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Published: November 16, 2020
The wonders of skydiving are never ending. Perhaps that's why the sport attracts so many different people who create and enjoy such unique experiences such as skydiving at night. There are many things skydivers love about this sport, so let's explore why skydivers love skydiving at night!
What Is Night Skydiving
Night skydiving is just that - skydiving at night. But there is a technical definition described by the national organization, USPA (United States Parachute Association):
A skydive made one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise is considered a "night jump" - even though it might not be perfectly pitch black when the jump is made.
According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the law of aviation, night skydiving jumps that fall within those hours are sufficiently removed from "day jumping" and that special consideration must be made and special equipment must be used.
Sounds exciting right?! Let's explore!
Can Your First Skydive Be at Night?
Drum roll! We know this is why you're here - you're like one of us - ready for adventure! We hate to let you down, however the answer is no. Your first skydive cannot be at night. I'm sure you're wondering why! Safety of course! Even for very experienced skydivers, night jumps can be nerve-racking! The risks are greatly elevated with a limited field of vision. The environment on a night jump is extremely different from skydiving during the day. We are in a business that is actively trying to mitigate risks, so tandem skydives at night are not offered.
Be sure to check out this article on How Safe is Tandem Skydiving!
We know you've probably seen some epic YouTube videos of night skydiving, so yes, it is possible. Let us share how!
How Skydiving at Night is Possible
Foremost, you must be at least a USPA B-licensed (or higher) skydiver. Meaning you've learned how to skydive, performed certain requirements, and completed several trainings. What does having a B-license look like exactly:
- Have at least 50 successful skydives being able to demonstrate mastery in landing accuracy and freefall maneuvers
- Completed a water training and passed a written exam
And to make that coveted night skydive, you'll also need a comprehensive briefing from an appropriately rated USPA member because - night skydiving is a pretty big deal!
Night Skydiving Equipment
Skydiving at night is very much like getting ready for a James Bond movie! It's exciting to be gearing up as the day fades away and the surrounding lights begin to illuminate. And night jump equipment is just as important. Here's a list of what you'll need on your night time skydive:
- A lighted or glow-faced altimeter
- Chemlights (the beefier version of glow sticks)
- A whistle
- A strobe light
- Your cell phone
Some skydivers have taken night skydiving to a whole new level and have strung up special strips of light and sewn them into their jumpsuits and VERY EXPERIENCED and TRAINED skydivers have even strapped on pyro! (Things to look forward to!)
Your Parachute and Night Skydiving
Night skydives are usually scheduled around a full moon night that helps with nighttime visibility for skydiving. That, and along with some of the equipment such as the glow lights and a strobe, all help you see your parachute and identify if it's properly working while making a night skydive.
Finding the Landing Area at Night
Navigating your canopy on a night skydive isn't as tricky as it seems. First, the landing area is lit up by arranging a line of cars illuminating their headlights which also indicates the direction to land (not into the lights, because then you'll be blinded! Rather landing 'with' the lights so they end up behind you).
Next, the aircraft usually circles around the landing area at jumping altitude so you can peek out the window and identify the visuals around the landing area as well as the landing area. The details of the ground look elementally different than in the daytime, so getting your bearings is important. And finally, you'll steer and land your parachute the same as you would at night.
Is Night Skydiving Scary?!
We'd be lying if we said no! Even experienced skydivers hearts race on night jumps as all your senses are piqued! Skydivers train their bodies to respond to stress becomes a habit over time. This is why being an experienced skydiver, having a controlled environment, and additional training is important.
All skydivers who skydive at night all started with their first jump. If this excites you we can get you started on your journey by booking your first tandem skydive with us!
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