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AFF options

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I’ve been saving and planning to sign up for an AFF course. I’ve found several options/packages, and am curious to hear how some others have approached it. Ideally I’d sign up for a weekend camp, and try to get it done over a long weekend. While that sounds convenient, I also understand that it’s all weather permitting, and that’s a little challenging to predict here in New England. Is there a way to pay up front, and jump when you can (after ground school and jump #1), or do I sign up for each level separately? Either way, I’m incredibly excited to get started. Thanks!

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I know that some people get AFF done over weekend, but I would say it's unlikely you would be able to manage. There are many components that play a role:

- for AFF jumps you need instructors to jump with you, they may not be available on demand when you are available

- airplane takes only so many people, people usually line up to get there, you may have to wait in line

- for every jump you need to rent the gear, gear may not be available or it may not be packed for you on demand

- weather obviously can make whole day or part of the day not jumpable

- after 1, 2 or 3 jumps in a given day you may be really tired, no point in jumping tired

- it's valuable to take your lessons from a jump and think at home what you did wrong, what you can improve etc.

Some of those can be alleviated if you go to big drop zone with multiple airplanes and many instructors available. Most of the drop zones have single plane and only handful of instructors available on a given day for AFF. 

To avoid disappointment, I would advise that you plan on finishing AFF within multiple weeks rather than over 1 weekend. 

Edited by CoolBeans

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Just out of curiosity, would you want to ride in an airplane flown by a pilot who had been saving up and planning and got his commercial license in one weekend?

Also, you may not know but if the DZ at which you are training follows the United States Parachute Association Integraged Student Program, you will discover that the old 7-level AFF program is actually now Categories A-E, and incorporate much more than just the jumps; there are reading assignments and discussions about topics like wing loading, airport runway headings, spotting, winds aloft, traffic patterns, common airport operations, obstacle avoidance, collision avoidance, in-depth emergency reviews that include hanging-harness exercises, familiarity with rules and basic safety requirements, gear checks and pre-flight, and an introduction to packing parachutes, to name a few other items on the agenda.

And that is just to finish the AFF portion to be cleared for self-supervised solo jumping, but not enough to get your A-license, which is accomplished by graduating to coach jumps, Categories F, G, and H, where you learn to track away from other jumpers and safely dive,fly and dock on other jumpers, along with more advanced canopy skills,  

It's a lot; way more than just about anyone can squeeze into a full week, much less one weekend.  

But don't be discouraged by this, rather be stoked that you will actually get to master all these topics and be not only skilled, but safer in the air.

Edited by skyguyscott

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