women experiences how long freefall is in a skydive

How Long Does A Skydive Last?

Monday, December 18, 2017

For many people, a skydiving experience lasts about half a day. For the rest of us, that freefall never really ends! If you’re planning your first tandem skydive, though, you’ll probably want to know what to expect as far as schedule, so we’ve put together this handy primer on how long a skydive lasts. If you bear with us, we’ll cover all the usual questions (like “How long is the typical skydive?” and “How long is freefall in a skydive?” and “What’s the average altitude for skydiving?”…you know, the facts you’re already clamoring to nail down) as well as introducing a few more skydiving planning tips you probably haven’t even thought of yet. Let’s get started!

Stage #1: How Long From Parking Lot To Aircraft Waiting Area

From the moment you step out of your car, you’ll be preparing for your skydive. (We have this down to a science and treat it like an art, so you can look forward to enjoying it!) After filling out your paperwork, you’ll join us for a 10-15 minute classroom session to introduce you to the gear and the procedures. After the class, the time it takes for you to jump depends on a few variables: inclement weather, the number of bookings we’re working with and the time you signed in. From there, we’ll gear you up and accompany you to the aircraft waiting area.

exterior of new hangar at Skydive Paraclete XP

This preliminary part of the process takes at least a couple of hours, soup-to-nuts. (Remember that, for reasons of safety, skydiving is a decidedly weather-dependent sport. Be sure to allow time in case there are weather delays.)

Stage #2: How Long From Runway To Altitude

Once you’re on the plane, you’ll be tingling with anticipation. How long does it take to ride to altitude? Well: with our absolutely superior fleet of zippy, skydiving-optimized aircraft (a Twin Otter, a Cessna Super Grand Caravan a PAC 750 and a Casa 212, if you’re curious), it doesn’t take long at all. It takes about 10 minutes to get up there, depending on the conditions–but our views are so spectacular and our aircraft so unusually comfortable, you’ll wish it were a little longer.

women experiences how long from runway to skydiving exit

Stage #3: How Long From Aircraft Door To Landing Area

How long is the freefall in skydiving? Our exit altitude is 13,500 feet, which puts us in freefall for about one minute. How fast skydivers fall depends on a few variables, but most tandem instructor-and-student pairs fall at about 120 miles per hour. Fun fact: The average altitude for skydiving from the small planes that are most commonly used on American dropzones is just 10,000 feet. That puts us well over the midline. Bonus! 

How long a tandem skydiving pair spends under the parachute also depends on a few factors, but the average is a solid five to seven minutes from the initial deployment at about 5,500 feet. It’s peaceful, it’s dynamic and it’s darned inspiring.

tandem student experiences 5 mins of canopy flight after skydive

A Few Last Words To Amp Up Your Savvy

If you’re wondering how much time to allow for the whole skydiving experience, we have an easy answer for you: Allow the whole day, especially for weekend reservations. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll feel absolutely unrushed that way, and you’ll be able to let the whole experience truly sink in. For your skydiving day, you’ll be a real part of the vibrant community we’ve been building out here in Raeford for decades–and you’re gonna love it.

photo of entrance of PKS Bar & Grill

Want to celebrate? Do it! Enjoy a post-jump meal (or drink) at the very cool PK’s Bar & Grill. You’ll find a great group of people gathered there on any given evening who will be stoked to clink glasses and congratulate you. We’re already cheering you on!

Book A Day Full of Adventure!

young man holding skydiving license

The staff is incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The drop zone gives you a breathtaking view and I will most definitely be back as soon as possible!

Sarah Elizabeth Keith