May 2006 News

Monday 01/05/2006

Here are Ian and Steffan on another fun jump
Congratulations to Joel who graduated his FS1 today

Thursday 04/05/2006

Welcome to Cal Lesser who is here to learn to skydive

Friday 05/05/2006

Cal lesser works in london and is on a 3 month break between jobs. Cal contacted us whilst travelling in China and chose to train with us because of the great things he'd seen on! We originally met Andy in Lillo when he was over with Jenni, Kate, Daz, Ben, Mike etc. He's back in Seville fun jumping with Larry. Larry is doing an FS1 course with Alex Thomson and Andy is doing some freefly coaching with Jim. Jim and Mikey are training this week, for the competitions they are going to be in this year, namely the UK Nationals - last year they got silver - maybe it will be gold this year?! You will also notice Graham Read in the group shot, who is becoming a regular here in Seville. He's here fun jumping for a few days... Jonno was flying secondary with Barry for Cal's levels 1, 2, and 3. Cal did so well he got levels 1-4 done today and passed all with flying colours! Apparently Larry is 'lucky' Larry because he has managed to break his ankle 3 times in the same place!


Here is Cal with his instructors Barry and Jonno
Alex and Larry just before another jump.....
Welcome back to Graham (far left) who has come back to pay us a visit and do some fun jumping

Saturday 06/05/2006

Wow, what a day we had yesterday! First of all, Adam Langley arrived with his girlfriend Vicky, looking a little apprehensive. Adam is a PE teacher and Vicky is a Physiotherapist. Vicky had known that Adam wanted to do a skydive, and so bought him the Introduction to Skydiving AFF level 1 as a birthday suprise! - He only found out when they arrived to the dropzone, but we quickly settled him in, and after a strong cup of Spanish coffee, he was ready to get going and start his ground training.
While Adam was busy ground schooling, Cal Lesser was getting busy with his AFF course, and after today, only has AFF level 7 to go! He certainly looks pretty happy in this freefall picture where you can see him checking his altimeter.
Half way through the day, it was announced over the loud speaker system that Mark Owen had passed his FF1 Mark is over just for a few days and has been doing his freefly coaching with Mikey Carpenter. He was so pleased to have passed his FF1 qualification, he decided to celebrate by doing his first ever BirdMan jump! As you could expect, Mark had a grin on his face all day long, and adhered to the skydivers tradition by buying the beer!
Then it was time for Adam to jump... Looking a little nervous, and wondering what his girlfriend had got him in to, Adam gets ready to skydive by positioning himself in the door of the aircraft.
We waited by the landing area to congratulate Adam after his first ever skydive, and Vicky even got a well deserved beer ready! Adam absolutely loved his skydive, and would probably continued the AFF course straight away if he could... I think we have another Freefall Addict in the making! Here you can see Adam with his instructor Barry after the jump.

After another perfect day, we all found our way to the bar to toast to everyone's acheivements with an ice cold beer. There was a gorgeous sunset and you can see Mark is STILL smiling!!!

Sunday 07/05/2006

Cal had a fantastic day today and passed his AFF course! After getting AFF level 7 out of the way first thing in the morning, Cal can now get on with his AFF level 8 or his consolidation jumps. Here you can see Cal throwing the pilot chute that activates the main parachute. Congratulations Cal!
It was also a busy day for the whole Portuguese Skysurfing Team that are here on a training camp at the moment. You can read more about Skysurfing in our Adrenaline Articles section. Many people first get into skydiving after seeing skysurfing on TV commercials or films, and in the picture above you can see the junior boards that skydivers first learn to skysurf on. The experienced skysurfers have longer boards with their feet pointing down the length of the board, and you will notice that these skysurf boards are shorter, with the feet across the board - similar to a snowboard or skateboard. This is so that when first learning to skysurf, the skydiver can still deploy their canopy in the belly to earth position.
Graham Read came down to fit in some skydiving for a few days whilst coming over to Spain with work. Lots of fun jumping, Graham is leaving tonight, but would like to say 'Hello' to his girlfriend Wendy. Wendy and Graham both went to the Bedford Wind Tunnel towards the end of last year with our Wind Tunnel Camp and we are hoping to see Wendy again soon!
There are 3 separate skysurfing teams working on improving their skills, ready for the Summer's competitions that they will take part in, all over the world. As you can see from the photo above, the training seems to be going well!
After his AFF level 7, Cal went on to do 5 consolidation jumps. Not bad for a day's jumping! Of course this evening Cal has been honoring tradition and buying a beer for everyone to celebrate his achievement!


