This section chronicles the daily skydiving activities at our school in Ocaña Spain for September 2005.
1st September 2005
Congratulations to Daniel Wall from Ireland who has passed his AFF course. Daniel is an officer with the Irish Navy and completed his course in three days of instruction.He is pictured here on level 6 , ” locked on ” to his altimiter. Generally we ask that you watch the last thousand feet of your fall so you develop a sense over the course how long it takes to fall a thousand feet. ( five seconds ! ).
The Freefall University flew eighteen loads of happy skydivers to 13,000ft today . On your course you will get to train with other students and meet other people who are returning for continuation courses ( Formation skydiving, canopy control or Freefly ). Sharing the experience is half the fun. Many students come out on their own but quickly make friends.
On the subject of contination courses today marked the start of our formation skydiving skills camp. Our courses are available on demand also. All you have to do is call us with your dates!
Pictured here are Stephen , Andy and Gareth with their coaches. They have one each for individual attention. Our Formation skydiving school is headed up by the Swiss Senior team. The Swiss have a strong record in world competition. Stephen Andy and Gareth trained for their AFF with us in Mid August. The training for them is going so well we have something special planned for graduation day..
Congratulations to Simon Lemon who graduated today also. Simon like myself didnt believe that all you had to do to fall stable and with style was ” Arch and Relax ” !
Also, Nigel Arnold , David Cooke and Andrew Ciarelli Parenzi completed their level eight skydives today which is mandatory in order to jump solo in the UK. This is included in our UK BPA course as standard. Andrew went home today , but commented that he wouldnt be too upset if he managed to miss his flight. ” Oh no , ill just have to stay and throw myself out of planes some more ”
2nd September 2005
The formation skydiving courses continued today with the three way and four ways completed. Now the guys who only two weeks ago had not done their first skydive are jumping with each other. They are pictured here dirt diving ( practicing the dive on the ground ) a three way.
Also arriving today for their AFF courses were Michael Lall. After introductions to the team on the dropzone and a portion of their ground school we all headed into Aranjuez. Some of the guys decided to go to the weekly bull fighting in the local ring to see what it was like and others still went to the grounds of the Royal Palace for a free open air concert. The atmosphere was electric and here Michael Lall who is a nurse from London is pictured ” largin it up mate ” .
Also enjoying the concert was , Andy Telfer ( in the middle here to complete his AFF course and a fireman from Scotland ) and Lee Lewis also here to complete his AFF training. Lee is a postman from Bournemouth.
Cracking day! We managed to get 28 loads in today. Stephen , Darren and Andrew spent the day doing three ways with each other. Today was their last day and in two weeks they have completed 35 jumps each. Michael Lall did his first two skydives today having completed his ground school. Also jumping today was Andy Telfer from Scotland pictured here. Danny from Ireland is crcaking on with the solo jumps.
Also in action was Robin Seiger who has been with us for the last five days. Simon has completed 25 jumps. He has been doing some formation skydiving coaching with Andy Guler from the Swiss team. And is pictured here practicing a non gripped ” floating exit ” . Andy is in front and Simon in the back.
Here is a picture of Andy on his level two jump.
A nice level seven inside shot. Student and instructor take a moment in the door ( generally for the student a deep breath to relax and get ready to ” roll ” !
4th September 2005
Andy Telfer continues to rocket through the course today with all but two jumps to complete. He is pictured here on level five. The level where you practice 360 degree turns.
5th September 2004
Congratulations to Andy who has finished his accelerated freefall course. Andy graduated in three days and is now solo jumping. A photo of him in a roll is in our AFF course comments section . Meanwhile Michael Lall is goind well also and is now on Level five. Sorry for the poor quality . The sun was behind Michael for the whole dive.
Also Joining us to learn to skydive is Richard Bieda from London who works as a HR consultant. He has already completed his first three skydives and well have some freefall piccies of him in tommorrows update.
Chris Wood who is a software developer also joins us for an AFF course and like Richard has already made a number of skydives. Again more news tommorrow. ( News is a bit patchy at the moment …too busy skydiving for web design …sigh .
