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AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels


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jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 13, 2005, 1:24 PM
Post #1 of 55 (4628 views)
AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels Can't Post

I would like to know from all you guys how you did in your AFF/AFP training.

My details so far:
Tandem1 - did 2 fun Tandems
Tandem2 - repeated 1 time and passed
Tandem3 - repeated 1 time and passed
Tandem4 - passed

AFF1 - repeated 1 time and passed

As you see from my records that I have totally jumped 9 times including my 7 tandems and 2 aff level 1 jumps.

I am extremely disappointed from this output. Wanted to know if this was normal and how you guys are doing? I am aware this is an expensive sport, but still I had setup some budgets to finish my AFF training and it seems to me now that I will end up spending a lot more money then I had set up for the training.

I have started to wonder if maybe I do not have aptitude for the sport, but I am really not sure. I have also heard that somebody did almost around 50 jumps to clear AFF. I am really not sure if I would have that much of patience and money. Isn't there any way to be evaluated and find out if this can be accomplised within certain number of limited repeats or certain time frame? Isn't there a way to get through AFF training with a lump sum amount of money?

I have really stated wondering if I should be in this sport all together. I would still like to share this with you guys that I just love this sport and extremely obsessed with it.

All comments appreciated.

Thanks all.

(This post was edited by jigneshsoni on Jul 13, 2005, 1:56 PM)

kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 13, 2005, 1:43 PM
Post #2 of 55 (4593 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you failing for reasons of safety, or because you can't do certain skills? I struggled with forward motion. I rarely had issues with COA. My arch was poor but I was decent at staying stable. If you're not leaving the DZ thinking you nearly killed yourself, then it's probably early to worry about the big picture.

The core skills in the first half of AFF seem a lot harder than the second half (flips, tracking, solo exits). Not to say you can't blow a level, but you don't hear about too many people failing AFF6 3 times. A lot do with AFF4.

If you think you've hit a wall mentally, time out may be good. I sat out a good 6 months, waited for Perris's wind tunnel to go online, and went there to resume and things moves along nicely.

NeedToJump  (D 27247)

Jul 13, 2005, 1:54 PM
Post #3 of 55 (4581 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Everyone is different, some people go through their student levels without repeating anything and other people repeat numerous levels several times. If it is something you enjoy doing and are doing for the right reasons (which only you know) then stick with it.

Try some visualization where you visualize the entire skydive (gearing up, getting on the plane, riding the plane to altitude, exit, freefall, canopy, landing...) See yourself happy and calm through the entire experience, it may help.

Another thing to consider is flying out and getting some time in a wind tunnel. They generally yield very good results Smile

Ask around at your dropzone for advice from other, I'm sure there are other people there who have gone through what you're going through.

Good luck Smile

Devious  (B 27921)

Jul 13, 2005, 3:29 PM
Post #4 of 55 (4551 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

AFF4 got me the first time. Then I went back and passed it. There usually comes a point for most people where there is one level or another that they have to repeat. My moment really came when I started learning to do hop n pops. I just couldn't leave the plan stable enough to deploy within the prescribe time. But I stuck with it and got them passed and now I enjoy skydiving all the time.

Michele  (B 26874)

Jul 13, 2005, 5:40 PM
Post #5 of 55 (4523 views)
Re: [Devious] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Jiggy, you know what I'm going to say...brain freeze and brain disconnect happens to everyone. EVERYONE. I once was moving towards my mentor, and couldn't figure out why he wasn't stopping; I'd forgotten it was me doing the moving. He got out of the way, and the dive completed with no problem, but I still remember the sense of confusion when he wasn't stopping...and then realizing it was my job to stop. Crazy

I'd be interested in what you didn't issues? Bad landing? Failed turns? That may help us help you unlock your brain during ff...

And I guarantee you one thing; you didn't smile in any of the levels you didn't pass. Smiling is magic. I don't understand it, and I couldn't explain it to you if I wrote 42 lines, but I know it does work.

Breathe. Smile. Know what you know, explore what you don't...and fly.



