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Mickey Dee

completing my AFF in May where to go?

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Posted (edited)

Looking for some specific advice on completing my AFF. I'm 29, Australian male leaving Japan in the next two week and want to attain my AFF but not looking to head back to Australia yet. Looking to get an idea of the best place to go and do it. The time of year weather wise for May, affordable course, accommodation at the drop zone, any possibility of been able to volunteer at drop zones to keep cost down. I'm looking at the US, California so that I could chill out and surf when I can't dive. Dubai looks like it has the facilities and cost affective but not sure I want to be in Dubai if its going to take longer as the rest of Dubai looks expensive. 

Edited by Mickey Dee

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Skydive Perris in CA. It’s one of the top DZs in the USA and has most of what you ask for. You’re probably not going to get a price cut for work though, not as an AFF student. You’re unlikely to get a price cut at any DZ. Skydiving is expensive and there are few ways around that. 

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Skydive Perris is a good choice. They are actually doing the Aussie National record jumps at Skydive Perris at the end of May.  In may, at Perris your biggest hurdle is usually the mid afternoon winds picking up.  They usually slow down at 3 or 4 though. 

If you have a car, you can head to surf in the early mornings and then jump the rest of the day :)

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(edited)

Both Perris Valley (California) and Eloy (Arizona) are good choices because they both have vertical wind tunnels. Wind tunnels allow you to practice free fall exercises without the time pressure of a rapidly approaching planet.

Perris and Eloy are also in arid, deserts with little moisture to form clouds. They both have decent weather in April and May, but later in the summer, they both get ridiculously hot and Perris suffers dust devils (mini tornados) strong enough to kill you!

Avoid DZs near the Canada/USA border because they are still transitioning from spring to summer and clouds may ground you for days at a time. For example - at the 49th parallel - yesterday dawned cloudy and it tried to rain a couple of times. Around 18:00, a cold front blew threw with clear, cold skies and more wind. But the cold front was quickly replaced by another, wetter front so this morning dawned cloudy with light rain.

Not much chance to pick up work at an American DZ unless you have a specialized skill and a working visa (aka. Green Card). Working will distract you from lessons.

If weather is too cloudy or windy to jump, still show up for ground school - at the DZ - and try to practice your lesson in the wind tunnel. Mornings are better before afternoon winds pick up. If weather keeps you on the ground last mid-afternoon, ask skydiving instructors if it is a good afternoon for surfing.

Edited by riggerrob

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