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.


Eric Messick: Best Experience, Coaching, and Community

Skydive Orange’s support staff, coaches, and instructors are very professional and always place safety as a number one priority. As a student, you will learn to develop the best habits that keep yourself and other jumpers safe whether in free fall or under canopy. Having been through the course and earned my A license, I can’t imagine doing this program anywhere else and I will recommend anyone interested in skydiving, no matter what proficiency level, to come here for the best experience, coaching, and community.
Eric Messick, A licensed

Deb Moureau: Overcame Fears and Limitations

My experience as an AFF student at Skydive Orange was beyond everything I could ever expect. I never thought I’d ever feel so comfortable skydiving on my own. I’ve overcame fears and limitations and the credit goes to the environment as a whole, manifest people, packers, coaches, instructors and of course management. All of them have always been extremely respectful with the challenges I’ve faced during the course, specially when it comes to safety. They make sure AFF students are well prepared for any adverse situation that might happen, big part of that are the EPs practices before our day get started, they teach you what to do and how to handle unexpected situations in case they happen. You’re probably thinking “yes but every drop zone teaches EPs”, yes that’s right but at this place they make sure you build a muscle memory by doing it over and over again and the goal is making those procedures turn into an instinct reaction, AFF students don’t get in the load before getting EPs done every morning, and that makes all the difference. Besides that they’re constantly checking winds and conditions for AFF students, and if they need to hold you on the ground all day because it’s not safe for your knowledge level, they are going to do so with no hesitation. I had the chance to jump at a big and well known drop zone during my AFF and I definitely didn’t feel half of the security I feel when I’m home, I was uncomfortable and all I could think about was how much I wanted to run back to my home drop zone. All the staff are really supportive and they do everything they can to help, teach and show what’s a good and smart path to take for when you become a licensed skydiver. It amazes me how the instructors and coaches are extremely knowledgeable and they have so much experience in the field, it’s unbelievable how much I’ve learned from and with them. On days I had to stay of the ground because of the weather conditions, that is when I became a sponge and suck all the knowledge out of them. This place showed me that becoming a skydiver is not only about jumping out of planes, know how to land your parachute and survive, it’s way more than that… you get to know who you really are and you face your worst fears but also your happiest dreams, skydiving is my passion and even if I try I wouldn’t be able to put down in words how grateful I am for choosing Skydive Orange to be the place that introduced me to the rest of my life.

Steve Smith: Super Approachable & Fun To Jump With

I think one of the most useful things to me as I was getting the license was having a variety of coaches and instructors.  Getting a license at the same DZ I think can give a certain level of comfort.  Getting a little out of that zone is important to grasping a wider understanding of the sport.  Some people fly certain ways.  I’ve seen a few things done differently.  For example, whether to try to salvage a severe line twist with the slider up.  Some more conservative instructors have said to try to kick it out before reaching decision altitude, while (most) others have said to simply get rid of it early and save the altitude.

The daily EPs I think also instill a level of confidence and a chance to get your head in the game each day, so to speak.  I know they are tedious to the instructors but I rate them highly at least for the first 10 to 15 jumps or so.

I think also the sooner students get off the radio the better.  Something I learned early on was that having someone to tell me when to flare was causing me to be reactive rather than proactive in my flight.  For the first couple it’s helpful as you learn how to do a pattern and when to flare.  For me personally I would have flared the first time much earlier than I ought to have, so the radio is certainly good to have.  I’m sure the instructors have much more experience with a wide range of students, but that’s just my experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting my license at Orange, and look forward to many jumps to come as I develop my skill in the sport.  All the instructors and coaches have been super approachable and fun to jump with, and even the few jumps since getting my license it has been easy to find someone with which to jump.

