USPA AFF Course & USPA Licenses
Thank you for your interest in learning to skydive with «Aerograd Kolomna»
«Aerograd Kolomna» with «Flight Club» holds the concession to administer all USPA (United States Parachute Association) Accelerated Free-Fall (AFF) training, subsequent licensing procedures and instructional rating courses, here at Europe’s largest skydiving facility - «Aerogard Kolomna».
1. Accelerated Free-Fall (AFF) student training method
What is AFF student training?
The Accelerated Free-Fall program, short AFF, is a method of training for student skydivers. It is called «accelerated» because it is internationally recognised as the most efficient form of skydive training and thus the fastest way for skydiving students to learn the skills necessary in order to safely experience solo free-fall and skydive self-supervised.
How does this work?
Accelerated Free-Fall training skydives are also referred to as «harness hold» jumps. The student wears his own parachute and is accompanied by two AFF instructors holding on to the student’s harness during exit and free-fall. AFF instructors serve as coaches and life-guards in free-fall, using hand signals to communicate with the student and providing physical assistance when necessary. AFF instructors will stay with the student until the student’ s parachute has been deployed, before flying away and deploying their own parachutes.
The USPA AFF course is based upon a series of 9 successive levels and follows a simple to complex skills development strategy. That means, you will have to satisfactorily complete the requirements of each level before being allowed to progress to the next and more challenging level. Depending on the student’s personal need and circumstances it might therefore be necessary to repeat individual levels before safely progressing to the next task.
During the first 3 levels of the AFF course you will be accompanied by 2 instructors. On each level they will gradually grant the student more and more freedom in free-fall. Typically by jump Nr. 3 the student will experience his or her first full release, meaning that both instructors will let go off the student and allow him to find his balance without anybody hanging on to the student harness.
Once the student has proven basic survival and free-fall skills such as stability-, heading- and hover control and is able to deploy his or her parachute unassisted at a pre-assigned altitude, training will resume with only one AFF instructor in levels 4 through 9.
During these later stages of the Accelerated Free-Fall program, the AFF instructor will allow the student maximum freedom to find his or her own wings. Your instructor will guide you step-by-step through more advanced skydiving tricks, like determining the right spot over ground to exit the aircraft, performing solo exits and fly-aways, maintaining free-fall control around all axis with turns, rolls and loops, re-gaining stability within 5 seconds after performing aerobatics and landing your parachute without radio assistance in a designated landing area.
Once a skydiving student has successfully demonstrated all necessary skills to pass AFF level 9, he or she will be cleared for free-fall self-supervision and can go for their first ever solo free-fall skydive.
To check out a video of the entire 9 level Accelerated Free-Fall Training method, please follow these links:
AFF L1 (Category A)
AFF L2 (Category B)
AFF L3 (Category С-1)
AFF L4 (Category С-2)
AFF L5 (Category D-1)
AFF L6 (Category D-2)
AFF L7 (Category E-1)
AFF L8 (Category E-2)
AFF L9 (Category F)
Your step-by-step guide through registration and training before the first jump
Upon arrival at the Drop zone all student skydivers are required to register with the school. As part of the registration process you will be required to fill out and sign a liability release form. This waiver will verify that each student skydiver understands that there are inherit risks involved in skydiving and that each participant freely agrees to accept those risks. This legal release will usually contain a covenant by which the participant agrees to not sue the skydiving school or anyone else involved in the skydiving operation if the participant is injured during the process.
Each person wishing to engage in skydiving activities must meet USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements for medical fitness. Generally speaking, a person wishing to skydive should be in good overall health and physical condition. You should not be on medication which could influence sound judgement or performance. Any kind of drug or alcohol abuse is prohibited. People who have recently been scuba-diving or donated blood should inform their instructor and should wait a period of time before skydiving. Please notify your instructor of any previous injuries or any other medical conditions which might affect your ability to skydive safely, such as dislocated shoulders, poor eyesight, epilepsy etc.
During skydiving operations at Aerograd Kolomna, we have a doctor onsite who is available to you at any time for both support and/ or treatment as needed.
Minimum age requirements:
Minimum age requirements for skydiving students are set by each country’s governing civil aviation authority. At Aerograd Kolomna you can start your skydiving career with 16 years of age, provided you have written legal consent of both parents.
Training and testing:
Once the registration process has been completed it is time to meet your personal instructor and start your skydive training with a first ground school.
Since you will be wearing your own parachute, you will need to familiarise yourself during this introductory session with all survival skills necessary to safely start into your skydiving career. Your instructor will thoroughly train you to handle emergency situations which might occur during the flight to altitude, in free-fall and during deployment and teach you how to handle safe landing procedures.
During the ground school session as well as before the first jump all students are required to pass oral, written and practical tests. These tests are designed to have the student explain his knowledge and understanding of each topic, to develop sound decision-making abilities and to give skydiving students an opportunity to demonstrate correct reactions, procedures and generally hone their skills. These tests will both, assist your instructor in determining each student’s state of preparedness and give you confidence that you have been adequately trained to safely make your first skydive.
Depending on the number of participants in the class and on the individual learner’s personal needs, a first ground school will typically last several hours. The first skydive can usually be accomplished on the same day.
How much does a USPA AFF course at Aerograd Kolomna cost?
To Tandem or not to Tandem?
While not officially part of the Accelerated Free-Fall student training method, it is strongly recommended and a very good idea for a first-timer to start off his or her skydiving career with a tandem jump. The advantage for the student in doing so, is to experience and get somewhat accustomed to the sometimes sheer overwhelming thrill and excitement of free-fall and terminal velocity with a fun and low-pressure first jump.
