Can anyone tell me why the air cadets don’t offer any parachute courses? Civvie clubs let you do them at 16 years old, they are relevent to what we do, so why no courses?
They used to a long time ago. Maybe the risk is now deemed too great.
You can always have a look here:
It’s a closed group so you’ll need to request access to it.
To be honest I thought we still did. It was only limited places ~12 but we have had cadets throw themselves out of perfectly serviceable aircraft in the last 5 years.
I thought we still did! One of mine did it about five years ago.
There are still paragliding courses at Llangors - typically in February and August.
Seem to be options, but not been able to find anything yet about a “cadet” dedicated course.
A couple of links that I trawled up:
Mentioned towards end of this article:
I’ve done parachuting through the cadets. Did it at APA Netheravon as a “Beginners Jump Course” over 2 weekends (1 weekend and a spare in case). think each cadet paid £150 (with military discount) or something like that and paid for extra jumps after the first.
There is nothing wrong with doing it, just need to do the paperwork. Most jump sites will probably have a generic risk assessment for you as well if you ask.
As said before there are ways.
A close friend of mine did Dutch Courage and loved it. You get a good selection of jumps if the weather is good.
None of the stuff you do will allow you to wear a maroon beret or wings on your greens though. Just to get that out of the way.
Parachuting still happens, but just not a centrally organised course.
Part of the issue is the Weston on the Green home of the RAF Parachute Association has closed its doors to ‘civilian’ and ‘fun’ jumpers; they only conduct military training at this DZ and I’ve tried to get cadets onto the RAF BASIC RAPS course here before and they didn’t want to know. Now I go to the Army Parachute Association.
I organise them for my wing; here in B&G we have just completed our third annual Ex Easter Drop course.
Wing level they are not difficult to organise, its a recognised activity and only requires regional sign off.
Saying that the first year I organised this Region sent it off for HQAC approval as they were unfamiliar with the approval process as the this sport is becoming rare in the Corps.
The course in the Netherlands gives you Dutch Military Wings, which can be worn on a para smock. Not listed in our dress regs, but it is for regulars and RAF Reg especially, where it is encouraged.
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread.
I’ve always been told organising A parachuting course at local level is a no no. However seeing on social media a CCF unit has. Any one able to provide insights into the how we organise this locally?
Strangely enough, I was just going through some old folders on my PC the other day, when I came across the student comments from Exercise Dutch Courage 2005 & 2006:
‘’I’ve never been so scared in my whole life! I’ve never had so much fun and met so many great people in one week. We made history! Also it’s completely changed my view of fields. I now look at them in terms of how they would feel to land in!’ (Fg Off, Sussex Wg)
‘A near death experience. Great people. Conquering fears. What more could you want?’ (CWO, Kent Wing)
‘I’ve never been so scared in my life. I never thought that getting out of a plane could be so hard…trust me, because when it was my turn, I didn’t. But don’t forget, that if you’re scared of heights, parachuting is the one for you – apparently a 4 second free fall gets rid of it!! Go on! – have a go if you think you’re hard enough! (I\FS, Kent Wg)
‘Having given so much to the Corps over the years, this course was for me; ‘me against me’ A personal hurdle. I jumped and I lived – that’s a good day for a ‘paratrooper’ But this is not for the faint hearted. I’ve seen friends hurt, yet I have seen others riding the crest of a great wave when they’ve landed. You’re trained, you fly, they open the doors and you plunge into the abyss, one on one with the birds – as Leonardo De Vinci described over 500 years ago. The descent is one of the greatest moments anyone can have. You’re prepared for the landing, but it’s still a shock when it happens. Jump, land, pack and repeat. I know this won’t be the last time I do this!’ (Flt Lt, Kent Wing)
‘So what is hardest about ‘Exercise Dutch Courage’? – Morning PT? Packing Canopies – or trusting your colleagues to do it for you? No. Getting out of the door at 600m! Brilliant, Exhilarating, Knackering.’ (Plt Off, Sussex Wg)
‘Where do I start? I must admit, when I went to the presentation about the course, I didn’t think I would be able to do it. I was trying my hardest not to think about it, but there was something attracting me. So I turn up on the first day, thinking ‘What am I doing?’ I continue through the training with the same thought. However, my gut feeling was that I had to try it at least once. And so the first jump loomed. I was the last person out of the plane. Standing there watching the rest of them jump was the strangest feeling. Then it was my turn! I stood in the door staring down at the ground with parachutes dotted around, then I was off. I felt like I was falling forever, then looked up as I felt the tug on my back. The relief to see the parachute fully deployed was overwhelming. The rest was easy. A slightly heavy landing (apparently, if you don’t land in a ditch!) came next. The best camp I have ever been on!’ (I/FS, Sussex Wg)
'‘For someone who has a fear of heights (and a serious one at that!) – I didn’t think I would even get out of the aircraft. However, the people around you spur you on, to get you motivated as they are all as scared as you! Absolutely petrified, but had the time of my life!’ (Flt Lt, Staffs Wg)
