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Average Rating = 4.73/5 Average Rating : 4.73/5

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Average Rating : Average Rating = 4.73/5
Total Reviews: 62

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An extremely well run and resourced drop zone, perfect place to begin and develop as a skydiver


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: imjohnyoung on 2016-09-17

Pros: Friendly, open, welcoming, experienced staff with good resources and excellent instruction
Cons: I don't live there

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Having found FFU online, I did a bit of research and decided this was the place for me to go for my first jumps and AFF course. I decided shortly after arrival that I had made the right choice, and will continue to return whenever possible for as long as it's there.

The staff are extremely friendly and provide a relaxed atmosphere which helps put students (who are naturally nervous) at ease and ensures a good learning environment. Their level of professionalism inspires confidence and the approachable nature makes sure students are happy to ask questions where needed, so that they never go wanting, or feel ill informed about the task at hand.

A well resourced drop zone, with staff and equipment in plentiful supply, and being blessed with excellent jumping weather most of the year round, this is the ideal place to go and learn how to jump out of planes.

After an informative ground school, covering both the theory and practical elements of skydiving, students are quickly able to get up in the sky, and can progress through the AFF levels in a few short days, and with consolidation jumps, it's possible to achieve an A licence in a week or so. This quick turnaround allows students to grow in confidence and experience very fast, but they are still kept under the watchful eyes of the instructors who will give hints and advice over coffees and chats while hanging out in the sunshine.

Once the initial training is complete, there is a clear progression laid out by the school, with students able to attend packing courses, canopy handling courses, jump master and formation skydiving courses. All designed to give a constructive progression for students heading towards their B licence. They are also able to do fun jumps in this time, if they want to practice their skills on their own, or just go for a giggle.

For experienced fliers, there is further progression into free fly, wings it and tracking courses, so you can continue to learn and develop under the same instructors.


The drop zone itself, as previously mentioned, provides a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. With people coming and going at different times, and at different stages in their skydiving journey, you very quickly make alot of new friends. Many of these will be there on return trips, and you will meet them at other drop zones, so it welcomes you not only to Ocańa, but opens the door to the skydiving community as a whole.

I've been there a couple of times now. My first week long trip, turned into just over a month... And having just come back from my second, I am planning my third.

Ocańa is a wonderful place. I look forward to spending alot of time there in the future.

(Review ID:9164)


Fun, inclusive and beyond professional, best place to learn to skydive


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: alilscott on 2016-06-29

Pros: Too many to list in a small box
Cons: The afternoon winds can restrict the AFF students from jumping

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I'd done 13 static line RAPS jumps years before and found it very hard and terrifying so was very nervous coming to this.

Phil instructs the ground school with an amazing amount of enthusiasm and energy and covers all the required prep very well.

The instructors in the AAF jumps (Adi, Bryn, Mike and more) couldn't have done more to help me relax; their experience, calm demeanours and professionalism were essential to helping anyone with more than a few nerves remain composed, put their best foot forward and really enjoy the experience!

By the end of 7 days of jumping we'd not only got our AAF license but also our formation licenses - with instructors going to such lengths as cancelling their Friday night plans to drive us to the wind tunnel in Madrid and stay with us till 11.30pm and then jumping repeatedly without breaks knowing we were on a deadline to ensure we got them all in - thank you Adi and Lewis!

Between jumps the cafe/bar provides tasty food of good value and the manifest plays some ground songs to relax to. Huge credit should also be given to the packers and pilots who ensure the smooth running operation that allows you to get so many jumps in.

