Skydiving FAQs

Answers To Your Top Skydiving Questions

What is Tandem Skydiving?

Tandem skydiving is a training method of skydiving where a student skydives with an experienced instructor. The student is a part of the skydive, and is expected to perform what they have learned in the tandem class.

What is Accelerated Free Fall?

Accelerated Free Fall is a method of training skydiving students to become licensed skydivers. An instructor jumps with a student during an AFF jump, but is not attached like in Tandem Skydiving. Tandem levels 1 and 2 are required for Accelerated Free Fall at WNYSkydiving.

How does it feel to free fall?

Really good!!! This is an individual feeling that can only be described (or not – talk to other students that day who have jumped, and they may tell you the feeling can’t be described!) after skydiving.

Where will we land the parachute?

All skydivers plan to land back at the dropzone they have taken off from. This includes all students.

Are there an age requirement for skydiving?

At our dropzone, all skydiving students must be at least 18 years old. On the upper end though, there are no real limits. So take Grandma skydiving!

Do you jump when it is cold?

Do you ski in winter? We skydive! We just put on some extra layers of clothing for added comfort!

What is your refund policy?

We do not give refunds. If you are unable to skydive due to weather or other factors we cannot control, we will reschedule you for another day at your convenience. If you have extraordinary circumstances which prevent you from jumping on your scheduled date, we will make accommodation at our digression.

When do I arrive?

Please arrive at the time you have scheduled for your jump. You will watch a video at that time, followed by paperwork and training. This initial process takes about an hour.

When do I actually jump?

Jumps are on a first come, first served basis. If you schedule your jump for the morning, you should plan on spending half the day at the dropzone. If you have an afternoon jump scheduled, please don’t plan anything else for your day.

How long does it take?

Skydiving is a several hour process. Paperwork and training take about an hour. We can take two tandems per aircraft (we have two planes) on weekends. After the parachute systems are jumped, they need to be repacked. Turnaround time for a tandem skydive (get in the plane, jump, land, repack) is about an hour. Between the completion of your training class and the time you actually jump enjoy watching the skydiving activities. Plan to be at the airport at least half the day.

Can I bring friends to watch?

Yes – as long as they are not your furry friends. No pets allowed at the airport.

Can I bring my dog or cat?

Animals and noisy aircrafts don’t mix well. Please leave your pets at home.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, if there is someone to watch them at all times and they are well behaved. We do not provide babysitting services, and expect our customers and guests to stay out of the way of other aircraft on the field.

Can I bring a camera on my skydive?

No. If you would like a video of your skydive (highly recommended!!!) we can provide that for you. Strapping your GoPro onto you could snag the lines of the parachute – this would cause a very bad day.

Can I smoke on the dropzone?

Smoking is not permitted at WNYSkydiving facilities during business hours (We’re sick of cleaning up people’s butts!!!)

Can I drink alcohol or beer at the dropzone?

Please do not drink alcohol (any kind) on the dropzone field until after operations are finished for the day. If you drink alcohol before your jump, we cannot jump with you (skydiving HAS to be done sober!

What do I need to wear?

Sneakers and comfortable clothes for the day are strongly suggested. Shorts and a T-shirt usually work on a hot summer day for guys, yoga clothes work well for women. We will provide you with a jumpsuit as needed. Read our What to Wear Skydiving article for more info.

When is WNYSkydiving open?

Please see our hours of operation tab. If you have questions about our hours, please call us at (716) 597-7393.

Is Skydiving Dangerous?

Of course it’s dangerous. You get out of a plane two miles above the earth. Gravity does work. In fact, it rules supreme! The only thing between a skydiver and “deceleration trauma” is a chunk of nylon about the size of your living room. Which part of being dangerous was unclear?

Is It Safe?

Ahhh…a much better question.

WNYSkydiving owns the latest student, solo, and tandem gear. All of the equipment used at WNYSkydiving is serviced and maintained by FAA certified technicians of the highest ratings. The parachutes are packed by professionals, the reserves packed and repacked, even if unused every 180 days. Although an inherently dangerous sport, just as driving a car to work is an inherently dangerous activity (you did know that, right?), we take every precaution to assure your safety while on our dropzone. Do you drive with bad brakes and bald tires?

So, the short answer is that the sport of skydiving has been made as safe as possible. And at WNYSkydiving, we take every precaution possible before, during, and after your skydive.

Are customers expected to tip their Instructors?

Tipping is not required – but of course, it is always appreciated if you feel your instructor did a great job.

Do you jump in all weather?

No, we do not jump when it is raining, completely clouded over, extremely windy, or extremely cold (less than 25F on the ground) but we still can do your training. That way you can be ready to jump right away if you have to come back another day. Weather can cause unexpected delays, so please be patient. We are trying to get you in the air as quickly and safely as possible.

We’ve written an article about how weather can affect your skydive, but if you have any doubt about the weather, please call us on the day of your jump.

Can I breathe in freefall?

Yes. There is plenty of air to breathe up thru 15,000’. Here are a few tips though that can help you ensure you are getting enough air up there.

Are the landings hard?

Normally, landings with a parachute have less impact than jumping off a chair. If you’re curious to learn more, read our article about the Perfect Parachute Landing Fall.

How experienced are your instructors?

All of our instructors are rated by the United States Parachute Association (USPA). Our current instructional staff has an average of almost 7000 jumps each, making ours the most experienced in the area.

Is there a weight limit?

Yes, we can safely take someone up to 230 lbs for a tandem. For those over 210 lbs, it is important they are physically fit.

Where can I go to get more information on skydiving?

You are more than welcome to call us at (716) 597-7393 and our staff will be happy to answer any question about skydiving. Another good source for information about skydiving is the United States Parachute Association and you can contact them at

Who are these people skipping the line?

We realize no one likes to see others skipping the line – least when you’re waiting to go up in an airplane for the tandem skydiving adventure of a lifetime! There are however some logistical reasons behind this dynamic, involving prep time, weather and the ability of licensed jumpers to just go. We wrote a blog post to help explain.

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