Freefly skydiving banned on Army advanced parachute courses

Freeflying is a relatively new discipline in sports parachuting, only been around ten years or so, and focuses on being able to fly the body in a number of different positions, in control with others etc. Check out for further info.

Unfortunately the people in charge of running adventurous training have deemed that this discipline is not to be taught on advanced courses run at Netheravon! Does any body know why this is? It seems to me that many other fringe sports and disciplines become accepted quite quickly by military sporting circles, so why has this one been discarded by the powers that be? So much for the promise of supporting army athletes in this particular area.

In 2005 Freefly team Euphoria, UK representatives at the space/world air games, offered free coaching of the discipline to forces personnel, attending an advanced parachuting course at Netheravon Parachute centre. The offer was declined and students attending the course were all wondering why they did not have the oppotunity to practise and learn modern skydiving. Freeflying or modern skydiving as its know is also excluded from The Army Championships??? I find this the equivalent of banning Army snow or wake boarding.

Are we just seeing the result of short sighted, old boy’s club attitude from the people who are meant to push sports parachuting and adventurous training in the armed forces? Probably.

So glad I’m out and away from this type of unprogressive attitude, God Save the Queen I’m off to Spain!
Blame the old men at the zoo who still think style and accuracy is an andrenalin sport zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sad really when there is such a problem with recruiting that they wont move with the times, but you cant expect a fast response when they are all 252 foil pilots! :oops:

Maybe someone from ATG can give you an answer?
Why dont this suprise me?

Nethers umm. Well Im affraid its just a case of whats good for the qlique and not whats good for members and students, Basic,intermediate or advanced. "If I cant do it then it must be shit!" Also springs to mind.

I can only suggest get the backing from a officer and write a letter to the powers that be. I wouldnt hold your breath for a reply! Due to the ongoing cut backs, the biggest bun fight in the history of the Army is still going on and Im affraid Adventurous training is probably last on the agenda.
RAF Weston on The Green (where the A34 meets the M40 N of Oxford) has/had a number of military instructors who also approached the more alternative elements of the sport with professionalism and dedication. Their courses are open to Army personnel although I seem to recall that freeflying was largely taught on expeds. Personalities may have changed but it used to be a very relaxed DZ that encouraged learning. You'll also find that moving away from Nethers (and indeed WOTG) from time to time to experience civilian clubs (especially abroad) is valuable and will benefit your knowledge of a/c, styles, personalities, equipt etc. You don't have to look far to find some excellent instruction in Freefly. You'll also get to compare the professional approach (esp safety) that you see at the military sights to those elsewhere, it may remind you why they're still so well thought of. Look around, you may find that the regular personnel changes within the military system may bring FF up to RW, CRW etc status before too long.
Netheravon has only the cheap jump ticket interest to many civvilian and military jumpers, Its location, on top of a hill, sharing a camp with helicopters and next to an artillery range is just about the worst place you could site a DZ. This ensures that there are many a day of not jumping , Also the staff dont have to make a profit as they are paid and subsidised by her majesty. Its another one of those establishments that should have been moved years ago.Sadly money has been pumped into the current set up as a "quick fix" last time I was there you were greeted with scaffolding inside the building as it is so dangerous.

Ive had a fair few spits there with MGS and staff alike ref trying to get a car on the camp and trying to get a plane out of the hanger and airborne on a sports afternoons. Previous Sgt Majors have also failed to read there job spec.

Weston is a much more enjoyable DZ allround, although there are "cliques" at all DZs around the world, Its normally newly qualified AFF students or Uni para clubs with no jumps and lots of t shirts and hot air that are more of a pain in the arse , but they normally end up hooking into the ground or a random fist :wink:

Now gone but one of the best drop zones had to be RM Dunkeswell, run by booties and the like, everyone was always made welcome and I still cant work out how twice a year they had a yank C 130 pitch up jumping was free for all for civpop and military, It then went in later years to charging a crate of beer for a lift to altitude, beer drunk at the evening piss up, nice one royal. :wink:

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