August 2006 News

Friday 04/08/2006

We welcome Neil who is at the Dropzone to do AFF level 1 only.
Neil's parents live on the outskirts of Malaga, so he comes over to Spain whenever he fancies a free holiday! As you can see here, Neil is concentrating on completing his AFF test that all students complete at the end of the ground school training.
Alongside Neil, Stuart Frost also has done his ground training and is ready to start the full AFF course. Stuart is in the military and has been serving in Iraq, so this is a well deserved holiday!
I'm really being looked after tonight! Karl and Stuart are doing a BBQ - steak, chicken, kebabs, onion rings and chips! Karl is getting on well with his AFF course, he has been alternating skydiving each day with a trip sightseeing into Seville.
While Karl sorts out the chips, Stuart is getting the drinks and I'm told to go and sit down! Staying in the Penthouse apartment means a great deal of flexibility - whether you'd like to go out to a local steakhouse or tapas bar - or stay at home and cook. With a supermarket, bars and restaurants all within a 5 minute walk, it's very convenient. Thanks for dinner!

Sat 05th - Fri 18th of August

As some of you know, the Dropzone here in Spain has a sister Dropzone back in the UK. This year, Hibaldstow are holding the main UK skydiving competition called the Nationals. There was some talk of the SMG aircraft flying back to the UK to act as a standby plane and returning on the 1st September, however we can confirm that it is still here and not going anywhere as far as we know!
Karl White is doing very well under the instruction of Ian Cashman and is onto his consolidation skydives now with just a few days left of his holiday. In the picture above Karl is getting ready to land his canopy - arms all the way up, feet and knees together, perfect!
The parachute centre attracts many groups from Germany, Norway, France, UK and military groups as well. This week we have a group from the RAF who are learning to skydive through the AFF course. Here we can see them crowding round to watch a video of one of their skydives. As well as skydiving, they have also been enjoying the sites and sounds of Seville - the sunshine and of course the cervezas!
Karl has just done been filmed on this skydive by Lee (in the left of the photo) who you will also find at Hibaldstow when he is not in Spain. Karl grins for the camera! In the foreground you can see the large white arrow that we use to help us judge our landing direction under canopy.
Stuart has caught up with Karl and both have started their consolidation skydives. Stuart is thrilled to have graduated the AFF course and when not in the plane can usually be found in the pool between his skydives.
Those of you coming out to Spain over the next few weeks will meet Ian Cashman, who is a BPA Advanced Instructor and Examiner. Ian is very experienced and also jumps at Netheravon in the UK when not in Spain.
Stuart has really been going mad finishing his consolidation skydives! Here you can see him in his matching navy and orange equipment, coming in to land his canopy. Stuart had done some military round parachute jumps, but much prefers the softer landing of these square canopies!
We say hello to Paul Jolley and his girlfriend Rhion this week. Paul has literally flown through the AFF course, and has been completing his consolidation skydives over the last few days. Rhion has done two tandem skydives before, but wanted to spend the trip enjoying Seville and some sunshine. Paul owns parts of three bed companies in the UK, and is in the TA and has spent time in Iraq.
Karl has done his 7 final consolidation skydives today, before his departure tomorrow. Both Stuart and Karl have also completed their CH1 requirements and had these all signed off so they are ready to post off their forms as soon as they return to the UK and apply for their BPA A Certificates.
At the end of the day, everyone has been enjoying an ice cold drink in the swimming pool, catching up on how people are progressing, who did what and whose turn it is to buy the beer!

Wednesday 23/08/2006

Suzannah Lake ground schooled on Tuesday and has started her AFF course jumps today. She is currently studying her A levels, including Biology and Chemistry and has aspirations to study medicine in the future... Suzannah started skydiving through the static line method of learning with her father, Ian - but found the UK weather a bit of a hinderance. Her family have joined her on this holiday and are enjoying the sites of Seville whilst Suzannah jumps from planes!
Jamie Lyver is with us for a week as a guest instructor - originally from New Zealand, Jamie is a part owner of a Dropzone in NZ but has decided to move to the UK to be with his girlfriend Claire. With about 6000 skydives and the tiniest parachute I've ever seen (an Icarus VX 81!), we are glad to have Jamie around!
Chris Bremner joins us from sunny (?!) Scotland. Chris' first email to me was entitled "I have got to learn how to skydive"!. Believe it or not, Chris is a smooth talking double glazing salesman and plans on finding a friendly DZ in Scotland to continue skydiving at upon his return to the UK.
Across the road from our Penthouse apartment (see pics on our Accommodation page), we are lucky to have a few choice bars to visit for before/after dinner drinks. The Boxer Bar has a whole menu just for different beers - and with Spanish prices you can't go wrong! Darren (pictured here with Jamie) has had a fantastic day today after doing AFF levels 1, 2, and 3 yesterday, and AFF levels 4, 5, 6, AND 7 today! This means that Darren was buying the beer tonight - so congratulations!
We have two American's also training with us this week - Matt Fontin and Katie Kohler. Matt is in the US Military and stationed in Germany. Katie is a chef originally from Chicago and has been living in Barcelona, but was tempted down to the south of Spain to explore Seville and learn to skydive. She also brought along her gorgeous little kitten called Jackie and has even been talking about making a more permanent move down here.

