AFF Program Reviews

Read Skydive Orange AFF Student Reviews

Skydive Orange AFF Program Reviews

Our AFF skydiving certification program is recognized as one of the best on the East Coast. In fact, many of our skydiving students travel long distances to participate in our AFF program on the recommendation of their experienced skydiving friends. The professionalism of our instructors combined with the quality of our facilities and aircraft, make Skydive Orange the ideal dropzone for students beginning their skydiving journey.

If you’re looking for a well-structured, safety focused skydive training program, the Skydive Orange AFF course is for you. But don’t take our word for it, read what our program graduates have to say about their experience at Skydive Orange in the AFF program reviews below.


Steve Meyers: FIVE STARS!

Overall the AFF experience was five stars excellent.  There are so many great instructors and coaches.  I had memorable experiences with Whitley, Tammer, Mario, Brad Cohen, Alex Rayfield, Adam Laird, and many others through Cats A-H.  My praise to all the packers who packed my student rigs (all great openings) and all their assistance helping me learn how to pack.   Manifest, back office, and other support staff gets high marks as operations always run smoothly.  Last but not least, I have so much honor and respect for JP and other pilots who get us up in the sky and safely out of the plane.
I want to give a special shout out to instructor Jason.  When I was there last Saturday packing my own rig, he was watching from afar and approached me after I got the canopy in the bag (very sloppy).  He stepped, introduced himself, and we unpacked it.  He proceeded to give me a thorough lesson, refreshing me on things I forgot, but also showing me things I never knew, or seen before from other packers or YouTube videos.  This really upped my packing confidence.

Dustin George: Helpful & Friendly!

I recently got my A license at Skydive Orange… I had never skydived before going to Orange and was brand new to all of it. It was an awesome experience from from my first AFF jump to my final Check Dive. All of the staff are incredibly helpful, friendly, and make safety #1 for you and others. The dropzone itself is really nice and hosts a lot of events; From the instructors, coaches, and riggers, and all of Orange staff really made it a fun. Definitely a highlight in my life learning to skydive at Skydive Orange. Everyone made it such an unforgettable experience. So thankful for everyone there who was apart of my journey towards reaching my A License.

James Cooner: Not just place of business. It’s a family!

The AFF Program at Skydive Orange was an experience that changed my life. Never before have I experienced an environment that made me feel so welcome and encouraged to excel. And have fun doing it.

First I would like to say that from the very beginning I was and continue to this day to be very thoroughly impressed with Skydive Orange’s commitment to safety in the air and on the ground. All of the instructors, coaches, riggers, and packers are VERY knowledgeable and do their best to make sure that you are prepared before you even step onto the plane, while in the plane, in free fall, and under canopy. Their immense focus on Emergency Procedures is incredible and made me feel confident and safe no matter what the situation.

From the moment I walked through the door the atmosphere at Skydive Orange was extremely positive. Between the instructors and coaches and other students and skydivers, it is a very supportive and encouraging environment. The instructors and coaches although very focused on safety always seemed to want to make sure that you were having fun while learning and experiencing the incredible art of skydiving.

Debriefing after each jump with my instructor or coach allowed me to get great feedback about what went well and what areas needed improvement. At times the instructor or coach would be able to video the jump which I found invaluable to my improvement. They were kind and understanding and offered great ways to overcome ANY obstacle that I encountered. Never once did I feel that I couldn’t ask a question or was made to feel that there was such a thing as a dumb one.

Skydive Orange is not just place of business. It is a family. Over the last 6 months I have met some of the most wonderful people that I now have the pleasure to call friends. I would recommend Skydive Orange to ANYONE. In fact, one of my friends is almost through the AFF Program and another that has done a tandem and is considering the AFF Program thanks to their experience at this DZ. That’s how great Skydive Orange is!

Jaime Jones: The atmosphere, energy, and people are phenomenal!

Transformative…challenging…rewarding…inspiring. This is how I would describe my experience obtaining my skydiving license. My journey in skydiving started with three tandem jumps (the second and third were at Orange). I loved my experience at Skydive Orange so much that it was a no-brainer when deciding where to attend the AFF program. The AFF program at Skydive Orange is very structured and organized. The atmosphere, energy, and people are phenomenal.

