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Skydiving Altitude & Airplanes

Tandem Skydiving

All About Altitude and Airplanes

What’s the factor that counts most in any given skydiving adventure? Altitude, that’s what! And how do you get that altitude? By getting into the right airplane, that’s how! It’s an unignorable fact: Skydiving altitude is the most important part of your skydiving experience, and the height you jump from is a direct result of the aircraft that the dropzone uses to get you there. Curious? Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between skydiving altitude and airplanes.

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Is More Skydiving Altitude Always Better?

As any skydiver will tell you: YES! We regularly pay extra when we’re offered the oopportunity to jump from higher altitudes — altitudes so high, in fact, that we need supplemental oxygen to be able to do it. That’s because the higher the altitude we jump from, the longer we’re in the air, and in the air is where we love to be.

What Skydiving Aircraft Are the Best Skydiving Aircraft?

It follows that the best skydiving aircraft are the ones that take you to the highest altitudes. Sure, that’s something of an oversimplification, but hear us out: larger, more powerful aircraft allow us to jump from higher altitudes, ride in comfort and exit from a door that allows room for more of our freefallin’ friends. That’s what we like, so that’s what we jump from here at Skydive California!

What Skydiving Altitude Do Most Skydivers Get?

A noble 10,000 feet is the average altitude for skydiving for most dropzones in the United States. That’s because most dropzones operate a small, single-engine aircraft called a Cessna 182, and it’s not powerful enough to get beyond 10,000 feet efficiently. From 10,000 feet, a skydiver can expect to be in freefall for around 40 seconds, followed by 4 to 5 minutes under parachute on approach to landing.

What Skydiving Altitude Do Skydive California Skydivers Get?

Here at Skydive California, we jump from 13,000 to 14,000 feet in our Caravan aircraft, which takes less than a breezy 15 minutes to climb up to altitude. From those lofty heights, our lucky jumpers get around 60 seconds in freefall — plenty of time for first timers to relax into the experience (and for sport skydivers to practice and refine their skills).

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Is That As High As You Can Go?

It’s not! You can go even higher in a powerful skydiving aircraft like ours — if the arrangements have been made. For example: sometimes, we’ll offer special jumps that go up to 15,000 feet. It’s special because flying to this height requires oxygen in the airplane to stave off hypoxia — but freefall lasts around 75 seconds! We’ll take it.

Curious about skydiving altitude? We’re happy to answer your questions about our skydiving altitudes, our aircraft, and our process. Give us a call! We’ll enjoy the chance to geek out about our favorite subject.

Related Article: What to Expect When You Go Tandem Skydiving

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