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Why A Cessna 182 Is The Best Skydiving Plane 


Wisconsin Skydiving Center Posted by: Wisconsin Skydiving Center 7 months ago

Can you skydive out of a Cessna 182? Of course you can! In fact, people started jumping out of C-182s in the late 1950’s. Okay, it’s stood the test of time, but is it a popular airplane for skydiving now? And what is the most common skydiving plane? Although the skydiving world boasts a diverse array of aircraft for jump operations, the Cessna 182 still stands out as the champion skydiving airplane. This venerable workhorse features a fantastic climb rate, capacity for skydivers, superb accessibility, and excellent reliability. 

Woman jumping out of a plane for her first tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center

Quick Ride To Altitude 

The C-182 gets to exit altitude in about 20 minutes. Wait, isn’t 20 minutes a bit on the lengthy side? Negative; let us explain. Twenty minutes is not a long time at all when it’s spent anticipating an open airplane door – it’s the prelude to the most empowering leap of your life! Having a little time between the ground and the wide open sky allows you to think about how you got here and what lies directly ahead. 

During these cherished 20 minutes you can recognize the palpable excitement coursing through your body, soak up breathtaking panoramic views, and bask in a level of camaraderie you’ve never known before. (Seasoned skydivers treasure the climb to altitude for these reasons, too!)

You might think that this time to altitude would let you lock in every thought in your head and feeling in your body, leaving only memories of freefall to recall when you land. Yeah, right! The adrenaline that accompanied your pre-jump excitement, plus the serotonin and dopamine that came into play during your jump, makes it all transpire in a skinny minute! 

One moment you’re on the ground, the next on the plane, the next you’re flying at 120 mph in mid air, and before you know it you’re back on terra firma. It goes by in a flash!! This is why everyone who’s ever skydived will tell you: get the video. You cannot possibly keep track of time, space and reality unless you do! Documenting your skydive lets you relive every moment of your jump.

How High Do Planes Fly for Skydiving? 

The average altitude or height for tandem skydives is between 8,000 and 14,000 feet. The C-182 hits the sweet spot at 10,000 feet. Any altitude above 15,000 feet requires everyone on board to have access to supplemental oxygen and take extra precautions. Although some jump planes can go as high as 41,000 feet, they are the exception. 

The minimum height that most skydivers will jump from is between 3,000 and 4,000 feet.

The Ideal Size 

Ya know that quintessential camaraderie we mentioned? It comes easy because of the size of the Cessna 182! With a capacity of four jumpers – or two tandem pairs – plus the pilot, the cabin dimension ensures you can see the fear on your friends’ face as they get ready to exit. It’s the perfect size for you to literally hold the hand of your friend, significant other, or a perfectly good stranger as the immense pre-jump emotions begin to crest! 

Licensed skydivers like the size of the C-182 because it allows them to verbally double and triple-check the plan for their skydive with one another. In a larger aircraft, you could be 10 people away from the person you want to communicate with! In a Cessna 182? No problem. 

This close proximity is awesome for students learning to skydive solo

Easy Access

Cessna 182 specs are favored among the pilot community. The most common airplane to learn to fly on is the Cessna 172. The C-182 is the big sibling, making it the most universal aircraft to operate. It’s kind of like the iPhone of airplanes, if you will. 

The Cessna 182 has a high-wing design. What does this mean? The wings are attached to the top part of the body of the aircraft, rather than the middle or even bottom. Jumpers seek out aircraft with high-wing designs for many reasons, but the two that matter most are accessibility and stability. 


High wings make boarding the jump plane an absolute breeze. Any worry about bumping your noggin on a lower-mounted wing is alleviated. 


Because the majority of the weight, the center of gravity, is distributed below the wings, there is an inherent level of stability to the aircraft. There is also a damping effect that happens with high-wing airplanes. This means that the air that flows above the wing dampens, or lessens, the pitching of the aircraft, allowing for a more stable flight. Conclusively, Cessna-182s are a fantastic aircraft option for those who fear becoming motion sick

The cost of skydiving is worth it - Couple smiling in a plane as they prepare to jump out for AFF training at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

What Is The Best Cessna For Skydiving? 

The Cessna 182 is a reliable partner in the pursuit of the skies. It’s trustworthy, consistent, and is wonderfully dependable. Are you ready to meet the skydiving industry’s best friend? Book your tandem skydive with us! We can’t wait to have you.