LEARN TO BECOME A SOLO SKYDIVER / SPORT PARACHUTIST

AFF stands for Accelerated Free Fall. This doesn’t mean you’ll be falling faster, it means that after only 7 jumps you’ll be able to execute a freefall skydive all by yourself, without any previous experience. The AFF course really is ‘the bee’s knees’.

The AFF course is comprised of 7 levels in advancing degrees of difficulty. You’ll perform a jump per level, seven in total. Each level you’ll work at certain practical goals. When meeting all your goals in a jump you advance to the next level.

During the first 3 AFF jumps you’ll be guided in free-fall by two specially licensed instructors. From jump number 4 onwards the in-air instruction will be done by a single instructor.

accelerated learning

Because these instructors guide you through the whole of the freefall the learning process is accelerated compared to the conventional training. Firstly because during freefall they pass on in-air corrections through hand signals so you can follow the signals at once.

Secondly because by being directly involved they can give a correct and specific evaluation.

All jump will be recorded as part of the course. After each jump the video images are used to do a de-briefing. When you’ve completed the course you’ll receive all the footage.

The international standard in learning to skydive

This course was developed in the eighties, refined in the nineties and currently the norm for the motivated aspiring parachutist.

After your first seven jumps you won’t immediately be an accomplished skydiver, but you’ll have a solid foundation to get there!

After graduating the AFF course you can actually jump solo. Not just at our Dropzone but practically everywhere in the world.

The next step will be to undergo the ‘one on one training, canopy school, getting your packing certification to then to work towards graduating for the much coveted A-Licence.

Sign up for the AFF course

How does it work?

Ground school

Day 1: theory

ADMINISTRATION:

We’ll expect you on a mondaymorning at 09:00 at our front office. There we’ll administer the required paperwork and we’ll take your medical fitness declaration and your passport photograph. Up next: groundschool!

Groundschool:

This is where your career as a skydiver will start; on the ground and in our hangar. One of our specialised instructors will provide you with a theoretical course (max. 8 AFF participants per group).

Our groundschool is tailored to your pace, experience and physical fitness and can vary from half a day to a full day.

You’ll learn essential techniques such as stability in freefall, altitude awareness, mastering the emergency procedures and the correct way to open- and fly your parachute with the primary canopy.

Before you know it you’ll be jumping out of airplanes

harnesstest

safety first

THEORETICAL EXAM

Before we’ll want to take you up in the air you’ll have to pass your ‘harness test’. An instructor will take you through a selection of scenario’s and will quiz you on the proper (safety) procedure in each scenario.

If, and when you’ve passed this test we’re confident that you’ll know how to respond in any emergency scenario.

THE FIRST OF MANY

You’ll probably take this test many, many times in your future skydiving career. All skydivers jumping under Dutch Skydiving regulations, that have not graduated to the B-licence, need to take this test every 3 months. A harnesstest is valid for 3 months.

First AFF caught on tape

Glenn made a small documentary for his Vlog showcasing groundschool and the first AFF jump. This clip provides a good impression of what to expect.. although most students won’t land in our neighbours cornfield but in the student landing area..

Signup for the AFF course

Getting airborne !

jumps 1 to 3

YOUR FIRST 3 JUMPS

After graduating your harnesstest we’ll take to the skies. Weather permitting this will be on your second day of the course.

Together with two instructors you’ll ascend to 13.000 ft (about 4 km). There you’ll exit the airplane together. Your instructors will guide you during freefall which will last about one minute. They will guide you from the first to the last second of the freefall which will last about a minute. During the skydive they will correct your body position and pay attention to every detail needed for a splendid jump

Even when you fail to open your main parachute at the agreed altitude there is no problem; the instructor will not let you freefall for one second longer than is safe and if needed will open your parachute for you.

AFF is skydiving from the very first second!

After your square parachute has opened you’ll fly to the previously specified landing area on your own.

After your jump you’ll debrief with your primary instructor and you might even start preparing for your next jump.

do you want to learn to skydive?

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Better and better

sprong 4 t/m 7

Your skillset is growing

After successfully having made your first three jumps with 2 instructor you’ll find that you’re getting more aware of all that goes on during your jump. Your skill set increases dramatically and there’s little left of the extreme tension you experienced when you first jumped out of the airplane. You’re slowly but surely becoming a capable skydiver.

Onwards with a single instructor

During the final four jumps (levels) you’ll be guided by a single instructor. Before every jump you’ll receive a briefing that you’ll bring into practice in the air.

