This section chronicles the daily parachuting activities at our school in Ocaña Spain for October . . for some reason saw nearly all our bookings come from London this month .
1st October 2005
Welcome back to Dean Smith who completed our parachute jump course last month with us, he is from London .After getting his knees in the breeze and is working towards his BPA FS1 qualification. This course allows him to skydive with other people including those who have ten or more solo skydives after their AFF course.
2nd October 2005
Today was Jerry Watkins last day and he completed his seventeenth parachute Jump with Peter following him. Here Jerry is photographed going into his track to find his own clear airspace to open his parachute.
Welcome to Barry Painter from the UK who is here to complete his AFF course with us. He did his theory this morning and first skydive this evening. He would like to say hello to Culum , Cavan and Callow Painter his sons and duaghters and all their friends in George Fentham School. Hed like you to know hes having a great time and was very excited as we headed off for Aranjuez for the evening.
We would also like to tell the Painters and all the folks at home that Barry did one of the best first skydives we have ever seen with him being released in freefall by his main instructors.
Welcome also to Colm Smith from Ireland who did his paracute theory this afternoon and first skydive. Colm did very well also and was thrilled with his experience.
Colm lives in Dublin and is a computer Boffin.
Meanwhile Dean is doing well on his formation skydiving course and is almost ready for this three ways. The “gadget guru from Viagra ” is going to be a top formation skydiver for sure !
We would like to welcome Cici pronounced see see to the team also. Cici has 2000 skydives and will work with us as a formation skydiving and Accelerated Freefall coach. She oozes enthusiasm for skydiving and is pictured here ground schooling ( for an accelerated freefall course ) Thomas Knowles and Stephen Robinson who arrived this afternoon. Sisi joins us from Skydive Castellon.
Welcome to Michael Bellis who joins us to learn to skydive. Michael was making some strange bets with the other students in advance of his level one and did very well but did not win the accuracy one coming second.. thirty metres to the target!
Last of todays Freefall Universities AFF students in the lineup is Arjan Smit from Amsterdam. He was well impressed with the evenings entertainment in Cheers and won the accuracy bet proposed by Michael landing within ten metres of the target.
Rock and roll! A day where Vivienne ,
Deans wife decided to do a tandem skydive in Madrid with us and now will do another one tommorrow and possibly the accelerated freefall course !
Remember a tandem in advance of an AFF course only costs you sixty pounds or 90 euros! If after the ground school you would like to do one you only have to ask. Vivienne did a fun tandem , but on an AFF tandem you in addition to the tandem master have a ” ripcord ” and altimetre aswell as getting to practice the exercises of the AFF level one.
Vivienne came down to watch what was going on and has become more involved as the days have gone on it the sport. She has also spent a deal of time exploring the local attractions incuding the royal palace.
We did fifteen flights today and all of our guys got four jumps each so tommorrow will be for many graduation day! Stay tuned for details..
Ok thats enough for today.. Were all of to Cheers and then for a chineese.. and well ..who knows..
stay tuned , same bat time…same bat channell… the months only getting started!
5th October 2005
We are all winners and today the buzz is fantastic about the dropzone. The sun is shining and the chill peppers are playing on the dz music system. We have made eight loads between our school, visiting school and fun jumpers. Many are now about to do their level seven and already Barry Painter has graduated his course. The picture on the right is after his qualification and the one below is of Barry in freefall.
What a body position! This position combined with the relaxation developed through the continous exposure ( three or more jumps a day ) to freefall means you ” get the hang ” of it in no time at all.
Congratulations to Colm from Dublin who has also finished his AFF course. Finished it in style also! He is pictured here in the middle of this group in the boarding area.
Our staff are all skydivers. Here David , one of our holiday reps takes a break from the office to do a low jump or hop and pop. As part of the BPA requirements you must complete this jump under supervision to move from student to novice status. Although you dont have to do it quite like David did..
