What is an AFF course?
The Accelerated Free-fall Course or AFF really means, “Accelerated learning” The course teaches you how to skydive quickly using the latest training techniques. Before AFF people had to learn by jumping out of the plane on their own and after around 45 jumps and an average of 18 months they would achieve license standard (this is known as Static Line or RAPS), with AFF you can become a qualified skydiver in just a few days.
There are 8 levels on an AFF course, after a 6 hour ground school and a briefing before each jump you make an assisted skydive, thereafter the instructor accompanies you on each level/jump while you perform a set of exercises that you must complete before going onto the next level. The course is flexible and we aim to help you progress as quickly and as safely as possible. Each jump is designed to take you through a level (4th jump equals L4 etc).
AFF is much more than a free-fall parachute jump it is a fully integrated training system that accepted worldwide as the premier method of learning to skydive.
You will be taught how to fly your parachute and you will be given additional help by the use of a radio attached to your harness. You will be trained to open your parachute at around 5,500 feet and this gives you a canopy ride of 5 minutes.
Your “rig” is designed specifically for students and like all skydivers you will have a reserve parachute fitted with an Automatic Activation Device, so that in the very unlikely event you do not open your own parachute it will deploy the reserve for you.
How long does it take to complete an AFF course and how dependent it is on the weather?
For your initial training and jumps you should allow a couple of days and this will mean staying near the drop zone on the first night or using the bunkroom at the DZ.
Thereafter your rate of progression is mostly up to you and really depends on how much time you spend on the DZ, You can allow 2 or 3 jumping days for the AFF and 2 more jumping days for the 10 consolidation jumps needed to get your international “A” license. Of course all this is weather dependent and as a student your weather perimeters are a sky that is mostly free of cloud and a wind of less than 15mph. If the weather is bad then this can delay your progression.
Generally you can not rely on weather forecasts to predict if you will jump or not so our advice is to book the course regardless of the forecast and show up, once on site if the weather situation is hopeless we will let you know and so that you can salvage the rest of the day. That said British summers are generally much better than people give them credit for and Britain is an great place to do AFF when the weather is good.
Sometimes in the summer months our students make 8 jumps in a day and finish the whole AFF course! With “ The AFF School” you will be encouraged to progress quickly but at a speed we think is best for you, your safety and your fun.
Occasionally students fail to achieve the objectives on a jump and need to repeat that level. There are costs associated in repeating a level. A full breakdown of the costs is available on the Prices page (see the A La Carte price list).
If you really struggle with some of the free-fall objectives we can take you to a wind tunnel, which will allow you to refine those skills before getting back in the air.
Where can I do my AFF skydiving course?
Our main base is at the Peterlee DZ in County Durham in the North East of England. The DZ is very well equipped and has a great plane. Peterlee is a great place to learn to skydive.
However we are not limited to this drop zone our training can be flexible. We often provide AFF courses at other drop zones, in Spain, special events in Europe and occasionally the USA . When you contact us we will discuss your requirements and put a plan together especially for you.
Do you recommend training in England?
Categorically Yes! The British Parachute Association “BPA” has the reputation of delivering some of the best training anywhere in the world. BPA drop zones and their aircraft are run to an excellent standard and if you aim to keep on jumping in the UK then doing your AFF here helps. You will be issued a British License, meet new people and are likely to establish friendships that will last a lifetime.
In the unusual event of an injury we have the NHS that offers some of the best emergency care anywhere in the world and without the need for insurance etc.
Over the winter months we pack our bags and take students out to Spain or the USA but we don’t recommend this in the summer months, we have experienced that over the summer months the speed at which you can progress with us is about the same in as it is in Spain and with the real benefit of being trained here and having a full license issued by us. It is worth mentioning at this point that DZs or AFF Schools that operate with non-BPA instructors (like the majority in Spain/USA) often imply that they can issue a BPA license but in fact they cannot since it requires a BPA certified advanced instructor to do that and there are not many of those around.
After AFF am I a “true” skydiver?
Once you have finished the AFF course you will have all the skills required to skydive on your own. However you will probably want to go on to get a BPA “A” License, this means you can jump without restriction at skydiving centers around the world. To do this you must complete 10 solo “consolidation” jumps after your AFF course and receive several short briefs.
The consolidation jumps provide an opportunity for you to relax, get used to your new environment and refine or “consolidate” on the skills you have learned on your AFF course, including more advanced canopy control skills.
