Tandem

WHAT IS TANDEM SKYDIVING?

A tandem skydive is a type of skydive where a novice skydiver ("student" or "passenger") is connected via a harness to an experienced skydiver ("tandem master" or "tandem instructor"). The instructor controls the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. The student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump.

You and your Tandem Master will exit the plane at 10,500 ft and then "free fall" for approximately 5,000 ft (40-45 seconds) at which time the parachute will be opened.

Tandem skydiving is a popular training method for first time skydivers, but it is more expensive than a static line skydive. It exposes first-time jumpers to the skydiving routine with minimal expectations from the student. Some training programs instruct first-time jumpers on how and when to deploy the main canopy themselves. In these programs, about half of the first-jump students succeed. However, the tandem master remains primarily responsible for safe and timely parachute deployment.

EQUIPMENT

Tandem skydiving requires equipment with several differences from normal sport skydiving rigs. All modern tandem skydiving systems use a drogue parachute, which is deployed shortly after leaving the plane in order to slow the freefall speed of two people down to that of a single skydiver. This is necessary for proper parachute deployment, lengthening the duration of the skydive, and allowing the skydivers to fall at the same speed as videographers. Tandem skydiving systems also use larger main parachutes (400 square feet and larger) to support the extra weight of two passengers. The three most common tandem skydiving systems in use are the Strong Dual Hawk, the Relative Workshop Vector Tandem, and the Relative Workshop Sigma Tandem.

INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION

Tandem instructors are required to pass an instructor certification course for the system they jump before skydiving with students. In the United States, the FAA requires each potential instructor to have over five hundred individual skydives and three years of skydiving experience. Individual manufacturers' certification courses usually have additional requirements.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

• You must be at least 18 years old.

• You need to weigh less than 200lbs.

• You will receive 20-30 minutes of instruction.

• You will make your first jump the same day (weather permitting, please allow at least half a day for your first jump).

• The approximate time of day when you will make your tandem skydive will be determined when you call for your reservation.

• No one is allowed to have any alcohol during skydiving operations. Please tell the folks who may be coming to watch you. This applies to absolutely everyone.