Tandem Skydiving Freefall Parachuting East Anglia Norfolk Old Buckenham Airfield UK

Tandem Skydiving
Freefall parachuting for beginners

Telephone 01473 610121 01473 610121
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Frequently Asked Questions

Parachuting

What if I'm afraid of heights?
Can you breathe in freefall?
I suffer from asthma. Will it be a problem?
Is there an age limit for skydiving?
Will I need insurance?
Do I need to buy any special clothing for my jump?
I wear spectacles / contact lenses. Will this be a problem?
What if I pass out?
What would happen if my instructor passed out?
What would happen if the parachute didn't open?
What if the weather is bad on the day of my jump?
What if I feel too nervous to jump on the day?
Can I continue my training and become a solo skydiver?


What if I'm afraid of heights?

This is probably the most commonly asked question. A fear of heights can often be confused with a natural and healthy respect for the inherent dangers of high places. This respect is necessary and essential to survival!

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Can you breathe in freefall?

Yes! The freefall segment of the jump is about 30 seconds duration. During that time our freefall speed is about 120 mph, so it will feel fairly breezy! If you let out a scream upon leaving the aircraft ("Geronimo!" or something similar) then that will release a lot of the tension you might have been feeling, and subsequently allow you to breathe freely.

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I suffer from asthma. Will it be a problem?

Asthma is a fairly common condition and is not generally affected by parachuting. However it is advisable that you seek your doctor's approval if you are in any doubt. For further information on skydiving and asthma see the British Parachute Association Asthma Advice Document  Opens in new window

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Is there an age limit for skydiving?

The lower age limit for all types of parachuting in the UK is 16. There is no upper age limit for Tandem skydiving.

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Will I need insurance?

Registration at the airfield for your jump will automatically cover you for the mandatory Third Party Legal Liability Insurance & Death and Critical Injury Insurance  Opens in new window

If you require more comprehensive Personal Accident insurance cover, you will need to arrange this yourself beforehand.

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Do I need to buy any special clothing for my jump?

All specialist equipment and clothing will be provided i.e. Jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and gloves. On the day of your jump you should dress warmly and bring an extra sweater just in case. You should also wear or bring with you, suitable footwear. Training shoes or similar are ideal.

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I wear spectacles / contact lenses. Will this be a problem?

No. Goggles to fit over spectacles will be provided, and these will securely retain your spectacles in place. Goggles will also protect contact lenses and prevent them from being displaced.

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What if I pass out?

This would be very unlikely! However, we would always recommend having a bite to eat shortly before your jump to maintain your blood sugar level. You can be sure that your instructor will have had a hearty breakfast!

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What would happen if my instructor passed out?

This is highly unlikely, but in the event, the parachute equipment is fitted with an automatic activation device, known by the acronym CYPRES. This stands for Cybernetic Parachute Release System, and this device would activate the reserve parachute at 2000 feet.

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What would happen if the parachute didn't open?

Modern parachute equipment is very reliable and instances of malfunctions are rare. However, in the unlikely event of the main parachute developing a fault, the system is fitted with a back-up or reserve parachute. This would be activated by your instructor, who is entirely responsible for all aspects of your jump. Relax and enjoy!

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What if the weather is bad on the day of my jump?

All aviation activity is dependant on suitable weather conditions Parachuting is no exception. UK weather is notoriously difficult to forecast, especially more than 24 hours in advance. You can telephone the parachute centre 01502 476131 the day before your booked date if you have any concerns about the weather prospects. If necessary, we would reschedule your jump.

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What if I feel too nervous to jump on the day?

Quite naturally, you will feel apprehensive before you arrive at the airfield. You will soon be put at ease however, and your confidence will grow as you are taken through the pre-jump briefing. By the time you board the aircraft, you will feel ready! Many people comment on how calm and relaxed they feel! The flight itself is about 20 to 30 minutes duration and the views on a clear day are magnificent. Even better from outside the aircraft!

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Can I continue my training and become a solo skydiver?

A Tandem skydive is, in my opinion, the very best way of experiencing what the sport of freefall parachuting is all about. If you have been inspired to continue jumping after your Tandem skydive, then a couple of options are available to you.

Static Line

This initially consists of one full day's training in a group of up to 12 students. You would receive instruction on all aspects of basic solo parachute jumping, including sessions on parachute canopy control and emergency procedures i.e. recognition of parachute malfunctions, and how to deal with them.

After successful completion of the course, you would perform your first solo parachute jump from a height of between 3000 and 3500 feet. The parachute opening sequence would be initiated automatically, via a "static line", as you exit the aircraft. The ram air canopy (commonly known as a "square" canopy) would then be under your control for the 3 to 4 minute flight, as you steer to a landing in the target zone on the airfield.

Progression thereafter, to short freefalls and beyond, would be on an individual basis, with instruction, assessment and supervision at every level of progression. You could qualify to intermediate status (equivalent to passing your driving test) after a minimum of 20 parachute descents. Expect to pay around £200 for your initial training and first jump. Subsequent jumps up to intermediate status are around £35 each. All costs are inclusive of progression training, supervision, and equipment hire.

AFF

AFF stands for Accelerated FreeFall. This training method is the "fast track" way of qualifying to intermediate status. Initial training again takes place over one full day, in a group of up to four students. The big difference is that your first and subsequent jumps are freefall descents from 12000 feet. You would be accompanied by 2 instructors responsible for all safety aspects of the jump and to give you in-air instruction.

There are 8 levels to progress through, with a minimum of one jump at each level. Every level is preceded by intensive ground training before the jump. Obviously this style of individual and personalised training does not come cheaply. Expect to pay around £1200 - £1500 for the complete package of 8 levels in the UK. In addition to this cost, you would need to pay for any rejumps required to pass each level. AFF courses are often arranged for an overseas location to take advantage of better weather.

For more information on Static Line or AFF courses, visit the website of the British Parachute Association

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