Life After AFF
you’ve just completed your AFF course, suddenly your
eyes have been opened to a whole new world and you want to
learn more. If you are even a little bit like me, you are
already going to bed in the evenings thinking about where
and when your next skydive will be, what is in store for the
future, and who you will meet along the way. Fingers crosses,
the information below will point you in the right direction.
membership and your home DZ
you are back in the UK, you will need to figure out which
parachute centre you are going to make your home dropzone.
This is the place where you are probably going to spend a
lot of your free money and time!
I completed my AFF course and went back to the UK, I went
directly to Hibaldstow. They helped me to find other people
to jump with, were very friendly, and they also fly their
aircrafts to 15,000ft on every skydive! Since then, I also
have jumped at Weston and South Cerney and they were also
very friendly and good dropzones too. When you have decided
which dropzone you are going to jump at first, pay them a
visit. Take your logbook and AFF video to the office or manifest
and there will always be someone there to help you.
your " A " License
dropzone chief instructor (or CCI) will be able to sign you
up for your FAI A license, which you will then post to the
BPA. In return, you will receive a nice little licence book.
You will also need to become a member of the BPA (British
Parachute Association). The BPA membership also includes a
subscription to the BPA skydiving magazine, and includes the
mandatory third party liability insurance that you are required
to have in the UK and Europe (the third party insurance does
not cover you in the US). Then, all you need to do is sign
the medical declaration of fitness and now you can get ready
Hire vs. Gear purchase
hire has been available at all of the UK dropzones that I
have jumped at. The equipment I personally hired was well
maintained and very safe. However, it is quite expensive to
keep hiring equipment, and you will already be starting to
consider buying some of your own equipment. I grasped that
that money that I could spend on buying my own gear could
have all been used on gear rental in about 200 skydives, making
the investment very sound. Purchasing your own skydiving gear
is a definite commitment to your skydiving future, so you
should be 100% sure that you seriously want to continue skydiving.
wary of people who try to sell you their unwanted stuff, or
who are just trying to make a fast buck. Always seek qualified
advice from your AFF instructor.
a coach and stay current
may like to start learning some new things after you have
done a few solo jumps at your home DZ. The first part in your
training is to complete the BPA CH2 certificate, and this
is required for your FAI B license. To gain this certificate,
you will need to take an open book exam and complete some
you will need to learn some more advanced body flight techniques,
and how to fly safely relative to other skydivers. Find yourself
a qualified Formation skydiving (FS) coach to help you do
this. As part of the coaching, you will gain the BPA FS1 rating.
you become more skilled, you will be able to jump with existing
and new friends, which is the best feeling in the world, especially
as you make each jump a little more action packed and challenging.
Keeping up with your coaching will ensure that you keep improving,
it will keep you current too and make sure that you don’t
have too long a break between skydives.
a jump buddy and learn to pack
you are FS1 qualified, you will be able to put some of your
new skills to use! The best way of doing this is to jump with
other people. Jump buddies can be a more experienced skydiver,
or a like minded individual who is at a similar level.
will save money by learning to pack. Typically, a pack job
costs about 5 GBP, and if you are at a boogie doing a lot
of skydives, then your packing bill may even end up more than
your flight tickets that got you there in the first place!
Its doesn’t just save you money, by learning to pack
you will gain knowledge of different types of skydiving equipment-
e.g. how to change your closing loop, effect the opening characteristics
of your canopy, and when you need to call in the skills of
to organised events
and other organised events are the best way to make a lot
of jumps in a short space of time. You will find load organisers
at boogies, who will organise fun skydives and get you doing
all sorts of fun stuff. Sometime free coaching is offered,
and there are normally extra aircraft drafted in, so that
everyone can do as many skydives as they want. Your learning
curve at an event like this will be much steeper then seasonal,
or regular weekend jumping due to the time period being concentrated.
For example, I managed 30 skydives in 6 days at a Christmas
boogie, a canopy course AND some FS coached jumps –
more, learn more, enjoy more!
more information on skydiving visit www.freefalladdicts.com