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TANDEM SKYDIVING FAQs
Your Questions, Answered
If you have a question that is not on this page, call 813-783-9399 or get in touch.
SKYDIVING FAQS QUICK LINKS:
> Why Should I Choose Skydive City For My First Skydive
> Requirements To Make A Skydive At Skydive City
> About Your Jump At Skydive City
> Becoming A Solo Skydiver
> General Questions
> Business Questions
> The Sport Of Skydiving
> Zephyrhills Skydiving Trivia
The Most Common Question
- HOW DO I GET TO SKYDIVE CITY?
Follow these directions to our DZ on the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport. On your GPS, manually enter our address or many driving apps will take you to the center of the airport.
Our drop zone is just 30 minutes from Tampa and Lakeland and approximately an hour from Orlando, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Gainesville and Ocala. Jumpers visit Skydive City to make a tandem from Miami, Palm Beach, Sebastian, Naples, Sarasota, Deland, Jacksonville, and Pensacola.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE SKYDIVE CITY FOR MY FIRST SKYDIVE?
- HOW DO YOU JUDGE WHICH DROP ZONE TO GO TO IF YOU'VE NEVER JUMPED BEFORE?
It’s hard to evaluate without knowing what to look for in a skydiving drop zone.
- What might I want to know?
- Our tandem student instructors are selected independent contractors who operate small businesses performing skydiving training here and at other drop zones, especially northern drop zones in the summer. They are licensed and have appropriate ratings. Even so, do not rely on these representations. Skydiving is a high inherent risk activity. Equipment can malfunction. Instructors could make mistakes. There are numerous unknown and unforeseeable risks. You are welcome to visit Skydive City any time and check us out.
- What is the drop zone’s customer service reputation? Its business reputation? Reviews?
- Skydive City is known for “Good Vibes.” We care about you, your experience here, how much fun you have, whether you are getting good value. Sure, we sometimes make customer service mistakes, but we really do care to get it right. If you don’t get satisfaction from the front-desk, go straight to the owners, Susan or Joannie. We’ll always take your call.
- What will your total experience be like? Will you have fun? Will I just make a jump and leave, or will it be an experience? How can Skydive City make my jump extra special?
- You only make your first jump once. Skydive City provides a unique experience because so many highly experienced skydivers come from all over the world just to jump here. In addition to making your own Tandem Skydive, you will see the best skydivers in the world skydiving in action at our place. You will be among champions. Maybe you want to become come one of them? Wait till you see them performing stunts on our world-class competition ‘swoop’ pond.
- What might I want to know?
Make it a Whole Day Experience™
Let us personalize and customize your Tandem experience with one of our Party Packages. See our Hospitality page and Party Packages to learn more!
- WHICH DROP ZONE IS SAFEST? HOW SAFE IS SKYDIVE CITY?
Skydiving is an inherently dangerous activity; no amount of care, caution, instruction, warning or expertise can eliminate these inherent risks which can and do cause death and severe injury. Risks include but are not limited to parachute equipment malfunction or failure to function; defective or negligent design or negligent operation or use of the equipment; aircraft malfunction or negligent aircraft operation or maintenance; careless or negligent instruction or supervision; walking into a propeller; extremely hard landings; failure to warn or label; and many unknown and unforeseeable risks.
We encourage you to visit the United States Parachute Association website for information on injuries and deaths in the industry. No organization rates the safety or skydiving schools or drop zones.
As a USPA Group Member, Skydive City follows USPA Basic Safety Requirements. Our courses are modeled on USPA-developed first-jump courses. That said, you cannot rely on these facts to conclude that death or injury could not occur at Skydive City or is less likely to occur here than at any other location.
- WHAT DISAPPOINTS TANDEM CUSTOMERS MOST ABOUT SKYDIVE CITY?
The biggest complaints are occasional long wait times once you get here. We schedule our customers, instructors and aircraft to run exceptionally smoothly. Most days run exceptionally well! Other days, despite our very best effort, we get behind due to weather and unanticipated variables. We ask your patience. We mean it when we say: Please plan to be with us for at least a half-day.
- WHAT IS FLORIDA’S BEST SKYDIVING SCHOOL™?
Skydive City has been teaching skydiving for thirty years. Our Tandem and AFF School, FLORIDA’S BEST SKYDIVING SCHOOL™, is managed by Cameron King. Our full-time Tandem instructors are cross trained in AFF and videography. We have numerous dedicated AFF instructors, freefall videographers and skydiving coaches. Our gear is maintained in-house by Paragone Rigging LLC and packed by Twenty-Minute Call LLC packing for quick turn. We model our teaching curriculum on USPA protocols with dedicated classrooms, hanging harness and other instructional aids.
