For some, the mere idea of “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane” reaches the height of folly and even stupidity. You would be forgiven for thinking “the thing has wheels and we just took off from a runway, why wouldn’t we use it again?” For others, it’s a bucket list item to leave the rear or side (exit) of an airplane on a static line in order to tick something off a bucket list. But for the true daredevil and adrenaline junkie, this falls well short and they insist to be taken up somewhere beyond 13,000 feet and free falling with the ground racing up on them.
Thankfully, this is not a spur-of-the-moment undertaking or something which you’re allowed to do on a whim. This is a certified course developed in the United States to get you to the point of making your first solo jump and then performing additional maneuvers. This is first done with ground instruction, written tests, and instructors jumping with you following a well-defined and static progression all before you’re ever allowed your first solo “controlled plummet” to the earth.
The United States and the world offer a variety of settings to go through this training. If running with the bulls in Pamplona is also on your bucket list, perhaps combining accelerated free fall training with a trip to Spain might serve you well. Nevada, Texas, and multiple states offer this certification but for many, accelerated free fall ca is the way to go. California offers no shortage of accelerated free fall training locations from the mountains of both the north and the south of the state, to a jump out of airplane into the frighteningly-named Death Valley.
Generally speaking, in order to finish AFF training you’re likely looking at a minimum of seven jumps. However, your instructor will be judging your performance and you may be asked to repeat a jump where you unsatisfactorily took your lesson to heart or your performance during the jump left something to be desired in the eyes of a United States Parachute Association (USPA) instructor. While there are many AFF programs throughout the state, the costs are reasonably static at about $1500 for the seven-jump package and four to six hours in ground school.
Most of those that go through an Accelerated Free Fall course, do so with their eyes on ultimately obtaining their USPA A-License. This includes a number of consolidation jumps (supervised in the plane) and a number of additional safety classes, emergency jumps, and other training. Once they have completed this training and received the recommendation of a skydiving instructor, they will be cleared to dive solo whenever they wish to take to the sky and spend roughly a minute free falling. Whether or not you choose to go this route is entirely up to you, but remember that all of this begins with the completion of an accelerated free fall training course that can be done in as little as seven to 10 days including the added jumps towards the A-license.