What I really liked about the AFF program at Skydive Orange:

  • We spent a lot of time focusing on emergency procedures. This program definitely made me feel prepared and safe
  • Debriefing after each jump with my instructor or coach, which allowed me to receive valuable feedback about what went well and what areas need improvement
  • I really appreciated that some of the instructor/coaches were able to video my jump. This allowed me to have visual feedback during the debrief, which was instrumental in helping me learn
  • I got to work with a variety of instructors and coaches throughout the program. This gave me more in-depth instruction from a range of skydivers with different experiences and teaching styles
  • I never walked away from there feeling like I wasn’t learning something and being supported in the process
  • The atmosphere at Skydive Orange is extremely positive. Between the instructors and coaches and other students and skydivers, it is a very supportive and encouraging environment
  • Whitney in manifest is super friendly and very responsive to emails. She has such a great vibe and makes everyone feel welcome
  • The facility is very clean and comfortable

Even as a newly licensed skydiver, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of questions. I often go to the instructors, coaches, and riggers with questions and their words of wisdom and guidance are extremely helpful. Skydive Orange is by far an amazing place to learn, to challenge yourself, to find your passion, and to make wonderful new friends.


Daniel Kidd: Informative and Patient

Skydive orange’s AFF and subsequent ISP was a fantastic experience. Tammer, Jim, Alex, and Nick were very informative and patient and not only that, but the DZ staff to include riggers and packers were welcoming and informative. I was initially worried about coming to a new dropzone, but everyone was so inclusive that the worry’s of having to find a new group to associate with quickly vanished. I plan on bringing out anyone who will come in the future!

Jon Davis: Clear Sky’s, Warm Weather, and Calm Winds

Choosing to get into the AFF program was one of those “ I wish” ideas that I consider myself lucky to have now gone through with. I still remember the day I first came to Skydive Orange. While waiting to do my tandem skydive, I kept seeing people going in and out of the AFF classroom and thinking to myself, “How cool would it be to actually become a skydiver.” Now, after a little over 7 months later, I know.

As fun as the AFF program was, there were also challenges. I got pretty discouraged around category D. Thanks to the Instructors/coaches there was no shortage of advice and encouragement. As a student in the program, I never felt like I was just another face coming through. These people wanted to see me do well and invested their time into me becoming better.  I’m very thankful, and hope to jump with them in the future during sport jumps. The structure of the program I truly have no complaints about. About half way through I noticed a change in the way the program was being run and a few changes in the people running it. Although the change was subtle I’d say things became much smoother.

Overall I’d like to say thank you Skydive Orange. I’ve got something I get to check off my bucket list over and over again, and that’s pretty awesome. Skydive Orange has more than earned its slogan, “Virginia’s Premier Dropzone”. Here’s to clear sky’s, warm weather, and calm winds!

Selvin Martinez: Welcoming & Friendly

I couldn’t have picked a better place than Skydive Orange to learn how to skydive. They have an amazing staff, they are so welcoming and friendly. The instructors and coaches gave a genuine interest in making sure that I learned and had fun while doing everything in the safest way possible, they are also very funny. Their skill levels are so good that while flying with them it was like watching hummingbirds in the air. I recommend Skydive Orange to anyone who is thinking about getting their license. I am very thankful for all they did for me.

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Mike Sammons: The sport is very therapeutic!

The AFF program at Skydive Orange is run like a well-oiled machine. I have already recommended it to friends who are interested in the course. I like that safety was a priority but you can still have some fun. All the instructor and coaches were very knowledgeable and helpful with questions. I would definitely like to give a shout-out to Jim Day for getting me out of my comfort zone and Whitney Payne for running manifest like a boss. This sport is very therapeutic and I plan on doing it for a long time.

Joe Kouneski: So friendly and approachable

First off I would like to thank Skydive Orange for making dreams come true.
Positive: Never once did I feel like I wasn’t safe or pushing myself too far. I always comfortable asking questions even dumb ones. Everyone here is just so friendly and approachable. Being such subject matter experts, the instructors were able to explain things in a way that someone new to the sport could understand. Even when I royally screwed up, we would  go back look  to see what I did wrong and how I could  fix it. Gear always felt new and well maintained.
Negative: bad weather days, and you all can’t change that! Seriously that’s it. You guys too are awesome.
Thank you for everything!

