as taught in Phase I. Emphasis will be placed on meeting all skill sets required on the A license proficiency card. The main goal for a new skydiver is to attain an A-license which permits skydivers to jump with other, non-instructor skydivers. The A license also allows jumpers to jump at other dropzones.
A minimum of 25 jumps is required to attain an A license. If the student has completed a tandem skydive, the tandem is included in this 25 jump requirement. The A-license proficiency checklist (you will receive one at the beginning of Phase I) must be fully completed (it will be with the successful graduation of Phase II). Also the ability to pack a parachute correctly is a requirement when earning the A license.
It is recommended that new jumpers purchase used gear before owning brand new gear. As you gain more experience, you’ll learn more about the kind of skydiving you will wish to participate in and eventually you will probably downsize your canopy. It is always recommended to purchase used gear that has been properly inspected by an FAA certified parachute rigger to determine gear quality and airworthiness.
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