REQUIREMENTS TO MAKE A SKYDIVE AT SKYDIVE CITY
- DO I NEED ID?
Yes! Bring ID so that we can verify your identity and age.
- MUST I BE 18 FOR TANDEM OR AFF?
Yes. Learn more about skydiving age limits.
- WHAT IS A WAIVER? MUST I SIGN ONE?
Yes. Everyone who jumps at Skydive City must sign our Waiver of Rights, Release of Liability and Covenant not to Sue, known as a ‘Waiver.’
In the Waiver, you will agree that you could be seriously injured or killed while skydiving or just being at Skydive City. You will state that you understand the risks involved in skydiving and freely agree to accept that risk. You will also covenant not to sue Skydive City, the skydiving school or anyone in any way related to your skydive or just being here.
There are other contractual terms and representations you will make in the Waiver – such as a photo/video/audio release and an assumption of financial responsibility. Read the clauses of the document carefully. Consult an attorney if you do not understand the Waiver.
If you cannot accept the terms, do not sign. This legally binding contract cannot be signed by someone else on your behalf.
- ARE THERE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS?
Our weight limit is 220 lbs. The key factor is weight loading on the parachute and the instructor’s ability to remain in control of the skydive. Depending on body type, we may be able to accommodate up to 240 lbs. Please ask. Learn more about skydiving weight limits.
- ARE THERE HEALTH OR AGE REQUIREMENTS?
You should be in good health and physical condition to skydive and should not be on medication. We are not medical personnel and cannot make any determination about your fitness or medical condition to skydive. We know that some conditions can be properly managed, but that determination is between you and your doctor. Our instructors will work with persons with physical limitations to accommodate their desire to skydive. Ask our instructors. Instructors also needs to know about any recent donations of blood. People who participate in SCUBA diving should not fly for at least 24 hours afterward.
You should agree with the USPA STATEMENT OF MEDICAL FITNESS: “I represent and warrant that I have no known physical or mental infirmities that would impair my ability to participate in skydiving, or if I do have any such infirmities, that they have been or are being successfully treated so that they do not represent any foreseeable risk while skydiving,” and, “I also represent and warrant that I am not taking any medications or substances, prescription, or otherwise, that would impair my ability to participate in skydiving.”
If you are over 70, let us know so that we can help you consider your fitness to skydive.
ABOUT YOUR JUMP AT SKYDIVE CITY
- WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE?
Your appointment time is your arrival time. Your appointment time is not your flight time. After you check-in, you begin a training session. See our Tandem Training Video.
- CAN I EAT OR DRINK BEFORE I JUMP?
Eat and drink normally before your jump. Jumping on an empty stomach is not recommended and is the leading cause of feeling unwell under parachute.
- WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL OR DRUGS?
No alcohol or drugs in your system on the day of your jump. You may imbibe after your jump.
- WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Close-fitting, weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable sneakers. Jumpsuits and goggles are available. Pull back long hair. Remove jewelry (so that it doesn’t get lost in freefall).
- CAN I WEAR MY GLASSES OR CONTACTS?
We require skydiving appropriate goggles. Some goggles fit over your glasses and help keep contacts in place. Because we cannot sanitize googles, we now sell skydiving appropriate goggles for $12 at Skydive City.
- CAN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WATCH ME JUMP?
Our large Moby Deck has a great view of the landing areas. They may bring their cameras and folding chairs.
- CAN I JUMP WITH MY FRIENDS ON THE SAME PLANE?
We do our best to schedule friends and family in your group on the same plane. It isn’t always possible, however, given the mix of instructors, students and airplanes on any given day.
- HOW MUCH WILL MY INSTRUCTOR TOUCH MY BODY?
In the process of fitting the harness to your body, your instructor may need to touch your person in ways that otherwise would be inappropriate. Our instructors will explain this touching as it is about to occur. Please, if you are uncomfortable, do not continue. Speak to Manifest or the owners. In the airplane, your body will have full direct contact with the instructor and the person in front of you.
- CAN I REQUEST A FEMALE OR AN INSTRUCTOR I LIKE?
We sometimes have a female instructor on staff. Call in advance to learn if they are working on the day you want to jump.
- WHAT ABOUT THE INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE IN THE AIRPLANE?
