Why do I want to jump out of an airplane, anyway?
Well, we can't answer that for you, but for most skydivers, it's the thrill of flying through the air, the enjoyment of total control over one's body in flight, and the social experience of being in the air with other people. Of course, the feeling varies from person to person, but no two skydives are ever exactly the same.
How fast do you fall?
In a normal freefall, most individuals average 120mph (miles per hour) but this may be significantly slowed or sped up, depending on body attitude, clothing, air density, and other factors. Tandem skydivers fall at a fairly fixed rate of 120mph due to the drogue that is deployed during the skydive.
Can you breathe in freefall?
Yes. We highly recommend breathing. If you're concerned about breathing, don't worry. We'll train you about breathing in the event that this is a concern. However, most people find they can breathe quite normally in freefall.
How long does freefall last?
About 60 seconds or so. You'll exit the aircraft around 12500 feet AGL, and deploy the parachute at approximately 5500 feet AGL. AGL is "Above Ground Level" which is not the same as above sea level.
What does freefall feel like?
We can't tell you. You'll have to experience it for yourself. What we can say, is that a skydive is likely the most exciting, exhilarating feeling you'll ever experience in your lifetime.
What happens after freefall?
The parachute is deployed, and you and your tandem instructor float to the earth in a fast or slow descent. You can tell your tandem instructor what kind of ride you'd prefer, and he'll do his best to accommodate your wishes, so long as they are within the bounds of conservative safety.
Speaking of instructors, how qualified are yours?
No dropzone in the Tri-State state area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia has a more qualified staff. Our staff have thousands of jumps each, and are USPA certified and rated. Most of our staff members have multiple ratings including AFF, Tandem Ratings, Rigger, Master Rigger, Static Line Instructor, IAD instructor, and other ratings. We have taught skydiving instructors in Pittsburgh pa, Erie PA Morgantown wv as well as many foreign countries. Most of our competitors in Pittsburgh have skydiving instructors that made their first skydives with Canton Air SportsThe drop zone operator is an active pilot and may well be on the aircraft with you and your skydiving instructor.
Does it hurt when we land?
Most skydiving landings are about as soft as jumping off the lowest stair of a staircase.
Can anyone skydive?
No. If you wish to tandem-skydive (typically, your first two skydives are tandems) you must be over the age of 18. You should be in reasonably good physical health. If you've had any recent knee or back surgeries or breaks, please let our staff know this prior to your skydive so we may provide extra training.
What should I wear?
Plan on wearing running shoes or similar, and casual clothing. We'll provide a jumpsuit for you. Shorts and T-shirts are recommended for hot days. If you have long hair, you'll want to tie it up, braid it, or contain it in a frap hat that we'll provide. We have coveralls and skydiving suits for you to wear. if you want to.
Can we skydive at any time?
Yes, provided the sun is shining and we have VFR. Visual Flight Rules are required for skydiving, so clouds, wind, rain, or snow can ground our plane.
What if I want to skydive again, after my tandem?
You are invited to do a Tandem-2 skydive. If you wish to continue, you might want to check into ground school and our AFF program. Or, you might want to continue skydiving as a tandem passenger/student. There is some additional training involved for a second skydive, so be sure to let us know if you're a returning tandem student.
What kind of training will I receive?
Prior to your skydive as a tandem student, you'll receive training on what you'll be wearing, how the parachute works, how you'll exit the aircraft, and how you'll maintain a body position in freefall. Your tandem instructor may have some additional training for you as well, depending on your questions and experience level.
What can I do to help make my skydive memorable?
A video is the first thing we'd recommend. We'll provide you with a DVD of your skydive if you would like one of our videographers to jump with you. Additionally, we recommend you leave everything you brought with you to the dropzone on the ground. Watches, cellphones, PDA's, loose change all become nasty objects falling from the sky, so it's best if you leave them on the ground, preferably locked up in your car.
Other than those two suggestions, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to have fun!
If you wish, we also have T-shirts available commemorating your skydive. Be sure your tandem instructor fills out your skydiving log book, this will be very important for future skydives.