All About AFF Skydiving

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Nothing brings us more joy than hearing that people want to learn how to skydive and join our epic skydiving family! You may have heard that the best and most efficient way to learn how to skydive is through the AFF program. But what is “The AFF”? Here’s all about AFF and how we do things here at WNY Skydiving!


What is AFF exactly? AFF is an acronym that stands for Accelerated FreeFall and is known as the quickest, most efficient way to get proficient skydiving training to begin skydiving solo! 

The AFF Program varies depending on which dropzone you jump at, but most United States Parachute Association (USPA) Member dropzones follow the USPA Integrated Student Program (ISP) or at least use this standard as an outline when designing their own program. The ISP is not a required program design; however, the training program of your choice must meet the USPA standards according to the Basic Safety Requirements and be able to meet all requirements listed on the USPA A-license Application.

All About AFF Skydiving | WNY Skydiving


The AFF Program at WNY Skydiving can be broken down into five parts and is set up in a way that flows to your comfort. We’ve spent years perfecting our student program and believe that this is the best way to learn how to skydive and take you all the way from tandem student to a properly educated and prepared “A” licensed skydiver. As a Group Member of the USPA, we follow the ISP that is outlined in the most updated Skydiver’s Information Manual.

WNY Skydiving – Training Progression

  1. Tandem Skydive Level 1
  2. Tandem Skydive Level 2
  3. First Jump Course (FJC) & Parachute Packing Class
  4. Accelerated Free Fall Program (Levels 2 – 7)
  5. Skydiving Coach Program


A Level 1 Tandem Skydive introduces you to the basic bodyflight position required for skydiving and gets those “first jump jitters” out of the way so that you can focus on what you’ll need to be doing while on your jump.

The Level 2 Tandem Skydive introduces you to some of the basic equipment such as the altimeter and the skydiving rig, while also giving you an introduction to canopy flight! The goal of the Level 2 tandem is to familiarize yourself with pulling the ripcord at the correct altitude (determined by the altimeter), deploying the parachute, and getting a feel for the canopy resistance during canopy control.

All About AFF Skydiving | WNY Skydiving

I’ve Completed AFF, Now What?

After completing all of the required skills, you’ll move into our Skydiving Coach Program, which is the final portion of your training leading to your “A” license. During this section of your training, you’ll jump with coaches or instructors who will prepare you for more advanced freefall control. Essentially, you’ll learn the skills needed to skydive with other solo jumpers. Also, your education in flying a parachute will also continue. At the end of our Skydiving Coach Program, you will be ready to make your “A” license check skydive and will officially graduate from the student program as a licensed skydiver!

While your friends are tandem skydiving, you’ll be jumping out of airplanes with your very own parachute. Talk about bragging rights! Think you’re ready to experience human flight as a solo jumper? Call us to get started on your AFF adventure! 


Class in session! Following the successful completion of the Level 2 Tandem Skydive, you’ll be ready to join us for the First Jump Course (FJC). 

The FJC course is an 8-hour class that will be solely on the ground – which is why sometimes you might hear it called “ground course.” During your class time, you’ll receive a physical demonstration from a USPA-rated instructor, hands-on learning to familiarize yourself with the skydiving gear, and some self-study to test your knowledge.

You will also receive your parachute packing class to acquaint yourself with the skydiving equipment and how to pack your own parachute when the time comes! Learning to pack parachutes is one of the best ways to understand how the gear works.

You will not be performing any jumps during this time.


Now you are finally ready to begin your jumps through the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) Course! During this portion, you’ll perform six category jumps that will cover aircraft exits, basic freefall maneuvers, turns, forward motions, front/back flips, and barrel rolls. Don’t worry, you won’t have to “go it alone,” our highly rated AFF Instructors will be accompanying you on each jump and assisting you as needed.

You must pass all six jumps before moving forward to the Skydiving Coach Program.


The final portion of obtaining your skydiving “A” license will get you more into advanced freefall control to jump safely with friends and you’ll get more education on parachute flight control. Your “check dive” will be the last jump you need to complete your “A” license and graduate from the student program!

What To Wear When It's Cold | WNY Skydiving


The skydiving “A” license is the first license you can achieve in skydiving. From there, you can continue your education and achieve a skydiving “B” license, “C” license, and “D” license. The learning never ends as you can learn about different skydiving disciplines such as formation skydiving, freeflying, or wingsuiting!

According to the USPA, the requirements for achieving a skydiving “A” license are as follows:

  • Complete a minimum of 25 jumps in total
  • Complete all requirements laid out by the USPA A License Proficiency Card
  • Make five skydives with one or more other people
  • Have their skydiving license stamped
  • Pass the USPA written and oral exams

Congratulations, you’re now a licensed skydiver and you no longer need to jump with a coach or instructor of any kind! Yes, this means you can jump with other licensed skydivers and you can travel to other drop zones all over the globe and jump!

Think you’re ready to fly solo? Learn to skydive at Western New York’s premier skydiving training center – WNY Skydiving! Blue skies!

Follow WNY Online

Get news and updates in your inbox!