7th jump = exam jump

AFF kevel 7 is the course’s examjump. During this jump you’ll demonstrate that you’ve mastered the required skills to be a solo skydiver. Completing the 7th jump successfully means that you’ve graduated the AFF course and that you able to skydive solo at most dropzones worldwide. Time to celebrate!

Course at a glance

In order to effectively debrief all jumps are recorded on video. These images aren’t just an effective educational tool, they’re also great to take home and watch again. See a montage of the 7 AFF jumps of one of our recent students.

Signup for your AFF course

Graduated!

your solo skydive career just begun!

You’ve done it!

Looking back the groundschool wasn’t all that hard, the tension that you experience when you exit the airplane is totally different now than on your first jump and the AFF course was the best you ever took part in.

Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of the sport parachutist. Your skydive career has officially started.

Continue by yourself
Officially your status as a skydiver is now ‘Student – Aff graduated’. This means that under supervision of an instructor you may now perform parachute jumps by yourself. You don’t have to do your jumps together with an instructor anymore; you’re jumping solo.

By this time your instructor will have explained the next steps to take on your road to the A-licence. For instance:

  • Low exit jumps (exit the airplane at low altitude)
  • One-on-one jumps (learn to jump with multiple jumpers)
  • Accuracy landing
  • Canopy control
  • Learn to spot
  • Learn to pack

These more advanced skills are taught in mini-courses. Some are offered for free (i.e. learning to spot) and for some a fee is charged, as with the one-on-one jumps (for when someone will jump with you for in-air instruction).

AFF course prices

The best course you’ll ever take

If you want to be a true solo jumping skydiver then the AFF course is what you’re looking for.

To make the course more accessible we’ve create the AFF Starter Pack. The Starter Pack includes the full groundschool and the first AFF jump.

After you’ve tasted freefall for the first time you can purchase additional levels one by one, until you’ve successfully completed your 7th / exam jump and you can jump from airplanes all by yourself.

The AFF Starter Pack is also ideal for aspiring jumpers that are not totally sure if being a skydiver is really for them.

Conditions

If you’d like to enroll in the AFF course there’s a few conditions to take into account.

  • Minimum age
    You need to be at least 16 years old. If you’re not 18 years old yet then we’ll need a signed declaration of consent from a legal custodian.
  • Maximum weight
    Including shoes and clothing your weight may not exceed 100 kg. If your weight is slightly more; please contact us.
  • Passport photograph
    You need to bright a passport photograp on your first day of the course.
  • Medical declaration
    To enroll in any parachuting course (such as AFF, FJC, TJE or MSQ) you need to provide a medical statement declaring you fit for the course. Any GP is certified to sign this document. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

    Pay attention:
    The document is only valid if and when signed by a medical doctor and with the doctors personal stamp applied (the stamp should at least state the doctors identification number).

    Download the dutch format for the medical declaration

checklist

You’ve decided to become a solo skydivr?? Great! You’ve just made the first and crucial step that will lead to one of the most amazing pasttimes imagineable.

An overview of items to get in order as soon as possible:

  • Signup for the course
    A bit obvious maybe, but the first step is to enroll in the ‘full AFF course‘ or for the ‘AFF starter course’.
  • Staying on Texel
    In the event that you’re not a native of the Island (which is pretty likely as your reading this in English) you’ll have to find a place to stay for the duration of the course. Many skydivers and students stay in nearby ‘Hotel De Kievit’, a budget 2 star hotel. The local tourist office can help you find accommodations as well.
  • Medical declaration
    Make sure to get your medical declarion in order as soon as possible. Most GP’s are willing to provide their patients with this document but sometimes we do hear of GP’s that aren’t comfortable to sign one. In such an event you’ll have to revert to a sport medical institute. Please take into account that a waiting period could be applicable. Without a medical declaration you can’t jump.

    Download the Dutch medical declaration format.

  • Passport photograph
    If you don’t have one available; don’t forget to have one made to take with you to Texel.
  • Shoes & clothing
    You don’t have pack and bring anything exotic as far as shoes and clothing goes. Clothes that enable you to move freely, for instance if you were to go for a run, is fine. The same goes for foorwear. Simple sneakers are perfectly suitable for jump activities. Just make sure your shoes don’t have hooks (old fashioned army boots) that can snag a line and that your toes are covered (so no flipflops).
  • Sign the waiver
    After booking your course via the website you’ll receive an email that holds a link to a ‘waiver’ / ‘release of liability’ document. Please read and then sign the document before arriving at the Paracentrum.
  • Agreement for minors
    If you’re between 16 and 18 years old we’ll need a signed agreement from your legal custodian(s) that states that you’re allow to parttake in the course. Better not forget to bring it.

