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Dropzone: Europe: Spain: The Freefall University

The Freefall University

Average Rating: 4.70
4.70 out of 5 based on 57 user reviews

Dropzone Summary | Reviews

Ocana South Madrid (Ocan)

Ocana South Madrid
Soutern Madrid,

+35619257023  (12489 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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57 Reviews Written

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Happy Days

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

Pros: Staff
Cons: !

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.


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.
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

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)

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