We couldn't have been better trained, felt more looked after or had more fun, honestly, and I've already booked a week in September to go back and jump more, so if you want to go somewhere to learn to skydive, do more advanced courses or just jump for fun, this is definitely the place to do it

(Review ID:9084)


Great place Great people


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: timg on 2016-06-20

Pros: Very professional
Cons: Having to go back to work

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Clocked up a lot of jumps but never got my licence , went over to spain just to get my A licence , 5 days later went home with said A licence and about 5 jumps left to do to get my B licence .The weather tried it's best to stop the fun so we just got up earlier . havent told the boss yet but i am going back out in august to get that B licence ( sorry Boss ! ) cant recomend these guys enough !
(Review ID:9076)


Intense, exciting way to learn how to skydive in a fun, supportive environment


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: HeatherMac on 2016-06-17

Pros: Professional, friendly, informative, encouraging, weather, views
Cons: can get windy by mid afternoon which stops AFF students jumping

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I rang David at the FFU and booked the AFF course, Ocana, Spain to learn how to skydive. I'd tried the static line course and it just wasn't for me. I knew one of the instructors, Bryn, from my own DZ in England and decided this was where I wanted to learn. David also arranged for 3 tandems for my daughter and her friends who were based in Madrid with Uni.
Being a woman of 50+ I was both nervous and not sure I was up to the challenge. With encouragement, non judgmental attitudes and a professional team, I enjoyed every minute.
We (3 of us) arranged transport, prior to travelling, from the airport and were met by George, who took us to and from the DZ daily. Nothing was too much trouble for him. We spent the whole first day in ground school. Phil was enthusiastic, energetic, friendly and full of information which kept our interest and got us ready for jumping. We were introduced to our instructors, me with Bryn and my two friends with Mike. I found the levels safe, exciting and mentally challenging, but so rewarding. The support and instruction I received from Bryn was superb and the help and encouragement from Phil, Andres, Addy and other AFF students and experienced jumpers was so positive and fun and helped make the whole experience fulfilling. I passed level 1-7 in 3 days and did my hop and pop and 6 consolidation jumps within the 7 days we were there.
Antonia and the team were very efficient on Manifest. And not forgetting how hard the pilots and packers work!
I loved the the Porter, KGD, what a great looking plane!
There was a variety of food and drinks at the DZ, reasonably priced.
We stayed in the Hostal Real in Aranjuez. A basic, clean, comfortable hotel with air conditioning.
I can't recommend learning here enough and can't wait to go back and jump again in such a positive, friendly environment.

(Review ID:9066)


Time of my life!


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: Davido_M on 2016-06-13

Pros: Cool vibe, friendliness, professionalism
Cons: Nil

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So being ex-Military I've done quite a few static line jumps and now, being out of the Army for a couple of years, have been meaning to do an AFF course for quite a while now. Step in the search for an overseas course, hence the weather.

What brought me to FFU was the reviews that I read in which the instructors where one-on-one and you weren't going to be hanging around to wait for an instructor. Plus the weather in land was less windy and a little more reliable than on the coast.

FFU did not let me down!

From the ground school on day one, was met by a really enthusiastic instructor which really sets the tone for the whole trip, and at the end of the day I volunteered for this, expecting fun, and this helped a great deal.

The fact I had been recommended to take up on the wind tunnel in Madrid before I went also went a long way in knowing what to expect in your first jumps.

After ground school had finished I was sitting in the bar area having a coffee when the Chief Instructor 'Mike' came up to me and asked if anyone was my instructor. Shook hands and said 'Right, lets do some jumping.'

From there it was a roller coaster. 3 jumps on my first day, at the end of which I remember getting a delayed adrenaline rush at 2100 at night and trying to calm myself down lol!

Mike and the instructors were always giving advice and tips not only after you had just landed on the DZ but straight after the jump replaying the videos. The course was very progressive.

I put a little too much pressure on myself for the last qualifying jump so had to retake but again the instruction was top notch into what to do right.

Then the real fun came, consolidation jumps! On the last day I managed 6 jumps! You have to manifest yourself onto the plane in order to go up again. This was easy enough and the manifest staff helped a lot and even bumped you up the list should the plane be free one space.

