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FAQ

Why jump from a perfectly good airplane?

What does it feel like to skydive?

Is it scary?

How hard do you land?

Are people who skydive crazy?

What if I'm afraid of heights?

What is skydiving gear like today?

How high do you jump from?

How old do you have to be?

How old can you be?

Can anyone make a skydive?

How long / far do you fall?

Can I breathe in freefall?

Some skydiving history and statistics



Why jump from a perfectly good airplane?

This is a question you must answer for yourself. For some it is the satisfaction that comes with a successful challenge. For others it is an adventure....a journey. Some may find it a spiritual experience. Still others are adrenaline junkies looking for another exciting thrill. Above all, you will find a community of fun, outgoing, adventurous people to welcome and encourage your progress.

What does it feel like to skydive?

You can only understand what it is like by doing it. In freefall it is like floating on a cushion of air. You can "fly" forward, sideways, and backwards by changing your body position. It is also possible to fall slower or faster and to dive. It feels like freedom.

Is it scary?

Well, it is a bit exciting! Different people respond in different ways. Most will admit that they were a bit scared on there first jump but that it was worth it.

How hard do you land?

Depending on the timing and wind, it can feel like stepping off the curb or hopping off the back of a pickup truck.

Are people who skydive crazy?

Probably.........but then an outgoing personality is why you and others thought of jumping out of an airplane to begin with. One of the great things about skydiving is the dynamic circle of people you will meet and interact with.

What if I'm afraid of heights?

We all are!  And if you are not.....well.......that's just not normal. :>)

What is skydiving gear like today?

Skydiving has advanced a great deal from the past. The materials used are state of the art and have advanced engineering built into them greatly increasing not only the performance, but also the reliability and safety as well. Each person carries a main parachute and a 2nd backup canopy for safety. The parachute and harness systems have advanced to be more comfortable and lighter weight. Jumpsuits allow greater flexibility during freefall. Altimeters and automatic openers are now based on dependable computer chip systems and provide more detailed information. Getting into the sport of skydiving has never been more exciting.

How high do you jump from?

The answer is ........ it depends. If you are making your first jump on a static line system then your jump will be from 3,000 - 3500 ft. above the landing area. If you are going as a tandem passenger, your jump will be from approximately 10,000 ft. above the landing area. Other jumps can be anywhere from 3,000 to 10,500 ft. AGL (above ground level).

How old do you have to be?

You must be 18 years old to make a skydive here.

How old can you be?

As long as you are in good health, there is no theoretical age limit. Of course it is always a good idea to get advice from your doctor where health issues are concerned.

Can anyone make a skydive?

Many people can be accommodated to allow a skydive to be made. Here at Skydive Central Oregon we have a weight limit of 220 lbs. with tandems for safety and equipment limitations. Skydivers with physical disabilities are active in the sport and depending on the situation can often be accommodated. There are highly experienced jumpers having only one leg active in skydiving. Ask if you are unsure but determined.

How long / far do you fall?

With static line jumps you fall for a very short time before your parachute is open. Tandem jumps result in freefall for ~35 seconds prior to parachute opening followed by a 5-7 minute canopy ride.

Can I breathe in freefall?

Yes! This is a rumor although some people do report difficulty getting a breath of air during freefall. This is probably due more to excitement and shallow breathing than anything associated with the skydive itself.

Some skydiving history and statistics

The modern history of the sport began in the late 18th century with Jacques Garnerin from France who performed display jumps from balloons flying over Europe. Later in the 19th century, women, who still number only between 15 and 20 percent among skydivers, began to appear on the scene. Kathe Paulus from Germany jumped professionally in Germany around the turn of the 20th century. Tiny Broadwick, another professional parachutist in the U.S., became the first woman to jump from an airplane in 1913 and the first to make a freefall in 1914.

In the 2002 membership Survey, current USPA members reported making a total of 2,151,228 jumps. Total number of USPA members at the end of 2002 was 33,664. (Average is 63.9 per jumper)

  • Largest freefall formation, general: 357, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, 2004 (pending)
  • Largest freefall formation, feminine: 131, Perris, California, 2002
  • Largest freefall formation, freeflying head-down, general: 42, Perris Valley, California, 2004
  • Largest freefall formation, freeflying head-down, feminine: 16, Eloy, Arizona, 2003
  • Largest canopy formation, general: 70, Lake Wales, Florida, 2003
  • Largest canopy formation, feminine: 25, Perris, Califormia, 1997
  • Altitude freefall distance, general: 80,360 feet, Odessa Aerodrome, 1962, E. Andreev (USSR)*
  • Altitude freefall distance, feminine: 48,556 feet, 1977, E. Fomitcheva (USSR)
*A jump from 102,800 feet by U.S. Col. Joseph Kittinger in 1960 was disqualified by the FAI, because he used a stabilizing drogue.