We do a "Tandem Progression Accelerated Freefall" training program, also called "AFF". It is structured around 9 jumps plus a 6-hour ground school. Ideally, the whole thing should be done in a timely matter as the longer you wait between jumps, the more jumps you will have to do and more money you will spend. Currency is key to safety in skydiving! Let's look at the AFF program in detail.
You will begin with an "Introductory" tandem. This is just a standard fun tandem jump to experience the thrill and excitement before deciding to proceed. If you have already done this tandem with us in the previous 90 days, it will count as one of your training jumps. You will then do two more tandems that are "training tandems". These need to be done in a timely matter from your first tandem and then no more than 30 days between each jump thereafter. Each of these tandem jumps have skills and dive flows that need to be performed along with you pulling the ripcord yourself. You also get the benefit of flying the parachute with an experienced instructor while learning canopy characteristics, flight patterns and landing techniques. Your first step is to book your initial tandem and then you can go from there!
Before proceeding beyond your tandems, you will need to attend our Ground School course. This typically lasts around 6 hours and usually held on Saturday mornings once every couple weekends at the dropzone. You will cover an array of material that you will need to know in order to fly solo in the sky! Typically there are around 6-8 students in each class along with your experienced AFF Instructor. To know dates of upcoming Ground School courses and/or to reserve your slot, please give us a call at 850-674-5867. Cost for Ground School is $120 (does not include jump).
For your 6 AFF student jumps you will be under your own parachute system, but an AFF instructor will be with you in freefall, either holding onto you or right next to you. There are 6 categories of AFF jumps and you need to pass each one before proceeding to the next. The cost for each AFF jump is $189. Before each of your AFF category jumps, you need to complete the appropriate USPA Category Quiz. Once you have received a 100%, please screenshot it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click below for the link to the category quizzes.
Below is a link that brings you to the USPA videos and detailed information for each of your category dive flows as a student.
Once you have completed all of your AFF jumps, you are now considered a "self-supervised" student. From here you work towards your "A" license. You will need a minimum of 25 jumps plus an "A" license proficiency card completed in order to reach this goal and become a licensed certified skydiver! One of these items is to be able to pack your own parachute (and jump it!). Below is a tutorial for parachute packing. We also have experienced packers that can give you a "packing class" upon request. Skydive Panama City can help you achieve your goal from your first skydive all the way up to your "D" license! The sky's the limit!
Step 1: Complete your first tandem jump! This is an “introductory” fun tandem jump to make sure you like it and want to pursue your license.
Step 2: In order to progress to AFF, you must be under 230 lbs and remain there for the duration of your AFF jumps.
Step 3: Save over $200 and purchase the AFF package upfront for $1650 (cash price, including 1st tandem, non-refundable) OR pay as you go options are also available.
Step 4: Complete your 2nd and 3rd “training” tandems. Your 2nd tandem needs to be done within 90 days and then no more than 30 days between jumps thereafter. If you go beyond the 30 or 90 days, you will need to repeat your last jump level. Each tandem jump has a specific dive flow with first hand instruction of flight patterns and landings.
Step 5: Attend a Ground School. This is an approx 6-hour class held on Saturdays mornings at the DZ once every 2-3 weekends. Cost is $120 (no jump included). See manifest or call us at 850-674-5867 to reserve a slot (deposit required).
Step 6: Complete your 6 AFF (Accelerated Freefall) jumps. You cannot exceed 30 days between each, with the first AFF jump not exceeding 30 days from your Ground School. Each jump will be with one AFF instructor. You are jumping your own parachute for each of these levels. The 6 levels are designed to teach altitude awareness, freefall body positions and speeds, deployment procedures, canopy flight and accuracy, emergency procedures, equipment instruction, and maximized training reviews and video debriefs. Each AFF jump is $189.
Step 7: Graduate AFF and you are cleared for self-supervised (solo) jumps! From there you will work towards getting your “A” license. Self-supervised students can only jump by themselves or with an instructor.
“A” LICENSE GENERAL INFO:
The following is to be completed prior to obtaining your “A” license:
-Is there a weight limit for AFF?
Yes. An AFF student must not weigh more than 230 lbs. This is due to our current student gear specifications.
-How long does it take to complete the AFF course? “A” license certification?
There is no set answer, but ultimately it comes down to 4 variables: weather, your schedule, instructor availability, student load. We have had students complete the program anywhere from 1 month to 1 year!
-Do I have to jump tandem before I do my AFF jumps:
Yes. Here at SPC, we do the Tandem Progression AFF Program. Unless you already have previous AFF jumps, you will need to do your 3 tandem jumps.
-Is all of the gear provided?
Yes. Your gear is provided and included in the cost of your AFF jumps. Once graduated, you can rent gear or give you guidance on the appropriate gear to purchase.
-How much does it cost to get my “A” license?
There is not a set cost at SPC as there are some variables, but you can expect approximately $3000-$3500 to go from beginner to “A” licensed skydiver. You can save money by purchasing the AFF portion of you license upfront.
-Can I jump with my friends before I am licensed?
Only if they hold an instructor/coach rating or are a D license holder.
-When can I wear my own GoPro camera?
Per USPA recommendations, a jumper should have a minimum of 200 total jumps before wearing a camera.
-How many licenses and ratings are there?
There are four licenses, A-D. Each license has jump number and skill requirements. As far as instructor ratings, tandem instructors have a minimum of 500 jumps, AFF instructors have a minimum of 6 hours of freefall, and to be a coach, you only need 100 jumps!