A special word of Congratulations to Mike Worthington who having passed the 500 jump mark has qualified as a USPA AFF Instructor. Mike was a student with us last year and is our second graduate to become an instructor.
6th September 2005
We have had our third day of rain this year so were only flying in the morning. Danny Wall has completed all his consolidation jumps and tommorrow will start his Freefly training with our freefly coach Louis Harwood from Avalore who recently won a number of medals at the UK Skydiving championships.
Andy also has all his consolidation jumps done and also will take an introduction to freeflying with Louis.
Michael Lall managed to get up in time to complete two jumps today ! ( Mike spent the evening practicing his Spanish in Aranjuez…. hee hee !) He is pictured here getting ready for his level seven.
Lee Lewis is now on level four. Lee commented that he is very happy with our location. He previously had attended a paragliding course in Spain and had become fed up of it as the school was located in a small village with little to do. He tells us we have the right blend!
7th September 2005
Unfortunatley the weather wasnt on our side today. We have a strict policy for your safety of not jumping in conditions not deemed suitable. We decided to take advantage of the break and head to Madrid ( short drive ) and go to the Spain international in the Calderon Stadium. The atmosphere was fantastic!
Fear not! The forecast is for clear blue skies with 5mph winds tommorrow.
8th September 2005
Back jumping in earnest today and another good day of it too! Mike finished his course today and his now jumping solo. Heres a picture of him on his AFF level seven locked on to his alti. Generally you are asked to watch the last 1000 feet of your fall before opening.
Michael has also done a number of solo jumps. Also his graduating today was Richard Bieda.
We have also been joined by a new member of staff: Louis Harwood . Louis originally from the Black Knights Parachute Centre in the UK will work as the head of the Freefly school which will be called ” Avalore ” . Louis has already been in action teaching Daniel Wall from Ireland.
Patricia has joined us for a few days to check out the DZ. She had been booked in for a tandem skydive and is pictured here gettting ready for the jump. She has spent a few days in Madrid and Aranjuez and said she prefferred Aranjuez.
Meanwhile Lee Lewis has also finished his AFF course and will now be solo jumping.
9th September 2005
Welcome to Ulrika Henderson from Stockholm Sweden who has joined us for some formation skydiving coaching with the Swiss Team .
Daniel Wall and Andy Telfer have spent the morning jumping their own pack jobs! They are doing their packing certificates today and will also do the exams for their A License , now that they have reached over 25 jumps each. ( in less than a week )
Welcome also to Ian Newlands from London who works in IT. Ian is here to learn to skydive and will spend the next ten days with us skydiving. He arrived this morning and should jump either on Friday evening or on Saturday morning. He is picturer here with a ” training vest ” . This vest has the appropriate handles for practicing both pull and emergency procedures.
Well what a day! We managed 25 flights in our trusty porter! I jumped it today and realised it climbs like a homesick angel! It gets up to 13K , drops its load and picks another up in about 13 minutes. Sweet just aswell as it was all action today. Lee ” Go Play ” lewis, Michael ” Is my cypress on ” Lall and Richard ” Party ” Bieda all crossed over the 20 jump mark today completed their levels eight and partook in an accuracy course. Ian did his first three levels of AFF and is poised for another Stormer tomorrow.
We had some new faces arrive today also. Here takes Phil McGaw from Liverpool through canopy theory. Phil is an IT ” boffin ” and will be with us for ten days to complete his AFF course and hopefully his formation skydiving qualification also.
Also joining us today were David Brewin and Wayne Buckland from Bristol. They are no strangers to adventure at all with rock climbing their main sport to date.
More news and photos tommorrow..
Tunnell Camp at the end of the month!
First up we are in the UK on the ,30 Sep and 1st and 2nd Oct.! Well some of us anyway.. we have bought ten hours in Bedford Wind Tunnell and already eight are booked out. If you would like to get in with us ( beginners to senior Formation flying available coaches available from our coaching team ) then get in touch. The cost of the time with or without coaching is 510 pounds per hour. Thus if you want half an hour flying time its 255 pounds etc. We have done pretty well as the tunnell is not yet open to public bookings! Monthly training camps are planned.
