Tandem Skydiving FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers!

Thinking about making your first skydive? Have a few questions? No problem!

Skydive PA has been providing safe and exciting tandem skydiving experiences to guests in the greater Pittsburgh, PA area for more than 20 years. During that time, we’ve answered a lot of questions about skydiving! To ensure that you feel confident and ready to enjoy your special day, we’ve provided answers to our most common skydiving FAQs below.

We encourage you to read through the questions and answers below prior to your jump at Skydive PA. Should you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to speak with you and answer any questions you may have!


What are the physical requirements?

The basic physical requirements are being able to lift your legs to hip distance from a chair-sitting position and holding it. Other things to consider are walking up a ladder into the aircraft and walking hunched over towards the door to jump.

We have taken people with physical handicaps with the proper notification and preparation before jumping. However, if you are concerned, we advise you to first consult your doctor.

Are there weight restrictions?

Yes. The weight limit is 230 pounds proportionate to height and weight. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

What are the age requirements?

You must be at least 18 years of age with valid proof. Every jumper must fill out legal paperwork and a guardian may not sign this for you.

There is no upper age limit, as long as your doctor gives approval and you are able to execute the physical requirements.


What can I expect when I arrive?

First, you will check in at the office and will be given some paperwork to fill out. Upon finishing your paperwork, you will be briefed on tandem skydiving procedures.

How long should I plan on being there?

We ask you to plan on spending 2-4 hours with us on the weekends and less time during the weekdays. This is a maximum recommendation as some times there are things out of our control that can happen to lengthen the day.

Is my 'show-up' time the time I will be jumping?

No, this is the time you will check in to the office (a.k.a. manifest).

Generally, after completing your paperwork and your briefing, you will have time to watch other jumpers land and enjoy the atmosphere of an active dropzone before you make your skydive.

As stated above, please plan on spending 2-4 hours with us on the weekends, and less during the weekdays.

Are there things to do while we are waiting to jump?

Yes! There are several outdoor games available upon request. We also encourage students to bring a picnic and enjoy watching the other jumpers.

Off-site there are several restaurants and the Outlet Mall.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept most major credit cards and debit cards.

What should I wear?

Please plan on wearing closed-toe, secure shoes (no flip-flops or sandals) such as gym shoes. For clothing, wear whatever is comfortable for the day. Please note that it is generally about 25 degrees cooler at jumping altitude, but it is for a short period of time. We will also provide jumpsuits to wear over and protect your clothing.

Can we decide to purchase the video package when we arrive?

Yes! You can let us know any time before your jump.


What will be explained in the briefing?

In tandem skydiving, you will be harnessed to an instructor. Therefore, during the briefing your instructor will explain a basic body position, how to approach the door, and what to expect under the parachute.

Will I be scared?

There is always some fear into going into the unknown. More often than not, the most fear you will feel will be before you arrive. Most nerves are calmed after the briefing and watching all the smiling faces other skydivers. By that point, excitement and anticipation begins to replace fear.

Can I bring my own camera?

You are more than welcome to bring your camera to the skydiving center. However, you must have a minimum of 200 jumps to wear a camera device on a freefall skydive because of many safety concerns. Skydive Pennsylvania offers a professional Video & Pictures package so you can capture your experience!

Can we back out?

Yes. We understand that skydiving is not for everyone, respect that, and do not force anyone to jump.

You can back out at any time before getting geared up for a refund.  Once in the airplane, there is no refund.

Most of our instructors in all their years of jumping will tell you that they can only remember maybe 1 or 2 people that have not gone.

How long is the plane ride?

The plane ride is approximately 20 minutes.

How long will I be in freefall?

Freefall generally takes between 45-55 seconds from jump altitude.

Is it hard to breathe in freefall?

Although everyone experiences this differently, the basic answer is it is not difficult to breathe in freefall. Your increased heart rate from adrenaline as you approach the door, and the initial wind blast jumping out can make it feel like it takes away your breath. The best suggestion is to focus pushing the air out and taking a deep breath in and continue to breathe normally.

Can we talk in freefall?

Generally speaking, you can talk, but since freefall speeds reach up to 120mph, the wind passing by makes it difficult to hear.

What does freefall feel like?

It is a very hard feeling to describe or explain, but it is normally much different than what people are expecting.  It is more like floating over top of a big fan rather than a falling sensation. But overall, it is exhilarating!

Can I talk under the parachute?

Once you get under canopy it becomes very quiet and you can talk normally to your instructor as you glide back to the landing area.

What if I feel sick under the parachute?

Being under the parachute feels a little like being on a boat.  A few ways to avoid this is to make sure you eat a good meal or snack approximately 30-40 minutes prior the jump, and be ready to jump feeling well. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you can use ginger or approved, non-drowsy medication prior to your jump.

However, if you start to feel queasy under the parachute decent, please advise your instructor and they will guide the process to help ease the discomfort as best as possible.

What are the landings like?

Skydiving has progressed tremendously since the old round military parachutes. Today, with modern, steerable square parachutes, landings range from butt slides to stand-up. However with tandem skydiving, since you are harnessed to an instructor, the most common landing is the butt slide and will be further explained in the initial briefing.

More than likely you will be able to watch some landings before you go up.

Are your instructors licensed?

All of our instructors are licensed through the United States Parachute Association, the governing body of Parachuting in the United States. We have a very seasoned group of instructors with most having over 2,000 jumps.


Do you have bathroom facilities?

Yes, we have a full indoor bathroom with showers.

Is there an ATM on site.

Yes, there is!

Are food and drinks available on-site?

Yes, there are a variety of snacks and beverages that can be purchased on site.

Do you have insurance?

No. Therefore, you will be asked to fill out a release of liability before you jump.  This is standard procedure at any skydiving center.

Exceptional! SkydivePA has friendly, professional staff.

Daniel A. – Via Google