Commonly abbreviated "AFF."
This training discipline is where certified instructors accompany the student in freefall holding onto the student's harness at first while the student demonstrates certain skills. It can be compared to learning to ride a bike with training wheels.
Since the student is wearing his own parachute, he must be trained to handle emergency procedures as well as landing procedures. AFF training usually consists of a several hour ground course, and the first jump can often be accomplished the same day. The USPA Online Ground School, while not a course that can be used as complete training, provides valuable information for first-time jumpers and is a great refresher for all students. It includes videos and information about skydiving equipment, canopy flight and landing, emergency procedures and exit and freefall.
How Does It Work?
Student exits the aircraft with two USPA AFF Instructors and freefall together for 30 to 50 seconds, depending on jump altitude, typically 10,000 to 13,000 feet. Instructors maintain grip on the student's harness to provide in-air instruction and assist with stability if necessary.
The student opens his own parachute by 4,000 feet and pilots it to the landing area.
AFF first-jump training and the jump requires more resources and support from the staff than the other methods and is priced accordingly.
Many schools offer video of the freefall and landing.