It's never been easier!
Accelerated FreeFall (AFF) instruction is a comprehensive training program that equips complete beginners with freefall and canopy control skills through a seven level program, designed to teach you to skydive. Safety is greatly enhanced by direct-in-air Instructor supervision. To ensure safety for you and other skydivers, you must demonstrate proficiency on one level before progressing to the next. Successful completion of an AFF course allows you to begin skydiving on your own.
At Skydive Lake Wales you learn from experienced Instructors who provide one-on-one guidance throughout your training. Skydive Lake Wales is a Group Member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), and all of our Instructors are certified through the USPA.
Tailored around your schedule, our AFF course is designed to accommodate your availability, progression and to make the most of the weather conditions. Most first time skydivers complete the AFF training program in 7-10 jumps, which can either be completed, weather and progress permitting, within 3 to 5 days or can be spread out. However, if you leave more than 30 days between jumps USPA rules state that, for your own safety, you will have to undergo a refresher briefing and probably drop back one level.
Ground School and Catergory A
Your training begins with a 3-5 hour ground school where your instructor will teach you the skills required to make your first skydive as well as introducing you to the equipment you will use. After a test at the end of the ground school, you will be ready to make your Level 1 skydive!
Your objectives on this first skydive will be to maintain an awareness of your altitude, communicate with your instructors via hand signals, practicing touching your ripcord and deploying your parachute at the proper height. You will rehearse the skydive on the ground gear up and board the plane with your two AFF Instructors.
Once at altitude you will exit the plane with an Instructor on either side holding onto you. They will maintain their hold throughout the whole freefall to ensure you remain stable in the air. After you deploy your parachute, your Instructors will fly to the ground quickly and use the radio to guide you throughout your canopy descent to the designated landing area.
You will be briefed on the objectives of level two, which include everything from your first level but you will now also learn how to make a 90 degree turn, while both your instructors hold onto you. Again, you will receive radio instruction on canopy flight until you land.
Catergory C and C-1
On this jump, your two instructors will exit holding onto you, but they'll release you when they feel you are stable enough to get a feel for the air yourself. They remain close by your side and regain their hold to steady you before you deploy your canopy. Your goals are to maintain altitude awareness, practice ripcord touches and receive hand signal corrections from your Instructors although this time you will maintain a "heading" after they release you by choosing a spot on the horizon to stay aligned with. You will deploy your parachute at the proper altitude and fly your canopy to the ground with radio assistance.
Catergory D and D-1
You are now cleared to exit the plane with one Instructor holding onto you. You will make unassisted controlled 90-degree turns and begin forward movement after the instructor has released you in freefall.
With this level you progress to 360-degree turns and sharpen the skills you have acquired on all previous levels.
You are now ready for your first solo exit! Your Instructor will follow you out and stay close by your side while you demonstrate 360-degree turns, forward movement and even a back loop! You will learn a more dynamic forward movement called "delta tracking" and receive corrective instructions via radio during your canopy descent as you make your way back to the landing area.
This is your graduation jump where you have the opportunity to demonstrate all of the skills required during your previous levels. You will wear the radio but only receive corrective instruction as you build your confidence as a canopy pilot.