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Ramzisleiman

Choosing the right drop Zone

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So i finally can afford the time and money to get into earning my A licence. I have been looking for schools online to choose one and get started in the summer of 2015.
I came across the school in Pattaya that offered me a 3700$ fee including accomodation in a nearby hotel for 13 nights.
After some research over this forum i found out that the licence can cost anywhere between 2000 and 4000$. I am not sure if the prices went up by now or not. What do you guys think is that a good price? is the pattaya school a good one to start with?
What other options do i have? I am coming from Middle East Lebanon, and i know there is the Dubai and Jordan school, but since its a vacation why not travel somewhere nice while at it.
If you have any suggestions other than USA/Canada/Africa, please let me know. I am interested in going to Europe mainly. Thailand is a good choice too because flying ticket is not too expensive from where im departing. And the weather is almost always good.
I am planning to get my licence anywhere between April and August, so please consider this time window when suggesting schools.
Any help regarding this, will be greatly appreciated.
Regards

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You can't just go anywhere and expect a great dz like Skydive Dubai.

I have no idea what is like in Thailand, but I'm sure it is not, Dubai, Empruria, Perris, or Eloy.

You want solid instruction, along with safe gear.

Hell, some people will never pass their first un-assisted free fall without help of a wind tunnel.

Best bet is to learn how to skydive at Dubai, or go to one of those well known places with multiple airplanes along with good weather.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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April to August is the rainy season in Thailand. I'd check into that carefully before booking and selecting those dates. You may have a lot of weather to deal with.

It's also the dead of summer for Dubai. Not exactly the best time to jump there. Spain has quite a few DZ, with lots of them ran as UK schools. You could look int that. Empuria would be a good but expensive option.

If your plan is to book a trip and get your license in a short period of time, I'd say weather is the main factor you should consider (along with quality of instruction). Not price.
Remster

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Eloy has a wind tunnel, and their AFF course comes with 10 minutes with an instructor. They have places to sleep, laundry, pretty much everything you need to stay there. You can jump all year around. Right now planes fly every day. Its a good place, but it will cost you around $4k+ to earn your A license since they want you to do the remaining 14 jumps coached after your AFF until you receive your A.

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shift

Eloy has a wind tunnel, and their AFF course comes with 10 minutes with an instructor. They have places to sleep, laundry, pretty much everything you need to stay there. You can jump all year around. Right now planes fly every day. Its a good place, but it will cost you around $4k+ to earn your A license since they want you to do the remaining 14 jumps coached after your AFF until you receive your A.

I always thought all those coach jumps in Eloy's program were a distinct advantage having gone through the program myself over a decade ago.
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Weather is a huge issue.
April to August are the HOT months in deserts (Dubai, Arizona, etc.). I a have done a thousand or more jumps in the Southern California desert summer, but it was gruelling. I found 8 tandems per day to be exhausting, but in the cooler weather of Washington or British Columbia, I can easily do a 12 a day.
Luxuries like swimming pools and air-conditioned classrooms help, but moderate weather is still better.
Also consider that a wind tunnel can turn a rainy day into a training day. Now that wind tunnels are widely available, I would not touch a freefall student until after he had a few minutes in a tunnel.
You should also consider breaking up your vacation into 2 or 3 separate weeks. First week do a tandem (or 3) and a bit of tunnel time. Second vacation, do most of the AFF program (8 jumps at most DZs, depending upon how quickly you learn). Last week, do a bunch of coach jumps to complete your A license.

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mattjw916

***Eloy has a wind tunnel, and their AFF course comes with 10 minutes with an instructor. They have places to sleep, laundry, pretty much everything you need to stay there. You can jump all year around. Right now planes fly every day. Its a good place, but it will cost you around $4k+ to earn your A license since they want you to do the remaining 14 jumps coached after your AFF until you receive your A.

I always thought all those coach jumps in Eloy's program were a distinct advantage having gone through the program myself over a decade ago.


Completely agree... I was able to work on different exits, tracking, and linking up. Some of the best coaches in the biz. It was money well spent in my opinion.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth - Mike Tyson

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riggerrob

I would not touch a freefall student until after he had a few minutes in a tunnel.



Would you mind clarifying this, not all of us have the luxury of having a tunnel closer than a 6 hour flight away

Do you mean you would not want to coach a student after getting their licence or do you mean you would not want to start AFF with them?