Skydiving- What You Don't Know | Skydive Orange

Sy: Professionalism, Safety, Quality

Skydive Orange is an ideal place to start your Skydiving journey.  It’s big enough that there are always tons of things going on, people to meet and learn from, full service gear and rigging services, and dozens of jump loads per day (and sometimes at night!).  But it’s small enough that you feel at home and that you really get to know the staff and instructors, and they take care and ownership of each and every student.
I also can’t say enough about the level of professionalism and safety focus at Skydive Orange.  From your very first ground training during your Cat A course you will understand that no corner is cut, and that all of the staff (from pilots, to manifest, instructors, and riggers) all hold themselves to the highest standards.  You will always feel safe in the hands of the instructors, who all have thousands of jumps, and will voluntarily stay on the ground with you if they suspect even a chance of a gear or weather issue, or if they feel you need just a bit more training.
The instructors have a great willingness and ability to really coach and teach you one on one, and to instill in you an automatic, muscle memory sense of safety.  This combined with impeccable and very personal service will allow you to get through the basics and the tough parts of the course so that you gain confidence, and really the ability to relax and have fun in the sky.
I recommend the AFF Course at Skydive Orange to anyone, of any age, and any amount of nervousness and doubt!  Once you start the course at Skydive Orange, you will be hooked like I did, and will be welcome in as a member of the family! …as long as you remember to check your altimeter, arch, relax, and HAVE FUN!  Green light!

Jared Hayslett: One of the best experiences for me!

I would like to thank you for all the help and support you provided me during my AFF training to become a licensed skydiver. I can say that this was one of the best experiences for me. The personnel behind the desk, and the people running the floor getting everything in order working to keep everything moving smoothly was 5 star! Easy to work with , and always doing their best to try to make things run smoothly.
I know some days you were short handed on coaches and instructors, but you guys made things happen for the AFF students. To the coaches, instructors, packers, and riggers that all helped me , I can’t thank you enough! Never once did I feel like my life was endangered. I can clearly see that safety is number one at skydive orange! From All the EP training, all the gear checks on the ground, and in the plane. I can say that I always felt safe. The rigs/gear was well maintained, the facility was organized, clean and well maintained. All the instructors and coaches I had through out my time were very professional, willing to help with any issues I had and if they were to busy they got someone to assist me. I felt very secure and confident jumping out of a plane with all of you. Very skilled / knowledgeable instructors and coaches.
The twin otter and it’s pilot JP! Who is an excellent pilot. I can see that you guys are blessed to have him. He also puts safety first when it comes to cloud coverage, winds and minor plane issues. I can see that the plane is well maintained. I always feel safe flying up to jump.
With that being said, thank you all for assisting me in getting my A license and providing me with one of the greatest experiences. I can’t wait to gradually learn more and become a more experienced skydiver at skydive orange! I will definitely encourage people to do tandem jumps and AFF training at skydive orange. Thank you all!

Chad Milburn: Wouldn’t change anything about it!

The AFF course at Skydive Orange was very good. The instructors and coaches are all very knowledgeable. I like that there is a huge emphasis on safety during the training. Multiple gear checks and emergency procedure reviews are done before every jump. The course gave me exactly what I needed to be a skydiver and I wouldn’t change anything about it. I want to give a special shout out to Alex Rayfield (one of my instructors). Alex went above and beyond in his efforts to personally see to it that I received proper training on my final jump, my check dive.

Chris Poe: Smooth and Well Organized

The whole process of getting my license was very smooth and well organized. There was always someone around to help or answer any questions I had. All the instructors cared about my progression and made sure I had everything I needed to be safe and also successful on my jumps. Dave was especially helpful and made me feel I had enough autonomy to gain confidence while also assuring me he was nearby just in case. I came from a few hours away specifically for all the good things I heard about Skydive Orange and I was not disappointed with the decision!

Levi George: Nothing but good things to say!

My AFF training was awesome! Couldn’t have been happier.. You guys picked the best team. All of the instructors I dealt with were very knowledgeable and eager to help. I dealt with Mel, Dave, and Rayfield the most. Their training was very personalized, nothing but good things to say. The office was especially on point too, you guys were always available and made things super easy. Honestly enjoyed my experience with everyone on staff, definitely feel apart of the community in the short two weeks I’ve been there. Thanks for being awesome!

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.


Safe and happy skydivers on their way to jump at Skydive Orange

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!

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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.

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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.

Kellen James Lynn Skydive Orange AFF Student

Kellen James Lynn – Arlington, VA

Arlington, VA

The instructors in the AFF program are on par with any top-tier coaches in any sports discipline. They do very well at breaking down and teaching skill-sets and instilling the confidence needed to execute a dive successfully.

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

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