Bardia Golkar: Highly Knowledgeable

I would definitely recommend Skydive Orange to any family members, friends and acquaintances. I have already brought my mother in-law and her husband to Skydive at Orange and I plan to bring more of my family to do the same. Overall, I think the program was designed very nicely. The AFF instructors and coaches are very nice and highly knowledgeable. Overall, I think Skydive Orange rocks! and I can’t wait to get my B license with you guys 🙂

James Tilson: Patient, Knowledgeable and Easy Going

Skydive Orange is the best DZ to go through the AFF course. I did a good amount of research prior to committing, and after having completed my training, I can confidently say that I made the right choice. The instructors and coaches are patient, knowledgeable and easy going. The facilities and equipment are top of the line, the staff is always helpful and the atmosphere is supportive and encouraging. I look forward to many years of safe skydiving knowing that I have the highest caliber of training, as well as an endless source of helpful information and advice.

Kyle Murphy: Knowledgeable, Eager & Excited

I completed my skydiving license at Skydive Orange over 9 of the most fun months I’ve ever had. All of the instructors were fantastic to work with; everyone was knowledgeable, eager to answer questions, and excited to actually get in the air. The great staff results in a great atmosphere for the entire drop zone. The whole location is very laid back and friendly; never did I feel like I was being rushed through the system or shorted on training time or air time.

My only complaint is that they can’t control the weather. Several times while getting my license I would spend a full day at the dropzone unable to jump due to unexpected wind or clouds. Getting weathered out is a huge let down, but that’s life with outdoor sports.

Jacob Moberly: Very Professional

Skydive Orange is a very professional drop zone.  All of the instructors have years of experience under their belts ranging from recreation to military.  Everyone I dealt with was very knowledgeable and eager to teach.  I always felt motivated to succeed every time I went! Being a college student in Army ROTC, I had a very busy schedule, but Skydive Orange worked with me every step of the way to ensure I accomplished my goal of becoming a licensed skydiver!  My advice for others is to be open to feedback from everyone at the drop zone, because there are so many experienced jumpers from all walks of life that are eager to help!  Skydiving here has been one of the greatest experiences of my life

Berk Ekmekci: Excellent Experience Throughout

It was a real pleasure to go through AFF and earn my A license with Skydive Orange. My time as a student was longer than most, taking several months, because of my schedule for getting my jumps in. However, every jump was a new and exciting challenge that the instructors and coaches did a great job leading me, and the other students I had the chance to meet, through. From the first jump course to my license check jump, the focus on safety, encouraging strong skill development, knowledgeable instructors, and the operation as a whole all have me looking forward to jumping at Orange over and again.
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Mona Mahmoud: Experienced, Thorough and Motivational

Leonardo di Vinci once said, “once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.” He must’ve been a skydiver.

Skydive Orange gave me that first taste of sky and I have been yearning for blue skies ever since.

Being a skydiver doesn’t happen overnight and requires you to abandon your comfort zone and learn a whole new set of skills. Safety and preparation is paramount and picking a safe and experienced dropzone is important. That is why I highly recommend Skydive Orange.

At Skydive Orange, the instructors are experienced, thorough, and motivational. They trained me diligently and prepared me for all possible scenarios. They simulated everything on the ground so that once I was in the air, maneuvers were second nature. Other experienced jumpers at the dropzone also lent their expertise. I was surrounded by brilliance.

It’s been a little over a week since I earned my A-license and I continue to jump at Skydive Orange. They have a “new kids on the block” program where newly licensed jumpers are paired with experienced jumpers. It’s a great way to continue learning and meeting new people in this sport. I’m excited to continue my skydiving journey at Skydive Orange. I want to give a special thanks to Steve for making the dropzone a safe and organized place to learn skydiving.

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Brad Cohen: Knowledgeable and Very Safety Oriented

I just completed AFF and I can not recommend the program and Skydive Orange in general high enough!

A++++ rating. The staff is courteous, knowledgeable and very safety oriented. They really take the time to make you feel comfortable before every jump and focus intently on helping students learn how to be good and safe skydivers. The atmosphere at the DZ is awesome! Whether it is your first jump or your 1000th they always make you feel a part of the sport. The AFF program is very organized and scheduling is super convenient. Steve is awesome and so responsive. I greatly appreciate the expertise shared with me throughout AFF by both instructors and coaches. The combined level of experience at any given time in the hangar at Skydive Orange is unmatched! I have and will continue to recommend Skydive Orange as the best dropzone in the area and the premier area to complete AFF. Thank you all so much!

