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Skydive questions answered! The basics.

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It’s my first jump- will I be going alone?
No. Your first jump will be a tandem jump with a tandem master. He/she will be attached to your harness at all times & will give you any instruction you need.

How much does it cost?
Tandem jumps range from $180 to $230 in the NYC/NJ area, depending on the dropzone.

Here are the dropzones we frequent, in no particular order, with prices for tandem as well as experienced jumpers (“experienced” refers to those that have their licenses – if you’re interested in getting your license, see last question below):

Cross Keys:
tandem: $189+30 gear rental=$219, or purchase online for $165 + 30 gear rental=$195
experienced: $24

skydive sussex
Sussex Airport
55 County Route 639
Sussex, N.J. 07461
for a group $180 all included, and the 11th person for free!

The Ranch:
tandem: $199 (includes gear rental)
experienced: $23

Skydive Long Island:
tandem: $225 cash, $234 credit card (both include gear rental)
experienced: $24

What is the typical refund policy for tandem jumps?
If you decide not to jump, most DZs will gladly refund your money. Some DZs will require you to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit, others will refund you in full.

Is there a minimum/maximum age limit?
You must be at least 18 years of age to skydive, NO EXCEPTIONS, so please don’t ask! The DZ will require a valid Photo ID & will not allow you to jump without proper ID. There is no predefined maximum age. If you are in good health, it is likely that you can jump. Skydives have been safely made by people in their nineties!

What are the physical requirements?
In general, you should be in reasonably good physical shape, this is a sport after all. You will be required to endure opening shock, maneuver the canopy (with the tandem master’s assistance), land, & possibly trudge great distances on foot. You will experience 30-degree swings in temperature, and atmospheric pressure changes.

Can I jump with my special health condition or physical challenge?
Skydiving is possible for more people than you might imagine. Many DZs have made successful jumps with many people that have special concerns. Each situation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, & you should always seek your doctor’s advice. Call the DZ you?ll be visiting & they will be happy to discuss your special needs or concerns.

How fast do you fall?

When you leave the aircraft, you are moving horizontally at the same speed as the aircraft, typically 90-110MPH. During the first 10 seconds, a skydiver accelerates up to about 115-130MPH straight down. (A tandem pair uses a drouge chute to keep them from falling much faster than this). It is possible to change your body position to vary your rate of fall. In a standard face-to-earth position, you can change your fall rate up or down a few (10-20) miles per hour. However, by diving or “standing up” in freefall, any experienced skydiver can learn to reach speeds of over 160-180MPH. Speeds of over 200MPH require significant practice to achieve. The record freefall speed, done without any special equipment, is 321MPH. Obviously, it is desirable to slow back down to 110MPH before parachute opening. Freefall lasts 60 seconds.

How hard is the landing?
The aerodynamics of the square canopy provide it with exceptional maneuverability, allowing the jumpers to land almost anywhere they wish. This wing shape also provides tippy-toe soft landings for even the novice jumper. The days of landing like a sack of flour are history. Most students land standing up on their first jump.

How long will it take?
Expect to spend at least two hours at the drop zone, sometimes much longer. Be prepared to wait as long as 5 hours. Bring your sense of humor & some witty conversation!

What if it rains?
All AFP Students doing their first jump class should come regardless of the weather. Tandems should call before they leave.

What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable clothes appropriate for the season; shorts & T-shirt for a hot day are fine & if it’s colder long pants & a comfortable long sleeved shirt. Note that it’s cooler at altitude — sometimes up to 20 degrees colder at 14,000 feet. All students get equipped with a jumpsuit & goggles. Please wear sneakers – no boots, shoes with hooks or sandals.

What time should I arrive?
Please plan sign in one half hour before your class begins. Please follow your Meetup organizer?s advice on arrival time.

How high do we go?
Most of the DZs we will be visiting take us up to 13,500 feet (2.5 miles above the Earth!) & other DZs will take us to 10,000 feet

What if I wear glasses or contact lenses?
No problem, we supply goggles that will fit over your glasses & also keep your contacts in place.

What if I get sick?
A few people have been known to get motion sickness under the parachute but not in freefall. In freefall you will feel like you are just floating on a column of air, there is no feeling of height or falling. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, perhaps a Gravol or Dramamine will help. Ensure you inform your instructor of your tendency of getting motion sickness.

Should I get a DVD of my first jump?
Of course, if it’s your first jump, then it is a no-brainer. You WANT a souvenir. You will never forget your first jump, none of us ever do, BUT Skydiving is such a high speed & intense experience, many people do not recall a lot of the details of their jump. In the years to come, you can share the experience with your friends & family.

What does a DVD package cost?
Prices average $100 per DVD. It costs this much because in addition to the tandem master, you are also paying for a cameraman to jump with you & capture you in video before takeoff, while in the plane, your freefall, & your landing. Most places offer you both video & still (regular camera) shots for one price.

Can I split the DVD package with someone else?
Unfortunately, no. The video person jumps with just one Tandem & films just one person while in freefall. The camera flyer can film you & your friend on the ground, in the aircraft & sometimes during landing. They cannot film two separate tandems in freefall with one DVD package.

Can I bring a cooler, frisbee, pet?
You are welcome to bring a frisbee or other items to keep you occupied while you’re waiting to jump. Coolers are fine so long as there is no alcohol. ALCOHOL is strictly prohibited on the airport during operating hours. If the DZ suspects you’ve been drinking YOU WILL NOT skydive, & you will be asked to leave. Please leave pets at home, no dogs are allowed on the airport.

How long is the jump?
You’ll spend about 12-15 minutes in the plane, up to one minute in freefall, & 5 minutes under the parachute.

Can I jump with my friends?
The DZ will do everything they can to put you on the same plane with whomever you choose, but we cannot guarantee it.

I love it & want to jump more – what do I do next?
If you think you’d like to keep jumping, you can get your A-license which enables you to jump solo. See:

Originally posted 2012-02-17 16:26:59.

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