The Skydiving Process

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Skydiving is an epic adventure that combines adrenaline, excitement, and a breathtaking view of the vast skies above and a patchwork of land below. But if you’ve never jumped before, you’ve probably only seen a glimpse of the beauty of skydiving through the lens of a camera. 

An adrenaline-packed skydiving video does a great job of showcasing the excitement of exiting the airplane, the wind rushing by in freefall, and the pure bliss of canopy flight. But you might be wondering, how is skydiving done? With our step-by-step guide, we’ll break down the entire skydiving process from start to finish so you can feel comfortable knowing exactly what happens during a skydive before committing.

How Long Does a Skydive Take From Start to Finish?

skydiving stepsSkydiving can sometimes turn into an all-day activity due to things that are simply out of our control, one of those being the weather. If there is a delay in the morning, all jumps get pushed back and will be made in the order of earliest appointment forward. It’s best to plan to spend half a day (4 to 5 hours) at the dropzone. So, try not to schedule your skydive during times that you have school/work later on or around important events like weddings, graduations, etc.

What Are the Steps to Skydiving?

Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned professional, understanding the intricacies of the skydiving process is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience. Here are the steps to skydiving, from the moment you register for your jump to your exhilarating freefall and graceful landing.

1. Book a Reservation

The first, and one of the most important skydiving steps is booking your reservation – you can’t skydive without deciding to go for it! Reservations for individuals or groups can be booked online or over the phone with one of our helpful team members. Be sure to check that you meet all of the requirements for age, weight, physical limitations, or medical conditions before making a reservation.

2. Pre-Jump Requirements

Before you get to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at Skydive Tecumseh, there are a few things you’ll be required to do:

Check-in: Once you arrive, you’ll be asked for your valid, government-issued form of photo identification and if you’ve completed your online waiver.

Paperwork: Don’t panic! If you didn’t have a chance to complete the waiver online, ahead of time, you will complete the waiver during your check-in time. Please arrive early to allow time to do so.

Waiting: After you have completed your check-in and pre-jump training, you will wait in our designated waiting room or in our spectating area to watch other jumpers land from their skydives. Listen for your name to be called!

Meet Your Instructor: Once your name is called, you’ll then make your way to the tandem area where you’ll meet your new best friend – your tandem instructor!

Pre-Jump Brief: On a tandem skydive, you play an active role in your jump. As you head to the hangar, your instructor will go over what to expect during exit, freefall, and landing.

Gear Up: Your instructor will need to get you suited up with a special tandem harness, goggles, and an optional skydiving jumpsuit.

3. Airplane Etiquette

skydiving stepsAt Skydive Tecumseh, we have one of the fastest jump planes in the country: a Beechcraft King Air. So whether you enjoy riding in airplanes or don’t particularly love flying, you’re in for a treat because you won’t be in there for long! Here are the steps for boarding and exiting the aircraft:

Boarding: When it’s your turn, you will walk to the airplane with your instructor. Once you are comfortably seated on the plane, the instructor will fasten a seatbelt to your harness.

Ascent to Altitude: At 1500 feet, your instructor will remove your seatbelt and begin making harness adjustments. Final Review: As you approach your expected altitude (9,000, 14,000, or 18,000 feet), you will ensure your goggles are secure and your instructor will review the proper freefall body position with you.

Airplane Exit: When it’s your turn to jump, you’ll shimmy towards the open door with your feet hanging off the edge, head back, and hands in straps. If you choose to add on outside video/stills, your videographer will be right in front of you the whole time to capture your face on exit and in freefall. When it’s time, your instructor will give the count; 3…2…1… SEE YA!

4. Freefall

After you exit the airplane, you’ll quickly stabilize into freefall where you reach your terminal velocity (around 120 mph) and experience one of the best feelings known to humankind! It won’t feel like falling or a roller coaster ride but more like floating or being held up by a bed of wind. You’re doing it!

5. Parachute Flight

Around 6,000 ft your instructor will deploy the parachute, or canopy, and suddenly you’ll go from loud and fast to slow and quiet. You’ll float back down to the ground for about five minutes as you take in the scenery of the beautiful world below. The peace and serenity during this time are the cherry on top of the whole experience. Take it all in!

6. Landing

Be sure to listen and follow your instructor’s cues as you approach the landing area. Thanks to modern square parachutes, the landing process is much more comfortable. In most cases, you’ll slide in on your bottom, or even stand right up – your instructor will guide you on what you’ll need to do during this time. Once you touch down in the grassy landing area, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and euphoria flow over you.

7. After the Jump

After you’ve landed from your jump, your instructor will present you with your personalized certificate of achievement. Great job! If you ordered a video/stills package (which you definitely should), your video will be digitally produced, edited, and set to music. Now that you know all the steps to skydiving, it’s time to complete step number one to get started on your journey with Skydive Tecumseh – book your reservation today! Blue skies.

Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

I drove more than 2 hours to jump with Tecumseh because I wanted a reputable company and I was not disappointed. They were very safety minded and professional. The staff was very friendly and made the whole experience fun! If you're only doing it once, pay the extra and get the video package. Very well done, you won't be disappointed.

Ken Reeves