The city of brotherly love is known for a whole lot more than just brotherly love these days, and that goes doubly if you’re a skydiver. While skydiving is likely not the first thing you think of when Philadelphia comes to mind, there are actually some really great facilities there and some great views to be had during your jump. Since Philadelphia is not really known as a major tourist destination, if you happen to find yourself in Philadelphia for a few days, then skydiving would be a great way to fill up your agenda for the day.
One of the most common questions people have before going skydiving in Philadelphia, or anywhere else in the world, is about whether or not skydiving is safe. We always have the same answer for these people – just about any skydiving facility is extremely safe. Now that being said, we don’t want to encourage people not to do their own research on a skydiving company before jumping with them. That would be akin to driving a car at 100/mph on a winding road without first verifying if the brakes work. While skydiving is extremely regulated and safe anywhere in the US, it always pays to make sure.
The easiest way to do this, is to call up the facility you plan on jumping with to ask them about their safety record. Also ask them about their safety procedures and how they plan to walk a first time jumper through the entire process. Most first time jumpers believe they will need to go through several days of training before being allowed to actually jump, but in reality it’s more like a few hours of training before heading up in the plane for your first jump.
Of course, jumping for your first time will mean that you won’t be jumping all by yourself – that would be crazy. No drop zone in their right mind would allow a completely inexperienced jumper to jump completely on their own, they have insurance policies in place that simply won’t allow for it. Instead, as a brand new jumper, you will be jumping with a jumpmaster quite literally strapped to your back.
After you undergo the training session and get suited up, you’ll head up in the plane with your jumpmaster. Before it’s time to eject yourself from the moving plane, your jumpmaster will attach themselves to you via both of your harnesses from behind. If you are at all nervous to jump, your jumpmaster can give you that last little push you need to actually force you into a free fall. If you are truly scared and decide to back out at the last second, they won’t be so cruel as to push you out of the plane anyways. If they know you really want to do it and just need that last little push though, they are there to help.
The great thing about jumping with a jumpmaster, is that you have virtually nothing to worry about on the way down, except enjoying the view and the experience. Everything is taken care of by the jumpmaster so you don’t have to even think about anything going wrong. Jumpmasters all by definition have over 500 jumps under their belt, although the large majority of them have well over 1,000 since they are often going on multiple jumps per day – the numbers add up quickly.
With the jumpmaster strapped to your back during the free fall, they control everything the whole way down. You don’t have to worry about pulling the parachute. You don’t need to worry about gliding the two of you slowly down to safety – it’s all handled for you. Many people ask though, about what happens if if something unexpected occurs in the air, like if the jumpmaster for some reason passes out. It’s a very good question, and it is exactly why you go through the initial training session. In that session, you will be taught how to use all that equipment in the case of an emergency. You’ll have a working knowledge of how and when to pull the parachute and also will be familiar enough with the glide down process to get yourself and the jumpmaster back down to the ground safely. That said, it is almost unheard of for something like that to happen, but they do want to make sure you know what to do just in case of an emergency.
In addition to all your training, your parachute will also be equipped with an AAD or Automatic Activation Device. This is absolutely essential for every jump, and no jumper experienced or otherwise would ever jump without one. What this little device does, is it deploys the parachute automatically once you hit a certain altitude, which it measures accurately. So for example, if your jumpmaster suddenly loses consciousness on the way down, and you begin to panic and forget how to pull the parachute, the AAD will kick in and deploy the parachute for you. While this is absolutely essential to have, it is not to be relied upon and you should always make the active effort to pull the parachute manually for every single jump.
Another cool thing you can do, is jump with two different jumpmasters, one strapped to your back and the other jumping separately and recording your jump all the way down. This is especially useful for people who have lots of friends who might not believe them when they say they went skydiving. Nothing proves you actually did it like video evidence of you doing so. Sure, it costs a little extra compared to a normal jump as you’ll be using the services of two jumpmasters, but having your first jump ever immortalized in video is priceless.
Now, a lot of you may be wondering exactly where they should be looking to go skydiving in Philadelphia, and we have a couple facilities that we can definitely recommend. They are:
1100 North Ridge Rd
Perkasie, Pa 18944
If you’re looking to have your first skydiving experience, we recommend giving either one of them a call. You can ask about their prices, their safety record or anything else that might be concerning you. Trust us, no question will sound too silly or amateur for them. They are used to fielding all sorts of questions from wary would-be skydivers, and it’s likely your question will not be one they haven’t heard a dozen times before. So, if you find yourself in Philadelphia and are in the mood for doing something a little bit extreme, we can’t think of anything better to pass the time than skydiving. Try it for yourself today.