experienced skydivers in freefall

How Long Do You Freefall When Skydiving?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On average, you fall 200 feet per second during a skydive. From 10,000 feet, this means you’ll be in freefall for approximately 30 seconds. From 14,000 feet, you’ll fall for 60 seconds. From 18,000 feet, it’s about 90 seconds. The longest recorded freefall was over 4 minutes by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 102,000 feet in the 1960s.

How We Calculate Time In Freefall

The amount of time you spend in freefall is quite simple to calculate. On average, it takes one second to fall 200 feet.

That said, it does take a bit of time to accelerate up to what’s called your ‘terminal velocity’. This is the fastest speed you’ll fall at during your jump. It’s typically around 120mph. You’ll reach this speed a few seconds into your jump, so for those few moments straight out the door, you’ll be falling a bit more slowly and therefore covering less distance.

We usually estimate around 10 seconds for the first 1,000 feet, then 5 seconds for each 1,000 feet after that.

How Long Does It Take To Skydive From Different Altitudes?

halo tandem student in freefall at skydive orangeSkydivers usually jump from 10,000 to 14,000 feet up – that’s around 2 miles! Pretty high, right?

From 10,000 feet, you’ll be in freefall for around 30 seconds. From 14,000 feet, it’s more like 60 seconds.

Here at Skydive Orange, we offer one of the highest tandem skydives in the region. Our HALO (high altitude low opening) jumps are made from 17,500 feet. On a HALO jump, you’ll get around 85 seconds in freefall – that’s nearly a minute and a half of pure awesomeness!

Why Does Freefall Time Matter?

Freefall is awesome! There really aren’t words to describe that moment when you leave the aircraft and start falling through the air. You’ll forget all your worries, all your stress, and all that’s left in its place is a feeling of pure bliss. There’s nothing like it!

Something people don’t realize about freefall is just how much we can do when we’re there. Using the basic principles of aerodynamics, we can move around the sky. By tilting one arm down and the other up, we can turn out bodies around our center. By putting our legs straight out, we can propel ourselves forward.

You may have seen competitive skydivers building formations together in the sky or flying at different orientations like a seated position or even upside down. All of this – and more – is possible in freefall. Freefall is basically our playground! That’s another reason why we love it so much.

How long do you freefall when skydiving? At Skydive Orange, that decision is entirely up to you! View skydiving prices for all of our skydiving altitudes and book your skydive today. We can’t wait to show you just how amazing freefall feels!


Tandem Student Landing at Skydive Orange

Sarah Charles

I can't stop telling people they need to try it & come here. Staff is great. Will definitely come back to jump again!

The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

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