Once you have your “A” license, then you can really start having fun, there are a host of skills and numerous other “qualifications” that you can acquire if you so wish. You will probably want to learn to fly with your new found friends. We have courses to help you develop all these skills.
What is the difference between a parachute jump and a skydive?
The expressions parachute jump and skydive are often used interchangeably. However when someone leaves an aircraft and immediately deploys their parachute without any free-fall then it is normally viewed as just a parachute jump otherwise with free-fall involved it is then viewed as a skydive.
Are skydivers adrenalin-junkies or risk takers?
Most skydivers are just regular people and come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some skydivers are university students some are parents and grandparents. Although there is a risk associated with skydiving (or any sport for that matter) that risk is often a lot less than the public believes it to be. Many skydivers make thousands of jumps without as much as a bump or bruise. Skydivers wear sophisticated parachute equipment and undergo extensive training and this minimizes the risk. Skydiving is a exhilarating sport and it is for people who want to experience something that most people do not. Skydiving is for people who are content to manage risk.
Is learning to skydive scary or hard?
Doing an AFF course is extremely rewarding and many of our students will tell you it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of their entire life. This is an amazing sport, with remarkable people. For some an AFF course can be emotionally demanding, nerve-racking and for some people even a little bit scary but it’s not actually “that difficult” but you will need to be attentive and have common sense. There are skydivers from all backgrounds, who have all sorts of different jobs and with a wide range of ability. Learning to skydive isn’t difficult but it requires an element of determination, alertness and common sense.
Who can skydive?
Anyone between the age of 16 and 55 can learn to skydive. You should be reasonably fit, healthy and alert. We have a nominal weight limit of fifteen and a half stone with sixteen and half stone being accepted by arrangement. You will need to complete a declaration of fitness before you start training (BPA Form 115c) and there is another form that should be signed by your GP if you have any “risk factors” (BPA Form 115d). See the BPA form link at the bottom of the registration form on the “Book Now” page.
How high will I jump from?
All our AFF jumps are made from a minimum of 12,000 feet and normally from 15,000 feet.! Once you are a licensed skydiver you can exit the aircraft whenever you like as long as you are open by 3000 ft but most skydivers jump from the highest altitude they can.
How fast will I fall?
Skydivers fall at somewhere around 120 miles per hour in the “standard” face to earth student position.
Once I am a licensed skydiver – what can I do and what does it cost?
There is always something new to learn in this sport.
- Formation Skydiving – jumping “with friends”
- Vertical Skydiving – standing on your head “with friends”
- Accuracy – landing on a 1cm target mat
- Canopy formations – stacking canopies together
- Wing suit jumps – fly around like batman!
- Swooping – negotiating an obstacle course under canopy
- And many more – all for around £22 a jump, equipment rental is £10 a jump and your own gear will cost you around £2500.
What if I do my training abroad with another company ?
If I do my AFF course with another company abroad can I then convert that training to a British qualification and can I jump in the UK? The short answer is yes we will be happy to let you jump with us but you must hold a full FAI skydiving “A” license, this takes at least 25 jumps and around 2 weeks to achieve. If you do not hold the actual FAI license then you are still a “student” and on your return to the UK you will need to retake the ground school and have 1 or 2 AFF jumps with a BPA instructor and this will cost around £250 to £400.
Do I have to make a Tandem Jump before I take an AFF Course?
No you don’t need do a Tandem jump before you start AFF since the AFF program is designed to take people off the street and into the air from jump number 1. Around 15% of our students have made a tandem jump beforehand and there is no harm in that but bear in mind that very little useful training takes place on tandem so generally our advice is too save your money and get straight into AFF.
Do I get a refund if I don’t complete my AFF Course?
If you choose one of the package deals (Gold Cse/8 jump AFF/Consol Pack) there is no refund should you fail complete the course and there is no return of the deposit should you not show for training. If you are not sure about taking a package deal then you can “Pay as you go” using the A La Carte price list, this is route is more expensive but it is flexible and may suit some people better. This “no refund” policy applies to PayPal as well as cash, credit card and payments by bank transfer.
Who is “Go Jump”?
The Go Jump AFF School is a specialised full time Skydiving Training School based in the UK at the Peterlee Parachute Club. We are not an agency (a third party site that takes a fee and passes you onto a BPA club or school). When you deal with us you are dealing with the real thing!