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cosmicgypsy

AFF vs Tandem AFF programs

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I've been researching my options for getting back into skydiving. I really like the idea of doing AFF but the most popular option, close to home, I'm seeing is, x number of tandem jumps before moving on to AFF. My question is. Why this method? I know I can go to other drop zones but that involves cost that I'm not interested in.

So, if some of you could enlighten me about the two options please do.

Thanks

John

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Disclaimer: Not an instructor, but my DZ does 'tandem to AFF' training, that also includes tunnel time.

They do the tandems before AFF because it allows the instructor to have more control over the student.
Keep in mind that tandem was originally conceived as a 'dual instruction' tool. It's morphed into a carnival ride, but the value for instruction is still there. 

My DZ has the student take the First Jump Course, then do 2 tandems with an instructor who is also AFF rated. The student has objectives to meet and tasks to accomplish (arch, altitude awareness, pull, landing pattern ect).

If they are able to do what they are tasked to do, they then do 10 minutes (I think) in the tunnel, This is also done with an AFF instructor.

If the student passes all of this, the first AFF jump is with one instructor. 
If the student does not do well, tandems may be repeated, more tunnel time may be done, or the first AFF jump can be done with two instructors. 

The DZO, S&TA and instructors are pretty happy with it. 
The students seem to be too.

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Hey Rob,

It's been almost 40yrs. Never got a license.

My thoughts on this were to go through a first jump course, seeing as things have changed. Also, it just made sense to me. Seems that I was seeing more of the AFF than the Tandem to AFF and now it's the other way around.

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13 hours ago, cosmicgypsy said:

Hey Rob,

It's been almost 40yrs. Never got a license.

My thoughts on this were to go through a first jump course, seeing as things have changed. Also, it just made sense to me. Seems that I was seeing more of the AFF than the Tandem to AFF and now it's the other way around.

Almost 40 years! I look forward to hearing about your first jump back when you get back up there!   I’m returning from 14 years away, first jump back should be this weekend, but my 14 years seems like such a small period of time now lol.

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On 5/28/2020 at 8:22 PM, cosmicgypsy said:

Hey Rob,

It's been almost 40yrs. Never got a license.

 

damn, and i thought i was gonna hold the record for longest time to get my a with just over 22 years.  good luck in your journey and welcome back.

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Granted, tandem might be used as a legitimate training aid.

Same goes for tunnel.

Same goes for VR.
 

My personal opinion however is that DZ's move away from 'AFF only' (not to mention Static-line) at least partially  for commercial reasons.

Why charge only a couple hundred of bucks if students are happy to pay a couple of thousand? Yes, I understand that the DZ has more operational cost, but I have a feeling the profit margin is even bigger.
Granted, you receive value for money, extra training and extra preparation, but that doesn't mean you cannot make a safe first jump without all the bells and whistles.

This is in no way intended as a slight on Wolfriverjoe's DZ their instruction program, or any other for that matter.

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