Its a new experience for you again having learned from 13,500 ft..but they are good fun as you only spend minutes in the plane and get a ” quick lob in “.
Ok for the Graduates! Today we had four! First up is Michael Bellis who went on to complete three solo skydives. He is pictured here going into a track… a “move” in the sky that allows you cover great horizontal distances in the sky. This is good fun as you feel the air differently and it also will become an important skill in your skydiving as it is used to find your own parachute opening space at the end of a formation skydive.
Also finished his AFF course is Colm from Ireland who qualified in two days.
He is pictured here in the boarding area with David and some of our students.
6th October 2005
Sorry for not updating more, but we are flying more! We now feel at ease gauranteeing students and visitors 5 jumps a day at a minimum. Our dropzone is open 365 days a year and we will fly with a minimum of five on the porter. Reports from around Spain suggest Drop zone owners are becoming hesitant to fly unless their planes are full. WE will fly with five on board , but our average on a load is 8 (max is nine we dont ” squash you in ” ) and average mid week numbers are 13 porter flights . This has been consistantly kept since August 1. Statistics for average numbers can be ” distorted ” with tandem stats for the weekend , so dont be fooled by full week figures! More competing schools are choosing Ocaña which offers a blend of facilities, aircraft that fly full time and an expidition managers dream– Aranjuez.
Fun jumpers of all experience levels are more than welcome and the FFU team will help arrange acccomodation etc. for you in the city so you can take advantage of the ” things to do , the city offers “. Currently Ocaña´s website is not in English but its being overhauled as we speak.
Pictured on the right is Adam Conduct who is here to work on his BPA FF1 qualification with Louis from Avalore freefly who is now based full time in Ocaña.
Qualifing in the last days has been Arjan from Holland ( although he was keen to point out he lives in France ) , Thomas Knowles from London and Steven Robinson who is with the parachute regiment in the UK.
Vivienne liked her Tandem so much she decided to do another one. She commented to me ” this second tandem is your fault ” ,, i said …no ” the AFF course is going to be my fault ” ..
She said she enojoyed this one more as two of the staff went up with her and did a formation skydive taking her hand in freefall.
Meanwhile Dean is on 3 ways and four ways now having spent some time working one on one. Dean took a more advanced FS1 course and was practicing vertical moves ( moving over and under formations instead of going around the jumpers to get to the other side. He is pictured here leaving the plane with Oscar for a two way jump earlier in the week. Fab exit!
Welcome to Robert Czeklaski who is from Poland. He is pictured here with Andy Gregory one of our instructors. Robert is doing an introductory course with us.
Tim ( right )another one of our instructors is a man ” living the dream ” ..to work full time in skydiving. He is pictured here with Garry Campbell who has joined us to learn to skydive. Gary is from london and did ground school this morning aswell as his first jumps this afternoon.
Dean your a formation guru! The exit was a star. Then dive was a diamond, zig zag, to open accordian. Twelve points in time! So nothing too shabby about it as a BP FS1 qualification.. ( with a BPA Instructor on the dive ) wonder if Dean will apply for the sponsored team next year? He is pictured here just after the dive.
Meanwhile Vivienne was off exploring the Royal Palace which is located in the centre of Aranjuez. Aranjuez whilst a modern city is also listed as a Unesco world heritage site and as such has a lot to offer non skydivers aswell as skydivers taking a break from jumping.
Thomas Knowles is also pictured here just having completed another solo parachute jump
8th October 2005
Cracking day for the British! Welcome to Justin Richardson who after ground school today completed his level one. He was accompanied by Grahame Bourke and pictured here in ground school. Both have wanted to go parachuting for a long time and decided to do it in Spain after researching their options in London.
And later Justin was finished his exams in time to make the last student load ( which for safety reasons is one load before the sunset load )
Also doing well on his freefly course is Adam who can now backfly like a ninja! He is jumping one of our Mirage systems which is both size adjustable and freefly friendly, main is a spectre.
