Skydive school AFF

Accelerated freefall School (AFF) is a method of skydive training, also called "accelerated" because the progression is the fastest way to experience solo freefall jumps.

Two instructors jump with the student during their first three AFF jumps. On the initial levels, the instructor(s) hold on to the student until the student deploys their own parachute.


Deployment of the main canopy for students in an AFF program is 1.700m. If the student experiences trouble in the deployment of their parachute, the instructors first use hand signals to remind the student to "Pull". If the student still experiences trouble, the instructors will assist their student by physically putting the student's hand on the pilot chute, but if the student still has trouble, the instructor will deploy for the student. The instructor may pull the student's main canopy at any time the student appears to be in danger.

Once the student has proven they can deploy their own parachute on the first few jumps, the student will be released on subsequent levels and will have the opportunity to prove to their instructors that they have the basic flying skills required to maneuver in free fall without assistance.

Each AFF level including an after level three is called a 'release dive'. This means that the student is briefed by the instructor that at a certain point in the free fall, the student will be released, although the instructor aims to remain nearby to assist in safety and teaching. On release skydives there is a possibility the instructor may not be able to dock and assist at pull time, so it is important that the student has already learned the skills required to activate their parachute at the safe altitude and in the right way. For this reason, students may not progress to the next level of AFF until they have completed all the targeted learning objectives of the previous level.

As the instructors freefall with the student, they are able to correct the student's body position and other problems during freefall by communicating with the student with hand signals in freefall and debriefing the student and conducting corrective training after the jump. Later levels only require one instructor and involve the student learning to perform aerial maneuvers such as turns, forward movement, flips, and fall rate control. The purpose of the maneuvers are to prove to the student and instructor that the student can perform a disorienting maneuver causing intentional instability followed by regaining control.

The instructor(s) determine when the student has passed the requirements or "Targeted Learning Objectives (TLOs)" for each level.