A Guide to Accelerated Free-Fall

Accelerated Free-Fall (or AFF) is a newer method of training student skydivers, aiming to encourage the development of free-fall skills to allow rapid progression. AFF tends to be a faster way of qualifying than CS, allowing students to earn their A license in as little as a few days (weather depending).

Like CS, our AFF courses start with a full day of training before aiming for you to make your first skydive the next day. Using AFF, you always jump from at least 13,000ft and get around 1min of freefall on each jump!

The AFF groundschools last around 6hrs and take up a full day including breaks. Instructors teach small groups of 3-4 students and training focuses on exiting the plane, your body position in free-fall, canopy handling skills, and emergency procedures. This training involves both ‘classroom learning’ to plan out your landing patterns and recognise canopy malfunctions, and hands on learning. The practical work ranges from practicing exiting a mock aircraft and carrying out emergency procedures using dummy equipment. Groundschool

The course teaches you all necessary skills and the small groups mean you can ask any questions freely before moving on.

Connor Groundschool

Your first skydive takes place at 15,000ft with two qualified AFF instructors – your ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’. The aim of this jump is to introduce you to the feeling of freefall. After your full skydive brief, you’re ready to jump.


It’s time to put that ‘arch’ position you learned during groundschool into practice! The two instructors are there to make sure you’re stable and safe, giving you hand signals to correct any issues with your body position. You then practice touching the pilot chute 3 times before pulling it for real and releasing your main canopy at 6,000ft. Students then take control of their canopy and pilot it safely to the ground, as they were taught in groundschool training.

The jump is then debriefed using a full video of the skydive, and any issues are discussed. After this, you’re cleared for level 2!

Instructors will give you a full brief before your level 2 skydive. It’s similar to level 1 but there’s a greater expectation that you will look after yourself in free-fall – under full supervision of your two instructors.

Level 2 focuses more on your stable exit and free-fall position as you do 2 practice touches of your pilot chute and maintain awareness of altitude. At 6,000ft, you are expected to reach and throw your own pilot chute to deploy the main parachute, keeping a good body position. The jump is then fully debriefed after you have landed, using your instructor’s video.

This is the first skydive when you will be fully controlling your own body position in free-fall! After practicing your arch position in levels 1 and 2, with instructors holding onto support you, level 3 focuses on maintaining that position unaided. Both instructors are still close at hand to make sure you’re safe, but here you will feel yourself correcting any body position issues as they give hand signals.

Now that you’ve demonstrated your stable body position, you begin jumping with only one instructor. The brief for this jump explains how to better control yourself in the air – including how to turn on the spot. Once you have exited the plane and are stable, you will carry out one practice pull before the instructor will release you and move in front. You will then be given signals to turn left and right 90 degrees to show your free-fall control.

Seville Skydive

Once you approach a lower altitude, the instructor will take hold of you once more to ensure you remain stable as you pull your parachute.

Your next jump is similar to level 4 as you demonstrate the ability to carry out controlled 360 degree turns in each direction. The jump is fully briefed by your instructor before you jump from 15,000ft.

Robyn Turn

At 6,000ft, you pull your parachute unaided and pilot it down to the ground, using the canopy handling skills taught by your instructors. The whole skydive is then debriefed using your instructor’s video footage.

Now that you’ve shown you can exit the plane, fall in a stable position and carry out controlled turns, your instructors will next teach you to exit unaided, recover from an unstable position, and track.

Until now, someone has been holding on to you each time you’ve jumped but on this skydive you will perform a dive exit unaided. Before the jump, you will practice exiting the plane from a mock aircraft with an instructor helping you.

Dive Exit

Throughout your skydives, you have been aiming to have a stable position, but to make sure you are confident in your ability to stay stable, the instructors want to see what happens when you start tumbling! On the ground, you will be taught how to do a forwards somersault in the air and then arch to stop the spinning. This exercise shows you that an arch position will always take you from this unstable position back to your normal belly-to-earth falling.

Tracking uses a different body position to give you rapid forward movement. This is particularly important to allow you to move away from others, creating distance before you pull your parachute – something that becomes more important as you pull at lower altitudes or with larger groups. The tracking position is demonstrated before the jump on a rotating platform with instructors explaining and correcting the body position before you go up to try it out.

Agne Tracking

Instructors call this level your ‘Show-Off Jump’! Your AFF course has taught you so much in as few as 6 skydives and in this level you put it all together. After your brief, you will jump unaided from 15,000ft, followed by your instructor. Once you’re stable, you will carry out a forwards somersault, 360 degree turns left and right, and then track away from your instructor. These are all skills you’ve shown before but are essential to you skydiving safely without an instructor. Passing this level concludes the main part of the course – giving you a reason to smile!


Your level 8 skydive can be performed right after your level 7, or you can come back to it after some or all of your consolidation jumps. This is the first skydive you will have done from a lower altitude, called a ‘Hop ‘n’ Pop’.

After your brief, you will fly up to 5,500ft and exit without your instructor who will be watching from the plane door. The aim is for you to get stable as quickly as possible, and pull your parachute after a short delay. This shows control in the most important part of the skydive – getting under canopy!


After completing your 7 levels, you can go straight onto consolidation (or consol) skydives before your level 8, or you can do your level 8 first. No matter what you choose, these 10 jumps represent the end of your AFF course.

Each skydive is a solo jump from 15,000ft where you practice some of the skills you learned during your AFF, with the support of instructors who are happy to help fix problems, give you things to practice, or even jump out with you if you need a helping hand. These jumps are not pass or fail like the previous levels, but give you a chance to experiment and have fun skydiving in the way you choose, including trying out different exits.

Agne Coaching

Upon qualifying as an A licence skydiver, you will be required to complete the following before making any further descents:

  • Knife briefing: As a qualified skydiver, you should always jump with a hook-knife.
  • Canopy Handling 1 (CH1): This teaches vital canopy skills

That’s it! You’re now a fully qualified skydiver and can go on to do all sorts of awesome things…

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