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Accelerated Freefall

What is Accelerated Freefall?

Accelerated Freefall (also known as AFF) was developed in the USA to allow anyone to experience, learn and enjoy one-on-one training during freefall. It is now recognised worldwide as the best way to learn to skydive and here at Skydive Algarve our AFF skydiving school offers a high standard of instruction, teaching you to become a skydiver in less than a week with no previous experience needed.

The Accelerated Freefall course consists of eight levels (one jump per level).

Day 1

Starting at 9am, one full day of ground-training teaches you everything you need to know to complete your first solo skydive from 14,000ft (4300m).

Jumping begins with an educational AFF Tandem jump, which is the perfect way to orient yourself from the air to better understand the landing pattern and procedures. This will take place at a suitable point during the day.

Days 2-7

Your skydiving experience continues with AFF Level 1. Initially you will skydive with two instructors, who will be there in freefall to guide you through this once in a lifetime experience.

Wearing your own parachute, you will carry out the series of freefall exercises you have previously been taught, then open, fly and land the canopy all by yourself. We maintain radio communication whilst you are under canopy for added reassurance.
Skydive Algarve uses state-of-the-art parachuting equipment and you will learn to fly a modern rectangular canopy.
Progressing through the levels your freefall awareness will increase, building your confidence and your enjoyment of the skydive.
During Levels 4-6 you will be accompanied by only one instructor and will start to learn more advanced skills, such as turns and forwards movement in the air.
Your AFF course finishes with a qualifying dive on Level 7 and low altitude exit from 5000ft on Level 8.
Before each subsequent AFF level you will receive an extensive brief and afterwards your skydiving instructor will provide feedback during your de-brief using video footage taken during your AFF jump.  
Once you have demonstrated the ability to look after yourself in freefall you will be cleared for solo consolidation jumps.


What happens next?

Once you have graduated the AFF course, it’s time to skydive completely solo. This is an exhilarating experience and one you will never forget. You will complete the next 10 ‘consolidation jumps’ whilst still under the supervision of an instructor, who will check you on the ground and in the aircraft before you exit the plane - totally solo.

How long does it take?

The standard AFF course consists of a 7-day trip, or if you would like to upgrade to our Platinum Package, it’s a 10-day adventure, allowing time for your consolidation jumps.

After the initial full day of AFF theory in the classroom, students can typically complete the course in just a few days carrying out around 2-3 skydives daily but it is wise to allow extra time as this does depend on a few factors, including the weather and how you take to the course. However the AFF training is personalised and our instructors do their best to ensure your progression. Should you find that you have extra time at the end of your holiday, you may opt to do more jumps, or simply take the opportunity to explore the Algarve or work on your tan at the local beach!

What will I learn?

  • To check and fit your own equipment
  • To exit the aircraft
  • Safety procedures
  • To open your parachute
  • To deal with emergency situations
  • To recognise the dropzone
  • To land your parachute

What is not included?

  • Outside video/photos
  • Any repeat levels
  • Personal accident Insurance
  • Flights – students must book their own
  • Accommodation and car hire – we can arrange this on request at discounted skydiver prices

Before you jump there is a short written test to ensure you have understood every part of the course.
Following each AFF Level you will receive a full video de-brief of your jump, and then further instruction before your next skydive.

Why choose us for you AFF course?

  • Skydive Algarve operates to the highest standards in safety and our instructors are committed to ensuring you have the experience of your life.
  • All our skydives are to 14,000ft (4300m) giving you valuable extra time in freefall, which is essential when you are learning to skydive as every second counts. As Skydive Algarve is at sea level, you genuinely get our maximum altitude, unlike other dropzones that may be located above sea level.
  • The Algarve is a stunning place to skydive, with amazing aerial view of the sea.
  • Our friends at the airfield Skycafé are very welcoming, the local bars and restaurants are excellent and those who like to party can always have a great night out at the Sports Café in Alvor. 

Getting a Licence

Obtaining a ‘licence’ means that you are a qualified skydiver and that you have completed the AFF course itself. Now due to each country's own skydiving federation having differing requirements in order to obtain a licence, we will work with you to ensure we are sending you home having fulfilled as many of these requirements as we possibly can.

For skydiving students from the UK - If you would like a British Parachute Association A-License, we have expertise in this area.

The requirements for the BPA A-Licence are covered by our Platinum package

  • Successful completion of AFF Levels 1 - 7
  • Successful completion of AFF Level 8 (low altitude exit)
  • 10 consolidation jumps (solo jumps supervised in the aircraft)
  • Canopy Handling Grade One (CH1) theory, practical exercises and written test.

