Skydivers at Skydive Orange celebrating after a successful jump

Tandem Skydiving FAQ

You've Got Questions. We've Got Answers!

Skydive Orange has been in operation for 40 years. During that time, we’ve had the pleasure of taking thousands of guests for their first tandem skydive and answering many questions! Trust us, it’s completely normal to have a lot of questions before you jump out of an airplane. Our tandem skydiving FAQ page is designed to provide you with the answers to our guests’ most commonly asked questions so you can arrive at Skydive Orange feeling confident and ready to enjoy your experience to the fullest.

Please take a moment to read through the questions and answers below prior to your scheduled tandem skydive. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here, please feel free to contact us! We would love to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

Ready to take the leap? Book your tandem skydive today! Skydive Orange is the #1 Choice for tandem skydiving Richmond, VA, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia!



Where is Skydive Orange?

Skydive Orange is located at 11269 Hangar Rd, Orange, VA 22960. We’re not only the largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, but we’re also one of the most established skydiving centers in the country. Come and check out our premium dropzone in beautiful and historic Orange County just a short drive from DC, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, and Richmond, VA. 

What are your hours of operation?

We are open year-round with a short shutdown during the holidays (mid-December through mid-January) and weather permitting.

Summer jumping hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on the weekends.

Fall jumping hours begin October 1st and are from Thursday to Sunday.

Starting in November we are only open on the weekend.

Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

How do I make a reservation?

Reservations are advised and can be booked online at any time of day or night (at least 48 hours in advance)! To make your reservation simply click on the “BOOK NOW” button at the top of your screen. From there, it will direct you to select your skydiving option. Follow the prompt and you’ll be good to go! Having trouble? No worries! Give us a call at 703-SKY-DIVE (759-3483) and we would be happy to book your reservation over the phone.

How much does tandem skydiving cost?

Tandem skydiving prices vary by package, service, discounts, and add-ons. Check out our Skydiving Prices page for more information!

Do you take video or photos of my jump?

Yes! We offer a variety of video and photo packages to customize your jump. The footage will be from before, during, and after your jump. All of our media is professionally filmed, edited, and ready within a few hours after you jump. Please select your media package during the time of your reservation, we cannot guarantee accommodations if it is not booked in advance.

Can I bring my friends and family?

Absolutely! We have comfortable, shaded indoor seating and outdoor seating with a spectating area for your family and friends to watch you land! Please note children under the age of 16 must be supervised at all times. Pets must be on a leash or carried at all times. This policy is essential for the safety and comfort of all patrons and staff. It is our priority to maintain a secure environment for everyone, and unsupervised children and dogs can pose potential risk to themselves and others.

Do you have group rates?

Yes! We offer $25 off for groups of 10 or more jumpers. If you have a group of 5 or more jumpers please give us a call at 703-759-3483 to reserve your jump.

Will our group jump together?

Due to safety regulations, tandem students cannot jump at the same time together. However, we can do our best to coordinate you and your friends on the same airplane load!

Although we cannot guarantee that full groups will all be on the same load due to space and balance, we will always do our best to keep your group together. This is determined by the space on the airplane, how many tandem instructors we have on-site, and how many guests want video of their jump.

It’s best to call ahead and schedule your group skydive so we can do our best to plan for your arrival and accommodate your needs.

Will the video capture everyone in my group?

Since you all will be jumping at separate times (one at a time with your instructor), the video will only capture one person’s experience. We will do our best to get footage of you and your group before and after your jump if requested, but no guarantees!

Do you have food available at the dropzone?

We have well-stocked vending machines available for you to purchase snacks and drinks if needed. You can bring your own food and drinks (no alcohol) and we have several eateries nearby!

What if the weather is bad on the day of my skydive?

Weather is extremely important when it comes to skydiving. Clouds, rain, and wind can all negatively impact the skydive, especially the way the gear operates. If the weather is too dangerous to jump in, it will cause delays in your jump time. We can either wait for it to clear or we can simply reschedule your skydive for another day free of charge! We will do our best to keep you updated on any changes to your scheduled jump as soon as possible.

What is your refund policy?

Any payments made before the day of your reservation are non-refundable. You may reschedule or postpone your jump at least 24 hours in advance for no additional charge.

Are refunds available?

We do not issue refunds. You may postpone/reschedule your jump at least 24 hours in advance for no additional charge.

Should I tip the staff?

Tipping is never expected, but always greatly appreciated.


How old do you have to be to tandem skydive?

By the United States Parachute Association (USPA), you must be at least 18 years of age to skydive at Skydive Orange. You must bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with you to prove your age. Permission from a parent or guardian is not acceptable.

There is no maximum age for skydiving. As long as you are in reasonably good health and your doctor has approved you for skydiving, we will take you up!

Is there a weight limit to skydive?

Yes, tandem skydiving students must weigh 250 lbs or less and be height/weight proportionate to jump at Skydive Orange. All participants will be weighed at check-in. Guests weighing over 220 lbs will be responsible for paying an additional fee of $35 for every ten pounds over 220 lbs. Weight limits are mandated by the skydiving gear manufacturer and are in place for safety reasons! 