‘A cross between continual fear and the experience of a lifetime! Adrenaline all the way! You stand on the edge of the aircraft, thinking of all the things you have to lose, and the next thing you know, you have just jumped! Counting 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 seems so hard and so pointless whilst you are plummeting towards the ground – you take so much for granted when you are on it! At last, the prayer has paid off and the ‘chute you just packed has opened. Floating towards earth with the sun setting across Texel and you realise you never took the time to take it all in before – don’t worry though, you have four more jumps to take in the scenery!’ (I/FS, Sussex Wg)
‘Well…started at Crowborough and didn’t know anyone! That soon changed over the days of training! Up came jump day and I knew what I had to do. I had 25 good mates behind me – what choice did I have?! Amazing.’ (L/Cpl, 265 Sqn, Royal Signals)
‘The bonds that are made between people in adverse conditions last forever. I had the experience of a lifetime, plus I made some great friends who I’ll never forget! Airborne or chairborne – you decide!!’ (Sgt, 100 Regt REME)
‘A new corps activity that has surely developed both staff and cadets in teamwork, attention to detail and professionalism. A proud result that is another lifetime memorable event that would never have been possible without membership of the ACO. Comfortable accommodation with hospitable staff and parachute training with very experienced instructors with a great sense of humour.’ (Flt Lt, Surrey Wg)
‘(singing) “we are the airborne tactical commandos, we are the ATC!” (Plus a couple of squaddies – they get everywhere!!). Absolutely brilliant, but totally scary! It has to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It has made me face my fear of heights, planes and flying. (Why did I sign up for this again?!) The friends I’ve made this short week will remain friends for a lifetime!’ (WO, Kent Wing)
‘Fantastic! To be one of the elite few to come on the first static line parachute ‘Dutch Courage’ course in the ATC is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Where fear meets team spirit. To jump out of a ‘perfectly serviceable aircraft’! What was I thinking?! However, the adrenaline cannot be matched any other way. For certain, I have completed one of the best run courses of a lifetime!’ (WO, Kent Wing)
‘Having done a tandem parachute jump with the Red Devils in 2000, I thought this would be a piece of cake. THINK AGAIN!! When you’re in the doorway of that aircraft, all sense of reality is lost. 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, Checks. A sigh of relief hits you and then you have to land. ‘Knees and feet together!’ ground staff scream at you. Best week ever, great people - do it again? – definitely! See you there!’ (ASgt, Sussex Wing)
‘As one of the PCT instructors on the course, I can only say it was a pleasure to teach this group. They worked well together as a team from day 1. I would stand in the exit with any of them, over any DZ, anywhere.’ (Ron Visser (PJI) – Pathfinder PoE #17)
“If the parachute fails, they promise to give you a different one next time!” (WO, Surrey Wing)
"Getting to the door is the hardest part but once you’re in it, the fear subsides. The training kicks in - you have a job to do, and you do it, head down, legs together, 1000 2000 3000 4000”… (Plt Off, Warwick& Birmingham Wing)
“This course is unique, do it! If you are not living life on the edge, you are taking up too much room!” (Sqn Ldr – C&NL Wing)
“Really frightened, elated, worried… I survived! If you live life too comfortable you will never live at all. Great course, brilliant fun, easily the best the ATC has to offer”. (CWO, Sussex Wing)
“Super course, well run and feet now hurt. Thanks to all and ready for next year.”(Plt Off, Central & East Yorkshire Wing)
“Take up this challenge - it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. There really is nothing that even credits a comparison.” (I\FS – No.1 Welsh Wing)
“This course is like none other. Having the chance to parachute overseas was really a once in a lifetime experience - I’m coming back!” (I\Sgt, No.3 Welsh Wing)
'I want to go again!" (CWO, Essex Wing)
“Amazing week! Fantastic opportunity to meet new people and take part in a once in a lifetime experience. I want to come back!” (Leading Naval Nurse, Portsmouth)
“Fly like an eagle, fall like a brick. It’s the bit at the end of the jump that hurts. A crazy idea but must do it again!” (Cpl, REME)
“Fantastic course, great teamwork, proper mates. Follow the kevlar in front!” (I\Sgt, No.1 Welsh Wing)
“1000 2000 3000 4000 - Check canopy - it’s there!” (I\FS, Hants & IOW Wing)
“On the third jump I was very aware that we had packed the ‘chutes!” (I\FS, Plymouth& Cornwall Wing)
“The training was good. When you get to the door and Texel is 2000 feet below you, your mind hits overload! When you jump and are counting 1000 2000 3000 you can’t believe you are jumping out a plane! Great fun, great friends, great staff!” (CWO, Sussex Wing)
“This is the best thing I have ever done in the Corps. I will definitely come back in the future!” (I\Sgt, Sussex Wing)
“I loved this week away – we were treated like adults. If you only ever do one course in the ATC, go on Dutch Courage!” (I\FS, Essex Wg)
It’s a pity we no longer do the course.
It’s on my to do list… After what will be 2 years of shielding its made me realise I need to do the things I want to do hence the parachuting course question
If you have the money do a proper AFF, I went to Spain and did mine it was a great week in the sun.
Was that at Freefall Academy in Ocaña?
I went there, fantastic!
Yeah it was, went out in 2011 and did an AFF and about 10 consolidation jumps. Wish I’d kept it up, was a great experience.
Had a Google €2000 seems a good price for 0 to solo with several. Jumps post solo
Yeah it’s 3 jumps with 2 instructors holding you, 2 jumps with 1 instructor then 2 more jumps with an instructor alongside but no longer holding on, then you’re on your own.
It’s proper zero-hero and when I was there they had plenty of English Instructors, but with good weather guaranteed.