On site is all you need. Bar at the end of the day a couple of beers, which sells food also, huge DZ to land on, training cockpit frames to practise on, plenty of parachutes, great turnaround on parachute packing - treat these guys with respect, they work their arses off!! Which at the end of the day makes your trip better.

At the end of the day, if you have any form of outgoing personality you'll do well here. I turned up on my own out of the blue and came away with some great friends who I still keep in touch with and intend to do so!

Blue Skies,

Dave

(Review ID:9062)


Happy Days


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: Gus81 on 2015-02-26

Pros: Staff
Cons: !

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The decider

I was wanting to do an AFF course, so I got on the lap top and typed in AFF course in Europe. I showed interest in three places that offered AFF courses and Free Fall University was amongst my selected. I didn’t read any reviews on any of the Dropzones that I had contacted. FFU were the only DZ to call me back almost immediately. (The others just emailed) For somebody that knows nothing about skydiving or the place that they were considering traveling to, that call was the reassurance that one needed, it made the deal. David answered all my questions and organised everything from pick up to drop off. That was that, everything was booked, nice and easy.

The Journey

My ride to the airport was late, the handle on my suit case broke, none of which was caused by FFU. So far luck didn’t seem to be on my side, I started to think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea! However I managed to make the flight. (Whoop) I had opted for train station transfers, the information that David had supplied was partly incorrect. The prices of the train fares were inaccurate, and however the directions and instructions were fine. Once I boarded the train, I text the number, sat back and enjoyed the view. I arrived at Aranjuez station and made my way to the pickup point, 15 to 20 minutes passed and there was still no sign of the driver. I called the number that I was instructed to text and some Spanish man that did not know a word of English answered my call! Oh no, it’s all going wrong again! Luckily there was a second number that had been supplied, titled “in case of emergency”. I called the number and the familiar voice answered “David”. 20 minutes later the driver was there. The transfer service is efficient, George is the first face you see and in my opinion this makes him the most valuable and certainly key member of the team. George is great, he is always willing to help, and he goes that step further to accommodate.

Accommodation

There are several options presented to you. My preference was to stay at a hotel.
Hotel Real, the breakfast wasn’t anything special and there was confusion about whether or not breakfast was included in the room price. Some days I paid others I did not, I didn’t make a fuss. It’s safe and clean, the staff are friendly, helpful and obviously use to sky divers. It is in an ideal location, with plenty of restaurants and bars.


The DropZone

Now let’s be mindful of the fact that I am unable to make a comparison to other DZ’s, so let’s go with the basics. The DZ had instructors, parachutes, planes, a place to eat, somewhere to sit, toilets etc. It supplied everything that I had signed up for (whoop). On arrival I did not realise the extent of talent and passion that this DZ has. The enthusiasm, support, commitment, understanding, patients, dedication and pride that every member showed is commendable. There are no egos, just one big family watching your back. Every single member of staff was welcoming, and willing to give advice. I felt like I was at home, surrounded by friends, which helps settle ones nerves. My main instructor Paula (world champion, by the way) not once did I feel judged, her feedback and advice was always sound and honest. She is a totally awesome dudette. The landing area is huge, although I nearly missed it a few times and watch out for the beer line.

Over View

Whether you except this statement or not, is your choice! “Opinions are formed and judgements are made in accordance with our own experiences and preferences”. My decision of location was made on a simple phone call. That phone call generated an opinion, it set FFU apart from the others, giving the place a personal touch. The DZ serves its purpose and it does what it says on the tin. The staff are professional and friendly, with open minds and open arms. During my visits, I met lots of fun jumpers and other students, most of which had been back time and time again (for the life of me, I can’t think why! Lol) Never in my life, have I ever meet so many down to earth awesome people in one place. A big thanks to everyone at Ocana but a special thanks to, George, Paula, Stevo, Phil, Adi, Antonia, biscuit and all “Komsu Komsu”.
The only negative about the whole trip was the weather. My advice for AFF’s is don’t go in what we Brits consider the winter months, otherwise you may have to return several times in order to complete your AFF (which isn’t such a bad thing after all). Oh and the information given to people that opt for train transfers needs updating.
Note;
I may not be able to compare this DZ with another right now, but all DZ will now be compared to Ocana. It is absolutely fabulous, but don’t take my word for it, go see for yourselves.