Have weight concerns? Get in touch – we’re here to help!

Are there physical requirements for tandem skydiving?

Yes, since skydiving is technically an extreme sport, you’ll need to be in reasonably good physical shape. Those with any concerning medical conditions such as heart health conditions, diabetes, joint problems, or respiratory issues should consult a physician before attempting to skydive.

Can I skydive if I have a disability?

At Skydive Orange, we do our best to deliver the dream of flight to everybody and are committed to making accommodations for people with disabilities whenever we can. If you have any medical concerns, please check with your doctor first (we may require proof from your physician that it is OK for you to skydive in certain cases). Please give us a call to discuss the disability so we can prepare and provide the best experience possible!

Can I skydive with a cold?

Skydiving with a cold – especially one affecting the sinuses – can be extremely painful and even have long-term effects on your health due to pressure changes from altitude. It is best to just reschedule your jump for a time when you are feeling better to have a more comfortable experience.


What time should I arrive?

You should arrive at the dropzone at the time of your reservation.

How long should I expect to be at the dropzone for my tandem?

Tandem students should plan to spend about four to six hours at the dropzone. At the minimum, the entire skydiving process could take about two hours depending on group size, weather, and business operations. Make a day of it, bring a cooler with lunch, and hang out with us!

Do I need to bring my own gear?

Nope! All gear is included in the purchase of your tandem skydive. We will provide the parachute rig, jumpsuit, goggles, and even optional gloves, jumpsuit, and frap hat if needed.

What should I wear for my tandem skydive?

You’ll want to dress comfortably for the weather while keeping in mind that it is 30 to 40 degrees cooler up at altitude. Athletic clothing that is breathable, easy to move in, and layerable is ideal. Avoid bulky items, clothing with snag-hazards (tassels, zipper, buttons), and shoes that expose your foot. Opt for lace-up tennis shoes that can be secured to your foot. 

Can I wear my glasses/contacts?

Yes, and you should! We’ll provide you with goggles that can fit snugly over the top of your glasses.

Can I bring my GoPro?

No, you can’t bring your GoPro. Skydivers must have 200 jumps before jumping with a camera – it’s a lot harder than it looks! Don’t worry, we have professional video and photo services that you can add to your reservation to capture your skydiving experience, so you can enjoy the jump fully.

Should I eat or drink before skydiving?

Yes, eat and drink water as normal before your jump. Avoid heavy, greasy foods and try not to eat too much or too little. Your body will need the fuel to handle the rush of adrenaline on your skydive. Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before your jump. If we have any suspicion, you will not be permitted to skydive.

What do I have to bring?

All jumpers are required to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with date of birth and cash or credit card to pay the balance due.


What can I expect during my tandem skydive?

When you arrive, you’ll check in at the Student Manifest window in the hangar. From there, you’ll fill out paperwork and tie up any loose ends. Once you meet your instructor, they will get you ready for your jump. You’ll board the aircraft with your instructor and take a 15 to 20-minute ride to altitude. Once you reach altitude, you’ll jump out while attached to the front of your tandem instructor. The tandem instructor will deploy the parachute when it is time and you’ll enjoy a 5 to 7-minute parachute ride back down to the ground.

Learn more on what to expect on your tandem here.

How high do you jump from in a tandem skydive?

At Skydive Orange, the skydiving height is 13,500 feet!

How fast do you freefall when tandem skydiving?

The terminal velocity – or the rate at which the air resistance is equal to the rate at which you are falling –  for a skydiver in freefall is about 120 mph.

Does skydiving feel like a roller coaster?

When you leave the aircraft, you’re moving horizontally at the same speed as the aircraft (about 90 to 110 mph). The fall to reach your terminal velocity is gradual, so you won’t get that stomach-dropping roller coaster feeling.

What if the parachute doesn’t open?

All parachutes are equipped with a dual-parachute system with a main canopy and reserve canopy. If the first parachute malfunctions for any reason, there is a backup! Additionally, the Automatic Activation Device (AAD) is designed to initiate the reserve deployment sequence should the main parachute not be deployed at a certain altitude/speed for whatever reason. The reserve parachute is required to be inspected and repacked every 180 days by an FAA-certified parachute rigger.

How hard is the landing?

Thanks to modern parachutes, the landing force is like jumping off of a bench. In a tandem skydive, you will either slide in on your bottom or the instructor will stand you up. It’s all depending on what your instructor needs at the time of landing, so listen to their instructions when it comes time to land!


How many times do you have to tandem skydive before you can solo?

A tandem skydive is NOT required before enrolling in the Learn to Skydive program at Skydive Orange. However, it is highly recommended as it serves as an excellent introduction to skydiving before making the financial commitment to achieving your skydiving A license.


Tandem Skydive over Skydive Orange

Clara Del Grande

I had been wanting to do this for years and I am so glad I did it here. Everyone was so friendly, I had a great time and I can't wait to go back!

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

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