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Dropzone: Europe: Spain: The Freefall University

The Freefall University

Average Rating: 4.70
4.70 out of 5 based on 56 user reviews

Dropzone Summary | Reviews

Ocana South Madrid (Ocan)

Ocana South Madrid
Soutern Madrid,

+35619257023  (8917 Hits)

Last Updated: 2007-09-18
Porter- 13K in 9 mins

Training: AFF, Tandem

AAD: Required

Hook Turns: Forbidden

USPA Membership: Not Required

AFF: 800 EUR
Tandem: 105 EUR


Chilled out dropzone in Southern Madrid next to large tourist city. We have an AFF, Formation skydiving, Freefly , Base and Birdman school onsite


  • Gear Rentals
  • Gear Sales
  • Rigging Services
  • Covered Packing Area
  • Creeping Area
  • Team Rooms
  • Video Rooms
  • Coaches
  • Restaurant
  • Shop
  • Bar
  • Bunkhouse
  • Showers
  • Pool

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Most Recent Photos (See all 8 photos)

Deploy 2 Deploy 1 Pull Track Unstable exit

56 Reviews Written

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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

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

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

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)


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

Pros: The Instructors
Cons: Range of Food

I passed my AFF Levels and handful of consolidation jumps at Ocaña’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)

Awesome drop zone

The Freefall University Rated 5 by: Diripio on 2014-07-31

Pros: Good atmosphere, ample manifest spaces
Cons: Going home

From the first contact with Freefall Uni I have seen nothing but professionalism. One quick phone call and I had flights, hotel, airport transfers and an AFF course booked. All at a good price. When I arrived in Madrid their driver was waiting to collect me. He even showed me the sights and places to eat around town.
At the DZ I was taken through all the training at a pace that suited me. The ground school was excellent and very thorough. The facilities on the dz were very good, swimming pool near by, a cafeteria, and internet access.
On my AFF jumps I was instructed by Ryan who behaves as a professional at all times. Here again I was allowed to progress at my own pace and never felt under pressure to get on with it. All instructors would take the time to explain everything to you even if you were not their student. Also they were all British so have confidence in no miscommunication.
Overall the place is amazing and as soon as I am able to go back then I will be on the plane.

(Review ID:8605)

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