I Passed Accelerated Freefall Level 3 And 4!
This continues a series on my AFF/AFP skydiving instruction and experiences. Today, 8/17/12, I passed level 3 and level 4. This is my fourth time (!) trying level 3, so it's exciting to have finally passed. I also went on to level 4.
Incidentally, I have been wondering what the difference is between AFF and AFP accelerated freefall skydive training. Today, I asked one of the instructors, named Troy, regarding the difference between AFF and AFP.
The difference is that usually, with the AFF, the student jumps out with two instructors. However, at this site, the student only jumps out with one instructor. To differentiate, they call it AFP. However, most skydiving associations refer to these accelerated freefalls as AFF. Other than the number of instructors, everything else is the same about the instructions, the levels, and the requirements to pass the AFF and AFP skydiving jumps.
I will continue to refer to the accelerated freefall skydiving as AFF, since that is the term that most parachutists are familiar with.
I got there at 10:15AM, and I told them I’m there to do my fourth try at AFF level 3. Originally, they hooked me up to go on caravan number three with Eric, but then it got switched over to Marco.
I already did one previous jump with Marco, he was pretty good. We went over the jump on the ground, discussed which jumpsuit to wear, and ended up staying with the extra large blue jumpsuit. He said it’s best to continue jumping with the same suit, since I'm accustomed to it, which makes sense.
He showed me the parachute, which had a 260 square foot canopy. I put on my jumpsuit, and we waited for a long time, until eventually, we got on the plane.
Photo of parachute (Credit: o0bsessed on Flickr Source
Finally Maintained Heading Long Enough To Pass
There were many tandem jumpers on our caravan. I think I was the only student on that flight. We ended up jumping out first. I did my ready, up, down, arch, had a pretty good exit, and did my practice touch.
Thankfully, Marco was mostly hands off, so he basically let go of me, almost the whole time.
I was able to maintain heading most of the time. There were about 2 or 3 heading changes, but whenever I changed heading, I maintained heading for a period of time, before I would change it again.
I locked on at 5,500 and pulled at 5,000. It was a good landing.
Actually, I'm going to read what my new Altimeter says. I showed it to Marco, and he claims that it’s not very accurate, but even so, I’m going to read what the computer says.
According to my altimeter for Jump number 11, which was my jump for AFF level 3 that I did today:
- jumped at 11:36AM EST
- jumped out at 11,300 feet
- canopy was fully deployed at 4,300 feet,
- freefall time was 40 seconds,
- the time on the canopy was 318 seconds, so it was a little over 5 minutes.
- average freefall speed was 118 miles per hour.
- 152 mph fall speed at 9,000 feet,
- 154 mph fall speed at 6,000 feet,
- falling at 8 mph at 3,000 feet, when I was under the canopy.
That was my fourth level 3 jump. I did change heading about 2 or 3 times, but I was stable most of the time, (there was no spinning or potato chipping as severe as the previous tries.)
He passed me on level 3, and I decided to go ahead and do level 4.
photo of Parachute jumper against cloudy sky: credit: Horia Varlan on Flickr: Source
Happy To Have Passed At The First Try!
Requirements for level 4: I need to do the following:
- a circle of awareness,
- a practice touch,
- a right 90 degree turn,
- a left 90 degree turn,
- forward movement for approximately five seconds,
- lock on at 5,500
- pull at 5,000.
I wore the same jumpsuit. We went on the plane, I checked my parachute, and everything was good. It was a good exit. I did my circle of awareness, practice touch, and then turned right 90 degrees, and turned left 90 degrees.
I had difficulties with stopping the turns.
I did a good forward movement, locked on by 5,500 or a little lower than I should have, and pulled at approximately 4,900 feet.
He was not so happy with everything that I did. The main issue was me stopping my turns, but Marco passed me anyway. So I’m cleared for level five.
The next thing that I’m planning to do is to go to the indoor skydiving wind tunnel, to practice flying over there. I need to practice maintaining heading, and doing turns.
This is what the altimeter says regarding my AFF level 4:
- got out of the plane at 13,350 feet
- jumped out at 13,400,
- deployed the parachute at 4,400 feet,
- freefall time was 50 seconds
- time under the canopy was 304 seconds (about 5 minutes),
- my average speed was 120mph,
- at 12,000 feet my speed was 100 mph,
- falling at 147 miles per hour at 9,000 feet
- at 6,000 ft, I was at the same speed of 147 mph,
- by 3,000ft, I was already under the canopy and going at 11mph.
In summary, for level 3 you are not supposed to turn, you try to maintain heading.
On the other hand, for level 4 I had to pass the turns.
Photo of parachute credited to Paolo Camera on Flickr Source
See More Of My Skydiving Experiences In The Articles Below!