Frequently asked questions

Most people have a lot of question regarding jumping out of airplanes. Which is perfeftly normal. Fortunately most people tend to have similar questions. We’ve listed those frequently asked questions here. There’s also a page that contains all frequently asked questions.

Courses: general

How do the courses differ?

The AFF-course (Accelerated Free Fall) is the most common teaching method to learn how to jump fully independent out of an airplane. This includes the free fall, as well as the knowledge how to handle the parachute and the landings. If you successfully finished this course you may jump independently (solo) as a sports-parachutist.

The FJC (First JumpC ourse) is an amazing opportunity to get a taste of Skydiving. In this course you will be busy with learning how to handle the parachute. After one day ground instructions, you will be jumping out of the airplane with a static line attached to the airplane. Hence, you will not feel the free fall yet, but know how to fly under a parachute. After 5 static line jumps you will have earned your static line brevet (and also your Wing).

The TJE (TotalJumpExperience) is your chance to learn how to fly under the parachute, by doing one day ground instructions and 5 static line jumps, followed by a first AFF jump, in which you will experience the free fall. This means after this course you only need another 6 AFF jumps to be an independent (solo) parachutist.

What do you need for the first course day?

On the first day of your course you will need:

  • Your medical examniation paper *
  • Two passport photos
  • If applicable: your voucher
  • If applicable: your payment confirmation
  • Casual/ sporty clothing
  • Solid shoes (without open heels or high-heels)
  • Enough water & sunscreen

* The medical examination needs to be signed by a doctor, with his stemp and his BIG number.

Download Medical Examination Paper
What can I do to prepare myself?

Well begun is half done:

  • Make sure you are on time fir the registration. The courses start at 9am. Depending on your travel distance, it might be good to arrive a day earlier, since you also need to take the times of the ferry into account. This way you will be fit and well rested on your first day of the course.
  • Wear solid shoes!

Not sure whether jumping out of an airplane is the right thing for you?

Try a tandemjump with us, you will make the first experience of the exit out of an airplane, the free fall, steering a parachute and landing back on earth. Most of our course participant have been infected with the stoke for parachuting after a tandemjump!

Do I really need a medical examination paper?

Yes. Without a medical examination you are not allowed to participate in any of the jump courses we offer (e.g. AFF, FJC, TJE).

The medical examination can be done by any general practitioner and usually does not take any longer than 5 minutes.

Attention: The medical examination is only valid if stemped and signed by the general practitioner.

Sportjumpers who have not finished their A-Licence need to refresh/ renew their medication examination every two years.

Download Medical Examination Paper
What is the minimum age and the maximum age to take part in a course?

The minimum age for sport jumpers is 16, which means that also participants may not be younger then 16. Nonetheless, till your 18th birthday you need the written allowance of your parents or legal guardian to participate in a jumping course.

Parachuting is a very age-diverse sport. Many jumpers keep jumping till age 60, 70 or 80.

However, to start jumping out of an airplane is different then being experienced and continuing throughout his/ her life. The most important fact is your physical health. Hence, please inform us if you are older than 50 years. We will then talk with you and see what options we can offer, especially since safety of all our participants is the most important to us!

What happens if I cannot make all jumps in one go?

If you cannot finish your course in one go (e.g. because of bad weather conditions), then you have the chance to finish it within one year.

However, play attention to the following rules:

  • A harness-test is valid for 3 months. If you do not have a valid harness-test anymore you need to do a new harness-test. (This is the case for all sportjumpers who do not have a finished B-License.
  • The ground-course is valid for 6 months. Hence, if you have not jumped within these 6 months, you need to participate again in ground-instructions.
  • In order to participate in a Dutch jumpcourse you need to be insured via the Dutch jumpers association (KNVvL). This insurance is valid for 1 years and needs to be possibly re-freshed if you finish your course much later in time.

These rules are applicable to all our courses offered.

An important fact that is also good to know: Paracentrum Texel is daily open from April till October!

Hoe lang is mijn verzekering geldig?

Wanneer je een cursus boekt wordt je automatisch aangemeld als aspirant-lid bij de KNVvL afdeling parachutespringen. Via het lidmaatschap loopt ook een collectieve WA-verzekering. Deze verzekering is maximaal een jaar, na de start van je cursus, geldig. Je mag maar een keer aspirant lid worden van de KNVvL.

Mocht je bijvoorbeeld na het volgen van een static-line opleiding (FJC, MSL en TJE) interesse hebben de AFF cursus te gaan doen. Dan moeten wij je als je bij de KNVvL aanmelden als volledig lid. De kosten die hierbij komen liggen anders.

Meer informatie kun je vinden via de onderstaande links naar website's van het KNVvL.

