Anton Conlon , FFU Ocaña AFF Graduate .

Forget your first kiss, the first fumble behind the bike sheds, the first drive after passing your test because you will always remember you first level 1, your first solo exit, your first hop and pop, your first consol and then your first fun jump, in shorts over Ocana as you track one way and then another knowing that you are hooked.

Go in with no pre-conceptions or worries and open up to the experience, open your eyes, listen to everyone and take that plunge knowing the wealth of experience all the instructors have and you’ll do well. My primary instructor was Ulli, who seemed more comfortable and at home during freefall than on the ground – I took that as a reassuring thing.

The exit and freefall is such an unnatural feeling, but because of that it is such a great feeling!

Thank you all at the DZ – Sam for all the sorting out, David, all the instructors who are great, all the packers (who are unsung heroes), Edu the pilot and Dolly!.

Neil Malcolm , FFU Ocaña AFF Graduate .

After a sleepless night it felt like a long day, caught the early flight to Madrid and then straight to the DropZone. Was met at the airport by Christo and had a speedy journey to Ocaña. Met by all the friendly staff who made me feel welcome. Ate lunch with Luci, who would be my fantastic instructor over the next week, then straight into ground school. Finished the ground school that afternoon and had time to watch the last load landing under canopy. Raring to go I couldn’t wait to get up in the air.

Letting my nerves get the better of me the first night in the hotel was slightly restless. Once I was back at the airfield I started to feel better. With the help of Andy Gregory, my secondary, the three of us were soon falling free from the Porter and I was receiving expert tuition all the way down. Managed 3 jumps but was starting to get tired and make mistakes. The great thing about the whole course was that I always made to feel in control and never pressured or rushed. No more jumping that day and back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

Next morning it was back to the DropZone, another practice and back up in the Porter. This time, no mistakes and from now on it would be just me and Luci. Unfortunately the wind picked up a little too high and would have to wait a while for my next go. Gus, another student, and I took this opportunity to take the train to Madrid.

Next jump didn’t go as well as planned and started to get the fear a little. Everyone was very supportive and always there to chat. Thanks goes to Luci for giving me the confidence to go back up.

Next jumps all the way to graduation were a blur. Was up and down like a yoyo. The FFU was the best choice I made in a long time. Cheers to Samantha & David for the organisation, Ulli & Paula for driving me around, Andy Guler for helping me get back in the plane, Andy Gregory for being my secondary and of course Luci for being the best!

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