standard-title Skydiving FAQ

Skydiving FAQ

Skydive Robertson Freefly


One thing you notice about students and other people interested in skydiving is that they very often ask the same types of questions and very often the questions are asked because they have some anxiety about a certain aspect of the sport. This page is here to try to answer those question and reduce the fears that you, as a potential student or first time skydiver, might have. To try to dispel some of the myths associated with our sport here is a list of the most frequently asked skydiving related questions.

Question: Do I need to make reservations for the courses?

It is preferable for you to make a reservation, but it depends on what kind of course you would like to do. If you want to do the Static Line First Jump course, then sometimes it works to just show up at the dropzone before 08:30 on any Saturday morning and speak to any one of the staff. We'll do our best to make sure you get into the class. If you have a group of people interested in doing the static line course together, you could contact the club to arrange to do the course during the week and then jump that weekend, but this is always at the discretion of the instructor. If you want to do a tandem jump then you can book now.

Question: Where do I go when I get there?

A good idea is to report to the manifest office as soon as you arrive at the club and get yourself registered for the first jump course. Ask anybody hanging around on the dropzone and they should be able to point you to the manifest office. The manifest officer will hand you a form to fill in and call you when the course is ready to start.

Question: How long does the course last?

The first jump course lasts about 8 to 9 hours, depending on the size of the class. The course covers all important aspects of your first skydive, including aircraft and exit procedures, landings, emergencies, and much more. There is also a practical section during which you will be placed into a suspended harness and be expected to demonstrate to your instructor your grasp of the material covered in the classroom.

Question: How safe is this sport?

Skydiving is like any other extreme sport; there are inherent risks that require careful training, respect and execution. Failure to follow trained procedures can lead to serious injury or even death. Skydiving is as safe as the individual makes it. The equipment is so evolved and reliable that, when used properly, skydiving can be as safe as or safer than any other extreme sport. Follow procedures, don't bend any rules and you will remain safe. At Skydive Robertson, all skydiving activities are regulated and monitored by PASA (Parachute Association of South Africa) and all our duty instructors and jumpmasters are PASA certified.

Question: How fast do you fall?

Exactly how fast you fall depends on a number of factors including body-position, weight, the type of clothing you're wearing and even the weather. An average skydiver falls at about 200km an hour once terminal velocity is reached.

Question: Are there any women who skydive?

YES! Even in the days when skydiving (or parachuting) was seen as a circus trick by crazy lunatics or experimental pilots there were women involved. To this day the tradition continues and there are many women all over the world who skydive on a regular basis.

Question: What is it like to skydive?

There really is only one way for you to really find out, try it yourself!

Question: What if I have a fear of heights?

Some people actually start skydiving to overcome their fear of heights. It's not really a very good reason, but in some cases it does work. Fear of heights (vertigo) only really occurs at lower altitudes. Think about looking out of a window on the seventh floor of a building; that can be pretty scary. But compare that to looking out of the window of a passenger aircraft 11,000ft above a city; not the same thing. Fear of heights does not apply in the same way for skydiving. You cannot comprehend how high you are compared to a ladder or a high window.

Question: What about fear and apprehension?

Fear and apprehension gets worse and worse until you are out of the plane and skydiving, then most of it goes away. When you come back for repeat skydives, you will find that repeat jumps made on the same day will be more enjoyable since you will get a lot of this fear out of the way on the first jump of the day.

Question: How long is the freefall?

On average we jump from 11,000ft above ground and open our parachutes at about 3,500ft above ground. It takes about 37 seconds to a minute to fall from 11,000ft to 3,500ft.

Question: What kind of first skydive should I do?

That's entirely up to you and is a decision that is influenced by what kind of instruction programs are available, whether you want to take up skydiving as a regular activity or which of them you can afford. At Skydive Robertson the most popular first skydive is the static line first jump course especially if you want to take things further.  If you're not sure yet, try a tandem skydive.

Question: Why would you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

This is the question skydivers hear most often. Why do we skydive? Ask any experienced skydivers to show you some of their favourite skydiving video footage and you will get an idea of how much fun it can be to jump out of a 'perfectly good airplane. And anyway, who said all airplanes are 'perfectly good?' Have you ever flown Kulula?

Question: Why should I do my skydiving at Skydive Robertson?

Skydive Robertson has experienced and dedicated staff that will do everything in their power to make sure that every single skydive you ever do at Skydive Robertson is safe and fun. Our staff and aircraft engineers ensure that our aircraft are always in tip-top condition and that our facilities are kept in good shape too. Besides all that, Skydive Robertson is the most sociable club you're likely to come across, and that makes it the best club in the country.

Question: How do I become a skydiver?

Have a look at our courses available to first time jumpers. There you will see a number of ways that you can make your first skydive. Once you make your first skydive, don't stop skydiving; do it as often as you possibly can. That's how you become a skydiver.

Once you've been through your chosen course you'll then have to decide which skydiving discipline to try. There are a number of different disciplines, but you're first choice should either be formation skydiving or freeflying.


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Mandela Day is an annual international day in honor of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on the 18th July, Mandela's birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in 2009.

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