Love and light from a 33 year old female who travelled alone to Free Fall University Ocana Spain.

(Review ID:8741)


Life does not get any better than this…….


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: MikeGee on 2014-11-19

Pros: gorgeous weather, utterly professional instructors, great vibe, stunning 13K views, faultless administration
Cons: it’s not half an hour from my house

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Executive summary: FFU/Ocana is absolutely superb.
In years gone by (in a time before AFF was even thought of), I started 5 static line courses but time-expired on every occasion without getting beyond 3 second delays (at 2,500 feet, apparently now illegal!). I also did 25 years in the Parachute Regiment and racked up over 300 military static line descents. But I have always harboured a desire to become a proper skydiver and so (now that I have the time and money to do so) I fulfilled my dream this year. And I think I chose exactly the right place to do it.
FFU at Ocana is collocated with Skydive Madrid (which serves Spain’s capital, some 30 miles to the north) and they run seamlessly together (so if you want to read those reviews they are referring to the same location). The thing that made up my mind to go for Ocana was location. I have spent way too many hours and days waiting for the UK weather to improve so that jumping could begin and so Madrid seemed to be the best location by far, with excellent weather, well away from any coastal winds, nowhere near any weather patterns induced by mountains and almost guaranteed warm/hot conditions. And there is something about the warmth, sunshine and wall-to-wall blue skies that bring a smile to everyone’s face, a great vibe to whole facility and a holiday feel to the otherwise serious business of learning to skydive.
The thing that made me decide FFU was Dave Joseph. He does an absolutely first class job of sorting out absolutely all of your package arrangements and is very easily contactable to deal with queries. He is excellent at returning calls, nothing is too much trouble for Dave and, as with all of the Brit students that I have now met at Ocana, his arrangements are universally flawless. And don’t be shy about venturing out alone. Your fellow students are probably all British, probably all staying at the same location as you and so, very quickly, bonds form amongst social groups that will last long after you are all back in the UK.
The next great thing about the FFU is the instructors – they are uniformly excellent. Bryn (ex-RAF and one the of the UK BPA’s most highly regarded instructors) took me through my course with a calm, thoroughly reassuring professionalism and steady nerve (I tested his on several occasions, never mind my own). There are several other British BPA instructors there (Phil on the ground school, Mike, Ryan, Lewis to name but a few) and they are all (from the feedback I have had from other students) equally good. Their training is also fully compliant with BPA training policies and procedures and they will take you through everything you need to to get you your BPA A licence (I got mine within days of completing the AFF course). The local Spanish instructors (and there are many of them) are excellent as well, always willing to answer questions, check your kit and offer advice and almost all speak very good English (which really is the language of Ocana).
The back room staff exhibit the same level of professionalism and dedication as the instructors. The manifest team will make sure that you get as many jumps in as you wish, the office team take your money with great efficiency, and the unsung heroes of the whole facility, the rigging team, work tirelessly and faultlessly to repack your kit within minutes of your arrival back in the hangar after a jump.
The DZ itself is the largest/finest I have ever set eyes on (and I have seen many in my time). It is huge, perfectly flat, devoid of obstacles, impossible to miss and has some fields that are ploughed so perfectly that it is like landing on a doubly folded duvet on a very springy bed.
Ocana uses two aircraft, both Pilatus Porters carrying 10 at a squeeze and they get to altitude quickly. On a busy day, that allows a pretty rapid throughput (6 jumps in a day is my record as a student) despite ‘Spanish’ time continually appearing to stretch out in ways that would have Einstein re-evaluating his general theory of relativity. AFF students are almost always mixed in with tandems and it is quite amusing to watch the faces of those who know marginally less than you about what you are all about to do!
The facilities at Ocana are nicely compact (everything from bar to emplaning point within 150m) and include a good-sized hanger exclusively dedicated to rigging/packing, an excellent bar (Wi-Fi equipped) that does all forms of beverages and perfect lunch grub, a shaded chill area, and individual instructor briefing facilities where video replays of your jumps and debriefs are conducted. The toilets are somewhat ramshackle but then nothing is ever perfect.
The recommended town to stay in, Aranjuez, is about 15 minutes’ drive from the DZ and is home to one of Spain’s royal palaces. The (recommended) Hotel du Jardin is a great place to stay, presuming that you intend to spend every last hour of daylight at the DZ. The rooms have possibly the best aircon I have ever come across, superb showers and a passable breakfast. The hotel also has a range of bars and Spanish, Italian, and Chinese restaurants all within easy walking distance for the evening.
I haven’t used the FFU-provided transport (I just hire a car at Madrid airport, which about 45 minutes’ drive from the Ocana) but many of my jump buddies have and describe it as like having your own chauffeur – the driver will come and find you on the DZ just to ask about your specific needs that day so he can come up with a plan that works for all!
My one piece of advice to all prospective AFF students is to do some tunnel training before you start (Airkix runs wind tunnels in Basingstoke, Milton Keynes and Manchester and Madrid itself is due to get its first tunnel in March 2015). For me, AFF jump 6 was particularly difficult (I had to repeat it twice, at some cost) because I really hadn’t sorted out my basic stable position properly. The wind tunnel is an excellent training environment, simulating the airflow of terminal velocity very faithfully but in a far less stressful atmosphere and with the chance to review video of you flight every 2 minutes. No more than 20 minutes of professionally-coached training is required and do ask the tunnel team for one-to-one coaching from one of the tunnel’s skydiving coaches, not just the duty instructor who may not be a skydiver. I suspect that I would not have had the problems that I did, had I done such training before going out to Ocana.
Having said that, I can only give the FFU and the whole Ocana team my wholehearted endorsement as THE place to learn to skydive. I will be returning as often as I can.