Jul 13, 2005, 6:38 PM
Post #6 of 55 (4507 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Jig,
As I've told you before, it is not uncommon to fail one or more levels. I got stuck on level 3 and didn't pass until my 7th try. Even then, I had to book a weekend in Florida and spend some serious time in the wind tunnel before I made it to level 4. Hell I even failed my graduation jump because I landed in the state park a couple of miles away. Everyone progresses at a different pace. It's an expensive sport. Training, gear, traveling, coaching, etc all cost money. I completely blew every budget I had just trying to pass AFF. I didn't buy a new car, I didn't move, I gave up vacations, eating out, etc. I also did it at a time when I was still inundated with medical bills and working in a new field. For me it was worth it. If you love this sport and are extremely obsessed with it, then don't you think it's worth it to keep trying? If you read through these forums, you will come across a lot of people who struggled through AFF and have logged thousands of jumps since then. Your destination is great but don't forget to enjoy the journey.Wink

LittleOne  (C 35149)

Jul 13, 2005, 9:20 PM
Post #7 of 55 (4482 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot of people have to repeat a lot of levels and still go on to become safe, competent jumpers. Whether it is worth the expense is a question only you can answer. We all make sacrifices to be in this sport, whether it means giving up a vacation or selling your house or getting a second job.

As others have mentioned, it is not so easy to advise you to continue or not until we know exactly why you failed. Tell us what your instructors have told you were the reasons for failing as well as what you did do correctly.

If relaxing is the major problem, a tunnel can be very helpful. Based on my personal experience, I would recommend it. If you go to Orlando, I recommend Carlos. If it weren't for him, I would have quit while stuck (or rather spinning) on level 4.

You may never be invited to join DeLand Majik (who knows, maybe you will be but until then, welcome to my club) but if your instructors thought you had zero aptitude, they would have told you so in no uncertain terms.

rendezvous  (C License)

Jul 13, 2005, 9:21 PM
Post #8 of 55 (4482 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't there a way to get through AFF training with a lump sum amount of money?

Yup ! make the "lump sum" amount so huge that you are always within budget Wink

On a more serious note, You alone can answer whether skydiving is worth the time and money for you or not. You should discuss your progression with your instructors as honestly as possible and see what they feel about it. However, I am sure even they will not be able to give you a definite answer on how many more jumps you might take to finish AFF. People here can only share their experiences with you and you will notice that your progression is not all that unique or unusual at all. However no one here can decide for you what Skydiving means to you, how much you are willing to commit to it and how long you will take on AFF. That's something that you will just have to find your own answers too. I can tell you this much though, if you stick to it you will eventually pass AFF.

As for your apptitude for the sport. Well, that's going to be more of a statement of your willingness to go the length. If you can find the passion in you that justifies the time and money it'll take then you have the apptitude to Skydive. If you aren't getting the skill right but you want to work towards understanding the problem and fixing it however long it may take, you have the apptitude. If you feel you have stuck in, given it your best, tried eveything at your disposal and yet it's not coming together, it might be smart to rethink Skydiving. Again, it's your call since you know yourself the best.

I think the most important measure of apptitude will be, how you feel about making decisions under extreme stress that will impact your life. Under a malfunction is not the place you want to find the answer to how you feel about being there. It's very important that you realize you and you alone will be responsible for the consequences of the decisions you will make when things go wrong. If you screw up you will be playing with your life. What do you think about being in such a situation?

Apptitude is not limited to the skills you display on tandem 3 or AFF 1 or AFF 6 or how many jumps you take to clear AFF. It's how you feel about Skydiving, why you want to do it, what you are willing to commit to it and whether the risk you undertake justifies it all. This only you can answer.

Pendejo  (D 22642)

Jul 14, 2005, 6:28 AM
Post #9 of 55 (4429 views)
Re: [NeedToJump] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Another thing to consider is flying out and getting some time in a wind tunnel. They generally yield very good results

One of the guys at our DZ went to the tunnel and it fixed him... He got to come back (from the tunnel) and it was like "Who are you and what did you do with the other guy that looked just like you but couldn't fall stable?"

Aside from the sarcastic part of the story it REALLY helped him a lot and he is now a good skydiver. He said he just needed a little more time in freefall to work out the problems he was having.

Good luck! (and NEVER give up)

Mostly_Harmless  (C 35480)

Jul 14, 2005, 6:38 AM
Post #10 of 55 (4425 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

I failed AFF4 once also. I was kinda bummed out since me and my friend were going through AFF together and he passed it. I was very dissapointed with my performance. Right after it happened one of the tandem guys came up to me and said something that just made sense. He said, besides the money issue, even though I failed a level I am still skydiving and thats what its all about. Maybe my solo was now a 1 jump off but any good jump is still a good jump (hope that makes sense). So while you might be failing some of these levels you are still in the air and hopefully having a good time. Also look at it as your instructor is making sure you don't kill yourself. I rather him fail me because I couldn't do something rather then just let me pass because its my 3rd time trying. You need to know what you did wrong and come away from each jump knowing what needs to get done to have a safe skydive. For a while I kept my legs in too much and it caused me to do some werid stuff. On one of my jumps my instructor said I had to stop it or he wouldn't pass me. So i visualized the jumped in my head and the entire way up to alt and out the plane I just said to myself legs out over and over again.....I passed that level just fine.