We also welcome Colin Wood, who will be starting his AFF ground school bright and early tomorrow morning...

Monday 08/05/2006

Well done to Colin Wood who completed his ground school and AFF level 1 today with Barry. Colin would like to tell Izzy that he did survive, and that she can't have his flat!
Here you can see Colin checking his altimeter and looking to his instructor for body correction signals. Freefall is pretty noisy, so we use hand signals to communicate with each other.
Our instructors like to improve their skills too! Here you can see Barry going head down and docking with Jonno.
Today was the last day of the skysurf training camp. If anyone has wondered how the skysurfers land with a board attached to their feet, you can see that they jettison the board just a few feet before landing. Easy!

Tuesday 09/05/2006

Colin has had a great day today, here you can see he looks pretty comfortable in freefall - he must be getting the hang of this skydiving!
After a hard days skydiving, it's time to go to the local BBQ restaurant, Giant Haystacks. Here you can see Barry, Cal and Colin. This place is great, it's just a few hundred metres from our Penthouse apartment and is one of the best BBQ Steakhouses you'll have the opportunity to visit! As well as the more typical dishes, their specialities are wild boar steaks, argentinian beef and ostrich!

Wednesday 10/05/2006

Alex Gibson is back with us to do a canopy course and get his CH1 and CH2 qualification. The CH1 is needed for your BPA A Certificate and the CH2 is required to gain the BPA B license. These involve a series of canopy excerises and exam. Alex is getting on really well and Barry, our BPA CH Coach, has already worked with Alex through all the CH1 requirements!
Colin Wood has nearly finished his AFF course - here you can see the aircraft in the background.
We decided to go to the beach this afternoon - it's only a 40 minute drive away and very easy to get to, and the drive takes you through a lot of spectacular scenery through the National Park. We had a refreshing swim in the sea and after a bit of sunbathing we had a few cold beers in one of the seaside bars.
Barbeque season has definitely begun, although the sun was starting to set while we started cooking!
Even though it was dark by the time we ate, it's still warm enough to sit outside and watch the world go by... A perfect end to a perfect day!

Thursday 11/05/2006

CONGRATULATIONS to Colin! Today he passed his AFF level 7, the last AFF level where an instructor exits with you. You can see from the photo above that both Barry and Colin know the skydive has gone well with their thumbs up!
Well done also to Alex who has just one jump left on the canopy course. Alex works in Air Traffic Control in Glasgow and you'll see him posting on our Freefall Addicts forum as MissingPlanet.
Our pilots like to have fun too! Alex our pilot was even in the second Bridget Jones film - remember that first skydiving scene where Bridget Jones does a skydive? Mind you, we're no stranger to film stars - our own Barry Maple is a James Bond stunt double! In this photo the pilot has caused the plane to hae a zero gravity effect, and you can see Jonno and Jim floating in mid air!
After Colin's fantastic level 7, he went on to do his AFF level 8 and a consolidation jump. Here Colin is doing a dive exit... Time to celebrate! After a home cooked Chilli in the Penthouse, we're off across the road to our local - the Boxer Bar, where Colin is due to buy the beers!

Saturday 13/05/2006

What a Saturday! We welcome back Danny Grace who comes to collect his new equipment as bought through our equipment store. Danny is a paramedic and lives in Ireland - just in case you couldn't tell from the phsycadelic green and orange of his new gear! Today Danny did 9 jumps and has been practising his 4 way with some of the regular jumpers here.
Meanwhile, Colin Wood has been busy completing his consolidation jumps and working towards his CH1 qualification needed for his BPA A license. Here you can see Colin with a few of the other fun jumpers here to freefly. Whether you come here to fun jump, learn to skydive or take part in an advanced skydiving course, you are bound to meet new people and make new friends!
Simon Hatfield is here with his girlfriend Vicky Scargill who some of you may know as being on the same 4 Way team as our very own Mike Worthington. The team have been training hard this year and Vicky is here to do some fun jumping while Simon does his AFF level 1 and 2. In the picture above we have Colin, Barry, Simon (obviously very thirsty!) and Jonno. As it was the last lift of the day, everyone was presented with an ice cold beer from the bar, which is conveniently located right next to the landing area!
And how did Simon's first ever skydive go? Fantastic - Simon's great body position even allowed his secondary instructor Jonno to release for a few seconds!
After all that jumping we decided a celebration was in order and went to our local restaurant, Giant Haystacks, where legs of lamb, wild boar steaks and copious amounts of sangria were consumed!

