First Commercial Skydiving Center in the United States
Published: September 15, 2016
Skydiving altitude is an important part of your skydiving experience. The height you jump from affects the amount of time you have in freefall and the journey you have on the way up.
Skydivers will always tell you that higher is better.
That's because we love to skydive and we love to be in freefall! The altitude we jump from effects that and the higher we go, the longer we're in the air.
In reality, higher isn't always better. It's different.
10,000 feet is the average altitude for skydiving for most Cessna (aircraft) drop zones.
From 10,000 feet, you'll be in freefall for around 40 seconds, followed by 4 to 5 minutes under parachute as you come in to land.
13,000 feet is the most common altitude for skydivers in the US. From 13,000 feet, you will be in freefall for around 60 seconds. That's a full minute of experiencing what it's like to fly - or the closest we humans can come to it!
Depending on the aircraft, it takes 10 to 20 minutes to travel to 13,000 feet.
15,000 feet is an altitude sometimes offered by skydiving centers as a more exciting height. This is because flying to this height requires oxygen in the airplane to stave off hypoxia.
That means you'll be given an oxygen mask on the way to altitude. You'll be in freefall for approximately 75 seconds from this height.
18,000 feet is the highest skydiving altitude in the US. You'll need oxygen on the aircraft for this altitude too. From 18,000 feet, you'll have around 85 seconds in freefall.
The altitude you jump with makes a difference to your experience, especially as it relates to the time you spend in freefall.
Here at Jumptown, we jump from 13,000 to 14,000 feet. In our Twin Otter aircraft, that takes around 15 minutes to climb to altitude. With around 60 seconds in freefall, there's plenty of time for first timers to relax into the experience and for qualified jumpers to practice their skills.
Book your skydive with us today to experience it for yourself!