Skydiving FAQs

If you're getting ready to make your first skydive, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect!

No problem. We've been skydiving Syracuse, Rochester and all of Central New York for over 30 years and we've answered quite a few questions during that time.

Below you'll find answers to some of our guests' most frequently asked questions. We invite you to read through the FAQs prior to your skydive. If you can't find the information you're looking for below, please feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to answer any questions you have.

First Time Skydiver Questions

How old do I have to be to make a tandem skydive?

We will not take anyone under the age of consent in the State of New York (currently 18 years of age). In order to make a skydive with us you will be asked to sign a waiver and give up certain legal rights (an acceptance of risk agreement and a covenant not to sue), and a minor cannot waive those rights.


Can I skydive if I am under 18 and a parent or legal guardian signs on my behalf?

No, sorry, we just are not prepared to take people under the legal age of majority in the State of New York.


Is there an upper age limit to skydive?

Absolutely not! We have taken people in their 80's on tandem skydives. However, fitness IS important. You must:

  • be flexible enough to maneuver in the plane
  • be able to support yourself on your knees and get into the door
  • be able to arch your body in freefall
  • absolutely be able to pick your feet up for landing


I am over your weight limit (220lbs) but I am really fit, can I skydive with you?

If you are in really good shape and a couple of pounds over our limit we may be able to work with you, but a couple of pounds is a couple of pounds. The weight limit reflects our ability to conform to the safe operating parameters of the parachute system and is not necessarily meant to be a reflection of your physical condition.


I am under the weight limit, but I am out of shape and significantly overweight for my height, will this affect my ability to make a skydive?

Skydiving is a sporting activity that demands coordination and a reasonable level of fitness, and if your height/weight ratio is significantly out of proportion we may still not be able to take you even if you weigh under the 220 lb limit. Ultimately the instructors have the final call, and we will honor their decisions.


I made a tandem skydive at another center, do I qualify for your second tandem rate?

Our discounted rate structure is meant to reflect a loyalty bonus for customers returning to our facility. The discounted rates apply only to successive skydives made at our drop zone.


Can I pay with a check?

No, sorry, we accept cash and credit cards (Mastercard, Visa and Discover).


How hard will the skydiving landing be?

As long as you follow your instructors commands and pick your feet up for the landing it should not be hard. On light wind days we often slide the landings in, which are really smooth as long as you follow instructions and pick your legs and feet up, in other (windier) conditions we will usually do a "stand up" landing, but again you will be expected to have your feet up and simply put them down at the last second on command.


What if I change my mind at the last moment?

First of all, this seldom happens! However, if you change your mind prior to getting in the plane there will be no charge and nobody will force you to go. Once you are in the plane and the plane is in motion (even if still on the ground) you will be charged $150 if you decide not to skydive. If you are actually sitting in the open door of the plane, on jump run, and decide that you don't want to skydive the instructor may have to make a call on which is safer, taking you anyway or trying to get you back in the plane. None of our staff want to take a student that absolutely doesn't want to go, but sometimes getting back into the plane can be more risky.


Is it cold at altitude?

It is about 30 degrees colder at 10,000 ft.


Will I be able to breathe in freefall?

Yes, you may find it easier to breathe through your nose though,as we will be freefalling at 120 mph and the rush of air into your open mouth may make it tricky to catch your breath.


What should I wear for my skydive?

Dress comfortably for the ground temperature. We will put a jumpsuit over your clothing, and provide a helmet, goggles and gloves if needed. More important is what you wear on your feet. Sneakers or tennis shoes are preferred, please do not wear boots with hooks on them or slip on shoes, sandals or flip-flops.


I have a 10:00 am booking time, what time should I arrive at the drop zone?

10:00 am. We stagger the booking times to prevent you having to wait around all day. You should expect to be here for around 2 hours (longer for a larger group) and your booking time is not the time of your jump, just the time we would like you to arrive. If you arrive late for your booking we will attempt to work you back into the schedule, but if people with a later booking time are here ahead of you, we will honor their appointments first.


How long is the tandem skydiving instructional class?

Tandem skydiving allows us to introduce you to this exciting sport with a minimum of training. There is no formal class, but rather a briefing that takes around 15 - 20 minutes.


My appointment time is 12 noon - what time will I actually jump?

While we ask you to be punctual and arrive at your appointment time, we cannot tell you exactly when you will jump. A good "rule of thumb" is approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours after your appointment time, but there are variables that can affect this. We will, however, try to get you in the air as quickly as we can.


Can my friends and family come and watch me skydive?

Absolutely! We encourage you to bring as many people as you like to watch you make your skydive. We simply ask that all children are kept under strict control (an airport is a dangerous environment and unsupervised children can present a danger to themselves and others) and please refrain from bringing pets.


If the weather is too bad to skydive, will you call me to save me a wasted trip?

We will try, but often people give us a work number, or a cell number and may be in an area of bad coverage. It is your responsibility to call before driving to the dropzone to ascertain that the weather is suitable.


What weather conditions can prevent me from skydiving?

We cannot jump in precipitation (frozen or otherwise) or in excessively high winds or if the cloudbase is too low. You should call the dropzone before you head out for your appointment to make sure that the conditions are suitable. If the weather is not good we can reschedule your appointment. If no other time is suitable for you, your deposit will not be forfeit.


My friend and I are skydiving, can we get one video between us?

We are currently offering "Handcam" video. Your instructor can wear a camera on his hand and film your entire tandem and some of the parachute ride. The video will be exclusively of your tandem jump and can be provided on DVD or VHS tape. It is not possible to share the video with your friends, although you can include them in the ground footage.


If I give you a credit card number for the deposit, when will you run it?

We require the deposit to hold your reservation. We will run your credit card for the deposit when you make the reservation. The deposit is refundable if you cancel three days or more prior to your reservation. If you cancel or change your appointment 1-2 days prior you can use the deposit towards the new reservation. Our full policy on deposits can be found here.


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I cannot recommend Finger Lakes Skydivers enough. They did such a good job that I will definitely do this again and I will be returning to Finger Lakes Skydivers to do it.

» Jeremy C.