Blog - Accelerated FreeFall course (parachuting/skydiving)

Added on Sunday, 2013-09-29 20:12 CEST in category Prague
A few months ago we had our friend Darek over, and while talking about the interesting things in life we stumbled upon a long and latent wish of mine to go parachute jumping. As it so happened, Darek had found an Accelerated FreeFall (AFF) course here in Prague, which includes not only parachute jumping, but skydiving as well! He'd been looking for someone to join him for a while, so we agreed to give it a shot :)

The theoretical part

The theoretical part of the course lasted a full day, and covered subjects such as naming different parts of the parachute (canopy, toggles, etc.), jump position, checking your height (AGL), deploying the parachute, checking for problems, how to react to them, landing with different wind speeds, etc.

Wind tunnel training

Because our course included free fall as well (as opposed to static line jumping), we needed some practice maneuvering in the air, for which we went to the Letňany Skydive Arena.

We first got instructed on how to enter and exit the wind tunnel, and how to move around (left/right, forward/backward). But then, it was time! The 4 sessions were quite short, 1m30s each, but they were unlike anything I'd ever experienced before! As soon as I dropped in, I flew! When I learned to relax a bit more and stay steady, I got to move around a bit, left/right, forward/backward, and then also up and down. It was simply amazing :)

Tandem jump

Two days later the weather was still bad (overcast at ~1500m), so we could only do a tandem jump, no solo jumps. We got all harnessed up, got in the plane, stood at the door, and surprisingly, given my fear of heights, I wasn't afraid to jump: it was so ridiculously high at 4000m that it didn't seem to matter anymore.

But then, seconds later, in freefall, my stomach decided this was a bad idea: I started feeling nauseous… I still did the freefall exercises (checking height, signing what I'm going to do next, etc.), but I was so glad when the parachute was opened…

Still quite dizzy and not feeling well, I steered the parachute around a bit and eventually landed, which was surprisingly easy and smooth. But still, I didn't feel well for hours afterwards :(

Solo jump

Apparently lots of first-timers have this problem, and it gets better over time, so I decided to give it another shot. The extreme height and overview were sensational, even though I couldn't enjoy them much last time.

After some more exercises and the theoretical exam, I got all suited up, and off we were, to 4000m altitude. This time I jumped myself, with two instructors holding me:

The stomach turning was a lot less, the exercises went well, and I loved the overview over Kolín airport and surrounding area!

But then, half expectedly and unavoidably, I started to feel bad again… After I had landed my stomach started acting up, I got a headache and got all dizzy :( The jump went well, but if I have to feel sick after every jump, it's just not worth it :( It was a great experience, but unfortunately for once only.