What is tandem skydiving?
Tandem skydiving is the most popular way to experience skydiving for first timers. With less than 30 minutes training you can jump attached to an expert instructor. First you complete some paperwork and watch our video. Then you will attend a short class conducted by a United States Parachute Association (USPA) licensed Tandem Instructor. Your instructor will have a minimum of 3 years experience in skydiving, 500 jumps, and hold a USPA Master Skydiving license, although most of our instructors have thousands of skydives. In the class you learn an overview of the process, correct freefall body position, emergencies, exiting the aircraft, operating the parachute after freefall, landing approach, and landing.
Afterwards, an instructor will outfit you with a jumpsuit, harness, goggles, altimeter, and helmet. The harness attaches to the parachute directly at 4 separate points so there is no chance of coming loose.
Once you are suited up, it's only an 8 minute ride to 14,000 feet above the ground where you exit into freefall at 120 MPH for about a minute. You or the instructor will open the parachute around 5,000 feet and you will spend 5 to 7 minutes both steering it to the ground. The landings are typically soft, sliding in on your behind or standing up.
The entire process takes 2 to 4 hours from the time you arrive until you leave. Tandem passengers must weigh 254 lbs or less. Additional restrictions may apply to passengers over 230 lbs.
How safe is tandem skydiving?
Tandem skydiving at Skydive Atlanta is as safe as technology can make it. Each one of our UPT Sigma tandem parachute systems is the top-of-the-line in the industry. Each contains a main parachute, reserve parachute, and an onboard computerized Airtec CYPRES automatic activation device. The reserve parachutes are all inspected and re-packed by our F.A.A. certified Master Parachute Rigger every 180 days. If by 1,900 feet no parachute has been activated, the automatic activation device will activate the reserve parachute. Statistically speaking, the failure rate of parachutes is very low.
How common are skydiving injuries?
USPA members reported 729 injuries in 2014. With a total of around 3.2 million skydives made that year, that's roughly 2.3 injuries per 10,000 skydives. According to a 2017 study by the National Institutes of Health, over 60% of skydiving injuries are "expert" licensed skydivers and of those 70% had a perfectly functioning parachute. 60% of the injuries were considered minor, such as cuts and bruises.
How dangerous is tandem skydiving?
As shown in this graph, the National Safety Council did a study and you are more likely to be struck by lightning than be killed skydiving. And much more likely just walking down the street.
How much does tandem skydiving cost?
We wish there was a simple one number answer. This is the thing that makes us so different from other places- up front pricing. Some places offer what look like low rates but that's not the whole story. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider when asking this question:
- Does the price include everything or do you need to pay extra fees? The majority of places these days have adopted a "get 'em in the door" strategy and hit you with tons of fees. Equipment rental, booking fees, additional altitudes, etc.
- Is the price or coupon restricted to certain days?
- What altitude is the price for? Many places have those rates for 8,500 or 10,000 feet. If you want to go up higher your paying more. Skydive Atlanta takes up to 14,000 feet weather permitting every time for no extra.
- What is the wait time like? Are you just number 99 in the hundred people that day the company is cattle driving out the door? If so, expect to wait a long time, sometimes 6 to 8 hours, and expect to be treated like a number. Google shows people typically spend 3.5 hours here on average. Consider that average includes our people that work here who are logged into Google. So the actual average is much faster for tandem skydives, typically 2.5 hours or less from when you walk in until you leave.
- What kind of experience will you feel? Skydiving is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. You deserve a unique 5 star experience. Read our Google Reviews.
- You can find out our exact prices at our Skydiving Prices page.
(Click on an image to see the larger version.)