Skydiving Charlotte FAQ

Have questions about skydiving? We've been skydiving Charlotte for 30 years, so chances are we've got the answer to your skydiving question!

Below you'll find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about skydiving. Please be sure to read all of the skydiving FAQ s below prior to your arrival. It will ensure that you get the most out of your skydiving Charlotte experience. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us - we'd be happy to speak with you!


How do I find your location?

Our physical mailing address is 1903 King Air Drive, Chester, SC 29706. Not all GPS systems have our mailing address programmed, so please verify this before beginning your trip. Google Maps and Mapquest are unreliable.


Are pets allowed at the skydive center?

No. Pets are not permitted at the skydive center at any time.


Is there a place where we may purchase food at Skydive Carolina?

Yes. We do have a snack bar (Dale's Dive-In) offering cold cut sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and other fixings along with cold soft drinks and water. Food for vegetarians is limited and we recommend vegetarians pack a lunch. Please note the snack bar accepts cash only and does not offer debit or credit card services.


First Time Skydiver Questions

What should I wear?

Dress so that you are comfortable for the temperatures on the ground. If it will be a warm day, then tee shirt, shorts and tennis shoes will be best. If it's going to be a chilly day, then jeans, a long-sleeved tee shirt and tennis shoes are recommended. If it's particularly cold then we recommend long-johns or Under Armour wear (works particularly well). We will be providing you with a jumpsuit to put on over your clothing, so please do not wear anything too bulky (heavy jackets). Tennis shoes or 'sneakers' is recommended for footwear. Boots are not recommended.


Should I arrive earlier than my scheduled time?

No. Arrival time is your booking time. You will be at the DZ for approximately 4-5 hours. Please prepare for this as there is some down time between your training and actually boarding the plane. There is much happening behind the scenes by-way of re-packing parachutes etc. Please be patient and prepare for one of the best experiences of your life!


Should I eat before I jump?

On the day of your jump - you're going to have a lot of nervous energy - but understand this - skydiving is not like being on a roller coaster. You do NOT feel as if you are falling nor are you aware that you are traveling at 120m.p.h. So eat normally.


Why will I be at Skydive Carolina for between 4 and 5 hours?

Skydive Carolina is fortunate to fly a large, 22 passenger aircraft that takes passengers up to 14,000 feet allowing for the absolute best skydiving experience with a large door for easy exits and the longest possible free fall time without the aid of oxygen. Because of the major expense of operating a large aircraft, heavy volume is required to fly this aircraft. The design of our booking schedule is to allow for customers to be with us for between 4 and 5 hours. The wait time is created by having to pack parachutes for both tandem parachutes and videographer parachutes alike. Much is happening behind the scenes, so please be patient and stay relaxed for the experience of a lifetime. Wait times are greatly reduced for those scheduled early in the mornings (8:00 and 9:00am).


The weight restriction is 225lbs, how strict are you on this weight requirement?

We are very firm on our weight requirement. This weight requirement includes shoes and clothing that you will be wearing for the jump. Individuals who are close to this weight will be asked to stand on a private scale at the time of check-in.


If I have friends and family coming to watch, what time should they arrive?

Unless your booking time is for either 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock in the morning, we recommend that spectators arrive approximately an hour and a half after your scheduled booking time. Please note that all children 12 years and under must be under adult supervision at all times.


Should I tip my instructor or videographer, what is standard procedure?

We recognize that skydiving is an expensive activity - tips are never expected, but always appreciated!


What are the details of the Video & Photo packages?

The videographers of Xtreme Video Services are literally the best in the world and will capture every aspect of your skydive. All videos are copied to a USB thumb drive and you will receive a fully edited finished product within 30 minutes after your skydive. The highlights of your video include - meeting the instructor, getting geared up, boarding the aircraft, an interview half-way to altitude (7,000 feet) and of course the moment of being in the door at 14,000 feet and every part of the free fall experience. Pricing for video services is $99 for video only or still photography only. The price for both video & still photography (on a USB) is $119. Also offered is a DVD and USB digital photography package for $129. This package includes a souvenir 4GB USB Memory stick with both your video and photography plus a DVD.


If there are two of us, can we hire one videographer to capture both of our jumps?

This is not possible. Each tandem pair exits the aircraft with about 5 to 10 seconds of separation out the door to ensure that parachutes will not be deploying in close proximity of each other. Because of this separation it is not possible for a videographer to fly from one tandem group or another.


What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my jump and how does it effect my reservation?

All payments are non-refundable, but are transferable and are valid for one calendar year. In the event that your skydive will have to be rescheduled, you will have up to one calendar year to reschedule. If you have a long drive and it appears that the weather will be inclement, all are encouraged to contact Skydive Carolina at 803.581.5867 to check on the status of the weather.


What does Skydive Carolina consider bad weather?