Ian Newlands progressed to level six today and should qualify tommorrow. Wayne Buckland pictured here did his first three levels also and is now on AFF level four. In this picture Wayne is being lifted upright by his parachute which is just starting to open. his instructor is on the far side.
David Brewin progressed to level thre today also, having completed his ground schook this morning. He is pictured here on the right. His pictured here on the right during a debrief.
Mathew Geldert from London also joined us to learn to skydive ( AFF ) yesterday afternoon. He started his ground school yesterday , completed it today and did his first three levels of AFF. He is pictured here with Daniel his instuctor.
13th September 2005
Graduation Day! We have had three graduates between yesterday and today. First up is Phil McGaw from Liverpool who has completed his AFF course , level eight skydive and also five solos. Phil has already decided that he would like to become a freeflyer and will take us up on our continuation course ” Freeflying from beginner to Ninja in just one week ” on his next visit planned for later this year. reckoned Phil looks like some singer who sings a song called tainted love .. so the two of them have been wondering around the dropzone periodically singing tainted love … anyway.. When asked to describe his skydives solo Phil said ” get out and do something stupid like loops and rolls and check alti .. repeat untill pull time ” .
Next Up Ian Newlands stormed home to finish his AFF course yesterday. He also has his AFF level eight done and is is racking up the solos.
When asked why he chose this quote for his graduation photo he tells us that his flat mate reckons hes a few sambos short of a picnic jumping out of planes ..his last words to Ian before he left home was…
Last up today ( he graduated this evening ) was Wayne Buckland who finished his course in style. He also got his first solo this evening on the sunset load which went to 15,500ft..becoming a bit of a habit for us to go high. Our normal operating altitude is 13,000ft ( and we get up their pretty sharpish too . The proof is in the pudding…life does begin at forty !
Meanwhile not long to go for David Brewin who is now on level five.
We discovered another fab bar / restaurant in Aranjuez last night. The ” American Eatery ” where all the staff Speak English, the food great ( try the Steak ! ) and bear cheap. The decor is of musical instruments and american road signs and they were playing the blues brothers, U2 etc. all evening. Liverpool were playing Real Betis so Phil ( from Liverpool ) was periodically shouting ” ave it ” at the tele and was well chuffed with their 2-1 win.
14th September 2005
Welcome to Kevin Hawkins who has joined us to learn to skydive. Kevin hails from Bristol. Kevin did a tandem before his AFF course. IF you are doing a tandem in advance of your cost, add 70 pounds to your package cost.
Also Welcome to William Sean Roberts , Gerralt Roberts and Steffan Hughes all from wales and a group of friends who have come also to do the AFF course.
15th September 2005
Graduation Day! Well done to David Brewin who finished his AFF course today! He has now completed his first solo jump.
Our recent review in the UKs leading broadsheet the Times . Travel Section ( where we were described as ” one of the best skydiving schools in Europe” has had our offices inundated with Enquiries so web design has been on the back foot ! ).
Stay tuned we have lots going on… We are currently booked out for the remainder of September and parts of October.. If you are considering coming out in October please get in touch! ( Share your holiday experience with lots of other students even if you come on your own ! )
We will also in the next days be launching our car pooling inititiave meaning you can have a car for a week shared reducing your costs:
car , weeks hotel and course to GBP1150 pounds or less..
We are also taking delivery ( within 48 hours ) of more student kit from Aerodyne increasing dramatically the number of rigs we have available ..thus helping you get 20 or more jumps in a week!.
16th September 2005
Tons going on! Well done to Hevin Hawkins who graduated today. He jumped solo today also. Very well done.
Also , Ian Newlands has passed the 25 jump mark in one week and has decided to extend his stay a week further ( by a week ! ) . Ian will be doing our formation skydiving and freeflying continuation courses this week. Ian checked cost of flight change ( 25 quid ) and emailed his boss to tell him how it is..
Welcome also to David Faulkner and David White who have joined us to learn to skydive. Both are complete beginners and after a spot of lunch in our restaraunt got stuck into ground school with Tim. They will be ready to to rock and roll for the first load tommorrow. Sweet !
