First Commercial Skydiving Center in the United States
Published: August 25, 2017
Yes, you can! There are additional requirements to skydive at night; you'll need to be an experienced skydiver and to complete a full brief ahead of time, for example. You'll also need additional equipment, such as a flashlight and whistle, and the weather conditions must be good.
Once you have those things, a night jump is a really exciting way to see the sky in a whole new 'light'! Find out more here.
Skydiving at night is not as simple as just jumping out of an airplane after the sun goes down. You'll need to fulfill some basic requirements, as well as have some key pieces of equipment.
Skydiving at night is a challenge. Aside from anything else, it's dark! Unless you're a nocturnal animal or have superhuman powers, you will find it more difficult to see other skydivers at night.
For that reason, night jumping isn't for the inexperienced. You'll need what's called a USPA "B" license to be able to jump. This is the license a skydiver achieves after they've made at least 50 jumps and have completed some additional exams designed to test things like canopy control.
You'll also need training on the night of the jump. This is where you'll learn about the conditions that night and the provisions put in place by the dropzone for the jump.
As well as a lot of experience (and a bit of bravery!), you'll need to gear up with some special night jump equipment.
As with any jump, you'll want to know your altitude, so a lighted altimeter is a must. A flashlight is useful for checking your parachute, too.
You'll also need to dump those trendy dark shades in favor of some clear goggles to have better visibility in reduced light. Plus, a whistle, essential for alerting other jumpers to your location and attracting help if you need it.
The dropzone itself needs some special equipment, too. To help you find your way home, they'll provide a well-lit landing area, and have a full jumper manifest to ensure that everyone has made it back safely from the jump.
You've got all the experience and the equipment you need - but what actually happens when you skydive at night?
Different drop zones may have different procedures, but your night jump will always start with an equipment check and a brief. You may then be asked to sit in a dark room to help your eyes adjust to the low light. Prepare to experience owl-like night vision!
Next, you'll go 'full rave mode' by attaching glow sticks to your arms and legs! No, it's not the 1990s and you're not about to party hard in a warehouse... the glow sticks are actually a simple tool to ensure that other skydivers on the jump can see you. If you've never seen glowing people coming in to land after a skydive, you're in for a treat!
Once in the airplane, any interior lights will be kept to a minimum to preserve your night vision. You'll discuss the exit order prior to takeoff, with most drop zones sending solo skydivers in between groups to allow for maximum separation. If you've never made a night jump before, you'll be jumping solo this time.
Then, it's time to jump! The views that are so breathtaking during the day take on a whole new quality at night. It's like looking down on Christmas lights scattered across the landscape! It's really beautiful.
Once your parachute opens, you'll do a few things differently. For one, you won't collapse your slider; this is because the flapping sound is useful in alerting fellow jumpers to your presence. You'll also need to fly a very conservative pattern so you don't take anyone by surprise in the dark.
As you come in to land, the lighting set by the dropzone will guide you into your target landing area. Once down, stay vigilant - there are other skydivers coming in behind you, and you are less visible on the ground as your silhouette becomes harder to see.
It's a fair question; when skydiving is so awesome during the day, why bother doing it at night?
For us, it's all about experiencing something different. As skydivers, we're very privileged to have a view of the world that few others will ever share - so why not take the opportunity to see it in the dark, too?
It's also just really exciting. New environments and new challenges help to develop us as skydivers and broaden our skillset. Plus, there are some awesome things we can do during night skydives, check out this video of Red Bull wingsuit flyers creating an LED dance floor in the sky, and this video of skydivers with fireworks!
Interested in trying it for yourself? If you're an experienced jumper, contact us to find out when the next night jump is happening. If you're new to the sport, you'll want to start your journey with a daytime tandem skydive. What are you waiting for? Book your jump online today!