FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES USPA GROUP MEMBERSHIP MEAN?
The United States Parachute Association is our regulatory body. The Federal Aviation Administration only offers broad guidelines, it’s USPA that sets the standards and gives us specific rules and regulations for skydiving. We have promised to uphold those rules and regulations. With the way we focus on safety, and professionalism, we feel that we don’t have any competition in all of South Florida.
WHAT IS A TANDEM JUMP?
It’s skydiving with your instructor. The 5,000 tensile lb. harness you will be wearing is directly connected to the parachute system and the Jump Master with 10,000lb strength Harness rings. From exit until landing, he is there to walk you and talk you through your first jump. He’ll tell you what to do and when to do it, or if you want, he’ll do everything for you. Your Jump Master is your personal “One on One” coach. We feel it’s the most popular and easiest way to learn skydiving.
WHY CAN’T I GO BY MYSELF?
While it is still legal to jump by yourself the first time, we feel a first Tandem jump offers the best learning environment. You don’t learn to scuba dive, or to fly a plane by yourself, you don’t even learn to drive a car by yourself, so why would you want to jump by yourself? Free falling at 120 mph looks easy on TV, but there’s a lot more to it; so you should know what you’re doing on your first jump; or be with someone that does. Be introduced to skydiving by a qualified instructor. We do offer Accelerated Freefall training… Call for details!
WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES LIKE?
We use and operate a 4,000 square foot air conditioned office/hangar complex at the Homestead General Airport. We land our parachutes right here at the airport, so your friends can watch. We have refreshments at our office, and we’re close to the restaurants and motels in town.
WILL I BE SCARED?
Of course. It’s not everyday that you jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Only insane people aren’t scared. But we jump with more than a thousand first timers each year. We know how you feel, we remember our first jump. We know how to treat you and how to teach you. So when the airplane door opens up, and you feel your heart in your throat, and your adrenaline starts pumping, just tell yourself, “That’s why I came here, to get the thrill of a lifetime, I’m meeting my challenge.”
WHAT WILL THE FREEFALL FEEL LIKE?
There aren’t any words to describe it. It is a sense of weightlessness and wind. There is no sense of falling . You will not “leave your stomach behind” like a roller coaster. It feels like your riding a cushion of air.
HOW LONG IS THE DIVE?
The ground time is about 1 hour including the training, practicing, and the gearing up. The airplane ride is about 15 minutes up to the top floor, 13,500′ AGL. After we exit, the freefall is 45-60 seconds at 120 to 180 mph. We’ll pull the ripcord by 5,000′ AGL and steer the parachute down and around for 5 to 7 minutes of quiet, peaceful, soaring and gliding. From start to finish, you’ll be done in about 3 to 5 hours.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Running shoes, tee shirt, jeans or shorts, maybe a sweat shirt if it’s cool. Dress casual and comfortable for the weather.
WHAT IF THE PARACHUTE DOESN’T WORK?
That is rare, all of our parachutes are inspected and packed under the supervision of FAA riggers. But if it happens, we’ll use the reserve parachute, that’s why it’s there. The odds of dying in a skydive are about 1:100,000. But, just like driving on the highway, if you follow the rules and double check everything, it can be very safe. We have a great safety record with both students and experienced skydivers. But not to “sugar coat” anything, skydiving CAN injure or KILL you. So you MUST be at least 18 years of age to sign our waiver release forms.
CAN I JUMP WITH MY FRIENDS?
Sure, that’s usually not a problem. By calling and reserving early enough in advance normally assures this if possible.
CAN I HAVE MY JUMP PHOTOGRAPHED AND RECORDED?
We have camera men that can jump with us, freefall right in front of us, and record everything from their helmet cameras. Then we’ll take the raw footage, edit and dub it, and add computer graphics and CD music for a very nice mini-movie of your first jump. It’s only $79 extra for either a 1-2 minute video or digital stills. It is an option, but about 80% of first timers purchase it.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO WE USE?
All our parachute rigs are equipped with a square main and reserve parachute and an emergency parachute opener. The parachutes are double sized for two people and up to 384′ square, giving us soft openings and soft landings. The emergency opener is a $1,500 computer that is designed to deploy our reserve parachute for us if there is a problem.
WHO WILL MY JUMP MASTERS BE?
All of the Jump Masters at Skydive Miami have at least 3,000 jumps, some as many as 11,000, and many years of experience. All are licensed, certified, and trained by the United States Parachute Association, the equipment manufacturers, and the FAA.
WHAT IF I CHICKEN OUT?
Only about one in a thousand first timers totally chicken out. But if that happens to be you, so what, you are the customer, you don’t have to jump. No, we will not push you. If you want to jump it’s the greatest thrill on this planet. If you don’t want to, no problem.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?
It’s very seldom that we have to cancel because of clouds or rain. Sometimes, if the wind starts blowing over 25 mph, we may have to cancel. But that’s usually a temporary problem, and just as quickly as the wind picks up it can decrease. There are very few days where we can’t take you on a skydive due to weather. If you have any doubt about the weather just give us a call because in Florida the weather can be great just a few miles away.
WHAT CAN I SEE UP THERE?
We’re jumping from over 2 miles high. If your eyes are open, you can see downtown Miami, both coasts and the Keys on a clear day. No where else can you see all of these sights. IT’S AWESOME!!!
DO I NEED RESERVATIONS?
Yes, all jumps are by reservation. This is for your benefit. So if you’ll call us with as much advance notice as possible, we’ll hold open the best time slot for you. We need a $25 per person deposit (usually a credit card number over the phone works best). That way we’re ready when you walk in the door.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS?
Yes, you must be at least 18 years old with photo ID, and under 225 pounds. If you have any other physical challenges, please call in advance.