I realise the tunnel is a great tool and I am planning a trip to one next year but it is hardly necessary for progression. I would guess most experienced skydivers did not learn in tunnel

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DHemer

*** I would not touch a freefall student until after he had a few minutes in a tunnel.



Would you mind clarifying this, not all of us have the luxury of having a tunnel closer than a 6 hour flight away

... do you mean you would not want to start AFF with them?

I realise the tunnel is a great tool and I am planning a trip to one next year but it is hardly necessary for progression. I would guess most experienced skydivers did not learn in tunnel

.................................................................................

I am saying that I would not take a student for his first accompanied free-fall (e.g. AFF) unless that student already had a few minutes in a wind tunnel.

A wind tunnel is such a huge improvement on old methods, that I wonder why anyone would want to learn the old way?????

Sure, I learned the old way, but that was the hard way. I did my first (un-accompanied) free-falls back in 1979, a couple of years before the first wind tunnel opened in Quebec. I also jumped from Beech 18s, pulled 4-pin main ripcords to sleeve-deploy, military-surplus round canopies, etc. If anyone asked me to jump that today, I would laugh and reply: "The museum is over there!"
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riggerrob

A wind tunnel is such a huge improvement on old methods, that I wonder why anyone would want to learn the old way.



Well, its like DHemer said, not everyone is close enough to a tunnel. (Of course that is changing almost monthly any more.) If an AFF student is having a really difficult time in freefall, I will of course recommend some tunnel time to get squared away, plus maybe more. But it is certainly not required. It's a matter of where they want to spend their money. Skydives = canopy learning too.

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Ramzisleiman

So i finally can afford the time and money to get into earning my A licence. I have been looking for schools online to choose one and get started in the summer of 2015.
I came across the school in Pattaya that offered me a 3700$ fee including accomodation in a nearby hotel for 13 nights.
After some research over this forum i found out that the licence can cost anywhere between 2000 and 4000$. I am not sure if the prices went up by now or not. What do you guys think is that a good price? is the pattaya school a good one to start with?
What other options do i have? I am coming from Middle East Lebanon, and i know there is the Dubai and Jordan school, but since its a vacation why not travel somewhere nice while at it.
If you have any suggestions other than USA/Canada/Africa, please let me know. I am interested in going to Europe mainly. Thailand is a good choice too because flying ticket is not too expensive from where im departing. And the weather is almost always good.
I am planning to get my licence anywhere between April and August, so please consider this time window when suggesting schools.
Any help regarding this, will be greatly appreciated.
Regards



There are loads of great options in Europe as well as the desert campus in Dubai - all of them way, way better than Thailand.

I wouldn't sacrifice the option of top class instruction and facilities in Europe or Dubai just because you want a nice holiday destination in Pattaya (which is a bit of a shithole anyway).

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Just as a thought - and I am writing from memory so the details may not be totally correct - You also need to check what the payment schedule is for your course - and if you cannot complete the course, do you get a refund? Any decent DZ should refund. The reason I say this - there was a bloke on here a while ago who did his AFF in the far east (I think in Thailand actually), he had to see a doctor after his first jump, and the doctor recommended no more jumping, and the DZ refused a refund.

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There are loads of great options in Europe as well as the desert campus in Dubai - all of them way, way better than Thailand.

I wouldn’t sacrifice the option of top class instruction and facilities in Europe or Dubai just because you want a nice holiday destination in Pattaya (which is a bit of a shithole anyway).

Thank you for all your replies. I am convinced that thailand is not a good choice. Eloy and dubai arent either.
i do not want to go to USA, and isnt dubai more expensive than most others?
After some research for schools in europe i found a nice school in Norway called skydive Voss. The price seams very reasonable and the school has good reviews.
I am interested in schools in Europe only at the moment.

Also someone suggested Israel, i hope that was a joke. I am lebanese, i cannot and will not go to Israel.
Regards

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riggerrob


I am saying that I would not take a student for his first accompanied free-fall (e.g. AFF) unless that student already had a few minutes in a wind tunnel.

I agree with you that the wind tunnel is the best training tool our sport has ever seen, but until my DZ requires tunnel time prior to AFF, I'll be taken plenty of "never flown their bodies before" folks out the door on their Level I. Does your DZ now require it?