Christina Tobin: I am pretty sure this place is magic!

My AFF story began when I awoke one morning and felt the indescribable and insatiable need, want, and desire to take the leap out of a perfectly good airplane. Never in my life had I experienced such a crazy desire to pursue and conquer something that seemed so scary and impossible. I had to do it! I needed to do it! But I still wanted to make sure I was responsible and safe about it. I checked out a few different places online, and then began to ask around to the handful of friends that I had that had already taken that leap. Every single one, recommended Skydive Orange. I went in for a tandem, and two days later I started my First Jump Course!

Now, there is more to AFF at Orange than just the program and skills you build over the course. The friendships, mentors, and new “family” you gain is the amazing. It’s the unexpected part that makes this Dropzone so wonderful, and the reason it will forever be my home.

The amount of preparation, knowledge, and training you receive before that first jump, puts you in the mindset, and makes you confidently believe that no matter what goes wrong, you are well equipped to handle it. That feeling of confidence continues throughout the course. The safety drills or Emergency Procedure drills they conduct every morning, before you can do anything else, is priceless. Every coach and instructor brings unique knowledge and experience to the table. Little things here and there that they share with you during your EP’s are forever in your mind, and make you absolutely calm and ready to deal with frightening situations if and when they occur.

If you are like me, and live far away from the dropzone, they have facilities and camping on-site. This was invaluable, as it allowed me to quickly (and with a little luck from the weather gods) move through the program and get licensed in a mere 6 weeks or so. The nights spent out in front of the bonfire and hanging out in the Muppet Bar are already some of the fondest memories I have. I was skeptical when people said that this becomes like your second family, and I can say now, that it really does feel like family. Every time I pack my stuff up for the weekend (which is just about every weekend) I feel like I am coming home. It’s a place where happiness and peacefulness lives. It plays out every time you leave the airplane door. Where life seems a little bit more manageable and being able to take in the beauty of it all is possible. I am pretty sure this place is magic!

If you are like me on that crazy eye-opening morning, and you can’t quiet the inner dialogue telling you to take that leap…

Do it! Do it here at Orange! Do it with experienced staff that makes it safe and amazingly fun! Do it with people that will become like family to you!

I look forward to jumping with you one day!

Jacob Scherff: Friendly and Knowledgeable

I had pretty much made up my mind to learn how skydive but figured maybe I should start with a tandem jump to see how I liked it. When I first arrived I was impressed with the size of the facility and the number of skydivers there. I was introduced to Mario who immediately put my mind and ease about the jump. He was super friendly, funny, and gave me a thorough overview of how everything would go from the time we put on the harness to how we would be landing. The jump was amazing and not only did I know for sure now that I wanted to learn to skydive but that Skydive Orange was the place to do it.

The staff have all been friendly and knowledgeable and Whitney is always ready to greet you at the front desk with a smile. I would like to thank all my coaches and instructors Mario, Henry, Hank, Tammer, Spencer, a big red headed guy who’s name escapes me and of course Steve. Every aspect of the training is geared to give you the skills you need to be safe and have fun doing it. I would definitely give Skydive Orange’s AFF program 5 out of 5 stars. If you are serious about learning to skydive and want to do it in a fun and safe environment learning from coaches that have thousands of jumps under their belt then this is the place to do it.

You only get to pop your sky cherry once so make sure you do it right. Do it at Skydive Orange!

Virgil Bloom: Knowledgeable and Methodical

It’s very obvious from your first jump course to your last AFF jump that your safety and the safety of others is not something the staff takes lightly. The overall experience is a steep learning curve but with Steve and the other AFF instructors’s guidance, it’s a very smooth progression.

I never felt one time like it was a hassle if I had a question or concern. They are very thorough with the whole program and will not hesitate to spend a little more time on a particular subject if you’re struggling.

By the end of the program you will be dialed into every aspect required of an A license jumper.

Cody Henson: Professional & Patient

Getting my A license was something i have been wanting to do for quite a while and Skydive Orange made that possible. The instructors are professional, patient and always ready to help answer questions and give you pointers. Safety is a priority and it is made sure that every student is well versed on the emergency procedures, and before every jump the instructors will have you talk you through to make sure you are confident and ready. I feel confident in the skills i have learned during the AFF program because of the program and staff at Skydive Orange. I am glad i chose Orange as my home DZ and i would recommend them to anyone who has an interest in skydiving.

The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

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