Frequently Asked Questions: Updated 2014
Q 1: I am booked in to jump this weekend, is the weather going to be suitable?
A: Unfortunately we can’t predict the weather; weather forecasts are often inaccurate and therefore unreliable. So please turn up on the day that you are booked in. No matter what the weather we will be there.
Q 2: If I don’t turn up will I lose my deposit?
A: You must give us seven days notice to change your booking date. If you are unable to attend on the day of your booking, and have not given us seven days notice, then you will lose your £50 deposit.
Q 3: What is the difference between a Tandem and a Static Line jump?
A: Both are training jumps intended for people who want to learn to skydive. On a Tandem jump you exit the aircraft attached to an instructor who will control everything that happens. On a Static line jump you are trained to exit the aircraft solo. This is all controlled by the instructor who remains on board.
Q 4: How do I know which type of jump I should do?
A: If you intend just to do one jump, to raise money for a charity or as a one off experience, you should do a Tandem. You should only do the Static Line Course if your intention is to take up skydiving and learn to jump on your own.
Q 5: Do you operate seven days a week?
A: No, we only operate Saturdays & Sundays throughout the year and some Friday evenings during the Summer months.
Q 6: Is there an age restriction?
A: Yes , the maximum age we will accept for a Tandem or static line course is 49 years old.
Q 7: Will you consider allowing someone 50 years or over who is super fit to complete a tandem or static line course?
A: Sorry but No.
Q 8: Is there a weight restriction?
A: Yes the maximum weight for any one doing their first jump is 196 lbs/14 stone/89kg.
Q 9: Is the maximum weight inclusive of my clothing?
A: Yes, before you jump, you will be weighed.
Q 10: Is there any lee way with the weight restriction?
Q 11: If I book on line and enter my three preferred dates will I definitely be allocated one of them?
A: No, we will try our best to accommodate the dates that you ask for, but if they are all fully booked we will offer you the next available date.
Q 12: If you offer me a date which does not suit, can I get a full refund?
Q 13: I am raising money for charity, will you be able to give a discount on the cost of a course as it is for a good cause?
A: Sorry but no, most people are raising money for some good cause or other.
Q 14: Is it scary?
A: Throwing yourself out of a perfectly good aeroplane several thousand feet above the ground for the first few times goes against all your instincts for survival – it is scary! As you do more jumps your confidence will grow, and you will become much more excited about the prospect of jumping out of an aeroplane. The thrill and sense of achievement is present for all the jumps you do.
Q 15: Is it safe?
A: Parachuting is potentially a very dangerous activity. With the modern equipment used today, the intensive training and the strict safety rules that we follow, parachuting is made as safe as possible. You are of course required to obey the training you have been given. The instructors will not allow you to jump if they perceive any threat to your safety, either from yourself, others, equipment, weather, or any other factor.
Q 16: Can I go solo on my first jump?
A: Yes you can. All ‘static line’ jumps are solo jumps. After the full day’s training, you will be accompanied in the aircraft by an instructor who will ensure that everything is alright for you to exit solo from the aircraft above the dropping area. It is then up to you to carry out your training and to enjoy the descent.
Q 17: Do you pack your own parachute?
A: For your first few jumps a qualified parachute packer will pack the equipment for you. As you progress within the sport you will be encouraged to learn how the equipment functions and how it is packed. This will lead you to becoming a qualified packer, which in turn will make your jumps cheaper, as you will not have to pay a packing fee.
Q 18: How long does the training take?
A: Training for static line jumps will take a whole day, starting at 8:45 pm the training course can extend to most of the day. Hopefully you will be ready to make your first parachute drop between 6 & 7 in the evening (summer months) During the summer months with the extended daylight, first time jumpers will normally jump in the evening on the day they trained (weather permitting). During the winter months when sunset is earlier your jump will normally be carried out the following day. Training for tandem jumps will take around 20 minutes and is normally carried out just before you do the jump.
Q 19: I trained 2 yrs ago, why can’t I jump now?
A: Parachuting is a sport that requires you to be current and jump regularly. Having a long layoff means that you are no longer current. Equipment and procedures may have changed in that time and you would be required to carry out a full training course again to ensure you are fully conversant with current trends.
