Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us...

Requirements

How old do I have to be?

You must be a minimum of 18 years old - NO EXCEPTIONS!

Minimum age requirements are due to the fact that minors are not able to sign legal documents and parents and/or legal guardians are not allowed by law to sign the rights of a minor away.

Be cautious of skydiving centers that allow minors to skydive.

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Is there a weight limit for skydiving?

240lbs. Body types must be height/weight proportionate. Weight limits are strictly enforced. Everyone will be weighed prior to jumping.

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Safety

Is it safe?

Ahhh...a much better question...

Chicagoland Skydiving Center owns the latest student, solo, and tandem gear. All of the equipment used at CSC is serviced and maintained by FAA certified technicians of the highest ratings. The parachutes are packed by professionals, the reserves are packed and repacked even if unused (it's not only a good idea, it's the law).

Although an inherently dangerous sport, just as driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity (you did know that, right?), we take every precaution to assure your safety while on our drop zone. Do you drive with bad brakes and bald tires? So, the short answer is that the sport of skydving has been made as safe as possible. And at Chicagoland Skydiving Center, we take every precaution possible before, during, and after your skydive.

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What if the parachute doesn't open?

Every skydiving rig is equipped with both a main and a reserve parachute. Every rig!

As a tandem skydiver, you are with a trained professional who knows how to handle a malfunction and deploy the reserve canopy if it's necessary. Chicagoland Skydiving Center takes your safety very seriously and has never had a fatality.

As a Solo student, you are taught how to deploy your main canopy on time and stable. And to recognize what a malfunction looks like as well as how to deal with the malfunction in a timely manner. If the malfunction is the type that cannot be dealt with, you are taught how to cut-away your main parachute and deploy your reserve parachute, which is extremely unlikely to have a malfunction.

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What if I panic and can't pull the ripcord?

All of Chicagoland Skydiving Center's rigs are equipped with a device called an Automatic Activation Device(AAD). This device constantly measures your speed and altitude during a skydive and -- if you are going too fast too low -- it will deploy a parachute for you.

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Okay, what if both main and reserve fail?

You're about to have a really bad day. Statistically, you probably died on your way to the drop-zone in a car accident. Or were struck by lightning while winning the Lotto. We won't kid you. Skydiving is a dangerous sport, particularly if the proper precautions aren't met. As are many things in life. But like those, if you pay attention to what you're doing, stay aware of the hazards, and prepare for the possibility of them, you'll either avoid the hazards or know how to handle them when they do arise.

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Jumping

How long does the skydive take?

For a solo level skydive or traditional tandem skydive, we take you to 14,500' (the highest in the Midwest!) Freefall lasts about sixty seconds, depending a lot on body-weight, surface area, and a number of other factors. You will then have about five minutes under canopy to enjoy the view and the ride.

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How long does the plane ride take?

In Chicagoland Skydiving Center's Super Twin Otter, it takes only about 12 - 15 minutes to get to 14,500 feet. Seems to go a lot quicker for first-time students. For experienced skydivers, it seems to take too long.

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Can you breathe in freefall?

At 120mph, inhaling is real easy. If you find it difficult to exhale, panic and scream, which is just another way to exhale. Then inhale which, as mentioned, is very easy at that speed. In short, yes, you can breathe in freefall.

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Does it hurt when the parachute opens?

Yep. Terribly. The thousands who skydive are masochists. No, it doesn't hurt. The harness is tightened so that there's no real shock from it pulling when the parachute opens. Grab your belt and pull your pants up. Okay, it's about like that.

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Is freefall noisy?

Yes and no. Don't plan on carrying on a lot of conversations without first learning sign language. But you won't need earplugs, either. It's like sticking your head out of a car window. When it's moving, of course.

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Can I have my jump photographed?

Yes. Still photography and video services -- complete with musical soundtrack (in freefall, no one can hear you scream) -- are available via Sky High Productions. The team of videographers at Sky High are the best in the industry!

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How do you videotape/photograph a skydive?

When you leave the plane, we throw a video camera out with you. It's really expensive to video a skydive. Just kidding. A highly trained skydiver leaves the plane with you (a little before, actually) and follows you down. You will be recorded throughout freefall and through canopy deployment. Your landing will also be recorded for posterity. Try to smile a lot.

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Can I train and jump in the same day?

Usually. Call ahead for reservations and show up on time, and there's a very good chance that you'll be able to jump the very same day, barring any unforseen weather problems (heavy wind, rain, tornado, etc.) Tandem jumps have become very popular at Chicagoland Skydiving Center for a variety of reasons: convenience, safety, location, price, and, of course, we have the highest tandem jumps in the USA - 14,500 feet!

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What if I'm afraid of heights?

A good deal of acrophobia has to do with relativity. No, not what Einstein talked about. But seeing objects moving in relation to one another. At 14,500 feet, the ground is a long way off and you can't really tell that you're above anything. Not like climbing a ladder where you can see objects and gauge your distance from them. At something like 2,500 feet, the ground becomes too far away to worry about and acrophobia goes away.

You probably know better than anyone what you can handle. But we did have someone who is acrophobic tell us that they'd rather jump out of a plane than climb a step-ladder. (They did a tandem and enjoyed it thoroughly.)

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Does it feel like you're falling?

Briefly. A human body leaving an airplane at 14,500 feet reaches terminal velocity within just a few seconds. After that, you no longer feel like you're falling, just like you're moving down a cushion of air. Or atop a waterbed that's sprung a leak. Only not as wet. Let's hope!

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What if I'm afraid of flying?

Well, uh... Find a good therapist and then call 1-800-404-JUMP!

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When can I jump?

Chicagoland Skydiving Center is open 6 days a week. 7:30am to sunset on the weekends, 10:00am to sunset on the weekdays, closed Tuesdays. To book a skydive, call 1-800-404-JUMP 7 days a week or book a reservation online...

Click here to book your reservation!

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What should I wear?

Clothing would be a good thing. Oh, you mean specifically?

Well, let's start with shoes - sneakers. That's about it. You may see some of the experienced skydivers wearing sandals, but the key word there is experienced. For the beginner, stick with sneakers, low-top or high-top. Also wear comfortable jeans or shorts. You will be putting a jumpsuit on over your clothing, and it does get warm around the airport in the summer months, so think about it.

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Should I eat beforehand?

Well, some are a bit concerned about seeing their breakfast or lunch again when they do their first skydive (I know I was), so you may want to eat light or bring something to snack on. The town of Rochelle is less than a mile down the road, and there are plenty of food options there, too.

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What should I drink?

As mentioned, it does get warm around the drop zone during the summer months, so drinking water will keep you from dehydrating. CSC sells water, soda, and other drinks for a buck and a quarter a piece. Drinking alcoholic beverages before your skydive is not only discouraged, we won't even take you skydiving. If you want to have a drink after your skydive, that's up to you. Skydiving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just a bad idea. What you do on your time is up to you. What you do when you're under our responsibility is our business.

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General

How do I get my skydiving license?

Chicagoland Skydiving Center is home to the Freefall University Skydiving School. Freefall U offers a great program to show new skydivers the basics on freefall safety, emergency procedures, canopy control, and much more. Our 25 jump program is a comprehensive training package that will take you to your US Parachute Association "A" license so you can skydive with your friends anywhere in the World.

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Make the Jump!

Reserve Your Skydive Today

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