Skydiving Weather: What to Expect

Monday, May 20, 2019

Skydiving will push you to your limits. It’s both the greatest escapade you can ever imagine, and possibly a substantial test of your patience. Here’s the deal: in skydiving there are several variables to consider, but one of the most considerable of these is skydiving weather. Every drop zone operator, and their customers, wish this one element could be controlled, but the fact is Mother Nature calls the shots. When planning your skydiving trip, here are a few things you should expect when it comes to Georgia skydiving weather.

Who Knows Whether the Weather Will Work Out!

So, the joke goes, there are only two jobs where you get paid for being successful 30% of the time: meteorology and baseball. We’re not intending to dismiss the predictions of hard-working meteorologists (or the well-timed swings of a baseball player). Rather, we seek to call attention to the fact accurately predicting or forecasting rain is about as accurate as a myopic magician peering into a cloudy crystal ball.

It’s understandably frustrating for our dear guests. Who wants to go through the effort of getting to the drop zone only to sit on the ground?

So, when you ask “should we come or should we stay home?” please know, in our responses, we aren’t intentionally being vague. The weather forecast is rarely definitive, so we are also left wondering what the day will bring.

We do know one thing, though, you can’t skydive if you aren’t here. This leads us to the next thing you should know about skydiving weather.

Skydiving Weather Delays

It is rare that a day is a complete bust. More often, we experience weather delays. This translates into delayed reservations and, sometimes, angry guests. We get that your time is valuable but so, dear guest, is your safety.

When it comes down to it, people can get hurt skydiving when we push safety limits. We would rather you be upset at us for inconveniencing you with a wait than in dire straits because we put you in the air when the conditions were less than optimal.

Patience is important. Please know, we have your safety in mind when we go on a weather hold.  So, what sort of “weather” are we looking out for?
Cloud cover. Skydiving Weather

Weather That Can Delay Your Skydive

Rain– While nearly everyone enjoys the nice calming sounds of a slight summer rain, hitting the pointy side of the raindrops at 120mph is a less than soothing experience. All jokes aside, jumping through rain is downright painful—as is hitting anything at 120 mph—even something as seemingly insignificant as drops of rain.

Cloud cover– The Federal Aviation Administration has some pretty stringent rules when it comes to skydiving and cloud cover.

According to Federal Aviation Regulation 105.17 No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be conducted from that aircraft— (a) Into or through a cloud, or (b) When the flight visibility or the distance from any cloud is less than that prescribed in the following table:

Meaning for activities which are at more than 1,200 feet above the surface but less than 10,000 feet MSL, the required minimum distance from clouds is 500 feet under, 1,000 feet over, and 2,000 feet horizontally from clouds. Flight visibility must be at least 3 miles.

To put it more simply, because we are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration, we have to follow their rules: our planes cannot take off and fly through clouds. Furthermore, there is a not so apparent safety concern when it comes to jumping through clouds—when you cannot see, you do not know who, or what, may be hidden within those clouds (i.e. another plane!). Additionally, once the parachute opens, we need to see where we are flying, and thick cloud cover can obscure the landing zone.

Wind – The wind can be the most deceptive of the conditions that can delay your skydive. While there may be a beautiful blue sky above, if the winds on the ground are whipping around, moving the branches of the trees in a frenzy, we will have to sit tight till it abates. Or worse yet, if you’re on the ground and it seems there’s simply a light breeze, what you may not be able to see tis that, nefariously, at exit altitude, the winds are beyond safety guidelines.

skydiving weather protocol

Skydiving Weather Protocol

So, what should you expect as typical weather protocol from Skydive Monroe? At Skydive Monroe, unless the forecast is definitive, we will not cancel your reservation. if the weather looks iffy (or even if it doesn’t!), we welcome you to call us before you head on your way to the dropzone.  When you call, we will give you what information we have regarding the weather for the day, so you may make an informed decision regarding whether or not you should give it a shot!

We aim to give you the experience of a lifetime by mitigating all the risks we can…including safety concerns regarding weather. If the weather decides not to play along, know we aren’t trying to keep you from having a good time, we are trying to keep you safe. This is why patience on the day of your skydive is so important.

We promise you this: the experience of skydiving is well worth the wait!

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