For jumpers who have short layoffs a brief refresher and retrain may be necessary, see the training section for further details.
Q 20: How do I get onto freefall?
A: After you train for a static line jump you could be doing your first freefall descent in as little as 5 jumps. You firstly carry out two good basic static line descents. After this you will do 3 good dummy ripcord pull jumps to prove your ability to pull a handle during a normal static line descent. (On these jumps the handle does nothing – the parachute is still opening automatically). When you can demonstrate this ability to pull the dummy ripcord, you will be allowed onto freefall. Your first freefall descent is a freefall of 3 seconds, which builds up to longer delays on each successive stage.
Q 21: How long is my first freefall jump?
A: On your first freefall jump you will fall for 3 seconds before opening your parachute. As you progress in the sport gaining confidence and becoming more experienced the duration of your freefall jumps will increase until you can freefall for more than a minute.
Q 22: Can I jump with a surfboard?
A: Yes, if you stick at it and become an experienced parachutist you will be able to do skysurfing jumps. Skysurfing is a very specialised branch of skydiving and requires special equipment, training and lots of experience to be undertaken safely.
Q 23: How long does it take to learn how to skydive?
A: When learning to skydive everyone is different. It depends on various factors such as natural ability and money, and it could take anything from a couple of months to a year of jumping before you become a competent intermediate skydiver.
Q 24: Do I need to make reservations for a skydive?
A: When planning to do your initial training you have to book a date on which you can carry out your training course. Once you have completed your initial training you can turn up at the drop zone whenever suits you and carry out more jumps.
Q 25: Can we get one video for our whole group?
A: There is no provision made to video student parachutists on static line parachute jumps. With tandem jumps you have the option of having your jump videoed. An experienced freefall cameraman will film all aspects of your jump from gearing up to landing, including the freefall part of the jump. Mention this at the time of booking and we can easily arrange this for you.
Q 26: Can you talk in freefall?
A: You can talk in freefall if you like but the sound of the air rushing past your body is so loud that it is impossible for anyone to hear you.
Q 27: Can you breathe in freefall?
A: Breathing in freefall is no different to breathing on the ground. Sometimes the whole experience can be enough to take your breath away.
Q 28: How fast do you fall?
A: You fall pretty fast when in freefall. After exiting the aircraft gravity starts to accelerate your body towards the ground and it take about 12 seconds to reach a maximum speed of around 175 ft per second which is roughly 120 mph. Once you have reached this terminal velocity your body will continue to fall at this rate, falling 1000 ft roughly every 5.5 seconds. If you exit the aircraft on a tandem jump at 10000 ft where the parachute is opened at 5000ft you will be in freefall for about 34 seconds.
Q 29: Do you go up when your parachute opens?
A: No. When you see films of skydivers opening their parachutes it would appear that they go up. This is just an illusion caused by the cameraman continuing to fall past the other parachutists whose descent rate is reduced by their opening parachute.
Q 30: What if my parachute doesn’t open?
A: In sport parachuting it is an accepted fact that occasionally your main parachute may not open correctly. This is a very rare occurrence, but this is why it is mandatory that everyone wears a reserve parachute as a backup.
A: As with many outdoor and aviation activities parachuting relies on the weather to be kind to us. The type of weather that can prevent jumping is low cloud and / or a stiff breeze. The minimum altitude required for static line jumping is 3200 feet. Tandems will not normally take place unless there is around 10000 feet of altitude. Wind limits are 15 knots for static line jumping and 20 knots for tandems.
Q 32:Do you bury you parachute after you land ?
Q 33: Can I have a refund if I don’t jump ?
A: The club does not issue refunds to people who have trained and do not jump. The cost of your first jump covers the training that you receive prior to the jump – you will have received this training even if you decline to jump. We make every effort to ensure that you make your jump and we do not issue refunds for any circumstances out with our control that prevent you from jumping. Tandem students normally pay on the day of their jump and should the jump not take place due to bad weather we will allow you to re book for another suitable date.
Q 34: There are a few of us who want to do this, will we all be able to all jump on the same day?
A: We can take up to sixty people doing tandems and 28 solo static line jumpers on any one day. Just send in the booking forms all together or
apply on line at the same time requesting the same dates, and we will keep you all as one group.