Jeth  (C 37471)

Jul 14, 2005, 3:16 PM
Post #11 of 55 (4365 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't feel too bad, I had lots of repeats. Smile Lets see... repeated AFP 4, AFP 8 twice, and AFP 10. I had trouble on my initial release dive, and then I had a ton of issues due to fear/nerves when I came back after injury and a long layoff.

At the time, I was really beating myself up about it. But ya know, that was stupid. So what if I had to repeat. Its still a skydive! Cool And my issues were never life-threatening mistakes or really bad awareness issues or anything else that my instructors didn't tell me would get worked out. My main problem was that I was very tense, so that made my body position bad. But worrying about repeating just made me more tense! Try not to worry about it too much. I know its expensive, but just think of it that you're getting that much more instruction which will benefit you in the long run. Smile

I would say the only way you have to worry about repeats is if you are totally unaware, don't pull, go really unstable at pull time or something like that. But even with stuff like that -- I know some skydivers who had some pretty scary freefalls/deployments/reserve rides in AFP and now they're rockin the skies. Cool I'm sure your instructors will tell you if they think you should take up bowling. Wink Otherwise just try to relax and HAVE FUN! You'll graduate when you graduate! Smile

Mockingbird  (A 49146)

Jul 17, 2005, 1:01 AM
Post #12 of 55 (4306 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, you think YOU'RE having problems? I'm stuck on Level 4--- I've tried it five times! I turn left without intending to turn left! On the last one I went into a fast spin; my instructor disappeared from sight; I even pulled in a spin. Now THAT was fun. (No, really, it was, actually.) I'm not giving up. Ya' know why? It took me 50 years to discover the most exhilirating, exciting, incredible experience in the world--- there's no way I'm giving up on myself. I know what you're saying about the money. I'm in debt up to my eyeballs with all these AFF jumps. It's going to take me a long time to recover. However, I recently came to the realization that all this money I'm spending on Level 4 OUGHT to be spent on a plane ticket out to Perris to get in the tunnel and figure out my problem. So, that's what I'm doing. I just know that I'm going to come home with a big silly grin on my face and walk into my home dz and surprise the heck out of everyone! Laugh I can't wait.

Keep us posted, OK?

jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 17, 2005, 9:51 AM
Post #13 of 55 (4292 views)
Re: [Mockingbird] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Keep it up!!!!

Sorry to hear about you repeating levels. I know how it feels (I really know)

But I am really glad to know I am not the only one out here. Can you post details of all your jumps. I see you have 11 jumps. Please post details of them.


lemonjelly  (A 915583)

Jul 17, 2005, 11:48 AM
Post #14 of 55 (4284 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Failed on L4 & 6.
Nailed level 4 next time, went to Paris wind tunnel, came back , nailed 6.
after tunnel time, i felt so much more confident and stable....
keep going.... It really is 'worth the waitSmile
good luck

Mockingbird  (A 49146)

Jul 17, 2005, 2:04 PM
Post #15 of 55 (4273 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Hope you got my last PM. There are three threads I started concerning my own woes.

skydivermom  (C 36927)

Jul 19, 2005, 9:28 PM
Post #16 of 55 (4231 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow! This really helps me. I had a horrible freefall last Saturday on my level 1 jump. I was really tired and had a respitory problem so should not have jumped to begin with. i could not get the arch down for anything! I kept going on my back and finally one of my instructors pulled the chute and then I was on my own (we had radios of course). It was kind of scary and then I had a bad reaction after I landed. I do want to repeat and keep going. My instructor gave me some breathing exercises to do and told me to relax and focus. I'm taking a few weeks off and then trying again.

Good luck to you and it's encouraging to see that you are not giving up!

jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 21, 2005, 2:08 PM
Post #17 of 55 (4184 views)
Re: [skydivermom] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post


I appreciate all your support and opinions.

I will be doing my AFF Level2 this weekend. Wish me luck.


jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 26, 2005, 5:53 AM
Post #18 of 55 (4147 views)
Update [In reply to] Can't Post

I went to do my AFF2 on Friday.

1st Attempt

I was supposed to do a COA on the jump and 2 practice pulls. Then do a 90 degree right turn, then 90 degree left turn, forward movement for 4 sec. Be Altitude aware, PULL on 5000.

