Frequently Asked Questions

Skydiving Questions | Before Your Jump | During Your Jump

Skydiving Questions

If I am under 18 can I still jump if my parents sign for me?

Unfortunately, no. The age requirement of 18 is set forth due to the "hold harmless" waivers every skydiver must agree to and sign. These waivers are only binding if the person signing is at the age of consent, 18, or older.

What if the weather is bad?

High winds or low clouds may prevent us from jumping, but reservations are held regardless of the weather. This way you'll be prepared to jump when the weather clears or we have to reschedule you. We always do our best to try and wait out the weather. We have a pool table, ping pong, darts etc… to pass the time. Neither we, you, nor the weathermen, are 100% accurate at predicting the weather. Please show up for your scheduled appointment, and a decision can be made at that time. Tandem and AFF students will complete the classroom portion of their training regardless of the weather.

Do I have to make a reservation to go skydiving, and if so, how far in advance?

Reservations are important for your benefit, but walk-ins are always welcome. Students with reservations will be offered priority service over walk-Ins. So if you make your reservation with as much advance notice as possible, we'll hold open the best time slot for you. In order to do this, we will need a $35 per jumper deposit. The deposit is never charged unless the customer fails to "show up", fails to meet our requirements or cancels within 72 hours.

What will the skydive feel like?

The sensation of freefall is more like flying than falling, and the parachute flight is quiet and inspiring.

Should I tip my instructor?

Tipping is not expected, but is always greatly appreciated. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and be acknowledged for doing a good job. If you feel your instructor has done an especially good job, let them know about it. Everyone at Skydive Central New York works hard to help make your first jump safe and enjoyable.

What kind of parachute will we use?

The parachutes used are specifically designed, large "ram-air" canopies. A ram-air canopy is a high technology "square" wing-like parachute, as opposed to the old style round parachutes.

What is your weight limit?

Most people who live an active lifestyle can go skydiving. There is a weight limit of 210 lbs with the clothes and shoes you plan on jumping in, height / weight proportionate, to make a AFF or tandem skydive. If you are over 210 lbs and are physically fit some exceptions MAY be made on a case-by-case basis up to 230 - 240lbs. (Does not apply to AFF Students). Please email for more information before you make your reservation. Please note that there will be an additional charge if you are over 210 lbs.

How long does the entire process take?

Plan on spending at least 2 - 4 hours (longer for large groups) if you’re making a Tandem Skydive and the whole day if you are doing Solo AFF. We can usually get you skydiving sooner, but many variables such as weather, aircraft availability and other students could extend your stay with us. Feel free to bring books, magazines, hacky sacks, or other things to do just in case. Bringing light snacks and water is also highly recommended.

Are there any age limitations or physical restrictions?

You must be 18 or older with a government issued picture ID (US or Canadian Drivers License) or Passport. There is no upper age limit as long as you are in good health and physical condition, and weigh 210 lbs or less. Skydiving is a very physical sport, so being in good physical condition is imperative. If you can not bend your knees completely, kneel, or sit on your heels, you may not want to attempt to skydive.

How experienced are the instructors?

Our instructors are all United States Parachute Association (USPA) qualified and have between 4,000 and 16,000+ jumps.

Is skydiving dangerous?

Of course it's dangerous. You jump out of a plane miles above the earth. The only thing to slow a skydiver down is a chunk of nylon about the size of your living room. Then again, danger is part of the point.

Is it safe?

Skydive Central New York owns the latest student and tandem gear. All of the equipment used at Skydive Central New York is serviced and maintained by FAA Master Parachute Riggers. While skydiving is an inherently dangerous sport, just as driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity, we take every precaution to ensure your safety while on our drop zone. So, the short answer is that the sport of skydiving has been made as safe as possible with the current technology and training methods available.

How do I become a Skydive Instructor?

Once you have made at least one jump with us you will have the opportunity to attend a free seminar on “Skydiving as a Career”. This is your opportunity to sit down and meet with the instructors at Skydive Central New York and find out everything there is to know about being a Skydive Instructor and ask any questions you may have. Check out our Skydiving as a Career page.

Can I bring my own camera?

You are welcome to use cameras on the ground. All jumpers (including tandems) need to have at least 200 skydives before using cameras during the jump.