(Review ID:8693)


Excellent AFF school/DZ


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: ak0 on 2014-09-14

Pros: very novice friendly
Cons: none

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Been there twice so far - did my AFF/BPA A the first time with the FFU and then came back for a weekend of jumping.
Good vibe, friendly instructors, very diverse divers at the DZ. Fast and frequent lifts (can be less frequent on a weekday, especially if windy and limits operate).

(Review ID:8650)


Spot on!


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: billyskene on 2014-08-28

Pros: Great instruction, chilled atmosphere, massive DZ
Cons: None

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Just finished my AFF here, will definitely be coming back. Top notch instruction from seriously experienced guys.

Nice, clean facilities with a pool and bar. Big packing area and DZ. Two planes run at weekends meaning back to back jumps.

All in all, one of the best experiences of my life. Will be back to Ocana ASAP

(Review ID:8640)


Ace.


The Freefall University Rated 5 by: Mr_Costello on 2014-08-19

Pros: The Instructors
Cons: Range of Food

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I passed my AFF Levels and handful of consolidation jumps at Ocańa’s FFU.

I had Ryan as my instructor, Phil as my Ground Instructor - both highly professional, humble and extremely focussed on a short an intensive course where there are plenty of moving parts. Manifest and the riggers at FFU run a tight ship, they are extremely professional, friendly and efficient. The food offering on the DZ is limited. That said, the food range in Aranjuez is outstanding - a great evening social life too. I met a great circle of students during my 8 days, all of whom I have remained in touch with.

You will be hard-pressed to find fault with this DZ.

Mr Costello (Class of August 2014)

(Review ID:8626)
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