How long does the whole skydiving process take? Well: For most people, it’s a half-day adventure. Here’s a spoiler though: For many of the folks that jump with us, that first-time freefall never really ends! It just re-ups every weekend and turns quickly into solo parachuting. If you’re planning to schedule your first tandem skydive though, you’ll probably want to know what to expect time-wise, so we’ve put together this handy how-to regarding how long a skydive lasts.
When you arrive on the dropzone, your first stop will be the front counter. This is where you’ll complete your paperwork and get checked in for your jump. This’ll be over lickety-split — but make sure to take the time to read your waiver carefully.
At WNY Skydiving, we pride ourselves on the high quality of the instruction we present to each new skydiver who walks through our doors. When you skydive with us, you can expect to participate in a thorough ground school that covers the equipment we’ll be using, the aircraft, the procedures of the skydive and a little bit of what to anticipate in the highly unlikely case that we need to go to Plan B.
Because skydiving counts on so many variables, there is often a waiting period between your classroom time and your gear-up. It’s kinda inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Do yourself a favor and bring things to keep yourself entertained: lawn games, snacks, soft drinks, reading material, a pair of binoculars to check out the overhead action… the list goes on. Worst case scenario, you won’t end up touching them; best case scenario, you’ll have a great time and meet lots of new friends!
It’ll take a couple of minutes for your instructor to carefully fit you into your tandem skydiving harness. The goal will be to make sure you’re comfortable, secure, and at home with the way your equipment works.
Once you’re all geared up in your tandem harness and strolling out to the plane, you’ll be in the final countdown. Flying up to altitude takes about half an hour in one of our beautiful widebody Cessna 182 aircraft. Please note there’s an added bonus inherent with this: you’re gonna get a free aerial scenic tour of our beautiful corner of New York state! We’re pretty proud of it, and we’re sure you’re going to be heckin’ impressed.
Now, we’re about to find out the good stuff… how long the skydiving lasts! By that, we mean the actual jump. The fact is the amount of time you’ll spend in freefall can change, depending on altitude, weight and the type of jump you’re doing. Tandem skydiving pairs usually leave the aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 feet, then deploy the parachute at 5,000 feet. We calculate freefall time at 10 seconds for the first 1,000 feet and then 5 seconds for every 1,000 feet thereafter: around 45 seconds, then, give or take. Once the parachute is open, it’ll take around 2-3 minutes to make the descent.
Once you’ve had your triumphant landing, it’ll take a few minutes to gear down and check-out — but you’ll be so amazed and blissed-out, you won’t notice! This is the time to hug and high-five hordes of complete strangers while you plan your next visit to 10,000 feet. We’ll be waiting to welcome you back!