How weather affects skydiving

June 3, 2019 3:10 pm Published by

Here’s the deal, fair reader: If you’re playing in the sky, you’re playing in the weather. Yep! That means that the weather totally affects every “beat” of the skydiving experience, from the sun shining on your smiling face during freefall to the tinkerbell delicacy of your triumphant landing.

Parachute weather is pernickety, and that’s fine by us. The thing to know is that the very nicest skydiving weather conditions are also the best conditions to visit the beach: the weather is warm, the sky is clear and blue and there’s a gentle breeze stirring the air. It’s true that deviations from that ideal are common and not always unpleasant (some clouds are fun!), but go far afield from those ideal skydiving weather conditions and things get less favorable for a jump. Here’s come insights and advice that we have on weather conditions for a safe and happy skydiving experience.

We need to see the ground from the airplane

If the ground isn’t visible from the plane, we don’t jump. Sure, GPS is very likely to get us close to the mark, but all safety-minded skydivers (that’s your Perris Tandem Instructor!) know that it’s a terrible call to rely on them completely. The best tool to evaluate whether you’re getting out in the right place is your very own eyesight. Landing off the dropzone could put a baffled jumper in a tree, a lake or a full parking lot.

Does it look like there aren’t too many clouds up there? Maybe think again. Even if the cloud seems broken in places, those “holes” are almost certainly moving around. Unless the Safety and Training Officer keeping an eye on things from the ground determines that there will certainly be a big space directly over the dropzone by the time the plane reaches exit altitude, all jumpers need to wait, from the newest first-time skydiving student to the most seasoned sport jumper.

Rain means pain

Rain falls from clouds and, as we said before, clouds between the plane and the ground aren’t great for anybody. But even if the source clouds are higher than exit altitude, we tend to wait for the rain to pass.

Why? Well: we admit that the gentle patter of a light rain down on your smiling face sounds pretty romantic, but make no mistake. When you’re skydiving, the sharp ends of each those raindrops are pointing up at you as you smack against them at 120mph. Ow. Seriously. It’s just not worth the misery.

Also: If we were to jump in the rain, the weight of the water in the fabric of our parachutes would negatively affect the way our parachutes fly.

We need to control our parachutes during descent

weather and skydiving

High winds significantly affect how our parachutes fly, pushing them off-course. Sometimes, they even push them backwards. Because of this, we enforce wind speed limits for different solo skydiving licensing levels. If you have a higher-level license, you’re given more latitude to decide what wind speeds you will and will not tolerate. Tandems have more latitude than A-license skydivers because of the high-level professional pilot and the design of the equipment. Even so, we keep our tandem students’ comfort and safety firmly and centrally in mind when we’re determining a dropzone wind hold.

…So what if I show up for my jump and it’s not parachute weather?

Don’t sweat it! In the unfortunate event that the weather keeps you down on the day you’d hoped to jump, we’ll just reschedule your jump for a nicer day. Don’t worry; we’ll be doing good-weather dances along with you! Now seems like a nice day to book your skydiving adventure with us. Check our our current SPECIALS.

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Gabriel