Experience has shown, that skydiving students who choose to familiarise themselves with their new environment while safely attached to a professional pilot during a tandem skydive have exponentially higher chances of successfully completing the first levels of the Accelerated Free-Fall training program than those who decided to skip this familiarisation process and instead go wing it on their own the very first time around.
Current cost for an introductory tandem skydive is RUB 13,500.
Тhe AFF course consists of ground school (5000 rub), AFF tandem jump (13500 rub), 9 levels — and currently costs RUB 88,400 incl. equipment rental and videos of your jumps from the instructor's camera.
As you already know, the AFF program is based upon simple to complex skills development and successive progression through the 9 levels, meaning you have to satisfy the performance requirements of each level in order to be allowed to progress to the next and more demanding level.
Repeat jumps do occur once every so often and will currently cost you RUB 9,100 (AFF levels 1-3) and RUB 7,100 (AFF levels 4-9).
When is it possible to do the AFF course and how long does it take to complete my training?
We operate 7 days a week starting from mid April through mid Oct and you can complete the entire program (AFF level 1 through AFF level 9) usually in about 5 days onsite (weather permitting). During the off-season we operate weekends only and longer delays might occur due to Russian winter weather.
2. How can I continue my skydiving career post AFF and qualify for a beginner skydiving licence?
What a rush! You just completed your Accelerated Free-Fall training! Congratulations!
Now that you have skydived solo a few times, what can you do with your new found passion of jumping out of airplanes for the sheer fun of it?
Well, now you have reached a stage in your skydiving career where it is time to learn and master some more advanced skydiving tricks and to share this exhilarating feeling of speed and freedom with your new friends on the drop zone.
As you now already know, a skydiver is considered a student until he or she has obtained a licence. While on student status, a skydiver must either skydive under supervision of an appropriately rated USPA instructor or, once he or she has successfully completed their AFF education, is allowed to skydive solo.
Accordingly, in order for you to legally and safely skydive with others, you will first need to get some follow-up training and qualify for an entry-stage skydiving licence. In the USPA system, this entry-stage qualification is called «A- Licence».
What exactly am I allowed to do with an A- License?
Skydivers holding an USPA A- license may jump without supervision, pack their own parachute, engage in basic group jumps, perform water jumps and must have:
at least 25 skydives under their belt, hold a current USPA membership, successfully completed all requirements listed on the USPA A- license proficiency card.
You can review the requirements on the A- Licence proficiency card in detail here.
In order to complete the requirements listed on the USPA A- license proficiency card, you should plan on doing some more solo jumps, minimum 6 additional jumps with a personal coach and an A- license check jump. You also have to learn to pack your own parachute and pass an oral and written exam.
Cost for post AFF jumps and USPA A- Licence training
Current list prices for post AFF USPA A- licence training and certification:
The coaching fee for your post AFF 1:1 coach jumps (6) and A-lic. check jump (1) is RUB 5,340/ jump (does not include rental systems and equipment).
Additional RUB 500/ jump for the rig/ parachute system itself.
In order to get a USPA license, you'll also need to sign up for a USPA membership. USPA foreign individual membership is US $ 74/ year plus a one-time processing fee of US $ 30 for your A License. You can sign up for your membership online.
How long does it take to complete my post AFF A- licence training?
If you have studied the A- licence proficiency card you know that there are quite a few things to care of. A motivated candidate however, can complete post AFF training and qualify for an A- licence in about 5 additional skydiving days.
3. Advanced progression and USPA B-, C- and D- licenses
For all those who wish to pursue a higher level of proficiency in the sport and continue to advance through the USPA skydiver license hierarchy, Flight Club offers licensing support for USPA B-, C- and D- license applicants.
You can research the current license requirements and privileges online in section 3-1 of the USPA Skydiver’s Information Manual which is available as a free PDF download. The USPA license application form can can be downloaded here.
Please contact us directly for B-, C, and D- license administration fees and associated training costs.
4. Validity of your USPA licence:
As a USPA license holder you will be allowed to execute the rights and privileges associated with the respective license pretty much anywhere on the planet.
However, most countries require their citizens and permanent residents to obtain a qualification issued by their own respective governing civil aviation authorities, in order to skydive legally in their country of origin/ residence. Please refer to your country’s civil aviation authority website for conversion rules and regulations.
The conversion process usually considers your current level of proficiency, skill and experience during any follow up training procedures.
Goal of these conversion procedures is to ensure that you are familiar with National aviation regulations as they apply to our sport in your country of origin/ residence, are able to comply with minimum National proficiency and licensing requirements, and to guarantee that local insurance companies will accept you as qualified skydiver in their 3rd party liability and accident insurance policies.
5. Booking procedures:
Please note, that if you do decide to sign up for a USPA AFF course and/ or A-, B-, C-, D- license training at Aerograd Kolomna, you must make your bookings directly here via Flight Club.
You can lock in preferred course dates with us and we will hold your time slots open, as to guarantee a personal instructor/ coach will be available for you.
Just shoot us an e-mail email@example.com and we will gladly assist you with reservations and booking of your course.
6. Travel arrangements, visa support & accommodation
Visa support service is available through the Aerograd Kolomna website or via Flight Club upon request.
We can also arrange for fair-priced pick-up and drop-off service from and to any of the Moscow Int'l airports.
Aerograd Kolomna has a range of different options for accommodation available which you can research here.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in «Aerograd Kolomna». Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions or inquiries you might have.
Peace & blue skies