Apr 23, 2013, 4:56 AM
Post #1 of 15
New fellow from the UK
Hi, after doing a tandem a number of years ago in Australia I've finally decided to do the AFF course and A Licence and have booked a place at Skydive Sebastian, FL at the end of May. Can't Wait!
I don't have much time there before my wife and daughter join me for a vacation so I want to be as prepared as possible. I'm going to do a number of sessions at a wind tunnel in the UK and I'm studying various docs eg on USPA.org Any other suggestions before I go? Cheers, Peke
Welcome to the forums! A lot of people fail levels because of body position problems, so the tunnel time is probably going to help you a lot. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to hurry up and finish before your family gets there, just send them to the beach or a theme park!
Looks like we followed the same path as I also did 16 minutes in Airkix before AFF. If you are travelling that far then spend 20 + minutes (in 2 minutes sessions spread over a morning)
Going in the wind tunnel is a great learning tool - they key factor is having a stable body position which comes from a good arch and relaxing. These 2 things are easy to type but quite difficult to do at first
Make sure they know that you are going to the USA for AFF.
Go to http://www.uspa.org/SIM.aspx and see the link Download the SIM. Its a big document so email it to your local Staples and they will print it out for about £25.00
SKYCOVER IS NOT MEDICAL INSURANCE it is accident insurance. It does not cover medical bills.
You should have MEDICAL insurance - if you break a leg its £50k +
Have a look at Insure and Go - they have an annual travel insurance and you can pay extra £7 a day to add a days skydiving.
Good luck with your AFF, theres a number of AFF instructors who run tunnel time who may be better positioned to help you out other than the tunnel instructors (lovingly known as Tunnel rats..).
The tunnel should help you with basic body position, and give you a feel of f/f before you get there. It's not 100% but it helps (is cheaper too).
As for insurance, you need to be very careful - a lot of insurers cover 'parachuting' but not 'skydiving' (i.e. no freefall). They may also assume by skydiving/parachuting its a one off and not the purpose of the holiday - so best to double check (I'm sure insure and go said no last year when I asked to go to Belgium..)
I've got year wide cover with BUPA IHI which gives worldwide cover and heard good things.
I assume you're going to want to continue in the UK, so it may be best to make sure your kit and docs are up to date and keep copies of any videos - esp important if you don't finish AFF out there.
Have a fun safe trip and hope to catch you at a DZ some time :)
Thanks for all the advice above - it's really appreciated. I'm pretty used to flying aeroplanes ( did my FAA Commercial at Naples, FL a few years ago) but not jumping out of them - so its great to hear about the different aspects of AFF from people with experience.
I definately will book more tunnel time - it seems being relaxed and stable is key ( I've seen on YouTube when this is not the case..) and this will hopefully help enormously.
Thanks for the links and I'll research the insurance. You're right about not putting pressure on though - I'm doing this for fun! Should have done this ages ago though, as some clever bugger once said 'The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it'
Insure and go have a full policy that covers skydiving. You add additional days cover for each of the days that you jump. I have the policy and jump in the UK USA and France... its pretty good at £7 day for USA and £3 a day fro France/Europe - this covers 10 mill medical and 2 million repatriation.
Hi Peke, I am in a similar situation toy you as I'm heading to Ocana outside Madrid next month to (hopefully!) complete my AFF. On the point of insurance I used STA which was recommended by fellow sky divers as already stated you need to be VERY careful as i had previously bought a policy which I thought covered me but didnt (parachuting vs Sky diving) I would recommend that who every you use speak to a sales agent not just using the online quotation system and ask very specific questions. Best of luck with the course!
Hi Peke, forgot to mention that the cover costs either £35 or £42 depending on your age(under/over 35) That covers me for the week, unfortunately they couldn't offer an annual policy but as this is my first outing I wasn't too bothered. Its important to state that skydiving is the main reason for your holiday that way you will be covered for multiple jumps, as some policies only cover for 2. Best of luck, blue skies!
Doing a bit of pre-course reading in preparation for the AFF & 'A' Licence and coming across some useful quotes. Although a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing and there is no substitute for instructor led face to face learning - it seems to be very sensible advice for a newbie:
'The most important skill a skydiver must develop is the ability to cope with and respond to emergency situations'
'Skydivers freefall about 1000ft in the first 10 secs and 1000ft every 5.5 secs after...altitude awareness is the skydivers most important task until the parachute opens' USPA SIM 2012
'Skydiving is a series of intense little moments. Every jump lasts only a few minutes...so you must learn to think faster. ironically, this is actually a result of relaxation and slowing your thoughts down...if you have a problem during your jump, every fraction of every second counts' C Hill
'Visualizing is a huge part of skydiving. Close your eyes and visualize your jump. Go over the whole dive in your head from start to finish. Do so while doing breathing exercises. This will not only help you to perform better during your jump, it will help you to relax' C Lehne