How Dangerous is Skydiving?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Really, How Dangerous is Skydiving?

When clicking on a link entitled ‘How Dangerous is Skydiving’ on a skydive company’s website, you might be inclined to think that this blog post will try to convince you that skydiving isn’t a dangerous thing to do. We won’t do that. Let’s address the big elephant in the room:

Skydiving is a dangerous activity and you could be killed or seriously injured doing it.

Exiting a Twin Otter aircraft


That’s a harsh reality, isn’t it?

Okay, now that we’ve ripped the Band-Aid off, we know what we’re dealing with here, but you conceptually knew that anyway, didn’t you?

The better question we should be asking is How Safe is Skydiving?

The answer to this is much different. It’s not ‘safe’ as in there’s a guaranteed positive outcome, but what in life can offer that kind of safety record? (nothing, in case you were wondering).


It Depends On The Skydiving Center

Perhaps, the ultimate factor that dictates the safety of your skydiving experience is the skydiving facility, itself. This is the part that should cause you the greatest concern as not all skydiving centers are the same. Every dropzone (the industry name for a skydiving center) has a different internal safety culture. Of course, you want to get with the one that has safety as its top priority. The reality is a lot can go wrong if:

  1. A strong maintenance program isn’t in place to maintain jump aircraft
  2. A thorough maintenance program isn’t in place to inspect and maintain skydiving equipment
  3. A team of safety-minded instructional staff isn’t in place. (there are many skydiving instructors out there with cavalier attitudes)

As a skydiving community, we are continually amazed by the number one variable that makes a person decide where to skydive: Price. Ladies and gents, please don’t make this the deciding factor of where you decide to make your skydive! Operating a professional business involving airplanes is an expensive undertaking!


We recommend doing your research starting with:

  • The online reviews of the skydiving center
  • Calling the facility and asking questions
  • And even surveying people on Facebook about their experiences regarding the staff, aircraft, and quality of the facilities.

A tandem student exits an airplane at Skydive Carolina!

Skydiving Statistics

Let’s look at the data as provided by the United States Parachute Association (USPA).

Tandem skydiving has an impressive safety record, with one student fatality per 500,000 tandem jumps over the past decade. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee.

Skydiving Technology

If you’ve not been around skydiving before, you may be thinking of people drifting in the breeze under a round parachute and landing like a sack of potatoes. If that’s what you think you’re getting into, extinguish that thought from your mind.

Skydiving has evolved into a high tech sport that now sees flocking like birds down mountainsides or flying in a head to earth (think lawn dart) body position with over 150 people linked together! It’s come a long way in a short span of time.


One of the most amazing pieces of technology that have helped make skydiving safer is what’s known as an Automatic Activation Device (AAD). The AAD is a little computer that deploys the reserve parachute should you zip past your deployment altitude at rocket speed. The device has saved thousands of lives since its invention and is just one of the many incredible pieces of technology found with standard skydiving equipment today. It’s impressive stuff!

In Summary

So, how dangerous is skydiving? It’s truthfully hard to measure as there isn’t a scale from 1 to 10 that exists, but many would say, based on the data, that the level of risk is an acceptable one. Each year millions of people take to the skies and have the time of their lives. In the history of the sport, the culture of safety has never been better due to better education programs and advances in equipment.

If you’re doing your homework of where to skydive on the East Coast or in the Carolinas, then read Skydive Carolina’s reviews to learn more about our skydiving center.

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