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Adventure Skydiving Center Tennessee 
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the skydiving age requirements?
What are the physical requirements?
What do I wear to skydive?
What does the training consist of?
How much does it cost?
What is Tandem Skydiving?
What if your parachute doesn't open?
How fast will I fall?
How hard is the landing?
How do you breath in freefall?
Where can I try Skysurfing or BASE jumping?
Glossary of skydiving terms & abbreviations

What are the age requirements?
You must be at least 18 years of age to make a skydive. 

What are the physical requirements?
In general, you should be in reasonably good physical shape, as skydiving is most definitely a sport. 

You will be required wear around 35 lbs of equipment for AFF skydiving but for tandem only a harness is needed. 

For students that are approximately 250 lbs or more, Tandem Jumps are available as the best alternative.

People with medical conditions that may impair them, who experience fainting spells, blackouts, or have a weak heart should not be jumping. Someone with respiratory illness may have a problem due to atmospheric changes at altitude. The better your physical condition, the more you will enjoy the experience. This being said, very few people have medical or physical conditions which actually prohibit jumping. 

Adventure Skydiving will work with you. If you have a question, ask us, and as always, ask your doctor. You may be surprised at the relatively few physical constraints involved. [back to top]

What do I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing that suits the weather. We will provide you with a jump suit, goggles and helmet for your jump(s). 
Wear lace-up running shoes (no hiking boots or sandals, please). You can jump with your glasses or contact lenses, as we will provide goggles for you to wear over your glasses. [back to top]

What does the training consist of?
The First Jump Course teaches you every thing you need to know to safely make their your jump if your are making an AFF first skydive. For Tandem 5 to 15 minuets is all that is needed. [back to top]

How much does it cost?
For your convenience, our rates are listed on the website. [back to top]
 

What is Tandem Jumping?
Tandem jumps consist of an experienced jumper called a "Tandemmaster" and a passenger. More information can be found on our Tandem Information page . [back to top]

What if my parachute doesn't open?
Clearly, this is the most Frequently Asked Question posed by all prospective jumpers. 

By law, all intentional parachute jumps must be made with a single harness, dual parachute system with both a main canopy AND a reserve canopy. In other words, you have a second (or spare) canopy in case the first one fails to open properly. 

However, it must be noted that the technology utilized in today's sport parachuting equipment is light years ahead of the old military surplus gear used in the '60s and '70s. The materials are stronger, lighter and last longer, the packing procedures are simpler, the deployment sequence is much more refined, etc. 

The reserve canopies are even more carefully designed and packed. The reserve parachute must be inspected and repacked every 120 days by an certified parachute Rigger - even if it has not been used during that time. 

The student's main canopy is always packed either by a rigger or under a rigger's supervision by experienced packers. 

There are also additional safety features employed to ensure canopy deployment such as Automatic Activation Devices (AAD) and Reserve Static Lines (RSL) which add still more layers of safety. [back to top]

How fast will I fall?
When you leave the aircraft, you are moving horizontally at the same speed as the aircraft, typically 110-130MPH. During the first 10 seconds, a skydiver accelerates up to about 110-130MPH straight down. (A tandem pair uses a drogue chute to keep them from falling much faster than this). It is possible to change your body position to vary your rate of fall. In a standard face-to-earth position, you can change your fall rate up or down a few (10-20) miles per hour. However, by diving or "standing up" in freefall, any experienced skydiver can learn to reach speeds of over 160-200MPH. Speeds of over 200 MPH require significant practice to achieve. The record freefall speed, done without any special equipment, is 321 MPH. Obviously, it is desirable to slow back down to 120 MPH before parachute opening. 

Once under parachute, decent rates of 800 ft./min. are typical. A lighter student with a bigger canopy may come down much more slowly, and, obviously, a heavier person may have a somewhat faster decent. Experienced jumpers' canopies descend (in normal glide) at up to 1500 ft./min. During radical turns, the descent rate can go well over 2000 ft./min. [back to top]

How hard is the landing?
The canopies used today bear little resemblance to the classic round canopies of years gone by. Today, nearly all jumpers and jump schools use "ram air" canopies for parachuting. These canopies are actually rectangular in shape, and when open, act like an airplane wing (or an airfoil). They are more like gliders than umbrellas. 

