Skydive Pepperell  /  
First Time Skydiving  /  First Time FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Tandem Jumping

How long will my first tandem skydive take?

Plan for a 1/2 day, but be prepared to spend the whole day in the event of bad weather.

Is there a weight limit?

Yes, our weight limit for student jumps is 225 pounds for tandems and 220 pounds for accelerated freefall. The equipment is designed, tested, and certified by the manufacturer for a certain maximum suspended weight. Other factors such as body proportion may prevent someone who is under the weight limit from jumping for safety reasons.

How old do I have to be?

You must be at least 18 years of age with a valid photo ID.

FEDERAL REGULATION- Sorry your parents can not sign for you.

What do I need to wear?

Comfortable clothing for temperatures and sneakers (no boots or sandals, please).

Can I get pictures and video of my skydive?

Yes, we can capture your thrilling experience with a professionally edited video and digital images from a third party  videographer, or a Hand Cam worn by your tandem instructor. The additional charge for this service is listed on the price list. Photo/video packages can be added on when checking in for your jump.

Your photos and video will be sent directly to your email the same day as your jump.

Can I bring my own camera on my skydive?

Under no circumstance may a student bring a camera on a skydive. The Basic Safety Requirements (BSRs) mandated by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) prohibits people with less than 200 jumps to wear any camera gear on their person or equipment. Cameras create a snag hazard during parachute opening and are a danger to untrained users and the instructors in that regard. Our video personnel are well trained in the use of their video equipment while jumping, and the chances of a student being able to get footage of their own jump are slim to none.

What advantages do I have learning at Skydive Pepperell?

The staff and our safety record is our secret to success. We have the most experienced and friendly staff in New England. Our personable full-time staff is available seven days a week. We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented skydiving center. Each one of our staff members is carefully screened. We require proof of certification, annual training and compliance with all industry safety requirements, local, state and regional laws. Since 1991, we have led the region in providing on-going safety training to our instructors, students and experienced jumpers. Every year we hold an annual safety seminar featuring dozens of safety topics. Pepperell is a drug free workplace.

All of our skydives are from 10,500 to 13,500 feet AGL (above ground level). We are located on a private skydiving-only airport for your safety. Air traffic into the airport is limited making the skies over our dropzone safer for your jump. The grounds are well maintained and unobstructed to make for a smooth and safe landing. Our large fields make it easy for spectators to watch your jump.

Skydiving is made up of an eclectic mix of individuals with a passion for adventure. The sense of accomplishment and exhilaration that our students earn from taking the plunge is very evident in some of their comments. For many it is a life altering event. Beyond that, most experienced skydivers will tell you that Skydive Pepperell is their "home away from home." There are always a dozen friendly faces ready to lend a hand. The atmosphere of camaraderie extends to after hours with groups of jumpers heading off to a local restaurant for dinner, planning their next day of jumping or just hanging out at the airport to talk and share their stories. We love skydiving. We love Skydive Pepperell. We know you will too.

What is a USPA Group Member Dropzone and what is the PIA?

The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and safety of skydiving. USPA represents more than 34,000 people who enjoy the sport of skydiving. USPA also represents nearly 300 skydiving clubs and businesses nationwide that offer skydiving and skydiving instruction. USPA's sole business is the sport skydiving. Since its inception in 1946, USPA has worked to promote, grow, and develop the sport, with skydiving safety as one of its most critical missions.

As a USPA group member dropzone we have taken a pledge to provide service and conduct business within accepted ethical guidelines. We have made a commitment to comply with the USPA Basic Safety Requirements (BSRs) in connection with all skydiving activities and ensure that all of our employees and staff are appropriately qualified and trained in accordance with USPA Recommendations and (where applicable) hold USPA ratings and/or FAA licenses and certification commensurate with their duties.

Members of the Parachute Industry Association (PIA) are dedicated to the promotion of the highest principles of honesty, integrity, fairness and professional behavior in all dealings with their customers, and the public at large. As a member of PIA we strive to achieve excellence in the services we offer, following comprehensive course of instruction which is consistent with accepted common good and safe practice in the parachute community. We pledge to know, understand, respect and obey existing laws having jurisdiction over our business activities, provide proper, safe and airworthy equipment for use in skydiving and provide appropriate aircraft which is maintained and operated in a safe and airworthy manner by authorized and appropriately rated personnel.

Can my group be on the same plane together?

Yes, most of the time! Our PAC 750 can carry up to 14 jumpers at a time, although it is dependent on the number of tandem instructors we have available on the day of your jump. Feel free to call the office prior to your jump to inquire about groups.

Do I need to make reservations to make a skydive?

Reservations aren't required but they are highly recommended as it is the only way to guarantee your slot. When booking, we require a $100 deposit per person which will go towards the total cost of your jump. Reservations can be made over the phone or by clicking here.

You can cancel or change your reservations up to 48 hours before your scheduled appointment without losing your deposit (1 week notice is required for groups of 8 or more).

Can I go solo my first jump?

No. Tandem jumps are the safest first-jump option available. More than 65% of the first jumps made in the United States are made by tandem jumps. We have found over the years that tandem jumping offers the general public both the safest and the fastest route to making their first jump. Your tandem jump will help  you decide quickly whether skydiving is your cup of tea. If your goal is to jump solo and become a skydiver after your tandem you can enroll in our AFF program which has the highest student graduation rate in the Northeast.

What will the skydive feel like?

The sensation of freefall is more like flying than falling. The parachute flight is peaceful and will allow you to take in the beauty of New England. On a clear day you can see from the ocean to the White Mountains making this one of the most scenic adventures offered in the area.

Can you breathe and/or talk in freefall?

Breathing is easy in freefall, but talking is almost impossible. The rush of the wind makes it difficult to hear.

How fast do you fall?

The average human body falls approximately 120 miles per hour.

What kind of parachute will we use?

The parachute systems used are specially designed, modern square parachutes built for two and manufactured by Strong Enterprises and United Parachute Technologies.

What happens if the parachute doesn't open?

In the unlikely event that the main parachute doesn't open properly, there is a reserve parachute in the top of the container which has been inspected and packed by an FAA certified parachute rigger. All of our reserve parachutes are also equipped for your safety with the most reliable and modern computerized AADs (Automatic Activation Device) available.

How long does the skydive last?

Up to 60 seconds of freefall and 5 to 7 minutes under the parachute.

What is the landing like?

The square ram-air parachutes of today allow landings that are the equivalent to hopping off a chair.  Depending on the wind conditions at the time you jump, you may land with a gentle "standup" landing or an equally gentle "butt-slide" landing.

Will I be scared?

Maybe, or perhaps maybe not. It's human nature to be frightened of the unknown. Excitement and anticipation before the jump are absolutely normal.

How do I become a certified skydiver?

After your tandem jump you can transition into the Accelerated freefall (AFF) program. Upon successful completion of Pepperell's Student Training Program (Phase One and Phase Two), and a final "Check Dive," you will receive a USPA "A" License.

Do you have special events for spectators to attend?

Yes! Every year Skydive Pepperell hosts the largest gathering of skydivers in New England. The "New England Boogie" features additional aircrafts such as the 31-seat CASA and world class skydivers from all over the United States. We welcome spectators of all ages anytime during the season but this is our premiere event. Feel free to call the office or see our Boogie Page for more information!