When you see her first time you will see an adorable and so feminine girl, you won’t suspect for a second that she has all this craziness inside.
I was introduced to Maud by a common friend when I was searching for a skydiving course, we had a chat and she told me that she is traveling to Morocco in few days for AFF Course (Accelerated Free Fall) we agreed to meet after she is back.
I met her for a coffee and I was so eager to ask this question:
How did it all start?
First she replied with a smile then told me: I was dreaming of doing this for years, 5 years ago I started searching and found that the only available option in Egypt is “Static Line Parachuting”, the training is conducted by the Egyptian Army in a sports club near to my house.
Without thinking I applied and started immediately, this type of courses has a military theme, the Egyptian Army requires first a very tough physical training before they allow you to jump, I did it and I passed and I was one step closer to my dream.
So, What is the Static Line Parachuting?
A static line is a cord attached at one end to the aircraft and at the other end to the top of the jumper’s ‘D-Bag’ (Deployment Bag, into which the canopy is packed). The parachutist’s fall from the aircraft causes the static line to become taut, this then pulls the D-Bag out of the container on the jumper’s back. The static line and D-Bag stay with the aircraft as the jumper leaves, and is pulled back into the aircraft by the dispatcher.
There was no free fall or the adrenaline rush I was aiming for, so after 2 jumps I started searching for something more intense, which is AFF.
What is AFF?
AFF it the Accelerated Free Fall, its a method of Skydiving, its called “accelerated” because the progression is the fastest way to experience solo free fall, normally from 10,000 to 15,000 feet “Above Ground Level”
I found a school in Morocco, I applied and traveled to start my adventure, and I did in total 29 jumps.
What is the training technique of the AFF?
In most AFF programs, two instructors jump with the student during their first three AFF jumps. On the initial levels, the instructors hold on to the student until the student deploys their own parachute. Hence, this method is classified as “Harness Hold Training.” The AFF instructors have no physical connection to the student other than their grip on the student, so once the student’s parachute is deployed the instructors fly away and deploy their own parachutes.
Deployment of the main parachute for students in an AFF program is generally 6000 ft AGL (one mile or 1600 m), down to 5000ft AGL on later levels. If the student experiences trouble in the deployment of their parachute, the instructors use hand signals to remind the student to “Pull”.
Once the student has proven they can deploy their own parachute on the first few jumps, the student will be released on subsequent levels and will have the opportunity to prove to their instructors that they have the basic flying skills required to maneuver in free fall without assistance. Each AFF level including and after level three is called a ‘release dive’. This means that the student is briefed by the instructor that at a certain point in the free fall, the student will be released, although the instructor aims to remain nearby to assist in safety and teaching. On release skydives there is a possibility the instructor may not be able to dock and assist at pull time, so it is important that the student has already learned the skills required to activate their parachute at the safe altitude and in the right way. For this reason, students may not progress to the next level of AFF until they have completed all the targeted learning objectives of the previous level.
How different is Skydiving as a sport?
The huge amount of adrenaline of course that makes you feel high 🙂 but there is something else that’s kinda funny actually, to be able to jump uninstructed you need to pass the 7 jumps of the AFF course successfully which is 1 min per jump, can you imagine a sport that’s so intense and all you need is only 7 minutes and you are ready 🙂
At the end I asked: You are so brave to do this, have you ever felt afraid? and the answer was really interesting 🙂
Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, I felt afraid every time I was on the plane, bravery is to jump despite the fear you feel, and once I jump all the fear becomes focus to survive
On the other hand, Maud is a member of a female rally team, but this is another story, will talk about it soon 🙂