FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
Any answer below is acceptable. Choose one and go with it!
- The door was open.
- Because it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
- Why wouldn’t you?
- Because I want to live before I die.
- My mum wouldn’t let me.
- Why does a dog stick its head out of the car window?
- Because I know why birds sing.
- Because planes have doors.
- Why would I land in an airplane when I have two perfectly good parachutes?
- Because I can.
- I didn’t like the in-flight entertainment.
- I like to call it 'extreme bird watching’.
- Because no plane is perfect.
- I could not wait to strap myself to that handsome tandem master.
- The view really improves when you leave the plane.
- My hair dryer is broken.
- I have a life wish, not a death wish.
- The cops get annoyed when I go this fast on the ground.
- I am searching for that helium balloon I let go two days ago.
- I am afraid of heights and when the airplane gets too high I get scared and jump out.
- Think of it as jumping into a perfectly good sky.
- I am trying to prove to myself that I am not crazy.
- Riding in a boat is not swimming thus riding in a plane is not flying…
Is skydiving safe?
Well no… Skydiving is an inherently dangerous sport. If you think about it, you ride in a plane, get to your jump height, open the door while the plane is still moving, jump out of it and entrust your life with a stranger with a pack of silk and strings! Sounds so cool, doesn’t it? This is where we come in. We transform these dangers into calculated risks which we choose to take (search for reasons above) while we are showing you one of the most unique experiences you will ever have. How do we do that?
- Safety is number one.
- Fun is number two (and we are Famous For Fun). If there is no safety there is no fun!
- We operate under the rules and regulations of the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
- We use state-of-the-art equipment. (The technology used these days to built parachute equipment is hard to grasp.)
- We maintain the equipment following even stricter schedules than those recommended by the manufacturers.
- We employ highly experienced tandem masters, pilots, packers, riggers and ground control officers. Our Chief Instructor (David McEvoy) has over 35 years experience in skydiving and well over 10,000 jumps. He is Australian Master of Sport Parachuting # 5 (the most prestigious award from the Australian Parachute Federation). Our Drop Zone Safety Officer (Wayne McLachlan) has 32 years experience in skydiving and has made over 14,000 jumps. Meet the Staff.
- We constantly monitor the weather by observation, by contacting the Airport Tower, the Bureau of Meteorology and by checking several weather aviation specialist websites. We never jump if we are in doubt.
- We give you a thorough briefing in regards to what you need to do during the jump.
- We perform multiple gear checks before we emplane and again before exiting the plane.
- We engulf a positive attitude towards life.
- The staff are happy people with beautiful families to live for!
How long is the freefall?
In Australia the legal height to deploy the main tandem parachute is 5,000ft.
When you jump from 10,000ft you get 5,000ft (35 seconds) of freefall.
When you jump from 14,000ft you get 9,000ft (60 seconds) of freefall.
Click here for more information about Jump Heights.
How long is the ride with the parachute?
The parachute ride is approximately 5-6 minutes before you land onto the sand at Coolum Beach.
How fast will I be going?
When you exit the plane you are travelling at sub-terminal speed. The first 1,000ft takes 10 seconds. After that, you reach terminal velocity which is 1,000ft every 6 seconds. In freefall at terminal, you will be plummeting towards the earth with speeds reaching 200 km/h (120 m/h)!
What happens if I am afraid of heights?
Skydiving is a great way to get over your fear! Typically though you do not get vertigo like when you are standing on a tall building or on a ladder, as you are too high up with nothing surrounding you to be relative to. You don’t feel like you are going to hurt yourself if you fall. When you are up there flying around, you are too busy and preoccupied to worry about the height. Susie, the Managing Director, is terrified of heights (don’t put her on tall building) and she has done about 3,000 jumps. If you have been in a commercial plane, you will be fine. If you haven’t, come and skydive and you can always share the story, “The first time I was ever in a plane I had to jump out…”
I hate that feeling of my stomach coming up to my mouth. I am going to experience that?
No. Freefall is totally different from a roller coaster. It is actually extremely difficult to explain what freefall feels like. It doesn’t feel like falling or floating or flying… Just come and try it and then we will ask you to describe it!
What happens if the parachute doesn’t open?
Buy a lotto ticket and celebrate! Even though we pack our parachutes very carefully, malfunctions can happen. Statistics tell us that in tandem skydiving, 1 in every 1,200 jumps results in a main parachute malfunction. If the main parachute is malfunctioning, the reserve parachute will be activated. The reserve parachutes are checked and packed by packers and riggers qualified under the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) and the World Federation of Aerosports (FAI). Additionally, our parachute rigs are fitted with an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) which is a little computer that will deploy the reserve parachute if for any reason the main parachute is not deployed.
What can I see under the parachute?
“I always get a kick out of seeing cars driving up the main road with people on their way to work during peak hour and I think how blessed I am to be up here” (Darren Harvey).