You will be on the same airplane as highly experienced skydivers who know each other very well and are about to perform amazing aerial stunts. They will speak and act with familiarity and reference to what they are doing. Most unnerving can be references to death. You will see certain pre-exit rituals, such as peculiar handshakes and comments. We do not regulate this speech.
- HOW FAST DO YOU FALL IN FREEFALL? HOW LONG ARE YOU IN FREEFALL?
Your freefall fall rate is about 110 mph for about 60 seconds. Then the parachute is deployed. After that, it’s about 5 minutes to the ground under parachute.
- MIGHT I THROW UP?
Some throw up. However, there is no sudden drop feeling. Do not over-eat before jumping. Stay away from foods that don’t agree. Avoid jumping on an empty stomach. Hydrate early and stay hydrated. Do not jump hungover.
- DO PEOPLE PASS OUT IN FREEFALL?
It rarely happens. Your instructor is prepared to manage this. If you are at risk for passing out, please advise your instructor.
- CAN YOU BREATHE IN FREEFALL?
Very rarely someone feels they lost their breath in freefall. Relax and try not to focus on breathing.
- AFTER YOUR PARACHUTE OPENS, HOW LONG UNTIL WE ARE BACK ON EARTH?
Approximately 5 minutes.
- CAN I PULL THE RIPCORD? WHAT IF I FORGET TO PULL THE RIPCORD?
Ask your instructor. If you forget, the instructor knows they are responsible for pulling the ripcord and will do so.
- CAN I STEER THE PARACHUTE?
Ask your instructor who may allow you to steer the parachute. The instructor will always be the one to conduct the landing.
BECOMING A SOLO SKYDIVER
- HOW DO I BECOME A LICENSED SKYDIVER, JUMPING ON MY OWN?
Enroll in our Accelerated Freefall Program.
- DO YOU JUMP NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER?
We will not jump when it is raining, too windy or a low cloud ceiling (at least 9000 feet).
- IF WEATHER IS BAD, WILL YOU CONTACT ME?
If it is likely we will not be able to jump, we send an email as soon as we make that decision. On the day before, or morning of your jump, if you like, call us at 813-783-9399 to check in on the weather here – which could differ from where you are – especially if you are travelling a long way.
- DO YOU OFFER JUMPS HIGHER THAN 13,500 FEET?
Oxygen jumps coming soon!
- WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS?
Our hours necessarily are as predictable as the weather. Hours are 8AM weekends. 9AM weekdays. Until jumping is over for the day or sunset.
- IT'S SAFE, ISN'T IT?
You are jumping out of an airplane. No one will take you seriously if you say, “I had no idea that was unsafe.” You must be prepared to take the risk of injury and death. Visit uspa.org for fatality and injury statistics.
- IS THERE A RESTAURANT OR PLACE TO GET COFFEE?
For breakfast, coffee, lunch and snacks, visit Hillz Kitchen in The Bird House. See our Hospitality page.
- CAN I BUY MY OWN GOGGLES?
Yes. Some people prefer goggles not worn by others. Buy your own goggles at manifest – along with jerseys, t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, cups, glasses, shot glasses, patches, stickers, decals and other Skydive City souvenirs. If you’re lucky, the Manifest may even give your child a free sticker – they’re that nice!
- CAN I BRING MY DOG TO THE DROP ZONE?
Yes. Dogs must be on leash no longer than six feet. Leash should be controlled by a person. Dogs may not be tied up. Dogs must never be left in a car. Bring a friend to control your dog while you jump.
- CAN I WINGSUIT?
Many first-time tandem students aspire to wingsuit. A minimum of 200 jumps is required to make a wingsuit jump. And, yes, quite a few of our students achieve that! Start with AFF.
- WHAT ABOUT THE RESERVATION DEPOSIT?
When you make a reservation, you secure your slot with a $25 deposit. You pay the rest when you get to Skydive City. Your deposit becomes a non-refundable no-show fee if you do not show for your appointment or do not cancel within 48 hours of your appointment time.
- WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?
Your deposit is refundable to the same card you charged if you cancel within 48 hours before your appointment time.
Can I get a refund if I can’t jump that day? If you show for your appointment and are unable to jump due to weather or fault of Skydive City, we will refund your deposit and any monies paid toward the jump or video to the same credit or debit card charged.
- HOW DO I GET A REFUND?
Try to arrange a refund before you leave Skydive City so that it’s not nagging you when you get home. Otherwise, call Manifest at 813-783-9399 or write us at [email protected]. We will work with you. It is easier to work with us than card companies.
- CAN I RESCHEDULE MY JUMP?