Sunday 14/05/2006

Colin completed his consolidation jumps today and plans on taking advantage of the military discount jump tickets at either Netheravon or Weston in the UK.
Simon also completed his AFF level 2 today, and once again did a really great job! In this photo you can see that the instructors don't let go of the AFF students until the canopy starts to deploy. Simon finished off his jump with a perfect touch down stand up landing too!
We can't keep Danny on the ground! His aim this holiday is to do as many jumps as possible, practising his formation skydiving skills and he is definitely going to make his target of 25 jumps. Today he has been busy doing 8 and 9 ways- this is where all the skydivers exit the aircraft and build a formation in the sky together.

Tuesday 16/05/2006

We welcome Craig Macbeth and Les Evans to the Freefall Addicts who both arrived into Seville yesterday evening. Both guys have already been busy posting away on our Freefall Addicts forum, as CraigMacbeth and Joe31 respectively... Here we see Craig watching some of the canopies landing whilst on his ground school with Barry.
Les is busy here practising his 'arch'. This is the body position that we adopt in freefall and is one of the most important things you learn on your AFF course... Whenever you think you are arching, you can always 'arch' that little bit more! Les has been trying to work through the static line system but has chosen to come on an AFF course due to the faster progression coupled with the great weather that we have here in Spain!
Craig managed to get his ground school training, AFF level 1 and AFF level 2 completed today! Craig is from Scotland and works on one of the largest private yachts in the world. He has also done some static line jumps before starting the AFF course. In the picture above we can see Craig in freefall on his level 1.
Not to be outdone by Craig, Les has also completed his ground school and AFF levels 1 and 2. In this photo Les is getting ready to exit the aircraft. As you can see, one instructor is ready holding onto the outside of the aircraft, and the other instructor is ready inside the aircraft ready to exit. As an AFF student on the first 3 AFF levels, you have three points of contact when you are in this position in the door (the instructor on the outside of the plane needs to hold on with one hand!). As soon as you exit, the instructor on the outside then can hold on - meaning you have four points of contact with your instructors. Level 3's tomorrow!

Wednesday 17/05/2006

Les did four jumps today, and is going to be sleeping well tonight! This is perfect skydiving weather, just remember to put on some suncreen... This picture was taken just before Les went up to do his AFF level 3.
Today was Danny Grace's last day, and he decided to head off into Seville to spend the afternoon and evening exploring before heading to the Irish bar for a few drinks! Next to Danny is Adolfo who is one of the parachute packers here. All the packers are qualified to BPA (British Parachute Association) standards, and are very professional and good at their jobs. Of course they like to skydive too though, and Adolfo has aspirations to become an AFF instructor this year!
Throughout the AFF course, everything is practiced numerous times on the ground before getting into the air. This includes the exits, body position, sequence of the skydive, emergency procedures etc.
Les is going through his exit here with his instructor Hannah.
We can't forget about our pilots... Who else would fly us up to 15,000ft - the highest altitude in Spain?!
This extra altitude (the norm is to jump from 12,000ft) allows extra freefall time which equals extra learning time for YOU - the AFF student or fun jumper! Throughout the AFF course this extra freefall time equates to nearly two more skydives - that's got to be value for money! Alex is British and is also an AFF instructor - and if you watch the second Bridget Jones' film very carefully (the beginning scenes where Bridget does a skydive), you will see Alex in the plane she jumps from- yes, we have another movie star in our midst!!!
Les is obviously having a fantastic time on this AFF level 4 skydive where you can see him sticking his tongue out at his instructor! This is level 4, where you go from two AFF instructors to just one and practice turns and heading control. After such a great day, we're off to the Boxer Bar (just across the road and very convenient!) for some beers!