On a clear day you can see as far as Brisbane to the south and as far as Fraser Island to the north. If the season is right you might see whales in the ocean below. If you are a local you might spot your house! If you are a pessimist, you will finally see the bright sight of life!
Will I be scared?
It is not normal to go skydiving. It is normal to be nervous. If you weren’t nervous you wouldn’t be human and we would be worried about you. Our tandem masters are trained to distinguish between fear and panic. It is quite unusual that somebody decides not to jump. (Note to mums and wives: If you need the boys and husbands to do more dishes in the house, we will make sure to scare them enough...)
What happens if I don't want to jump?
It's natural to have doubts on the way up in the plane as there are 20 minutes to think about how crazy the idea is! If you are worried about it beforehand, but really want to jump no matter how you are feeling up there, just let your Tandem Instructors know beforehand that you want him to take you, even if you have a death grip on the pilot's seat!
Our Tandem Instructors will not make you jump if you really, really don't want to! If at jump time you freak out, they will close the door and take the plane around on another circuit to give you a few more minutes to clear your mind and decide. If you choose to go, yahoo. If you choose not to go, that's ok too. The Tandem Instructor will land in the plane with you.
We average 1 person every 3 years who refuses to jump.
Please note that if you do land in the plane, there is no refund.
Can I talk in freefall?
You can but nobody will hear you. Sorry to bust the myth from the movies where whole conversations take place… So scream as loud as you like. It’s a different story under canopy. Again, scream as loud as you like – we love it and the locals down there on terra firma love the yahoos too.
Can I breathe in freefall?
You better! Exiting the plane does take your breath away though. If you feel like you can’t breathe try screaming.
Can I get videos or photos of my jump?
Yes. We use high quality cameras for both. We offer handycam and outside camera (bookings essential). Handycam is when the Tandem Master wears a specially designed glove where the cameras are located. Outside camera is when another jumper jumps at the same time and takes a video and photos of you with the cameras located on his/ her helmet (bookings are essential for outside camera). The video lasts 6-8 minutes and it is a little documentary of what is happening while you are with us. We do interviews on the ground, in the plane, and under the parachute. The footage is edited with music. You get your photos saved onto a special Skydive USB.
What should I wear?
The only actual requirement is closed-in shoes - lace up running shoes are perfect, no boots with hooks and no high heels ladies. Wear comfortable clothes i.e. jeans or track pants and a jumper for winter; shorts and a t-shirt for summer. Nothing too restrictive, no hooks or studs. Don’t wear a collared shirt as they tend to flap your neck when you are in freefall and then everyone will be asking where you got the love bite from.
Can I wear my glasses or my contact lenses?
We have specially designed goggles which allow you to wear you glasses or your contact lenses.
Can I drink alcohol before my jump?
Definitely not! There is an 8-hour rule of no alcohol before your jump. Besides, alcohol tastes much better AFTER you have jumped from a plane! You can drink as much as you want afterwards. You will discover why beer was invented and realise how good it can taste!
The best beer you'll ever have is that first one after a skydive.
Do people vomit from skydiving?
We average 3 tandem passengers throw up each year. The common denominators are being hung over from the night before combined with not eating any breakfast. Vomiting (usually under canopy or after landing) is not much fun for anyone, especially the Tandem Masters who usually wear it!! Ewww…So, please do not have a massive party the night before and make sure you eat something before coming for your jump.
What is the age limit for skydiving?
The minimum age limit for a tandem jump in Australia is 12 years old with parental consent. The minimum age limit for the AFF course is 16 years old with parental consent. The maximum age limit for skydiving is still an unanswered question. We once jumped with somebody who was 97 years old! The “I am too old for this stuff” excuse does not apply to skydiving.
Are there any physical requirements?
A reasonable level of fitness should be adequate for you to jump. You need to be able to lift your legs for landing, so some core strength is needed for this. You only need to hold them up there for about 10 seconds, so you don't have to be a gym junkie either!
You will be required to fill in a health declaration. Issues that might prevent you from jumping can be heart problems, recent fractures, recent dislocations or ear problems. Consulting with your doctor if you face any of these issues is always a good idea.
Is there a weight limit?
Yes, there is a minimum weight limit of about 30kg. You need the harness to be fitted tightly! And there is a maximum weight limit of about 110kg, unless the Drop Zone Safety Officer allows differently. If you are a fit and flexible 100kg, and the Tandem Instructor is happy to take you, then yahoo. Note though, 95kg and over will incur weight surcharges, starting at $50. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us so we can discuss them further.
Can I jump if I am pregnant?
Yes, you can jump but it is entirely your personal choice. Susie did 2 jumps inside her Mum's tummy, and then 35 years later she did about 50 jumps with her daughter Charlee in her tummy.
