We’re here to help!
At Piedmont Skydiving, our goal is to make your adventure as carefree and exciting as possible. We don’t want you to worry about anything, so we’re here to take care of everything. Below you’ll find answers to some of our frequently asked questions about skydiving. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email or phone! Find our contact information here.
Types of Skydives
What is a Tandem Skydive?
Your first time skydiving, you won’t be in it alone! To skydive for the first time, you must be with a tandem skydiving instructor. That means that you won’t actually be the one doing the work. It’s the job of the tandem instructor to guide you through the experience. They’ll keep you stable in the air, pull the parachute at the right altitude, and steer you back for a soft and safe landing.
What is a High Altitude Skydive?
Skydiving is an incredible experience no matter how high you jump from. But, If you’re looking for a bit more excitement on a tandem jump, then a high altitude jump is probably the way to go.
A standard tandem skydive is from about 12,500ft. From this altitude, skydivers can expect about 40 seconds of freefall. A high altitude skydive is typically between 15,000ft and 18,000ft above ground level, giving skydivers up to 80 seconds of freefall.
At Piedmont Skydiving we offer the highest and longest high altitude skydive in the Carolinas, from about 17,500ft. Our PAC 750 Skydiving Airplane is also equipped with supplemental oxygen to make breathing easier once you get past 15,000ft.
How do I learn to skydive on my own?
If you’re looking to level-up and skydive solo, you’re looking for something called an Accelerated Freefall Program. These programs are designed to get you certified to skydive by yourself.
Our Accelerated Freefall Progression Program is designed to put you on the fast track to being able to skydive solo. The program consists of ground training, tandem jumps, training jumps with our experienced professionals, and supervised solo jumps.
Do you allow fun jumpers?
At Piedmont Skydiving, we love our fun jumpers! To skydive solo, you must be a current member of the USPA holding an “A” license or higher, have a current logbook, and have a reserve packing card for each rig you wish to jump in-date per FAA 180-Day requirements.
Get more information about lift tickets and block pricing on our Experienced Jumpers page, and stay up to date on all the latest information for licensed and experienced jumpers by joining our Facebook Group.
How old do I need to be to go skydiving?
The USPA requires that any skydiver within US territory must be at least 18 years of age. We do require a photo ID to prove your age, so make sure to bring one!
We regret that parents cannot sign for jumpers under 18 for any reason, under any circumstances. We do not enforce an upper age limit.
Is there a weight limit?
The tandem instructors at Piedmont Skydiving can fly with a tandem passenger weighing up to 230 lbs. We regret that passengers over 200 lbs. must be physically fit in order to jump, for the safety of both passenger and tandem instructor.
If you’re not sure if you meet the weight requirements, give us a call or message us on Facebook and we’ll have one of our tandem instructors make a determination for you!
Are there any other health requirements or limitations?
Skydiving is the adrenaline-filled adventure of a lifetime. While high-speed fun can sometimes mean health limitations, skydiving is actually not as intimidating as it may seem. Skydiving only takes about as much physical exertion as jogging to your mailbox and back would. That being said, all participants in skydiving must still meet the USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements for medical fitness.
Make sure that you’re in good health and physical condition and not on any medications which could affect your judgment or performance. Also, make sure your instructor knows about any medical conditions that may affect your skydive. People who have recently gone SCUBA diving or donated blood should wait a period of time before skydiving.
Preparing for your Skydive
When should I arrive at the dropzone?
Whatever time you book your skydive for is your show time, no need to get to the Dropzone any earlier! You might spend over 3 hours at the skydiving center depending on weather and scheduling factors, so please plan for a full half-day for the experience.
What should I bring (or not bring)?
When you’re packing up for your skydiving adventure make sure you’re only taking what’s absolutely necessary. Make sure you have a form of payment and a photo ID to prove your age. You can bring your phone to the dropzone, but you won’t be able to take it with you on the actual skydive.
Can I bring my friends/family/fur babies?
Skydiving is even more fun when you have friends and family along to celebrate with you, so feel free to bring them along! If they’re only there as spectators, as them to come around 35-45 min after your scheduled time. That way, they’ll take a pass on the waiver/payment/instruction/gear-up process, but will be able to catch you coming in for a landing.
If your ground crew includes children, please make sure that there’s someone to watch them while you’re skydiving, and that they stay in the spectator area as much as possible. While we love our little ones, we also want to make sure that they’re staying safe and being cared for!
In addition to your human friends, you might want to bring your animal along too. Unfortunately, dogs and dropzones don’t mix. No matter how well-behaved the dog, an active airfield with a skydiving operation isn’t a safe place at all for pups. But don’t worry, they’ll enjoy the video later!
What clothing should I wear for my skydive?
Skydiving doesn’t require you to purchase any fancy skydiving suit or special gear – Piedmont will provide you with all of the safety equipment you need for a successful jump. Make sure you wear athletic clothing that’s comfortable and snug, along with closed-toed shoes that don’t slip off. Please do not wear heels or sandals.
Be sure to leave any loose jewelry and accessories at home, or remove them before your jump. We also suggest wearing seasonally appropriate clothing, but keep in mind that it will be slightly colder during freefall due to the elevation, so snug layers are never a bad idea!
Can I wear my glasses?
Piedmont will provide you will goggles that can be placed over eyewear when skydiving, but there is still a risk of losing them. If you have contacts or glasses with a smaller frame, opt to wear those instead.
What should I eat/drink before my skydive?
Make sure that you eat a good meal around 30 min before your scheduled time. Be sure to bring some snacks in case you’re at the dropzone longer than anticipated due to the weather. Leave enough time for the food to digest, but not so much time that you’re starving once it’s time to skydive. You don’t want anything to take your focus away from the experience!