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kvnhlstd

******Eloy has a wind tunnel, and their AFF course comes with 10 minutes with an instructor. They have places to sleep, laundry, pretty much everything you need to stay there. You can jump all year around. Right now planes fly every day. Its a good place, but it will cost you around $4k+ to earn your A license since they want you to do the remaining 14 jumps coached after your AFF until you receive your A.

I always thought all those coach jumps in Eloy's program were a distinct advantage having gone through the program myself over a decade ago.


Completely agree... I was able to work on different exits, tracking, and linking up. Some of the best coaches in the biz. It was money well spent in my opinion.

Youre right, it will make you a better skydiver and give you more experience. I did not go through the program myself, but I had heard things like you get briefed by a coach, then go jump by yourself anyway. But like I said, I do not know first hand. I went to a smaller DZ and just made friends with the coaches and just talked to them about my jumps. More than willing to help out and was much cheaper for myself.

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I did my AFF-course at Skydive Voss and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. They are professional, have great facilities and the scenery is amazing.
That being said, Norway is rather expensive, and you can never trust the weather to be good enough, not even in the middle of the summer.
During my week there I was incredibly lucky with the weather, and we were able to jump everyday and even get our A-license within one week, but that was pure luck really; a friend of mine took the course a couple of weeks before me, and nobody from that course were even able to finish all of the AFF-jumps in a week because of bad weather..
It's much more common that everybody will be able to finish all the jumps, but you should definitely factor in that weather might be a problem in Norway.

However, if that's not an issue (you can stay for a longer period of time so it doesn't matter that much or something), skydive voss is a really, really great place to be :)

Good luck!

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Again, if you're booking a specific trip, weather has to be a huge factor.

If April / May are good for you, Empuria isn't that expensive, and, weather is normally not a big problem there, unless you get the Tramontana winds. About US$3000 for the AFF/10 jump consol/Bunkhouse package. http://www.skydiveempuriabrava.com/iniciacio_cursos_allotjament_preus-2.html

Plus it's a nice destination too.

Voss would be awesome, but, I wouldn't trust the weather as Ellena explained.
Remster

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JohnMitchell

***
I am saying that I would not take a student for his first accompanied free-fall (e.g. AFF) unless that student already had a few minutes in a wind tunnel.

I agree with you that the wind tunnel is the best training tool our sport has ever seen, but until my DZ requires tunnel time prior to AFF, I'll be taken plenty of "never flown their bodies before" folks out the door on their Level I. Does your DZ now require it?

..................................................................................

When there was tunnel in Vancouver, Pacific Skydivers required all free-fall students to do a few minutes in the tunnel.

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Remster

Again, if you're booking a specific trip, weather has to be a huge factor.

If April / May are good for you, Empuria isn't that expensive, and, weather is normally not a big problem there, unless you get the Tramontana winds. About US$3000 for the AFF/10 jump consol/Bunkhouse package. http://www.skydiveempuriabrava.com/iniciacio_cursos_allotjament_preus-2.html

Plus it's a nice destination too.

Voss would be awesome, but, I wouldn’t trust the weather as Ellena explained.



I checked them out, it seems like a nice place and the price is logical. Thank you for pointing that out.
After looking into their pricing, it got me confused. Why do i need the 10 con jumps? The website says it is the first step towards your A-licence. Doesn’t Completing the 8 Aff levels mean I get the A-licence?

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Ramzisleiman

***Again, if you're booking a specific trip, weather has to be a huge factor.

If April / May are good for you, Empuria isn't that expensive, and, weather is normally not a big problem there, unless you get the Tramontana winds. About US$3000 for the AFF/10 jump consol/Bunkhouse package. http://www.skydiveempuriabrava.com/iniciacio_cursos_allotjament_preus-2.html

Plus it's a nice destination too.

Voss would be awesome, but, I wouldn’t trust the weather as Ellena explained.



I checked them out, it seems like a nice place and the price is logical. Thank you for pointing that out.
After looking into their pricing, it got me confused. Why do i need the 10 con jumps? The website says it is the first step towards your A-licence. Doesn’t Completing the 8 Aff levels mean I get the A-licence?

AFAIK completing the 8 AFF levels clears you for self-supervised jumps... You wont get your A-license until you complete all the requirements for it...

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