Thursday 18/05/2006

In the photo above we have Les, who is with his instructor Jonno and practicing turns on this jump. Les is doing an altimeter check here. We deploy our canopies with our right hand, so wear the altimeter on our left hand so it cannot interfere with the deployment sequence.
Les is certainly getting the hang of landing his canopy! Here he is at exactly the right height (about 10 feet from the ground) just starting to flare his canopy. Flaring the canopy is when we convert the forward speed of the canopy into lift, in order to have a softer landing. We do this by pulling both steering toggles down at the same time. Les' feet and knees are together - just in case he needs to perform a PLF (parachute landing fall)- in case he has judged the flare height incorrectly. I can tell you that this was a textbook landing!
So Craig had some catching up to do today! He's practicing his malfunction drills here with his instructor Barry just before going up to do a jump. We have specially designed malfunction procedure vests that we use to practice our drills, and these drills are repeated hundred of times before your first jump. However, we also can prepare just before a jump. Just above Craig you can see a large green crocodile... He occasionally makes an appearance on a fun jump, hence the bandages around his legs!
More mayhem before this jump of Craig's! Alex, Barry and Craig look confident before this jump and behind them we have some crazed maniac jumping around... Oh no it's not - it's Andy Montriou - a BPA CCI (Chief Instructor)!!! Is he dancing? Pretending to fly? Nobody knows... However, when you need your BPA A or B Certificate's signing up, it's Andy that you need to speak with. Good luck!
Look at the concentration on Craig's face! Here Barry is giving him a straighten legs signal - two straight fingers, because his legs are a little too bent. We are very lucky to be jumping from the highest altitude in Spain - 15,000ft and you can see from Craig's altimeter that he is at 14,000ft.

Friday 19/05/2006

So here we have Craig Macbeth aka "Mr Polaris"!!!!Craig has broken our student's fastest average fall rate of 174 mph! The fastest Craig was today was 184 mph!!! Eat your heart out, Harry and Russell Horgan - the record has been smashed! Here is Craig on his AFF level 6 doing a 'track' with his instructor Barry. His arms are by his side and legs are straight. This causes us to move horizontally across the sky and is a skill that we need for jumping with other skydivers so each person has their own patch of air to deploy their canopy.
This is Barry landing his canopy in the gorgeous Spanish sunshine! The weather is great right now, and everyone's been using the pool on a regular basis. Barry is wearing lead on this jump to increase the speed of his landings and is loading his canopy at 2.4. It's Barry who will teach you on our canopy course
Congratulations to Craig for passing his AFF level 7! Craig can now go on to do his AFF level 8, or start his consolidation jumps. Barry is giving Craig a freefall handshake to congratulate him whilst still in freefall.
Les has been lucky enough to have the dropzone resident BPA Chief Instructor jumping alongside him today and he got some great shots of Les with Jonno. This shot from Andy's camera gives you a great idea of how close your instructor is in frefall to you on the AFF skydives - literally a hands reach away.
I think Andy has definitely got too much sun! He is pictured here on the bicycle. Craig is wearing the blue t shirt, then we have Les, with Jonno on the end. Sat in front is Robert who is one of our packers. Robert will be packing your parachute whilst you are here, so it pays to be nice to him! All packers at the dropzone are BPA Certified, which means they have passed an exam as set by the British Parachute Association. Ian Brown who posts on the Freefall Addicts forum as Brownie arrives this evening, and tomorrow we have Craig Macdonald who is here to fun jump, along with his girfriend Andrea to do AFF, and their friend Antony who will also go through the AFF course.

Saturday 20/05/2006

We welcome back Ian Brown aka Brownie! Ian was last here a few months ago doing his Formation Skydiving Course with friends Graham Tait and Jim Horrox. However, he has managed to find a spare weekend to come and do some extra skydiving. Even though the weather may be getting better in the UK, you can't beat the weather in Spain!
This is Craig Macdonald under canopy who arrived this afternoon, just before he comes in to land. Craig is here to do our Canopy course, and get his CH1 (required for your BPA A certificate) and his CH2 (required for your CH2 certificate) signed up by Barry - our BPA CH Coach. Whilst Craig is having fun under canopy, his girlfriend Andrea and friend Antony are busy ground schooling!

