FAQ - Skydiving Courses
The AFF FAQs are for those interested in learning to skydive solo. AFF stands for Accelerated Freefall, which is the initial course you will take when learning how to skydive on your own. The AFF FAQ has two sections, course related questions, and general skydiving questions. There is a lot of information covered here, so please take your time and read carefully.
What is the AFF course?
The Accelerated Free Fall course is made up of a 6-8 hour classroom session of theory known as the First Jump Course (FJC) and 5 categories of jumps. Some categories need more than one skydive to complete. The totl AFF course requires a minimum of 8 skydives.
Each category has objectives that need to be completed in freefall and under canopy to move to the next one. The first 3 jumps are done with 2 instructors and 5 of them are done with 1 instructor. After these 8 skydives are successfully completed you are free to ‘self-supervise’, which is jumping alone, but you won’t yet have a licence. The AFF course is run at Thai Sky Adventures Siracha.
What is the First Jump Course?
The First Jump Course (FJC), often referred to as ‘Ground School’, is a course of instruction that will last several hours. You will learn about equipment, procedures, free fall, canopy flight, and how to safely land your parachute.
We require that you make your first skydive within 2 weeks of your First Jump Course (FJC) date for safety reasons. If you go beyond the 2 week limit you will need to retake the Ground School Course.
How much is the AFF course?
You have 2 options for payment for AFF. You can either pay for the full course upfront or you can pay level by level. See our Skydiving Courses Page for a list of up-to-date prices.
From what altitude will I jump?
All AFF jumps are done from 13,000 feet. You will also be required to do two low altitude jumps to get your A-license, one from 5,500 feet and one from 3,500 feet.
Will I jump the same day that I take the FJC?
No. Your initial skydive will usually take place within a few days of your FJC. After your FJC you can come to the Desert Campus drop zone and add your name to the sign-up sheet (located beside manifest) for your category A skydive. The sign-up is done on a first come first served basis, so the best time to do this is when manifest opens.
What should I wear to make an AFF jump?
Sneakers and comfortable clothing for the weather of the day.
Ladies must wear a t-shirt with short sleeves (no sleeveless tees please). Hijabs are welcomed. You will not be allowed to wear collared shirts, kanduras, or skimpy clothing during your skydive.
Do tandem jumps count toward my 25 jumps needed for my A license?
Yes, they do count toward the minimum of 25 jumps required by the USPA.
What is the USPA?
The United States Parachute Association is an internationally recognized governing authority on parachuting. See uspa.org for more information.
How often do I have to jump?
While you are a student, at least once a month, but it is better to jump more frequently to maintain your currency. The more you skydive, the quicker you will learn, and become more confident. Currency is a very important safety factor in our sport and therefore it is important to jump as often as possible to remain current.
What equipment do I need to start skydiving?
None. Skydive In Thailand provides all the equipment you will need while you are a student. Once you progress finish your AFF and are on 'student status', you will need to rent and/or consider buying your own equipment.
I wear contact lenses / glasses, can I jump with them?
Yes, you will get a pair of goggles which protect your eyes in freefall. These can be placed over glasses if required.
What about head protection?
All skydivers at Skydive in Thailand are required to wear a hard helmet which will be issued to you with your parachute.
How old must I be before I can skydive?
You must be at least 16 years old. Persons younger than 18 years will require written and signed consent from their legal guardian.
What is the process to become a licensed skydiver?
The first thing you need to do is to take our Accelerated Free Fall course (AFF). This is where our instructors teach you to skydive, after this course you can start working towards your A-license.
How long will it take for me to get a license?
It can take from as little as a week or two to several months, depending on how often you skydive. We are lucky here in Thailand as we generally have good weather, but strong winds and clouds, as well as your availability and other factors can influence the time it takes to progress. On average it takes about 2 months to pass all the levels and complete a minimum of 25 skydives.
What does it mean to have a license in skydiving?
Once you have a license, you can jump with other licensed skydivers, pack your own parachute, and jump your own equipment. The skydiving licence is an internationally recognised certification that allows you to exercise certain privileges, at most drop zones around the world (local restrictions may apply).
Is there a weight restriction?
Yes. 240 lbs is the weight restriction for the student program.
Is there an age requirement?
Yes. You must be at least 16 years old to begin your AFF course. If you are at least 16 and under 18 you must provide NOTARIZED PARENTAL CONSENT. If you are over 18 please provide your ID.
How long will it take to complete my 8 AFF jumps?
There are many factors involved in this such as your skills, how often you come to the drop zone and the weather. We say to leave around 1-2 weeks to complete your AFF course.
How long does it take if I only come on weekends?
It’s difficult to predict. The more you come to jump the faster it will be. If you did one jump on a Friday and one jump on a Saturday each week, it would take 4 weeks to complete the 8 skydives required. Some students will have to repeat levels to progress, and it is also very likely that on some days you will be able to jump more than once.
How do I schedule a First Jump Course and when are they run?
We offer First Jump Courses every Wedensday at Thai Sky Adventures Siracha.
For more information and to make a booking contact us using this link Book Here
After I take a ground school when will I skydive?
Usually you will skydive the day after your First Jump Course, or within a few days. After your FJC you can come to the drop zone and add your name to the sign-up sheet (located beside manifest) for your category A skydive. The sign-up is done on a first come first served basis, so the best time to do this is when manifest opens.