As soon as I jumped with my instructor. I did my COA once on arch and stable. At that point, I forgot what I had to do next. But I started doing my turns. So I did a 90 degree right trun which was fine. When attempted do do 90 degree left turn, I would not turn which later realised in debrief that I was not doing it right. Juts while I was doing my left turn, I realised I had forgotten to to the practice pulls. So started doing practice pulls, I am sure my instructor thought I was crazy, since he had no idea why I was doing what I was doing. Also I think I opened at almost 6500. I thik around that altitude I got scared about what if I will not be stable in just a few seconds and somehow pulled at that point. I don't remember it properly.

Basically I FAILED and had to repeat the level.

2nd attempt details in next post.

jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 26, 2005, 6:01 AM
Post #19 of 55 (4146 views)
AFF2 Second attempt [In reply to] Can't Post

This time I went through the whole sky dive like million times in my mind to make sure that I do not repeat it. I have been extremely frustrated with the fact that I am repeating levels. So was extra extra cautious and made sure about all things in all areas.

When I and my instructor jumped, I think I was stable immediately. Did my COA. This time didn't forget to do practice pulls BUT.....

I couldn't find the pilot chute. I was sturggling to find it, but for some reason i just could not get it. I would keep focussing on the loosing altitude while trying to find it. At some point i grabbed my instructors watch/altimeter. I think finally I managed to find it OR I think my instrcutor helped me to find it. I don't remember it properly.

Still had altitude so went ahead doing my turns. Right turn went perfect. Left time same thing. I would just not turn. Later realised it I was just not doing it right while debriefing with my instrcutor. I think I wasted too much time attempting to do my left turn properrly. When I checked altitude, I was like 5000 so immediately pulled.

Ofcouse I failed again due to several reasons as you can see it.

jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 26, 2005, 6:33 AM
Post #20 of 55 (4145 views)
My canopy skills are a mess [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I went for AFP program. I did 4 levels of tandems before started doing AFF. I also repeated levels while doing tandems. So basically I did totally 7 tandems. I developed this bad habit of landing on my back/butt as oppsed to on my legs.

My instructor has been warning me all the time not to do this and I guess I just don't get it. I keep repeating it in all 4 solo jumps. But my last jump was BAD. I fell on my butt. It was very hard. I may have a hair line tail bone fracture. But I am not sure. I am just waiting for the pain to subside.

When I came back home on Friday after 2 failures and broken butt and sprained right foot, I was extremely depressed. Thats the reason I didn't post all this then. I had all the negative thoughts running my mind mind.

"Why I am doing all this to me"

"I don't want to die"

"I don't want to be disabled"

"I love life"

"Life is beautiful"

"This is not for me"

"Those people who do it are different kind of people, I am not like them, I can't do this, It's not for me"

With all the pain and all this negative thinking I just went to sleep.

Last 2 days, I have been feeling much better mentally. I have started thinking positive again and I think I still want to do it. But I will atleast take a break for now, till all this heals and I am really mentally prepared. I am really not sure how long though. I also think that the last 2 jumps were the best out of all. They were just amazing.

jigneshsoni  (Student)

Jul 26, 2005, 6:48 AM
Post #21 of 55 (4143 views)
Why I am doing Sky Diving [In reply to] Can't Post

I have not been into any extreme sports. I have not been into any kind of sports infact. Just played a little bit of Tennis many years back. Also was into running some time back.

I keep getting people asking me and telling me you can answer it ytourself why you are doing it and if you want it enough, you will get it.

I have been really asking the question to myself many times and really know why I am doing this and finally decided to share this here. But I really need this bad, I am still not sure.

OK, I am doing this to make my dad proud. I have grown up listening and seeing how weak is my dad in many ways. I love both my parents more then anything I have ever loved or can imagine to love in my life. I have seen how many limitations he has in life just becuase of his own personal mental weaknesses. His fears about many things. He is absolutely normal person from outside. Very successful career wise but inside we all know how weak and scared he is. I can get into details, but I am sure nobody will have interest in reading it also don't wannt redicule my own father more then certain degree in public.

OK, so I am doing this just becuase I so much don't want to be like my father. If he would know I was doing sky diving, he would take the next flight and come to USA and make sure I never do this again. But I am sure if I tell him that I have already donre 11 jumps and will not ever do it again, he will be extremely proud of me.

My parents are visiting me on Aug 10. All I wanted was to finish with my AFF training before that so that I would have a level and comfort enough to tell my father that I am doing this and I am very safe and share my achievement that I graduated with him. He would be shocked to know all this at first but later he would just be proud. Thats what I wanted.

At this point when they come to visit me, I will not be able to share any of my sky diving experiences becuase I have been a failure. Maybe not really, but I am just telling you my perspective here considering the time value and stuff. I cannot share with my father that I have been failing levels and I broke my butt and I will still continue doing it.