Before Your Jump

Will I have to sign a waiver?

Yes. Everyone at Skydive Central New York is required to sign a waiver. Tandem students sign an additional waiver releasing tandem equipment manufacturers from liability. Skydiving is not an amusement park ride. Nothing can guarantee that if you jump from a plane you won't get hurt or worse. Skydiving can seriously injure or kill you. On the bright side, accidents are extremely rare in skydiving and we do everything possible to ensure your safety.

How early should we show up for our reservation?

If you pre-registered and filled out the paper work online show up at the time you choose. If you did not pre-register online please show up at least 30 minutes early. To register online Click Here.

What do I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes. On warm sunny days you may choose to jump in shorts and a t-shirt. On cooler days jeans and a long sleeved shirt or sweatshirt may be appropriate. No bare feet, boots or sandals are allowed. Skydive Central New York will provide a jumpsuit and goggles and all necessary skydiving equipment. Ladies should wear a t-shirt if they elect not to wear a jumpsuit.

When are you open?

Our season runs from mid-April through mid-November. By appointment and weather permitting. For dates and times please go to the Contact Page.

May I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, no. We love dogs too, but for many reasons dogs are not allowed on the airport property at any time. Please remind your spectator friends.

What should I eat?

Eat a nutritious breakfast or lunch. Light carbohydrates and plenty of water or juice. Do not over eat.

Can I have my jump photographed?

Yes. Pictures and video services complete with a music soundtrack (in freefall, no one can hear you scream) are available.

Can I have an alcoholic beverage before I jump?

Drinking alcoholic beverages or using illegal drugs before your skydive is not only not advised, we won't even take you skydiving. Skydiving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just a bad idea. What you do on your own time is up to you. What you do when you're with us is our business.

Can my friends and family come and watch?

Yes. We have a small, shaded patio area and picnic tables in our viewing area. **Please note, that this is an active airport, and small children must be properly supervised by a parent or guardian on the ground. We do not own most of the airplanes and hangar areas you see, and as such, these are strictly off limits.

How do I cancel my reservation?

Cancellations can only be done by email. Please send an email to to cancel your reservation. Once we receive your email you will get a confirmation that it has been canceled. As long as you cancel prior to 72 hours before the jump there will be no charge to your credit card. To cancel a group reservation see your Group Agreement.

During Your Jump

What if I panic/pass-out/get hurt and can't pull the ripcord?

All of Skydive Central New York's rigs are equipped with a device called an Automatic Activation Device (AAD). This device constantly measures your speed and altitude during your skydive and -- if you are going too fast too low -- it will deploy your reserve parachute for you.

What does it feel like?

We cannot describe the unique sensations you will feel, but we will tell you that it will be your most exhilarating experience yet!

How many people jump at once?

Our planes carry four jumpers plus one pilot. We load our planes by weight and balance, other students, licensed jumpers and staffing availability.

How long does the skydive last?

You will freefall for up to one minute and the parachute flight will be about 5 to 7 minutes.

Are the landings hard?

Normally, there is less impact than jumping off a chair.

Will I be scared?

Maybe, and maybe not. You will definitely feel a surge of excitement and anticipation before the jump - this is a normal part of the experience. During the jump itself, you'll probably feel a thrill such as you've never experienced, which is the point - so enjoy it!

Can I breathe in freefall?

Yes, however the excitement may leave you breathless!

What if the parachute doesn't open?

Every skydiving rig is equipped with both a main and a reserve parachute. As a tandem skydiver, you are with a trained professional who knows how to handle a malfunction and deploy the reserve parachute if it's necessary. Skydive Central New York takes your safety very seriously and has never had a fatality. As a solo student, you are taught how to deploy your main parachute on time, while stable and to recognize what a malfunction looks like as well as how to deal with it in a timely manner. If the malfunction is the type that cannot be dealt with, you are trained in the procedure for releasing your main parachute and how to deploy your reserve parachute in plenty of time to have a safe landing.

How fast do I freefall?

Freefall averages 120 miles per hour or 200 feet per second.

How long do I freefall?

You will freefall up to 60 seconds.

How will I feel when the parachute opens?

You will definitely know something is happening, but few people have complained about any discomfort.

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