Then theres the ” Welsh on tour ” , Gerralt , Steffan and William who sold their fish boat to come skydiving! Today was their second day here and they are all now on level five of their course having completed ground school and one jump yesterday and four jumps each today. This photo is from their ground school. The lads to add colour to Aranjuez ( just discovered that the city is a UNESCO world heritage city by the way ! ) . This evening as fifteen ( AFF students , FS1 , FF1 and staff ) of us assembled for an evening meal there was an ” ibiza ” mood in the air. Everybody is off in the Avalon ( im typing you this report at 1am in the morning ) living life to the max…
Then theres the duo back in from Dublin Ireland.. Yes Jill Nason and Laura Cullen are back in town !
Last but not least is Mike ” Viagra ” Williams who has come back for another weeks holiday also. Mike is doing his formation skydiving course with Mel.
Gonna be a rocking week at the Uni… and our numbers are growing as the dropzone will soon be recieving jumpers from Europe who are looking for better jumping conditions.
Stats for Monday to Friday this week: 58 loads flown! Mid week jumping at the Freefall Uni ? No problemo… The weekend is gonna rock we have two porters rocking to altitude in double quick time!
Oh yes , gotta mention this , as id never seen it before. Kevin Hawkins (whos a black belt in Karate ) wrote notes on his Hand for each skydive..
A group of graduates !
Wanna play ? Then get in touch for a quote on the holiday of a lifetime ! You know you want to ! The signal they are making with their hands is ” check arms ” ..one of the in air signals from isntructor to student..
15th September 2005 .
A mixed day where we got ten flights up. Mostly our Formation skydiving students, some AFF and returning graduates. Luckily we have two runways so can take off in all directions.. the porter is known to be grounded even in moderate winds if the direction is wrong..
Pictured here is Mel one of our instructors with Mike Williams. Mel has been ” beasting ” mike to get him through his course in double quick time.
16th September 2005
Welcome to Richard Little and Chris Sheeley from the Isle of Man who are here to learn to skydive with us. Oddly most people clam up when they see a camera …but not these two…
Continuing with the “circles” photos theme today although we just cant squeeze everbody in any more here is another snap from Award winning camera maestro who took this one. IT includes starting clockwise Andy Guler ( Formation skydiving manager ) Richard Little ( AFF student who joined us yesterday, Gerrallt , AFF student from wales, Chris Sheeley ( Aff student from the Isle of Man who joined us yesterday ) , David White ( AFF Student ) , Ian ” Milkybar ” Newlands , and David ” taxman ” faulkner ( AFF student who joined us yesterday ) and lastly Mike ” Viagra ” Williams who is all but complete with his Formation skydiving course.
Meanwhile Tim is starting to wish he was a little bit taller..
We do skydive too… but in between loads more of the AFF students got together for a more novel group photo.. We call this one ” Circus Midgets” .
Ill do an update tommorrow night when I get my hands on the stats for graduations etc. We flew fifteen loads today!
19th September 2005
Another fantastic day at the Freefall Uni ! Were already at four pm on twelve flights for the day. In fact we have flown so much that we have a free flight for our students at the end of the day..yes! The Sunset load to 15,000ft is on us! Pictured right Juan Ambrona one of our Spanish students is photographed from inside the airplane as he sets off on his AFF level one. The unusual body position of the left hand side jump master is utilized to help you get facing to earth as soon as possible after exit so the exercises can begin.
Todays graduates include Steffan Hughes from wales! Steffan graduated in double quick time and weighing in at sixteen stone had a ..ahem ..brisk ” rall rate ” . His instructor was .
Welcome also to Tomasz Cieslar from Poland who has joined us to learn to skydive. Tomasz has made three jumps today after completing his ground school yesterday. He is pictured here boarding ” fox fox ” one of our two turbine aircraft.
Welcome also to Rayomand Dumasia who is a computer programmer from London and joind us to learn to skydive. Rayomand arrived to Aranjuez last night and after a ground school this morning is in the air doing his first skydive. He is pictured here with his AFF insturctor .