It’s also important to make sure that you’re well-hydrated before your first skydive, and use the restroom before you get on the plane. Once you leave the dropzone, it’ll be about 20-25 min until your feet are back on the ground, so plan accordingly!
Should I drink alcohol the night before or day of my skydive?
Drinking alcohol the night before or the day of a skydive is a terrible idea, trust us. The FAA and USPA both require a minimum of 8 hours after drinking to skydive but recommend a full 24 hours.
Piedmont Skydiving strictly enforces this, and will not allow you to jump if you’re intoxicated or impaired in any way. This is not only for your safety but for the safety of our instructors and the other skydivers as well.
On top of that, skydiving hungover (or drunk) can be an easy way to lose your lunch and leave your instructor with a very smelly rest of the day.
Instructors & Safety
How dangerous is it to skydive at Piedmont Skydiving?
We firmly prioritize safety at Piedmont Skydiving. We take pride in following all Federal Aviation Administration requirements for parachute safety, which specify that “all intentional parachute jumps must be made with a single-harness, dual-parachute system with both a main and a secondary [reserve] parachute.” If the first (main) canopy malfunctions, another one is waiting to take its place. Piedmont Skydiving ensures that all reserve parachutes are inspected every 180 days by an FAA-certified parachute rigger, whether or not they’ve been used.
All of the parachutes at Piedmont Skydiving are equipped with a computerized Automatic Activation Device (AAD). The AAD is designed to activate the parachute automatically in the event that the skydiver is unable to do so.
All of our tandem skydiving instructors have undergone rigorous training and national USPA certification. We strictly adhere to all FAA and USPA guidelines on safety. If you’re curious or concerned about the general safety of skydiving, we invite you to research the the excellent records maintained by The United States Parachute Association (USPA).
How experienced are the instructors?
Our instructors at Piedmont Skydiving are incredibly friendly and talented professionals, who are all USPA-licensed and FAA-certified Tandem Skydiving Instructors.
To become a skydiving instructor you need to be a member of the USPA and log 500 jumps and 3 hours of freefall, MINIMUM. The instructors at Piedmont Skydiving have made an average of 5,000 jumps each. That’s 10x more than the minimum!
Should I tip my instructor?
They’d deeply appreciate it! A tip is a great way of communicating your satisfaction with the jump – and making your hard-working instructor smile.
About the Experience
Will I be scared?
Yes — but that’s part of it, and it’s nothing to worry about. Being nervous about jumping from an airplane is totally normal. Most first-timers report that they felt the most apprehensive during the 12-minute ride to exit altitude. Once your feet are out the door, that nervousness will dissolve into pure, heart-pumping joy.
How high is the skydive?
Our typical skydive is 12,500 feet. We also offer high-altitude skydives from 17,500 feet at an additional cost.
How long/fast will I fall?
You will free-fall for the most exhilarating 50 seconds of your life. Then, you expect a beautiful parachute ride for about 4-7 minutes over the beautiful Carolina landscape. Freefall speeds average 120 miles per hour. It doesn’t feel like falling, though — it feels like being supported by air.
Should I expect a hard landing?
Nope! We use large parachutes, and we only employ highly skilled instructors. You can expect a landing that results in a less jarring impact than you’d experience if you jumped from a chair.
Rates, Refunds and Rescheduling
What does it cost to go skydiving?
Take a look at our Pricing Page for all pricing information!
What about inclement weather?
Due to FAA restrictions, skydiving can only take place in clear skies. Clouds, rain, and wind may cause delays.
Always call us before making the drive out, especially on weekdays, at (704) 603-7920. It’s also a good idea to call ahead of time on weekends due to our limited lift capacity. Scheduled students always take priority over walk-ins, so calling first is always a good idea.
Are you jumping with a group? Then life just got a lot more flexible. If you’ve organized a group of 4 or more jumpers, we will rev up the plane for you any day of the week (weather permitting, of course). Just give us a call a couple of days ahead of time to place your reservation.
Can I reschedule my skydive, or cancel and a get a refund?
Your deposit is refundable only if you cancel your reservation 96 HOURS (4 DAYS) IN ADVANCE. Rescheduling must also be done before this time period.
If, due to weather, you cannot jump the day you’re scheduled to jump, you can reschedule your jump at Piedmont Skydiving or get a full refund.
For large groups (6+) we ask that you give us 5 days notice to cancel or change a reservation, failure to do so will result in the loss of the $50 deposit per cancellation/change. Please understand that our instructors have been scheduled to accommodate your reservation.
Groups & Special Events
How many people can jump at one time?
If you want to jump with a friend or friends, you’re in luck! Depending on the day of the week and the plane being used we can take 2 to 6 tandem pairs up on a load, so you can share the experience with someone special (or someone who’s just awesome).
Do you offer group rates/discounts?
Yes we do! See our excellent group rates for a fun outing with your most adventurous friends, church buddies and coworkers!
Can I propose while skydiving? How about a gender reveal?
Absolutely! At Piedmont Skydiving, we’d love to help you take a special experience and make it even more exciting! Please contact us directly for more information on special events.
Want to learn more? Click here for our Groups & Events page
Photos & Videos
Can I bring my own camera on the jump?
No, we do not allow outside video equipment on the plane or the skydive. You are more than welcome to take as many photos as you would like on the ground before and after your skydive.
Do separate video and/or picture packages need to be purchased for each individual skydiver?
Yes, due to the nature of the skydive, each tandem pair will be around 1/4 mile away from the next tandem pair. At this distance it is impossible to film both tandem pairs with one camera.