However, we do require that you make your first skydive within 2 weeks of your ground school date for safety reasons. This is also a USPA requirement. If you go beyond the 2 week limit you will need to retake the Ground School Course for the standard fee.
Do I need to do a tandem jump before I can do AFF?
No. Tandem skydives are a great way to experience the sensation of freefall, but there is no requirement to have completed a tandem jump first.
Do I get a licence after AFF?
No. The Accelerated Freefall Course (AFF) is an 8-jump introductory course that will enable a student skydiver to jump on their own under self-supervision. The A licence requires a minimum of 25 skydives and a number of proficiency levels to be passed.
Do you teach the course in other languages?
Yes. We teach the FJC in English and Chinese, and you can continue through each level in your preferred language.
How long can I leave between jumps if I need to travel?
As a student you will need to complete each level within 30 days of the last level to remain ‘current’. Currency is extremely important in skydiving for safety reasons. If 30 days elapses without making a jump at least one AFF level must be repeated, or if on student status after the AFF course, you will need to jump with an instructor.
How do I make an AFF booking?
For more information and to make a booking contact us using this link Book Here
How can I pay the deposit and what does it include?
The deposit can be paid via our online booking system Book Here
The deposit includes the cost of the First Jump Course (FJC) and your first skydive (Category A).
Can I finish faster if I have experience paragliding?
Paragliding experience does not qualify you to skydive or to progress faster than other students. Although it may be helpful when under canopy, the design and shape are very different, and a skydiving canopy requires dedicated training and practice.
How long does it take and what does it cost to become an instructor if I have no experience?
There are different types of instructors, but to become an instructor at all, you must hold a USPA C licence and have completed a minimum of 200 skydives. The length of time this will take is very difficult to say. It is possible that this could be achieved within a few months, but for most it takes a year or more.
The cost varies significantly depending where you jump, if you own your own gear, and many other factors.
If I do the course will Skydive in Thailand offer me a job once I complete it?
No. The AFF course will enable you to jump on your own under self-supervision. You must still complete more skydives (a minimum of 25) to obtain a skydiving licence that will allow you to jump with others. Even then it will take many more skydives to become proficient in the sport.
Do you include accommodation and transfer?
Accommodation and transfer is not included in the price of the course, but you can avail of discounts on accommodation at Skydive Hotel located on the drop zone.
Does weather affect jumping?
The weather does affect us in skydiving. Here at the Desert campus it is mainly the wind, if it goes over 17 mph then it is no longer safe for students to jump. To see what the weather is like you can go to look at our Facebook page for regular updates.
What kind of parachute will I use?
The parachutes used today bear little resemblance to the classic round parachutes of years past. Today, nearly all jumpers use “ram-air” parachutes. these are rectangular in shape and, when open, act like an airplane wing. They are more like gliders than umbrellas. The aerodynamics of the parachute provides it with exceptional manoeuvrability, allowing the jumper to land almost anywhere he or she wishes. This wing shape is also what makes the tiptoe soft landings possible.
How fast will I fall?
The average human body falls at approximately 120 miles per hour.
How long does the skydive last?
Up to 54 seconds in free fall and about 4 – 5 minutes under your parachute.
What will the skydive feel like?
The sensation of freefall is more like flying than falling, and is intensely exciting and liberating. The parachute descent is peaceful and relaxing.
Is skydiving safe?
Skydiving is like any other extreme sport: there are inherent risks that require careful training and execution. Failure to follow that training can lead to serious injury or death. Skydiving is as safe as the individual(s) make it. The equipment has improved considerably over the old-style round parachute and is so reliable that, when used properly, skydiving can be as safe or safer than any other extreme sport.
What happens if the parachute does not open?
Although it is unlikely that your main parachute will fail to open properly, it does sometimes occur and this a common question. According to federal law, every jumper must be equipped with a main and reserve parachute. In addition, all Skydive Dubai equipment is equipped with an Automatic Activation Device (AAD), which will automatically open the reserve parachute should the skydiver be unable to do so.
What is the landing like?
Most landings are quite soft. You will be taught how to approach and land correctly during your FJC, and will be assisted by your instructor via radio.
Can I bring a camera/my phone?
No. Skydiving is an extreme sport and dangerous activity, for safety reasons you will not be allowed to jump with your own recording equipment. This is an FAA regulation. Even licensed solo skydivers are not permitted to use a camera until they have 200 skydives.
Can you breathe in freefall?
Yes! One thing is for sure, there's plenty of air up there! The freefall segment of the jump is 40-50 seconds duration. During that time the freefall speed is about 120 mph, so it will feel fairly breezy! It is common to feel tense and nervous, but this can often be relieved by exhaling or shouting as you jump out of the aircraft, helping you to breathe normally.
What if I pass out?
This would be very unlikely! However, we would always recommend having a bite to eat shortly before your jump to maintain your blood sugar level. You can be sure that your instructor will have had a hearty breakfast!
What would happen if my instructor passed out?
Again this is highly unlikely, your instructor has thousands of skydives and years of experience, but in the event, the parachute equipment is fitted with an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) and this device would activate the reserve parachute. During your First Jump Course you will be thoroughly trained for emergency situations and will be taught how to correctly deploy your own parachute.