Richard Little is progressing well and has completed solo exits and backloops in his course. He has one level to go and will all things being equal qualify on the sunset or first load tommorrow.
Viagra Mike is racking the jumps up like theres no tommorrow. He is pictured here under canopy on his what is for him jump number forty two. This is Mikes second trip to the Freefall University.
Here is Chris Sheeley from the Isle of Man who is all but finished his AFF course , he is now on level seven.
Well too many people wanted to jump at the same time ( on the sunset load ) so no bother ..crack open our second turbine porter. We sent both planes up together climbing in formation. Sweet! Here are some scenes from the sunsets loads.
Mike Seems pretty impressed with the sight!
We jumped together completing his forty fourth jump.. a tracking type dive!
And just to give you an idea of how small we really are in the sky! Ray Dumasia sets of with and Christo from the other porter.
We let this load drop and continued to climb waiting for the others to land.
Fancy a trying two plane formation skydives..best fun you will ever have doing FS .. a unique challenge. Call us for details of our larger formation camps. Details to be publised soon with the base being the Swiss 8 way team ( intensive training camp here last ten days in October along with the four way team..Dragonfly ! )
20th September 2005
Well the sunset loads are getting more interesting. Two of yesterdays graduates today completed their category eight and marked the occasssion with a naked skydive from 13,500ft!
Here are some scenes in the landing area where we introduce the graduates also captured in the landing area. There are some interesting photos of ´rear ends ´going out of the door at altitude but well leave that to your imagination! Hoofing !
Were thinking ” bums away ” might have been more fitting but check Chris´s comment out ! Yes Chris , welcome to skydiving!
Also graduating today , but not yet ready for birthday jumping ( need to get his consols sorted ) perhaps well get him ” dressed up ” tommorrow…
Was David Faulkner who has also completed a load of solos.
So what will tommorrow bring ? Stay tuned to find out . Theres tons going on , we have more students arriving and also formation skydiving between gradautes returning from August courses kicks off , amongst some other surprises..
Mike Williams has completed over fifty skydives now since training with us ( jumps made over two weeks ) and is pictured here getting ready for his three way dive on his formation skydiving course. He went on to complete a smooth exit and 17 points on the dive. He is pictured here with Oscar and Andy.
Nice to see former students return for some more skydiving and they dont get more former than Brian Hughes who was our third ever student who popped in for a spot of jumping from Ireland.
Lisa Walsh has joined us from the North West to take our introduction to skydiving course. This course is for people who want to try skydiving on a level one AFF skydive instead of the more traditional tandem skydive.
Rayomand Dumasia is progressing well on his AFF course and is now on level four.
Random group shot from load fifteen of the day ( five pm ).
Welcome to Daniel from Brazil who also joins us from Lillo. Daniel has over 9000 skdydives and has represented his country in various disciplines including skysurfing and freestyle at World competition. Daniel will primarily work with our Spanish students, but may well be your secondary instructor for your first skydives.
CASA JUMPS| The casa has arrived for the weekend boogie and I managed to edge my way onto the first load.. a very sunset jump 15 way. Sweet..
Heres is a picture from inside the base with floaters behind us and divers ahead.
The dropzone is thronged with jumpers making the atmosphere fab. Final count: 30 Spanish jumpers and 20 foreign jumpers.. gonna be a good weekend especially when the madrid weekend jumpers join us.. Ocaña is Madrid jumpers most popular dropzone. Back to backs on both planes and we may even crack open a third aircraft..
Regardless of what the comments on students comments page is , for us the biggest indicator of how were doing when it comes to customer service is how many people return to jump with us again. We were joined today by Steffan Williams, Ian Waites and Ania Kempista all of whom trained with us earlier this year.
Then we also had a fancy dress jump. Mike William who has now passed his formation skydiving course with a difficult draw for his jump achieving ten points is dressed as a Gorilla in the centre of this picture. He commented after his sixtieth jump with us that he found that flying in the suit was a lot of fun.
Welcome also to Stephen Booth who joins us to learn to skydive. He is training with and has completed AFF levels one, two and three on his first day of jumping.
