How Weather Affects Your Tandem Skydiving Experience

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How Weather Affects Your Tandem Skydiving Experience

You’ve been anticipating your inaugural tandem skydiving experience for months. You’ve mapped out the route to Alexandria Field. You’ve packed a lunch. You’ve told all your friends to watch your Facebook page for some incredible HD video of your first time skydiving in New Jersey.

And then you get the call. “I’m sorry. Weather conditions won’t permit us to fly today. When is the best time for you to reschedule?”

Your heart sinks. “Why?” you ask. “The skies look clear. It feels great outside. Can’t we just do it anyway? What could possibly happen?”

A lot, actually. And none of it good.

Skydiving in the NYC area is incredible. The views are spectacular, and the crew at Skydive Jersey are the best the sport has to offer. Unfortunately, however, the area is not immune to weather issues that can and do cause flight delays or cancellations. These snags are often disappointing to divers who must reschedule, and can be frustrating for staff as well.

Weather prediction is a tricky business, and it’s even more complex for pilots – particularly pilots whose “cargo” includes folks who will soon be jumping out of their planes.

Weather Conditions to Watch Out For

There are several factors that skydivers have to be conscious of when looking at the weather. As most people realize, rainy conditions are not conducive to skydiving in New Jersey. Not only is it more dangerous, but at 120 mph, the raindrops themselves hurt!

The second weather condition that we must be aware of is clouds. While the clouds themselves are not physically hazardous (just very cold!), skydivers are required to follow Visual Flight Rules (VFR) at all times. VFR are a set of guidelines set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to govern not only skydivers, but everyone involved in the aviation industry. Clouds hinder visibility, and not being able to see the ground when they exit the plane can cause skydivers to land miles off course, not to mention encountering trees, power lines, or other aircraft on the way to the ground.

The final aspect of the weather that skydivers must consider is the wind. Turbulent, unpredictable winds can not only cause a jump to drift off course, but can also collapse the parachute or cause a hard landing. If the winds begin to move above 15 mph or are gusty and unpredictable, we typically cannot skydive.

So if you do happen to schedule for a day where the weather does not end up cooperating, please know that when we ask you to reschedule we are not singling you out or trying to make it difficult for you to jump. Our staff wants to jump out of a plane just as much as you do, and if it’s possible, we will. However, our bottom line and primary concern is your safety, and we will not risk your lives nor ours beyond what the sport itself calls for.

Ready For Your Tandem Skydiving Experience?

Fortunately, the pilot, instructors, and other staff at Skydive Jersey have you covered. They are intimately familiar with the weather-related factors of relevance to skydiving, and we keep in contact with students scheduled for a date with questionable weather. To sign up for your next skydiving adventure, give us a call at 866-669-3020.

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