Skydiving: Common Questions Answered

Skydiving: Common Questions Answered

Published: January 8, 2016

We get lots of questions about skydiving. Here we answer your most common questions!

If my booking time is 10:00am, what time should I arrive?

Please understand that 10:00am is not your jump time - it's your arrival time! There are several steps to go through before making the walk to the plane. This procedure involves checking in, completing waivers and registration forms, training and of course meeting your instructor!

Can my friends come out to watch?

Yes! We welcome all guests, so bring our your support team! You'll enjoy hanging out with them until it's your time to jump. Plus, hanging out at a dropzone is a lot of fun because you will probably see a ton of excited jumpers coming in for landing.

What if the parachute doesn't open?

This might be one of the most common questions we receive and we think it's a good one! It's extremely rare for a parachute not to open or have a malfunction of some kind, but it can happen. Our tandem parachute systems are equipped with two awesome safety features. The first is that handy reserve parachute! If the main parachute has a malfunction, our systems allow us to release the main parachute and deploy a reserve.

Another awesome safety device is an automatic activation device (AAD). This is a small computer on the parachute system that monitors speed and altitude. If the tandem pair passes through a specified altitutde threshold at a high rate of speed, it will automatically deploy a reserve parachute.

Is Skydiving Scary?

Truthfully, the skydive itself isn't that scary. It's exhilarating because you don't feel like you're falling. The sensation is more of a 'floating' feel which allows the experience to be super enjoyable. The scary part is when you're safest... in the plane! The scariest moment is when the door opens and you proceed towards the door. Your natural fight or flight mechanism is telling you that it's a bad idea and to turn back! With a fluttering heart, you'll exit the plane transitioning from fear to pure delight!

Is Skydiving Safe?

Skydiving can be done safely, but all who decide to jump must be aware that there are risks involved. You can be killed skydiving just as you can driving your car or even playing golf in a lightning storm. The key is jumping with an operator that has and maintains a culture of safety (as we do here at Skydive Finger Lakes).

Let's examine the statistics. In 2014, the United States Parachute Association (USPA) recorded 24 skydiving fatalities in the U.S. out of approximately 3.2 million jumps. That's 0.0075 fatalities per 1,000 jumps-among the lowest rate in the sport's history! Tandem skydiving has an even better safety record, with 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 tandem jumps over the past decade.

It would be irresponsible of us or any skydiving company to offer a safety guarantee, but skydiving can be done safely and is enjoyed by millions of people annually all over the world.

I have a fear of heights... should I skydive?

We hear this all the time and truthfully, we all have a fear of heights! You'll be amazed by how many skydivers love to jump, but aren't comfortable with heights. There's a big difference between walking across a bridge, (or being on top of a roof) and being 10,000 feet up. Because we're so high, we're never fixated at any one spot on the ground. Instead we focus on the horizon. It's hard to explain until you do it, but it's much different than being on the top rung of a ladder! If you're afraid of heights, you'll be one of millions who jump anyway and enjoy it!

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The whole experience was amazing! A top notch team and your instructors were the best.

» Stew F.