Thursday 24/08/2006

Katie is getting on really well and is now on AFF level 5. You can see from the smile on her face that she is loving the course, although she did confess to me that she does get butterflies in her stomach at around 8000ft on the climb to altitude. However, when the aircraft door opens at our jump altitude of 15000ft she is raring to go!
We just can't keep Darren out of the plane! He has now completed his AFF course and 3 consolidation skydives and is about to start his CH1 qualification requirements. The CH1 is needed to apply for the BPA A certificate, the first skydiving license you will obtain. Darren would also like to send his love to his wonderful wife, and his two children - Ellen and Joseph.
Many of you who have been skydiving in the UK will have already met Andy Kille, as he is very proactive in organising UK events for Freefall Addicts - most recently the 7 way Speed competition at Headcorn in Kent. Andy mostly skydives at Headcorn, when he is not out in Spain. Check out our forum to find details of future events and gatherings of other Freefall Addicts graduates.
After a hard day's skydiving, everyone likes to sit together to enjoy a drink and catch up on everybody else's progress and achievements. From left to right we have... Jamie, Darren Ellis, Ian Bowles, Andy Kille, Matt Fontin, Katie Kohler and Alex the pilot. Ian has just arrived to the dropzone and is pleasantly surprised at the situation he finds himself in!

Saturday 26/08/2008

Well Katie seems to have finally mastered the art of landing her canopy on her feet - she was quite happy with landing on her butt, but even happier now she can land on two feet! With just a few consolidation jumps left, Katie's enthusiasm for skydiving is infecting the other AFF students! She is currently reading both the British and US skydiving manuals and has aspirations to learn how to pack both the primary (main) parachute, and the reserve parachute.
Jamie will be returning to the UK soon, but we hope to see him in the near future and wish him all the best of luck in an upcoming job interview. A real job, not a skydiving job! If you look at Jamie's slider, you will see it is all bunched together - this is called a collapsible slider. On your student equipment the slider simply sits above your head and flaps in the wind as you fly your canopy. Experienced skydiver equipement has this 'collapsible' slider to reduce drag.
I wonder why every time I take a photo of Darren, he always has an insane smile on his face?! Surely your cheeks must be aching from all this grinning Darren?! After completing his AFF course jumps in record time, Darren finished his consolidation skydives and his CH1 exam and exercises, so he is all ready to post off his documentation as soon as he gets to a dropzone in the UK. I also have to mention that Darren lost one of his shoes in freefall this week - so my tip of the day is... Double knot your shoelaces!!!
Matt is seen here with Ellie and Derek (our DZ controller) is about to give them a ride back to the skydiving hangar - it's not far but these guys are feeling lazy! Derek is the instructor that will assist you in going through your CH1 requirements whilst you are here if you would like to work towards your first skydiving license.

Sunday 27/08/2006

Suzannah is now on her consolidation skydives and nothing seems to phase her at all! She constantly smiles and giggles and many of our older (male) students have commented that she has twice the confidence that they have! Keep doing what you're doing Suzannah, you're doing really well in showing the guys how it should be done!
We say goodbye to Ian tomorrow, who has nearly completed the AFF course but promises to return soon. Of course once Ian mentioned that he is a Dentist he got all manner of people asking him to diagnose their dental problems... Part of the job I suppose! Maybe next time you can tell people that you are a dolphin trainer?!
Chris is steadily working through his consolidation jumps as well and has been practicing for his level 8. However, tomorrow he plans on taking a day out to have a look around Seville as it's just a 10 minute drive away. Chris has also joined the Freefall Addicts forum under the name of 'Chris', so all you guys up north, make yourselves known with any advice you have on jumping in Scotland!
At the end of the day, it's nice to sit with everyone and catch up on the days events and learn more about our fellow skydivers. From left to right along the back row we have... Andy Kille, Darren Ellis, Ian Bowles, Jamie Lyver, Katie Kohnen, Chris Bremner, Matt Fontin. We welcome three new AFF students today who have been ground schooling, (pictured on the front row from left to right): Nikki, Lea and Krysia Karczewski.


More updates soon.........