We ended the day with a few beers for some, I had to have my reserve repacked ..Spinnetto… and some of the guys headed off to watch a real madrid football game. Aidan commented that the atmosphere was fantastic and he could not resist the temptation to Slag Beckham… hope he spoke in jabberred English .. he was surrounded by 80,000 Spanish Real fans.. Madrid is a short hop away you can drive , or take the train that runs every twenty minutes.
Were also getting our transport fleet sorted out for excursions and aswell as a six seater now have a thirty seater. Christo will be our driver and here is photographed in his bus. This will be used by our students staff and winter sun skydivers who want for example to head to Madrid to party the night away and get picked up for a drop off to their respective hotels.
Our Casa Boogie is in full swing. Jumpers are pictured here loading into the back of the plane.
Congratulations also to David White who has finished his AFF course and is now jumping solo.
25th September 2005
Congratulations to Gary Walker who finished his AFF course in two days of jumping. He is pictured here on a solo jump. You can have a professional cameraman with you in freefall for 38 euros and you get 9.2 megapixel files to take home with you on a CD ! These pics can be blown up lifesize with no major degredation ( ISO 100 )
Here is another one of Garys jumps as he rolls out the door for a sunset skydive.
Congratulations to Stephen Booth who has passed his AFF course and has now completed five solo skydives including his level 8 hop and pop. Stephen is a funds manager from the city.
Meet Enkel he is Juans pet and is making a home for himself on the DZ. You will meet people on your course not only from the UK but from here in Spain where an average of five spanish students train per week. You will of course get to meet Enkel and tab the dropzone moggy ..whos not so sure of Enkel..
Su Knight from London arrived yesterday and has completed her first three levels of AFF. She is pictured here in one of our debriefing rooms.
Congratulations also to Tomazc Cieslar from Poland who finished his AFF course and completed ten solo jumps.
Sheeps ba**s no thanks! Tonight we scoffed chineese in Aranjuez , a meal fit for a king and ten euros a head for all we could manage to eat.
27th September 2005
Welcome to Jeremy Watkins who joins us from London to complete his AFF course which he started on a UK dropzone but decided to complete with ourselves. Jeremy is pictured here with Andy doing a refresh of canopy skills. It peaked at 30 degrees yesterday so we conducted our class outdoors for comfort.
Graduating today was Su Knight. Su qualified in two days and has completed her first solo skydive from 13,500ft on the sunset load in Ocaña. Celebrations in the bar then of to Aranjuez for the evening to celebrate in style.
First we ate in Asturiana then had a few pints in cheers bar watching skydiving movies.
. Seems Cheers is building quite a collection of movies for itself , tonight it was ” good stuff ” from Joe Jennings amongst others. Then evertbody settled in to the Avalon which is home to most of the folk late into the night from the local Universities.
James Jewell who joined us two days ago has also completed his AFF course. James was a complete novice two days ago and today did his first solo skydive.
28th September 2005
So its official the Freefly school is opening on the 6th of October. In the first of a series of additional schools ( most from continental Europe alhough there will be more British Ones ) opening in Ocaña just south of Madrid Louis Harwood will move from the UK to begin coaching in Madrid. Team Avalore have been busy over the summer in the UK competing in the UK national skydiving championships and have been coaching on most UK dropzones. For more information visit Freefly Avalore Spain . If you are interested in coaching with Louis or Rob McVeigh then you can contact us or Avalore directly. For October coaching booking soon is advised as the schedule is already pretty full!
Welcome to Ivo Mentuccia from Italy who joined us yesterday to complete an introduction to skydiving . Ivo is from Rome. He completed his ground school and the first three levels of the AFF today. We have students and fun jumpers coming from many european countries in October and from places as far away as Moscow! Benvenuto Ivo.
Welcome back to Robin Seiger who is here for more formation skydiving coaching. Robin finished his AFF course with us in Ocaña last month. Robin was the first jumper on one of our new Mirage systems with a Spectre main.
Meanwhile Jerry Watkins finished his AFF course today and completed four solo skydives.