On your return to the UK you can take your A-Licence application form to be signed by the Chief Instructor of your home dropzone, and send this off to the British Parachute Association along with a photo and £10 application fee. You will also need BPA membership to apply and to jump in the UK. 
The United States Parachute Association is recognised worldwide and should you want to apply for the USPA A-License, all our instructors are USPA rated and can take you through the full application process.

Our Expert package is ideal for the USPA licence and we recommend 10-14 days for your skydiving holiday in Portugal to include:

  • Successful completion of AFF Levels 1 - 7
  • Successful completion of AFF Level 8 (low altitude exit)
  • 12 consolidation jumps (solo jumps supervised in the aircraft)
  • 5 FS Coached jumps, which include learning 'swoop to pin', 'break off and track' from a group of experienced skydivers
  • Canopy skills practical exercises
  • Equipment Skills, Aircraft and Spotting Skills, Emergency Review
  • Endorsement by USPA Instructor on USPA A-License Proficiency Card.


Portuguese nationals being taught AFF in Portuguese language...

will be trained by our FPPQ (Federação Portuguesa de Paraquedismo) approved AFF school and can apply for an FPPQ A-Licence following the same package as the USPA A-Licence please see our Portuguese language page here for full details

AFF continuation

Help, I’m partway through my AFF course…

We are happy to work with AFF continuation students or those who have not jumped in a while and need to catch up and refresh their knowledge. Please contact us before booking your trip to discuss how we can help you finish your AFF course in the sunny blue skies of Portugal.

We will need to know the date of your last jump, how many you have completed in total and your last successful level/consol. You will need to bring all of your documentation along with you, including your skydiving logbook, training record and any video footage of your jumps as well as proof of third-party liability insurance for skydiving in Portugal.

What’s not included?

  •  Flights (students must book themselves)
  • Accommodation and car hire (please contact us and we can arrange this for you)


We require a payment of 18€ to join the Portuguese Parachute Federation as a Provisional License holder- this will cover you for the third party and public liability insurance for Skydiving in Portugal which is mandatory at Skydive Algarve. 

We also strongly recommend taking out personal accident insurance as reciprocal European healthcare does not extend past emergency care and does not cover repatriation. When taking out skydiving insurance please ensure you carefully check the exclusions sections in the policy wording. We are not able to issue insurance for you at the dropzone and without the correct cover you may not be able to skydive.

It is not possible for us to recommend insurance, and policies are constantly changing, in addition to which we cater for AFF students from around the world. However students may want to consider the following companies, who currently (correct March 2017) cover personal accident insurance for skydiving to the best of our knowledge, but you should always check yourself.

Coverage options for UK Residents:

SkyCover: Tel. UK: 0844 892 1515 - must take Annual Multi-Jump policy 

Sportscover Direct: Tel. UK: 0845 120 6400, 2012 - AFF Students ONLY
Must take Activity Top-Up and choose "under instruction". 

Harrison Beaumont: Tel. UK: 0044 844 875 3506 - must have planned activity as Skydiving on the policy certificate. 

Airsports Insurance Bureau: Tel. UK: 0044 2380 263458 - must have Category D for skydiving on policy certificate. 
NON-UK citizens/residents: 

World Nomads - for selected European Countries (UK is excluded) 

Swiss residents can join Swiss Skydive

Germany GFF

When can I start?

Our AFF course dates can be flexible to suit your requirements and training takes place every week. Please contact us with your preferred dates BEFORE booking any flights.
Or you may want to join one of our monthly AFF skydiving holiday weeks.

Travelling on your own?

Our 2017 AFF weeks are a great time to visit Skydive Algarve as they coincide with our discounted $kysaver weeks, so there’s lots going on. Book seven days with us Monday – Monday, or you can stay longer if you wish.

When to book flights?

Please do NOT book flights before completing your booking with us first.

Are you ready to book your AFF course? Become a skydiver by the beautiful Algarve coastline today! Book your AFF Residential course now! 

Arrival Departure
13 January, Groundschool  14 January  21 January
3 February, Groundschool 4 February 11 February
3 March, Groundschool 4 March 11 March
31 March, Groundschool 1 April 8 April
28 April, Groundschool 29 April 6 May
2 June, Groundschool 3 June 4 June
7 July, Groundschool 8 July 15 July
4 August, Groundschool 5 August 12 August