Can I jump if I am disabled?
Is the landing rough?
Your tandem master will explain to you what to do before the jump, during the parachute descent and during the actual landing. You will be asked to lift your legs when you are coming in to land. This is to allow the tandem master to put his legs on the ground first. Depending on the conditions you will either slide along the beach on your bottom (nil wind or light winds) or have a stand-up landing, which feels like jumping from a step, (moderate & strong winds).
What happens if the weather is bad?
We want to give you the best possible skydiving experience. If we are in doubt we do not jump. Conditions that might prevent us from jumping are solid rain, low overcast cloud layers and high winds. We need to be able to see the ground from the plane, and we want to land on terra firma, because we do not want to become shark bait!
Skydivers tend to become meteorology freaks as we always assess the weather to see if we can go jumping. We constantly monitor the weather by observation, by contacting the Bureau of Meteorology and by checking several weather aviation specialist websites.
There are a lot of times that even though there is cloud cover or scattered showers, there are also blue holes that we can jump in. We never call off jumps the day before, we always wake up and see what the day brings, regardless of forecasts. We ask you to be patient and let us make the decision if we are jumping or not, on the actual day. If we make the decision not to perform your jump because we feel the weather is not at its best, we will reschedule your jump for another day. If you have booked directly with us and you have no alternative days to jump we will provide you with a full refund.
If I love it can I go again right away?
Sure, if there is a slot available you can go at a discounted price! What's better than your first jump? Your second jump!
Are there any levies I will have to pay when I get there?
No. There are no extra/ hidden costs. Your membership to the Australian Parachute Federation is included in our prices and we do not charge a "fuel levy" as some others do on the day.
Where are you located?
Before your jump, first arrive at our Clubhouse at the Sunshine Coast Airport, Marcoola. Click here for contact details including Google maps and directions.
Where do you take off from?
We take off from the Sunshine Coast Airport, General Aviation area, located a short stroll from the Clubhouse.
Where is the landing area?
We land on the main beach at Coolum Beach, next to the Life Savers, and up the beach a few hundred metres at Stummer’s Creek Inlet.
Can my family and friends come and watch?
Of course, bring as many as you want… that it is what it is all about, right? We love having people around. They can watch the whole briefing process and then go to the beach to watch the freefall and your landing. Our experienced ground crew officers will explain to your loved ones what is happening, help them find the plane in the blue sky and answer all their questions. They are in radio contact with the pilot, so can tell you what height the plane is at and when the jumpers exit the plane.
What plane do you use? How many people can jump at a time?
We mostly use a Super Charged Cessna 182. We can fit two tandem pairs at a time. If you have a much larger group we can accommodate you by bringing our 16 place Cessna Caravan from our Toogoolawah Drop Zone, in which we can fit up to seven tandem pairs at time. Please give us extra notice for big groups so we can make the appropriate arrangements. Click here for more info on big groups.
Is the time I was told the time I will be jumping?
No, the time you were told is the meeting time at our Clubhouse. If the weather is perfect and there are no delays, you will be jumping approximately one hour after your arrival.
How long does it all take?
You should allow approximately four hours from the arrival time for the whole process i.e. paperwork, briefing from the tandem master, going to the airport, the actual jump (where you are going to have the best time ever), landing on Coolum Beach, watching the video as it is edited, signing the Visitors Book, you promising to do the course, goodbyes and hugs.
Can I choose my Tandem Master? Is he cute?
Yes you can. Wayne and Darren are the full time Tandem Masters, so you would usually only get to choose between them. They both have completely different personalities. Wayne is quiet and calm, he does not say much but what he does say makes sense. Darren is a chatterbox and he will joke with you the whole time. They are both cute!
We do have part-time tandem masters (ie. they have real jobs during the week and jump on the weekend). There are older, more experienced ones and younger, spunkier ones. Click here to Meet the Staff.
What are the conditions of a Gift Voucher?
Vouchers are valid for six months from date of purchase. To redeem an expired voucher up to six months after its expiry date, a fee of $50 is applicable for a further three months. Vouchers are non-refundable, but are transferrable, and cannot be redeemed for cash. Voucher recipients must make a booking for when they wish to jump. Changes to the booking time or date require at least 48 hours notice otherwise a cancellation fee of $110 is applicable.
Can I jump at a different location?
From time to time we also organise a mobile drop zone. If you or your town have a group of people who want to go tandem skydiving, have access to a nearby air strip and a suitable landing area (i.e. beach, airport, sporting field, farm etc.) then let's talk! Recent Ramblers excursions include Emerald in QLD, the Boulia Camel Races, Mitchell Show, and a weekend of skydiving and Station life at Jane's 40th Birthday Bash at Mataranka near Katherine in NT.
What about birds?
What about birds?
What are you talking about?
Leonardo Da Vinci: "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."