Lots of fun on the last lift of the day today! There was a game played by the people who jumped on this lift. Of course we cannot drink alcohol whilst the skydiving operation is in place, but we can enjoy a drink once jumping has finished. This game involved having a crate of beers in the middle of the landing area. The object is to land your canopy close to the crate of beers, run and grab a beer then drink it as quickly as possible. The loser with the slowest time has to buy the beers! All our students and instructors were highly embarrassed as it was the tandem passenger who won the game!

Now this could get confusing, having Craig Macbeth here AND a Craig Macdonald... Here is Craig Macdonald on the left, pictured with Barry after the beer drinking race. They were both pleased because they didn't lose!



Sunday 21/05/2006

Here are Antony and Andrea who have been working through their AFF ground school training, pictured above with Lamorna just before the PLF's lesson. Parachute landing falls are the way in which we fall over safely if we are unable to do a stand up landing when we land our canopy.
The guys got through the remainder of the ground school and just before the AFF level 1, went through the sequence of the skydive a few more times. Here is Andrea with her Primary Instructor Andy Montriou and Secondary Instructor, Hannah Swallow. You can see here that Andy is checking Andrea's placement of her right hand as Andrea goes through some practice pulls. Andy was recently part of the World Record in Thailand that had 400 skydivers in formation simultaniously in freefall!

A Freefall Addicts load! Antony and Andrea are ready to jump and are about to go and do their AFF level 1's. From left to right we have: Andy Montriou, Robert the packer, Andrea, Craig Macdonald, Antony Bholah, Jonno, Hannah and in front is Barry. Antony is now being called "The dish from Maurish" due to having family from Mauritius!!! Now who came up with that?!

After Andrea and Antony had both completed AFF levels 1 and 2, it was time to cool off in the pool. Here is Barry who promised that he was going to perform a beautiful swan dive.... Needless to say we all got soaked!
Tonight we went out to eat at a place called "Brutus'" to celebrate Andrea and Antony's first skydives. We had never seen hamburgers and hot dogs the size of these! The hot dogs were about 2 feet long, and here you can see Ian Brown sampling the hamburger which was the size of the whole plate! Best of all, this place is a 2 minute drive, or 5 minute walk from our Penthouse apartment!


Monday 22/05/2006

Here is Craig and his girlfriend Andrea looking pretty happy after their jumps! Craig is doing well on the canopy course and has completed all his CH1 requirements. All he has to do now is go see our wacky friend/Chief Instructor Andy Montriou and he can get his BPA A Certificate!

Antony has done a great job on his AFF level 3. Here you can see Jonno giving Antony a thumbs up, just before Barry his Primary instructor releases. AFF level 3 is all about flying on your own for the first time, but the instructors are never more than a reach away. The dish from Maurish did a fantastic job on his level 3 and was passed to AFF level 4!

Antoher Freefall Addicts load! At the back we have Andrea, Antony aka the dish, Craig Macbeth, Gary Whitehead and in the front we have Craig Macdonald Ian Brown and Barry. Gary Whitehead has arrived to do his FS1 Course and is getting familiar with the dropzone and the exit altitude of 15,000ft!
Lucky Jonno had some assistance from our other instructos helping him to pack this afternoon! Yep, that's Jonno at the bottom, then we have Andy Montriou, Barry and finally Robert the packer on top! Who said packing was boring?! If you choose to do our packing course, this part may or may not be included!

Why is it that whenever there is a girl with a camera, the boys have to show off?! Barry, Craig Macbeth, Ian Brown, Gary Whitehead and Craig Macdonald here show how they like to relax after a hard day's skydiving! I think the dish from Maurish was getting the beers in...


Tuesday 23/05/2006

Barry managed to get this shot of Antony in the door on his AFF level 3 yesterday. You can see how Antony is between his two instructors, his Primary instructor Barry is inside the plane, and his secondary instructor Jonno is on the outside of the plane, holding on with one hand, and using his other hand to hold onto Antony. So when you are getting ready to exit, there is no need to worry about accidentally falling out of the aircraft without your instructors - where you go, they go!