The aerodynamics of the square canopy provide it with exceptional maneuverability, allowing the jumpers to land almost anywhere they wish. This wing shape can also provide tiptoe soft landings for even the novice jumper. The days of landing like a sack of flour are history. Many students land standing up on their first jump. [back to top]

How do you breath in freefall?
One CAN breathe in freefall - if it were necessary. However, due to the high speed of terminal freefall and vertical freefall dives, the jumper's body is exposed to O2 molecules at a much higher rate than someone walking around on the ground. The body is able to absorb the necessary O2 through the skin. This is why jumpers flap their cheeks in freefall, it presents a larger surface area to the airstream for oxygen osmosis. Once under canopy, the jumper resumes breathing normally. This is also why jumpers do not jump on cloudy days or when they might risk going through clouds. The moisture in the clouds can condense on their exposed skin surfaces preventing the absorption of the necessary oxygen. [back to top]

Where can I try Skysurfing or BASE jumping?
It a nutshell, you can after you are certified.

"Skysurfing" or "Sky boarding" refers to skydiving with a small board, similar to a snowboard, attached to your feet. This allows for some radical maneuvers in freefall. However, such jumps should only be attempted by experienced skydivers, and preferably after long discussion with one of the many skysurfers who have experience. Some board manufacturers and experienced skysurfers offer instructional classes or videotapes. 

BASE jumping involves jumping off of fixed objects (like Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), or Earth (cliffs)), and landing under a parachute. While being an expert skydiver isn't an absolute requirement, you need a great deal of experience in parachute packing, canopy control, quick reflexes, and body position awareness before this can be attempted with any real safety. Start with skydiving, and then go from there. Furthermore, there are very few places where one may BASE jump legally, as most locations are private property. [back to top]

Glossary of Skydiving Terms, Abbreviations, & Colloquialisms:

AAD - Abbr.. n, "Automatic Activation Device". An altitude sensing device used to automatically activate the opening sequence for a parachute. Most commonly refers to their application to sport reserve parachutes, but also used in other non sport scenarios such as ejection seats, etc. 

AFF - Abbr.. n, "Accelerated FreeFall". A training program for first jump students where the skydiving skills development rate is accelerated over that of the older static line program. 

Boogie - n, A gathering of jumpers for the purposes of jumping and socializing. Typically, boogies will have large aircraft, unusual aircraft (balloons, helicopters), special events (record attempts), or some sort of competition as a focal point to attract jumpers from widely diverse regions. 

Bounce - Colloquialism v, term for landing, after freefall, without the aid of a parachute. Also: hammer in, frappe, go in. 

Canopy - n, parachute. 

CFS - Abbr.., "Canopy Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a discipline of skydiving in which jumpers under canopy fly their parachutes together to form various formations. However, most skydivers still refer to it as "CRW". (See CRW.) 

CRW- Abbrev., "Canopy Relative Work". Describes the maneuvering done by jumpers under canopy to fly their parachutes together to form various formations. Sometimes referred to as CReW (Crew). See CFS. 

DZ - Abbrev. n, "Drop Zone". A place where parachuting operations take place. This is may be a designated area, or frequently, a commercial business which supplies aircraft, instruction, gear sales and services. 

Flare - v, to pull down on both of the canopy's steering toggles in order to lower decent rate and forward speed just prior to landing. The forward speed is traded-off for lift. A flare performed too late has no effect, a flare performed too early can result in a stall in which the canopy looses forward speed and drops straight down. A correctly performed flare results in an exceptionally soft landing. 

FS - Abbrev., "Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a dicipline of skydiving in which two or more jumpers fly relative to each other in freefall in order to form various formations. However, most skydivers refer to it as Relative Work, or "RW." (See RW.) 

Hook turn - n, A high-speed turn with either the steering toggles or the front risers performed at very low altitude in order to build up speed before landing. See "turf surf." 

JM -Abbrev. n, "JumpMaster". A jumper trained and certified to supervise students and/or novices during their jump. 

Main - n, the primary parachute. 

Opening shock - n, The force experienced by the jumper due to the sudden deceleration from terminal velocity due to the deployment of a parachute. 

RW - Abbrev., "Relative Work". Describes the freefall maneuvering whereby two or more jumpers fly relative to each other in freefall in order to form various formations. See FS. 

Reserve - n, the secondary, or backup, parachute. 

Round - n, a class of parachutes designed to simply decelerate a body in a fluid medium. The classic parachute. 

Square - n, a class of parachutes designed to inflate and take the shape of an airfoil. These are more accurately rectangular in shape and are semi-rigid wings. 

Turf surf - v, (also, to "surf it") a high-speed style of landing. The jumper builds up speed (see Hook Turn) and then flares mere moments before touchdown, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper skims mere inches above the ground at 30-40mph, for up to 100 yards. Or, if the jumper flares too late, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper impacts the ground, leading to medical bills, orthopedic surgery, and/or death. Attempt this maneuver at your own risk! 

Whuffo - Colloquialism, n, A person who is not a skydiver (from the often-asked phrase "Whuffo you jump out of them airplanes?"). [back to top]
 

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