Yes. Reschedule within 48 hours of your appointment time so as not to forfeit your deposit. If Skydive City cancels or reschedules, no additional deposit is required or request a refund of your deposit.
- WHY WOULD SKYDIVE CITY RESCHEDULE OR CANCEL MY JUMP?
The most common reason is bad weather – rain, low cloud ceiling or high winds. But then there’s the unexpected – like coronavirus or a hurricane.
- WHAT OTHER COSTS ARE THERE?
There is an account service fee of 3.5% for credit and 1% for debit cards. Account service fees are waived for cash payments.
- DO CUSTOMERS TIP INSTRUCTORS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS?
Our staff always appreciates recognition for exceptional service, although tipping is certainly not necessary or expected.
THE SPORT OF SKYDIVING & WHERE TO SEE AWESOME VIDEOS & TECHNOLOGY
- WHAT ARE THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF SKYDVING? IS SKYDIVING REGULATED BY THE FAA?
See up-to-date information in the USPA’s Skydiving Information Manual (SIM). The SIM covers learning to skydive, skydiving license requirements, ratings and extreme jumps.
Another excellent resource is the Safety & Training page on the USPA website. The FAA regulates skydiving. USPA publishes industry safety standards.
- Where can I see cool skydiving videos?
Check out our Skydive City video gallery!
- How can I see cool skydiving technology?
Check out the Parachute Industry Association. The leading skydiving companies and manufacturers are members.
ZEPHYRHILLS SKYDIVING TRIVIA
We occasionally have trivia contests. You could win a prize! We have deliberately placed answers to common questions in the Tandem section so that you can one-up our experienced skydivers with your knowledge. Shhh! Don’t tell them the answers are here!
- HOW LONG HAS THERE BEEN SKYDIVING IN ZEPHYRHILLS?
Since the early 1960s.
- WHEN WAS SKYDIVE CITY FOUNDED?
- WHO ARE THE OWNERS?
Skydive City is the largest all-woman-owned parachute center in the world, founded and owned by Joannie Murphy and Susan Stark.
- WHAT ARE THE OFFICIAL COLORS OF SKYDIVE CITY?
Aqua, Yellow/Gold and Purple.
- ARE THERE OTHER SKYDIVE CITY LOCATIONS?
We are only located in Zephyrhills.
- HOW MANY AIRPLANES DOES SKYDIVE CITY HAVE? WHAT ARE THEY?
Two Twin Otters and 1 Cessna 182. In the winter, Caravans and other specialty aircraft.
- HOW MANY SKYDIVERS FIT IN AN OTTER?
Depending on the weight of the jumpers, 20-22.
- HOW MANY WORLD MEETS HAVE BEEN HELD IN ZEPHYRHILLS?
Three. The first RW World Meet in the US was held in Zephyrhills in 1981. Two World Meets were held at Skydive City. The Canopy Piloting World Meet in 2015 and the Wingsuit World Meet in 2017.
- NAME THE PRO SHOP AT SKYDIVE CITY
- NAME THE RIGGING LOFT
- WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE RATINGS SCHOOL AT SKYDIVE CITY?
- NAME ANY RECORD, WORLD MEET OR ANY OTHER OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED COMPETITION THAT TOOK PLACE AT SKYDIVE CITY
USPA National, USPA Open National and Florida State Records achieved at Skydive City Zephyrhills include: in 2019, the formation skydiving Head-Up Large 16-way and Wingsuit Flying Large Formation – Docked 4-way; in 2018, the Canopy Piloting Carved Speed 70m (1.980 seconds) record and the Head-Up Large Formation 12-way record; in 2017, the Wingsuit Flying Female Large Formation No-Grip 8-way record, Canopy Piloting Female Carved Speed record (2.386 sec.); in 2016, the Canopy Piloting Carved Speed (2.120 sec.) and Female Carved Speed (2.411 sec.), the Wingsuit Flying Longest Time competition (95.7 sec.), Greatest Distance Record (4.471 km.), Fastest Speed Record (302.0 km/hr.), the Wingsuit Flying Large Formation – No Grip record; in 2015, the Wingsuit Flying Large Formation No-Grip record; in 2014, the formation skydiving Head-Down Sequential Large Formation 4-way and Female Head-Down Sequential Large Formation 4-way, the Canopy Piloting Carved Speed record (2.034 sec.), the Canopy Piloting Drag Distance record, Canopy Piloting Carved Speed record, the formation skydiving Sequential Large Formation 4-way, the Female Head-Down Sequential Large Formation; in 2013, three Canopy Piloting Carved Speed records, the Female Canopy Piloting Carved Speed record, two Canopy Piloting Drag Distance records and the Female Drag Distance record, and the Wingsuit Flying Large Formation – No Grip 9-way record.
