British AFF Course

British AFF course 

What is an AFF Course

AFF is an intensive course, which allows rapid progression in skydiving. Your first descent is from 15,000 feet and you will be accompanied by two highly experienced instructors who will guide you in freefall by way of hand signals. You will experience about 60 seconds of freefall before you open your own, ram-air parachute at 5,500 feet.

Your first AFF jump is part of a week to 10 days course of 8 levels and a minimum of 10 consolidation jumps which will qualify you as a skydiver in your own right. If you know you want to take up skydiving, this is probably the quickest and most motivating method by which to do it - although of course it is not cheap. 

The first thing you must complete is the ground training. This will take a minimum of six hours and consist of the following: 

  • Orientation of the Parachute Centre facilities.
  • Equipment familiarisation.
  • After landing procedures.
  • Body position during freefall.
  • Instruction on how to exit the aircraft correctly.
  • The sequence of the skydive (actions to complete during freefall).
  • Aircraft drills (procedures to following during flight).
  • Tuition for flying and controlling the parachute. 
  • Parachute landing procedures.
  • How and when to operate the reserve parachute in emergency.

 There are eight levels to complete for the British AFF qualification. Students must pass each level before moving onto the next. In order to do this you must complete the following objectives: 

Level 1, 2 and 3 you have 2 instructors. 

Level 1

You move to the door of the aircraft with two instructors holding on to each side of your skydiving suit. You ask if they are ready, and when they say "OK" you shout "Ready, Set, Go". You then jump from the aircraft with your instructors holding onto you and you are in freefall. You look out to the horizon and to pick a reference point that you can refer back to (heading); by doing this you know if you are involuntarily rotating. You then check your altimeter on your left hand to see your altitude, and tell the height to both instructors that are holding onto your sides. Whilst doing this, the instructors then give any signals to amend your body position if not correct, followed by an ‘OK’ signal. This is known on the AFF course as the H.A.S.P procedure, (heading, altitude, secondary instructor, primary instructor). You then reach and touch your deployment handle three times to show you know its location. You then freefall until an altitude of 6000 ft. At 6000ft you keep looking at your altimeter and once you reach 5500 ft you open your parachute, by using the deployment handle. You then control and land the parachute as per your ground training.

Level 2

You exit the aircraft and carry out the H.A.S.P procedure as detailed in Level 1. Next you reach and touch your deployment handle twice. As you continue to freefall to 6000 ft, the secondary instructor will release you. (This acts as an intermediate before both instructors release on level 3.) At 6000 ft you keep looking at your altimeter, and once you reach 5500 ft you deploy your parachute and land.

Level 3

You exit the aircraft and carry out the H.A.S.P procedure. Next you reach and touch your deployment handle once. You then freefall to 6000 ft, but this time both instructors will aim to release you if your body position is correct. This is to demonstrate that you can stay in control and hold a heading. At 6000 ft you keep looking at your altimeter and once you reach 5500 ft you deploy your parachute and land.

Level 4, 5, 6 and 7 you just have 1 instructor

Level 4

You exit the aircraft and carry out the H.A.P (same as H.A.S.P but without the secondary instructor) procedure. When you receive the ‘OK’ signal the instructor then releases you, and moves so they are facing you. The instructor will then ask you to complete 90° turns to the left and right. You continue to practice turns as signaled by your instructor until you reach 7000 ft, where you will signal 'no more work' (a shake of the head) to the instructor. Once you reach 5000 ft you deploy your parachute and land.

Level 5

This is the same as level 4 except you perform 360° instead of 90° turns.

Level 6

You move to the aircraft exit and ask your instructor if he's ready. You then dive out the aircraft and the instructor will follow you. Your instructor will then move in front of you. If your body position is correct your instructor will give you the signal to complete a backwards somersault (as taught prior to theskydive). By doing this you are proving you can regain control after losing stability (the somersault). You then check your altimeter, and providing you are above 7000 ft you will create forward movement for five seconds (this is known as tracking). Once you reach 4500 ft you deploy your parachute and land.

Level 7

This is an amalgamation of levels 5 and 6. You move to the aircraft exit and ask your instructor if he's ready. You then complete a forward somersault out of the plane, holding the position for three seconds. You then regain stability and check your altimeter, followed by creating forward movement for five seconds. Next you complete a 360° turns left and right. Manoeuvres must be stopped by 6000 ft. Once you reach 4500 ft you deploy your parachute and land.

Level 8 

You exit the aircraft when advised by an instructor at 5000 ft and deploy your parachute within ten seconds, and land.

Congratulations you have now completed your AFF Course.  To obtain your BPA A license you will need to complete 10 consolidation skydives and complete the CH1 exam.

Consolidation Jumps/Skydives

Once you have been qualified from your AFF Course, you are still classed a "student in consolidation status" under supervision from your instructor. During the next 10 skydives you will be on your own, to consolidate the skills you learned in your previous 8 skydives. During the nest 10 solo jumps you will gain more confidence and work towards your next step of your skydiving career the BPA A-license.

The CH1 Exam

The CH1 or Canopy handling exam is a 2 page open book exam which consists of 14 questions.  all the answers are in the manual this shows that you have read and understood the manual.  You will then need to take this exam to your local Parachute centre and the CI will check and sign.

BPA Manuals

Here you can download all the relevant manuals that you may need through your AFF course

AFF Manual

Canopy Handling - CH1 & CH2

Canopy Piloting - CP

Freefly Progression

Formation Student Progession

BPA Forms

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