Antony is getting on really well with his AFF course and may be buying the beers this evening if everything goes to plan! So far today he has done 3 AFF skydives with Barry, with just level 7 to go!

Well as you can see, Antony did pass his AFF level 7 and did buy the beers. Lots of them! Here the Gary and the dish from Maurish look very pleased with themselves. Congratulations on passing the AFF course! Antony can now start his consolidation skydives, or do his AFF level 8. The level 8 can be carried out at any point during the consolidation skydives.

In the picture above from left to right is Gary Whitehead, Antony our new AFF graduate, Les, Lamorna and Ian. We are in an entertainment complex just a 5 minute walk from the Penthouse apartment, so it's really convenient. There is a bowling alley here, and cinema too, along with an Irish bar, and several more typical Spanish bars. Antony will be starting his consolidation jumps tomorrow, and Gary is going to get cracking on with his FS1 course with Barry.

Wednesday 24/05/2006

Here the guys are all kitted up, waiting for the aircraft to land so they can go and jump! Antony has started his consolidation skydives now and is getting on really well, and Gary is going to be doing an FS1 jump with Barry. Craig Macbeth just has a few consolidation jumps to complete before he can get his BPA A Certificate signed off!

As you can see it is very comfortable in the aircraft as you ride up to 15,000ft. Apparently Barry was concentrating too much on taking the photo to smile! The weather is gorgeous, and Craig Macbeth is just wearing shorts and T Shirt for this jump!

After a great jump, the guys pose together. Craig Macbeth is doing so well on the canopy course that he is working through our downsizing program and has gone from jumping a large student Navigator canopy, to jumping a smaller intermediate canopy called the Pilot. He is getting great stand up landings every time, well done!

Here is a picture that got taken yesterday of Hannah flying her canopy down to the ground. This shot gives you a great arial view of the location of the dropzone. The landing area is the large field at the bottom of the photo, and you can see that surrounding lands are all fields. Hannah has been training very hard this year on a 4 way team that will be competing in the Nationals. This is the main UK annual competition held and covers all skydiving disciplines. Our very own Mike Worthington will also be competing in 4 way in the Nationals too!

What a great photo to end the day on! Here is Barry with Gary on one of the FS1 skydives. Gary looks pretty happy with how the skydive seems to be going, and check out the Barry's reflection in Garry's mirrored goggles too!


Thursday 25/05/2006

Antony has nearly finished his consolidation jumps and will be returning to the UK soon. To support all Freefall Addicts, Mike Worthington is in the UK and is able to meet up with recently qualified students to show them around their nearest dropzone. Antony can go on to fun jump, but we hope to see him soon to do his BPA FS1 course, which is the qualification required to jump with other people safely.
Antony, Gary and Craig Macdonald look pleased after their jump! The sun is shining, the sky is blue - what more could you want?!
After jumping, we decided to take the whole group out for some traditional Spanish Tapas. We had to wait a few minutes for our table for 10, but the Sangria was flowing so it wasn't a problem... Locally, Snails are a speciality - but we decided to skip those!

After dinner, we decided to head to the Irish bar in the centre of Seville as it was just a few minutes drive away. Here Craig Macbeth showed us his party trick - downing a pint of Guinness in 2 seconds flat! We were speechless and now have a new found respect for this scots lad...

Saturday 27/05/2006

Mikey is coaching Andrew here in this jump. Some of you may remember Mikey Carpenter from team Euphoria who won Silver with Space Euphoria at the Nationals last year in the Senior freefly competition. Mikey is one of the top Freefly coaches about so if you want coaching then you know where to go!

This Summer Mikey is teaming up with Jim from Space to compete for the UK at the World Meet in Germany. Also upcoming, Mikey will be teaming up with Chris Lynch of Freejive (who won Gold at the Nationals in the Senior comp) for the artistic roadshow at Hibaldstow on the 10th June.

Gary Whitehead is seen here practicing his exit while the aircraft was on the ground. Gary started jumping at the Black Knights Parachute centre on Static line and will probably be returning jumping there again when he gets back to the UK, weather permitting!


More updates to follow later!