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How Long Does the Entire Skydiving Process Take?

Skydiving Tips

Wisconsin Skydiving Center Posted by: Wisconsin Skydiving Center 3 years ago

There’s nothing wrong with a little planning—especially if you’ve got a skydive on the books. With a tandem skydive, you’ll be paired with a licensed professional skydiving instructor. This instructor will have your back (literally!) every fabulous moment from freefall to landing. 

Tandem skydivers and instructors preparing to reach altitude at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

To get a feel for the steps involved and to plan your day accordingly, you’re probably curious about how much time the entire skydiving process will take. 

Typically, you should anticipate spending about half of your day at the dropzone—somewhere around 4 hours. If you are part of a large group, then you should expect to spend a full day at the dropzone. We encourage you to enjoy our community area. Feel free to make use of our gas grills, bring coolers with food and beverages, and hang out!

So, you might not be so keen on “spending your day with strangers,” but within a few moments of meeting us you’ll see we’re like one big family. As a matter of fact, we are a family-run operation, and in part, this is why we strive to ensure that everyone who comes through our doors leaves having had a life-changing experience.

Wisconsin Skydiving Center Staff photo 2021

Because of our commitment to quality and a truly inspiring experience, tandem skydiving with Wisconsin Skydiving Center isn’t just a show-up-and-go kind of activity. Here’s a little skydiving timeline to break down each step of the journey:

Check-In: 15 Minutes

In order to complete the required paperwork before training, we ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time. Depending upon how large your group is, it may take up to 20 minutes to get everyone squared away, but typically we can wrap up all the administrative stuff in about 15 minutes. Check-in is also when you can add a photo or video package to your tandem skydive if you have not done so already.

Safety Training Class: 1 Hour

The safety training class will begin approximately at the time you have scheduled for. Although, we generally wait to begin the class until the majority of jumpers in a specific time slot are checked in. Our training class is focused on preparing you for your skydive. You’ll learn a little about the history of skydiving and what’s involved in a tandem skydive. We will go over the gear that we use, how to exit the aircraft, the proper body position for freefall and landing, and generally cover what you can expect during your jump. During this safety training class, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about us here at Wisconsin Skydiving Center.

Man learning to skydive solo with AFF ground training at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee

Gearing Up: 10 minutes

It takes about 10 minutes to be outfitted with your jumpsuit, harness, goggles, and altimeter. 

The Ride To Altitude: 15 minutes

When it is your turn, you will board the aircraft. The boarding process itself won’t take long—maybe 5-10 minutes max. Once aboard, the plan will take flight, and you will enjoy a 15-minute ride to altitude. 

Freefall: 45-60 seconds

This is what all your anticipation has been leading up to – an approximate one-minute freefall at 120 mph! There’s no other feeling quite like freefall. It’s one of the most thrilling sensations you’ve ever experienced and, at the same time, it is also surprisingly serene. 

Young woman being superwoman during freefall at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Parachute Time: 5-7 minutes

At the appropriate altitude, your tandem instructor will deploy the parachute. Once the parachute is open, you will be descending much more slowly—approximately 1000 feet per minute. It typically takes 5-7 minutes to touch back down to the ground. 


After you land, it’s time to celebrate! You’ll have some time to chat with your instructor and regroup with your friends. Take this time to gather everyone up to get a few group shots on the ground. If you purchased a media package, your photos and video will be ready about 20 minutes after you land. Then, you can relive your skydive with your friends and family on our big screen television!

Total Time: About 4 Hours

Generally, it will take about 4 hours for the entire skydiving process from start to finish. Although, this time may be greater depending upon the size of your group. Regardless of group size, skydiving is also dependent on weather conditions, so you should avoid making plans immediately after your jump unless they can be postponed.

Overall, you’ll find that the energy at the dropzone is contagious. Even after you’re done, you may never want to leave!