Pictured here also is Garry Campbell who is now finished his AFF course having started yesterday morning. His first jump tommorrow will be a solo skydive!
From never having jumped before to being a solo skydiver in 24 hours..
Here he is giving the thumbs up as his parachute opens toTim. Tim is returning the signal ..both know its a job well done and the next jump for Garry will be a solo.
We finished the days parahuting watching the football in cheers and then a chineese. The restaurant owner was a bit concerned when 20 of us walked in and asked to be ” fed ” .. but the chow was great if you will pardon the pun and only eight euros a head..
Arjan from holland has decided to extend his stay with us by another two weeks. He is making his mind up as to whether to do our formation skydiving course, or introduction to freeflying course. He will also do the tourist thing in the next fortnight checking out both Aranjuez and Madrid. There are lots of things to do in the evenings, sunset is now set to fall at 630pm when the clocks change. We can help you plan your evening activities for example purchasing tickets to a Real Madrid game for you in advance.
8th October 2005
Grahame Bourke had a cracking level one two three and four this morning! He had previously done an introduction to skydiving in Chatteris in the UK and is ” lovin it ” . He is pictured here during the ground practice for his first skydive. He will probably end the day with five AFF jumps as will Justin.
Welcome to Norma Madden a civil servant from Cork , Ireland. Norma has completed one tandem skydive. Norma joins us for a weeks holiday to do her parachuting course
Welcome to Daniella Breen from Barnhurst, Kent who joins us for a weeks holiday to learn to skydive. This is something that Daniella wanted to do for a long time and finally booked.
Welcome to Barry Preston from Ashford Middlesex who joins us to learn to skydive. Barry is in IT has never jumped before.
Meanwhile Garry is making like a sky slut and has completed five of his consolidation jumps already. When asked what he was doing , he said ” im just rolling out of the plane and making it up as i go along” .
11th October 2005
Lets introduce another instructor who will be full time at the Freefall University. Experienced jumpers from England will know Carl Williams from the Silver stars. Recently qualified BPA instructors will also know him as he is a BPA Instructor Examiner. An instructor examiner in the BPA is responsible for the certification of other British Parachute Association AFF instructors. We are now in a position to issue UK licenses on the dropzone here in Ocaña and not just prepare people to take them in the UK. Carl its good to have you on board! Carl is pictured here in the middle.
Welcome back to Simon Lemon who trained with us a few weeks ago. Simon is here for some fun jumping and perhaps the introduction to Formation skydiving. When you do AFF with the freefall University you are joining a community and are always more than welcome back. Returning graduates swell our numbers greatly. For example tonight there is 20 of heading to cheers..
Our dropzone being the closest to Madrid and probably the most chilled out dropzone in Spain , is home to the majority of Madrid skydivers. WE also train a lot of Spanish students who wish to enter the sport. Here Ramon, Carlos and Pepe are pictured having completed their ground school today. They also made their AFF level one jumps and will be back in action tommorrow.
Meanwhile Stephen ” scored ” Robinson is finished all his solo jumps now and is doing his hybrid FS1 , FF1 freefly course with Louis. This is a course that brings him through the BPA fs1 rating and onwards on the journey to Freefly. Stephen is here for another two weeks! He is pictured here with our British Parachute Association Freefly instructor Louis Harwood. What was the name of that nightclub you ****** in Stephen ?
Another of our full time instructors Ulli Bulli is pictured here with Norma who is cracking on and doing just great on her course. She should be finished tommorow. She is seen here with Tim, her secondary reviewing here level four.
Meanwhile Daniella and Simon are cracking on with their level six and sevens to complete.
Welcome back to Chris Sargant who trained with us earlier in the year. He arrived this afternoon and did a number of solo jumps today and will tommorrow start his advanced parachuting course.
Congratulations to todays AFF graduates.