I do not have very good writing skills or expressing skills in english language but I tried my best to express it here.

Please feel free to comment with your valuable opinions.

Thanks all

rasmack  (D 647)

Jul 26, 2005, 9:01 AM
Post #22 of 55 (4125 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] Why I am doing Sky Diving [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry, but it just does not sound like you're having fun. This is bad in itself. I did staticline and sucked badly on my 5 sec. delays. When you get to the poised exits take comfort that you cannot be worse than me.

What kept me going was that I knew I was having fun. Even after having pulled while sort-of-head-down-on-my-back and seeing the bag hit my boots on its way to deployment I had fun.

Wouldn't it be nicer if you tried to concentrate on going on a fun skydive with a nice instructor? I suppose you have around 50 seconds of freefall on one of those jumps. That is a loong time. Get out the door, figure out what is going on around you, smile at your instructor (yes, seriously) and then worry about your program.

Skydive because you like it. I see no other valid reason for jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Oh, and please insert some standard newbie disclaimers in appropriate places of this post.


Jul 26, 2005, 10:16 AM
Post #23 of 55 (4115 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] AFF/AFP Training and repeating levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile Your not alone with regarding level repeats. What other sports do you only have less than a minute to learn what you need to know or to find out how your body responds against air/wind pressure as you are plummeting @ about 120mph through it? Unfortunately for me, all I have is my time in the sky to learn since I am not anywhere near a wind tunnel. BUT!!! As some people have mentioned here, I so love this sport that I do not mind repeating a level since it is still a skydive and I am still having so much fun... even though at this moment I am nursing a bit of a road rash (more specifically a runway rash!!!). Had a hard landing this Saturday. I had leg symmetry issues during my AFF3 freefall. The main thing that I was really happy about is that I was not scared even during a spin... I just could not figure out why I was turning (since I could not see my legs, I did not know that one was in, while the other one was out... so, even if I tried to correct by dropping a shoulder, I was still turning!!) In my head however, I thought my legs were out and in the correct position. The video proved me wrong!! I myself would not pass myself from AFF3!! The most important thing for me and worth the money is that I did learn a lot of things. I learn something new to improve myself as a skydiver from every skydive. As for the funds, I make it out every payday (if weather permits). Try not to charge anything... it will get more expensive!! Tongue Have fun and hope it all works out for you!!!

P.S. Avoid Avoid Avoid the runway landings!!!! It bloody hurts!! Crazy I hope I heal in 2 weeks 'coz I can not wait to jump again!!! Sly

Orange1  (B License)

Jul 26, 2005, 12:28 PM
Post #24 of 55 (4103 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] Why I am doing Sky Diving [In reply to] Can't Post


firstly, if it's any consolation, I also battled with turning left! And as you know I and many other people here have also repeated levels.

But I am a bit concerned about your last post. You've said before how much you love this, breathe eat sleep dream skydiving - like most of us here I guess. It has to be something, surely, you do because you want - not because you think it will make your father proud.

For what it's worth, your father will probably have no idea of what is involved, or know anything about AFF levels etc. All you need to tell him is that you are training and you have done 11 (or whatever it is by the time he gets there) jumps. From my experience with whuffos, 11 jumps will be enough to impress, if that is really what you want (heck, my friends think I must be super-experienced with my jump #s!!! lol)

Sounds like you'll continue with this after your parents leave:
I broke my butt and I will still continue doing it.

If you love it enough you will continue, just like I am through my current frustrations with repeating ISP (coached RW) jumps and like many other people here have. If you really are only doing it to impress your father, you shouldn't be doing it.

Personally, I find it difficult to believe that you would have gone through all this if it wasn't what you wanted. But only you can know what you really want. I wish you strength, and you know that there are people here willing to listen and offer advice when you need it.

Feel free to PM me if you wish.

Mockingbird  (A 49146)

Jul 26, 2005, 12:41 PM
Post #25 of 55 (4097 views)
Re: [jigneshsoni] Why I am doing Sky Diving [In reply to] Can't Post

Jigs! Hi! One of the exercises in DeRosalia's book (Mental Training for Skydiving) is to write down your goal and the reasons WHY it is so important to you. I, like Orange, am willing to bet that making your father proud is NOT your main priority. That may be one of your reasons, but I doubt that it is your primary reason. No one jumps from a plane unless they enjoy it. Your previous posts testify to this. Besides there are much easier ways of making your father proud.

If your father did not exist at this moment, would you want to learn to skydive? If the answer to that is No, then stop. If the answer is Yes, then go for it and don't give up. And if at all possible, get to your nearest wind tunnel!

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