Wow, reading the reviews from last year was like someone criticising me! Things must have really changed as I thought the place was absolutely fantastic. I took my AFF level 1 in Chatteris on the 16th of December, and as I didn't want to be at home for Christmas I decided that I would take a little trip over there. I will honestly say that I have never felt so welcome in a place in my life, and compared to the dusty crappy freezing cold AFF room at Chatteris, their school rooms are lovely! A/C and heating, computers set up to do their e-logbooks after each jump, just a proper set-up teaching room. The instructors are top-notch too, at one point I stalled on level 5 for quite a while, all my fault though, and I would have got peeved off at me a long time before that, but they stuck by me and I finally managed to get it! Huge grin from Rory my instructor as he was filming me being completely stable for the first time, a great feeling...
The bar has just reopened, after some legal ranglings have been going on, so that was good, the pool is empty at the mo, but seeing as it doesn't get over about 15 degrees celcius at the moment, who wants a swim anyway! With respect to refunds, I didn't really have any worries, as if I didn't jump my tickets I'd be back quite soon anyway, as I loved it. Even on Christmas Eve they had a little (well, not that little) knees up in the bar for all the people who were away from their families at Christmas, would you get that sort of thought from other DZ's? I doubt it...
I managed to fit in a ground school refresher, 11 AFF jumps, and 15 solos in the space of Monday to Sunday, although the last 15 were done in the last 3 days, including a glorious sunset load. Just beautiful. And the student area has such a nice softness that it doesn't matter how you land, which is good as my flaring accuracy leaves a little to be desired sometimes, I have had some funky landings I can tell you, but I've always walked away!
The only bad thing I can say about it is the gear rental does bump the price of a jump ticket quite high, but if you've got your own kit then there's not to worry about!
Can't wait to go back, even looking at Easyjet prices for the start of Feb!
Just try the place, and if you think it sucks then go to Ocana. There's word about that they'll be opening a subsidiary DZ in Portugal soon as well, so I may have a wander over there too, but not until I get another couple of days jumping in Lillo first!
Thanks to all, Marcus, Kathi, Rory, Jason, Vinni, Mikey, Rory, Joachim, Danny, Ianoa, Edu and all the pilots, packers and people who I never found out their names, but know their faces! Can't wait to see you all again.