Conditions that effect the postponement, delay or cancellation of a tandem skydive are as follows:

  • Heavy Clouds - if cloud conditions are thick not allowing jumpers / instructors to see the ground from the jump altitude, then jumping is discontinued. The exception to this is if the cloud cover is above an altitude of 10,000 feet.
  • Rain - Jumping in the rain can be an unpleasant experience. We do not operate when it's raining.
  • Wind - If ground winds are in excess of 20mph or if upper altitude winds are excessively high.


Is there anything I should bring?

Individuals planning on making a jump will need to be sure to bring a government issued form of photo identification (a driver's license or passport is acceptable). Additionally, there will be lots of skydiving happening including world record holders and national champions, so be sure to bring your sunglasses - you'll be looking up at the sky a lot!


If I have a GoPro camera or a similar small camera, am I permitted to bring this with me on my jump?

The United States Parachute Association (USPA) mandates that all skydivers must have a minimum of 200 jumps in order to skydive with a camera. Anyone with less than 200 jumps is not permitted to take a GoPro or any other camera with them on a jump without meeting this criteria.


AFP Questions

What is AFP?

Accelerated Freefall Progression (AFP) is a comprehensive, 16 jump program designed to train an individual with a strong foundation to become a solo, certified skydiver by building strong freefall and canopy skills. Upon completion of the AFP program, students will need to make 9 solo jumps and learn to pack in order to attain a license.


Am I required to do a tandem jump in order to enroll in AFP?

No, a tandem skydive is not a requirement to begin the AFP program, however it is recommended. Each level within the AFP program requires an individual to achieve different skill sets while in freefall. If the feeling of freefall has never been experienced, it can be a distraction as your senses process this new feeling. A tandem skydive allows you to experience freefall and will give you a better understanding if skydiving is an activity you would enjoy pursuing.


What is the difference between AFF and AFP?

AFF (Accelerated Freefall) preceded what is now AFP. AFF was a seven jump training program versus the current 16 jump AFP program. Said simply, AFF prepares one to be competent, AFP prepares one to be a better, more well-rounded skydiver. All Phase II jumps are with a more experienced and knowledgeable AFP instructor as opposed to a coach -rated instructor.


What is entailed with the First Jump Course?

The first jump course involves six hours of classroom training followed by a level one jump in the afternoon. The first jump course will identify the parachute gear and how it works, correct freefall body position, identifying and handling emergency procedures, and flying the canopy. The level one jump will include two freefall instructors alongside while in freefall until the time of deployment. Once under canopy, a member of the ground crew will instruct you on proper flying techniques and landing via wireless radio.


What is involved with each level?

Each level represents a skill set the student is required to learn and demonstrate while in freefall. Advancement to the next level will not occur until each student properly demonstrates that he / she can execute the specific skills introduced for the particular level. Failure to demonstrate this skill set may require the student to repeat the level.


How often should I be jumping while taking the program?

Phase I can be completed in a long weekend (barring weather issues) or as slowly as one jump every 30 days. Students are encouraged to stay as ?current? as possible and not allow too much time to elapse between jumps. Ideally, the more jumps one can make in a shorter period of time, the better. This helps improve confidence and allows you to progress more quickly. Students who go beyond 30 days from their last jump will be required to repeat their last, successfully completed level. Students who surpass 90 days since their last completed jump will be required to sit through the first jump course as a refresher on procedures.


What happens after AFP Phase I is completed?

Following Phase I, the student will be jumping without radio assistance and will begin to develop freefall and canopy skills beyond basic competencies as taught in Phase I. Emphasis will be placed on meeting all skill sets required on the A license proficiency card. The main goal for a new skydiver is to attain an A-license which permits skydivers to jump with other, non-instructor skydivers. The A license also allows jumpers to jump at other dropzones.


What is required to attain the A license?

A minimum of 25 jumps is required to attain an A license. If the student has completed a tandem skydive, the tandem is included in this 25 jump requirement. The A-license proficiency checklist (you will receive one at the beginning of Phase I) must be fully completed (it will be with the successful graduation of Phase II). Also the ability to pack a parachute correctly is a requirement when earning the A license.


What should I budget when planning to get my A license?

Note, that you can pay as you go through the program, but the expense of starting with a first jump course / Level 1 to the A license is approximately $3,000. This fee includes all gear rental fees for your 9 solo jumps after the AFP program is completed.


Once I've become an A licensed skydiver, what should I do about owning my own gear?

It is recommended that new jumpers purchase used gear before owning brand new gear. As you gain more experience, you?ll learn more about the kind of skydiving you will wish to participate in and eventually you will probably downsize your canopy. It is always recommended to purchase used gear that has been properly inspected by an FAA certified parachute rigger to determine gear quality and airworthiness.


DVD & Stills

I want to say if anyone is wanting to try skydiving then there is only one place you need to go, Skydive Carolina,...

» Dennis Morrison