You’ll hear this time and time again: the vast majority of skydiving is spent on the ground.
There are so many reasons why this is true. Part of it is because we need to prepare for our skydives, whether you’re a student learning the sport for the first time or an experienced jumper packing your own parachute and planning your own jumps.
But another major reason why we’re often grounded is because of the weather. We have a love-hate relationship with the weather. When it’s warm and the skies are blue and the winds are consistent, we’re big fans of Mother Nature and love to borrow time in her sky.
When skies are gray and winds are gusty, we’d much rather wait it out on the ground. In fact, certain regulations prohibit us from skydiving when there are too many clouds in the sky.
All of this uncertainty can lead to frustration at times for both the experienced skydivers and first-time jumpers who come to Skydive Orange. Here are three things you should know to help set proper expectations.
While we highly encourage first-time jumpers to book reservations ahead of time so that we can ensure there will be a slot for you on the plane, the weather is, unfortunately, unpredictable.
That means that a skydive you booked a month or even a few days in advance might end up getting rescheduled due to last-minute changes in weather. This is especially true during the summer months.
While there are apps, websites and other technologies that provide us with weather patterns (including predictions of the temperature, cloud coverage, and wind direction), even these can be unpredictable. It’s important that you are aware of this and keep an open mind when coming to make a skydive.
One of the biggest reasons why skydiving centers get behind — especially on busy summer weekends — is because weather delays push back the entire schedule.
A dropzone can become “backed up” because they’ll need to push back reservations as they make room for earlier reservations that were put on hold during periods of inclement weather.
That’s why it’s critically important to dedicate as much time as possible the day you visit Skydive Orange for your skydiving reservation. You don’t want to have to worry about missing your next appointment. We’ll do our best to get you up on time, but if something unexpected comes up, it’s best to maintain a relaxed attitude so you can enjoy your time with us at the dropzone.
Think of skydiving as flying a kite. It’s hard to control a kite in heavy winds when it starts to flap around and lose stability. Parachutes are similarly susceptible to winds.
The Federation Aviation Administration has specific rules on when we can and cannot jump based on the cloud coverage, which can also delay flights. But it’s ultimately up to the dropzone owners and managers to make a final call that’s in everyone’s best interest. (Hint: for that reason, we highly suggest that you jump at a USPA member dropzone, like Skydive Orange, that adheres to a higher standard of safety, training, and maintenance.)
If jumping resumes after a weather delay but you are too far down in the rotation to make a skydive before we run out of daylight, we will apologetically reschedule. If you are patient and return on a day with bluer skies, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.