There is a growing number of fun jumpers coming from Northern Europe now that the season is at an end there. We had a freefly team start training here today ( thanks Scotty ..wink ) . They have been busy jumping together and will also take some coaching from our freefly coach Louis Harwood.
Samantha and Amelia who are from Black Knights in the north west have also joined us for a skydiving holiday and are learning to freefly with Louis who is being kept very busy indeed.
We are so busy that once again our second porter is being called into action. Despite some challenging conditions at times we have been doing upwards on fifteen mid week loads and expect to peak at forty five loads between the two porters over the coming weekend.
Welcome also to Sylvan Butt from the UK who is here to learn to skydive. Sylvan is a horticultural specailist from England although from Australia originally. When asked how he felt after his first skydive he said ” im rushing with adrenaline ” .
Another new member of the team joining us from Lillo! Welcome on board to Paula Silva from portugal who will be part of your day at the Freefall University. Paula has 1200 skydives and 1000 base jumps aswell as being a birdman instructor. We have ordered birdman suits of varying sizes.. stay tuned for details of the Freefall University Base and Birdman School.
15 October 2005
Well a smashing day for all of our students crossing the range of courses ongoing. First to freefly with Louis Harwood who was in Action with Amelia and Samantha picturer here. Samantha is getting the hang of flying on her back and Amelia is doing very well in sit and is pretty close to gaining her BPA FF1 freefly qualification. Samantha is here on the right and Amelia is pictured below.
Congratulations to Ben Lewis who finished his AFF course. He is pictured here on one of his earlier levels with His Instructor Carl Williams from the Silver Stars who will be full time with us this winter.
Danielle who qualified today offers some practical advice in her graduation quotation.. Danielle spent the afternoon solo jumping with her boyfriend Simon who graduated yesterday.
Both are pictured here swapping stories about their jumps.
Meanwhile the freefly boyzzz from the UK are captured during a ” routine ” by Peter the school cameran. They did eight jumps together day and have already booked another holiday with us in a few weeks time when they will return with a few friends.
Chris Sargant is pictured here completing his BPA formation skydiving course. I ament sure what this point is called but it was well built and Chris played a stormer during the course. He has also being trying our range of canopies progressing down a size during his course. He is jumping a Nav 200 now and using our new Icon Containers. He is in the black jumpsuit.
Can I jump again ? No worries. Lets introduce you to Angela who is one of our manifestors. The manifestor is the person responsible for keeping the plane flying with the jumpers who want to jump , getting as many jumps as they want.
17th October 2005
Welcome back to Thomas Cieslar from Poland who is here for his second holiday having trained last month. He will spend the next week with us fun jumping and consolidating the skills he learnt last month.
Also joining us this week is Mathew Gardner from London. Mathew is no stranger to adventure as he is only back from trekking in Peru.
So check out Paul Goulden from London who joins us for the next week. Paul has never skydived before and when offered our AFF tandem decided he wanted to get straight into the jumping at level one!
Having joined us yesterday here is Jonathan Dennis who took an easyjet from Bristol to learn to skydive with us.
Joe Lamerton from London joins us also. He did a tandem a few years ago in Australia and has wanted to do the AFF couse for ages…now his his chance ! Joe is famous for missing his flights and only made the easyjet to madrid at the last second… he wont be missing any of ours.. to 13oooft!
Many people have been asking us recently ” will I be the only student there “..will there be lots of other students training at the same time so they can share the fun ..both during the day and at night… the answer is YES.. you will meet lots of people learning at the same as you.. sweet. Laura Caullen from Ireland sent us in this pic of a typical night out in Aranjuez.. remember it gets dark at 7 o clock now… so think about the evening activities!
18th October 2005
Check Toby out! Toby is one of our graduates and previously worked for the Freefall University . He is now taking one of our Bird-Man Courses with Paula Silva our Chief Birdman Instructor.