Parachute.nl KNVvL.nl
Wat als er slecht weer is voorspeld op mijn cursusdag(en) ?

Het weer hebben we natuurlijk niet in de hand en de voorspellingen komen ook niet altijd uit. Vandaar dat de grondopleiding altijd doorgaat.

Je bent dan klaar om te springen en wie weet maak je toch gelijk de sprong(en), we hebben immers maar een klein gedeelte van de dag goed weer nodig.

Lukt het toch niet dan kan je binnen 3 maanden op elke door de weekse dag komen om de sprong(en) alsnog te maken. 

Wanneer je de cursus niet in een keer kunt afmaken (bijvoorbeeld als het weer tegenzit) heb je een jaar de tijd om de cursus af te maken.

Let wel op de volgende regels:

  • Een harnastest is 3 maanden geldig. Zodra de harnastest verlopen is moet je deze test opnieuw succesvol afleggen (dit geldt overigens voor alle springers die nog geen B-brevet hebben).
  • De grondopleiding is 6 maanden geldig. Dus wanneer je 6 maanden of langer niet gesprongen hebt moet je opnieuw de grondopleiding volgen.
  • De verzekering bij het KNVvL is een jaar geldig. Mocht je buiten de verzekerde periode je cursus afmaken dan moet je wel weer aangemeld worden bij het KNVvL.

AFF (Accelerated Free Fall)

What can and can't you do once you're a AFF graduate?

Als je geslaagd bent voor je AFF cursus mag je zelfstandig parachutespringen onder leiding en verantwoordelijkheid van een instructeur.

Officieel is je status dan niet meer 'AFF-student' maar 'AFF gegradueerd'. Je mag dan al wel helemaal alleen het vliegtuig verlaten en dus echt solo springen. 

Eigenlijk begint daar dan je spring carrière pas echt want tijdens die eerste solo sprongen zul je aan je vaardigheden willen werken. 

Om samen met andere springers te mogen springen moet je bijvoorbeeld eerst je 'one-on-one' instructie sprongen maken. Zo werk je langzaam naar het A-brevet toe en verkrijg je steeds meer vrijheden. Voor je het weet zijn de brevetten B,C en D ook binnen handbereik!

Is het verstandig om eerst in een wind tunnel te oefenen?

Het is altijd goed een keer de wintunnel in te gaan. De windtunnel simuleert perfect de omgeving waarin in een skydiver zich bevindt. Dit kan je goed voorbereiden op de AFF sprongen.

Enkele ervaren instructeurs van Paracentrum Texel zijn wekelijks in de windtunnels van Nederland te vinden.

Nog een betere voorbereiding op de AFF cursus is het maken van een Tandemsprong. Bij de Tandemsprong komen alle elementen van het parachutespringen naar voren en kan de Tandem instructeur je al veel uitleggen en zelf laten ervaren. 

Zie hieronder linkjes naar de websites van de twee windtunnels in Nederland:

Indoor Skydive Roosendaal City Skydive Utrecht
Hoeveel dagen neemt de opleiding in beslag?

De AFF-opleiding neemt 5 dagen in beslag. De grondopleiding begint op maandag om 09.00 uur.

Op de maandag starten we met de grondopleiding. Je leert alles dat je moet weten voordat je voor het eerst een sprong gaat maken.

Op de dinsdag nemen we de 'harnastest' af. Een soort theoretisch examen. Want voordat we voor het eerst met je de lucht in gaan moet je eerst aantonen dat je de kennis écht eigen hebt gemaakt. 

Nadat je geslaagd bent voor je harnastest beginnen we met het maken van de eerste sprongen. Als het weer meezit dus al op de tweede dag!

Afhankelijk van het weer duurt de cursus tot en met vrijdag. Totdat we alle zeven AFF sprongen hebben gemaakt en jij je felbegeerde gouden sticker in je logboek mag plakken.

De cursus blijft een jaar geldig in het geval deze niet binnen een week kan worden afgemaakt. Bijvoorbeeld als we vanwege slecht weer niet alle sprongen hebben kunnen maken.

Kan ik de AFF opleiding combineren met een vakantie op Texel?

De AFF-opleiding is perfect te combineren met een vakantie op Texel. Naast het springen is er voldoende tijd om te genieten van ons mooie eiland. Bij mooi weer maken 2 á 3 sprongen op een dag.

We springen van maandag tot en met vrijdag met AFF-leerlingen en kunnen wanneer nodig dit verlengen tot en met het weekend.

Het is wel raadzaam om bij mooi weer op de dropzone aanwezig te blijven om de sprongen te kunnen maken.