- HOW MANY ATTENDED THE INTERNATIONAL SKYDIVING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONIES AT SKYDIVE CITY IN 2018?
- HOW MANY SKYDIVING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES CALL SKYDIVE CITY THEIR HOME?
3: Jerry Bird, Bill Morrissey and Tony Uragallo. See their banners in the Bird House!
- WHY IS OUR MAIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER CALLED, THE BIRD HOUSE?
The Bird House was named for Jerry Bird, a founding member of Skydive City – widely recognized as “The Father of Relative Work.” Relative Work means ‘contact maneuvers in freefall.’ There was a time when skydivers had never made contact in freefall! Jerry Bird was the leading pioneer!
- NAME ONE OF THE 80 COUNTRIES THAT SKYDIVERS CAME FROM IN 2019
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, United Arab Emirates, Unites States (all 50 states), Venezuela, Vietnam.
- HOW DOES SKYDIVE CITY HONOR GROUPS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES?
Skydive City raises and flies their country flags on Moby Deck, at the Sunshine Factory, in the Bunker, on the tops of buildings and in other locations.
- WHAT IS THE NICKNAME FOR THE CANOPY PILOTING DISCIPLINE THAT OCCURS ON OUR COMPETITION POND?
- COMPETITION CANOPY PILOTING REQUIRES DEMONSTRATION OF THREE SKILL SETS. WHAT ARE THEY?
Speed, Accuracy and Distance.
- WHAT ARE THE USPA RECOGNIZED SKYDIVING AND PARACHUTING COMPETITION DISCIPLINES?
Accuracy Landing; Artistic Events; Acrobatic Wingsuiting; Performance Wingsuiting; 4-Way, 8-Way, 10-Way, and 16-Way Formation Skydiving; Mixed Formation Skydiving; Vertical Formation Skydiving; and, Speed Skydiving.
- WHAT IS THE FARTHEST DISTANCE THAT ANYONE HAS EVER SWOOPED OUR POND? WHO WAS IT? IN WHAT YEAR?
In 2019, Sven Jseppi of North Carolina set the US National, Florida State and unofficial world speed record of 1.980. In 2020, he beat that with 1.949 and was only off the world record by 0.006 seconds. His competition distance record is just sky of 15 meters. During training, he has reached over 170 meters.
- IS PASCO COUNTY KNOWN AS FLORIDA'S SPORTS COAST?
Yes! And Skydive City is actively involved in promoting sports in the Pasco County and the Tampa Bay area!
- HOW CAN YOU WIN A FREE T-SHIRT AT SKYDIVE CITY?
Watch for games and contests where we give away Skydive City merchandise to people who love it here. If you’ve read this far through the Trivia Page, you’re a ringer!
- IS THE PERSON IN THE PHOTO WITH THE STILLS PACKAGE A PROFESSIONAL ACTOR?
Yes! This is Madeleine Stark, daughter of founder Susan Stark on her first skydive.
- WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LOGO FOR ANYTIME FITNESS ™ IN WEEKI WACHEE ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Tyler Pohjolainen is the body-building son of founder Joannie Murphy!
- IS SOMEONE MAKING A VIDEO OF A ROLLER SKATER ROLLING OUT OF AN AIRPLANE?
Yes! That would be Robert Stark, son of founder Susan Stark. Standby for World Premiere!
- DO THE OWNER-MOTHERS SHAMELESSLY LOVE ON THEIR CHILDREN?
Yes. See previous three questions!
- WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE DZ DOG?
Trick Question! There is no DZ dog.
- HOW MANY LIFETIME HOURS HAS THE AVERAGE SKYDIVE CITY PILOT FLOWN AS OF WINTER 2020?
9,955 – and an average of 2,510 hours flying skydivers.
- HOW MANY GALLONS OF JET-A WILL OUR FUEL TANK HOLD?
- HOW MANY SKYDIVES HAS OUR SKYDIVING OPERATIONS MANAGER, CAM KING, MADE?
Over 13,000! That’s why he manages FLORIDA’S BEST SKYDIVING SCHOOL™!
- WHAT IS ZEUS?
Zeus is a Z-Hills sponsored 4-Way competition team managed by Amer Kassas.
- WHAT IS Z-HILLS STYLE?
Ahhhhhhhh. We think you know.