20th October 2005
Congratulations to Mathew Gardner who has completed his AFF course today. He trained with Andy Gregory.
Also well done to Jonathan Denniss who has finished his AFF course, hop and pop or level eight and four solo jumps. He is pictured here with Doctor Ulli his AFF Instructor. Ulli is one of our qualified riggers also.
Welcome back to Chris Coveyduck who trained with us last month on an AFF course. Chris will spend the weekend on a formation skydiving course.
21st October 2005
Mathew Gardner has declared that he will be back in a few days and will stay with us for a few weeks ( months ? ) over the winter. He is pictured here getting ready to do another solo.
Welcome to Thomasz from Switzerland is learning to skydive. Thomsz is on level five having started yesterday.
Also welcome to Chris Baker from the Isle of Man who is here to learn to skydive with us. Chris is with us for the week.
Welcome to David Christopher Lee from Ireland who is here to learn to skydive and enjoy the nightlife. David works in Saudia Arabia and will be with us for the next ten days.
Also learnng to skydive ( he started with us two days ago ) is Christopher Handley. Christopher is not long back from Florida and had been thinking of doing a tandem untill a hurricane rolled into the coastline… Not to worry he went staight up for a level one AFF jump and has breezed through untill level five..
Welcome also Jeanna from Denmark. Jeanna lives in Germany though and speaking fluent german is learning through German with Ulli Bulli, our multilingual , Base Jumping , wingsuit fandango , all round good egg ( 6000 jumps / 20 years in the Sport ) .. the one the only ..Ulli Bulli!
Also jumping his ass off is Chris Coveyduck from London who spent the last two days going in mantis syle ( formation skydiving to me and you ) with the master of the skies ( hi mike ) Daniel.
26th ctober 2005
Congratulations to our graduates! Chris had a fantastic course with Andy is has already completed some solo jumps.
Stephen the same , he has now been solo jumping and you can guess from him quote that he is completley hooked!
Jeana has passed also and we are awaiting her graduation quote. She trained with Doctor Ulli in german. Jeana was a touch nervous at first , but with experienced instructors on her side she passed with flying colours.
David is rocking on and has completed five levels and should complete tommorrow.
26th October 2005
Welcome to Rhodri Huws, a bar manager from Wales who is here to learn to skydive.
Also joining us is Stephen Freestone from London who is here to learn to skydive on an AFF course.
Robin Harwood has popped down from the UK to check out the dropzone also. He will spend the week fun jumping with us.
Also congratulations to Aimee Herrick who graduated her AFF course. She is pictured here with Houdini one of our Spanish Tandem Masters.
Welcome to Timothy Found who is a Barristar from London. Tim joins us to learn to skydive and will be here for a week.
Meanwhile Packing Lessons for Stephen.
Congratulations to Stephen Freestone who qualified to jump solo today. He had looked at a number of different skydiving courses but felt , quite correctly that AFF was the best method.
So whats all this FS about then?
Meanwhile Rhodri from Wales is all but finished his course and pictured here jumping with Andy Guler who is fresh back from another tunnell training camp in Switzerland.
Well done also to David Christopher Lee who graduated his AFF course . David seems well Impressed with Aranjuez advancing Irish – Spanish relations a great deal..
Tim Found is pictured here being debriefed by his AFF instructor Andy Gregory. Tim is now about to graduate his course.
With the recent clocks change everybody was in Cheers Bar by seven thirty. While much of the population speaks English we are now also preparing a small phrase guide for our students. Sample ” Ola chica , que tal ” = ” How you doin ” .
Congratulations to Tim Found who graduate his AFF course in three days of instruction. Tim has already jumped solo and done his hop and pop aswell as taking packing lessons. He will jump his own pack job tommorrow.
Congratulatios also to Rhodri from Wales who graduated the parachuting course with us.
Congratulations to Chris Baker who qualified to parachute jump solo and is pictured here after making his way in after landing in one of the biggest landing areas in Europe.