Chicago Skydiving FAQ's

frequently asked questions

Below is a list of commonly asked questions about Chicago Area Skydiving and Skydiving Near Chicago. Skydive Windy City is Chicago's closest skydive. Skydive Windy City offers consistently fast service (almost twice as fast as our competitors), a top safety record for the Chicago area, and unmatched views of 3 states of Lake Michigan Shoreline (Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) and the beautiful Chicago skyline. On some days we can even see Milwaukee from the air! No other Chicago Area Skydiving Center can offer you these views or our proximity to the City of Chicago.

General questions
FAQ 1
You may pay for your skydive with Cash, Credit Card, or Debit Card, we do not accept checks of any kind. We accept most types of Credit/Debit Cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. We do support the latest security measures for Credit/Debit and maintain PCI compliance. We do not maintain (keep or store) your credit/debit card information.
FAQ 2
When you make an online reservation (booking) from our website, you will need your email address, phone number, and names of all people in your group, you will also be required to leave a $50.00 (fifty dollars) non-refundable deposit for each jumper in your group. This deposit ensures everyone in your group is committed to the date and time of your booking. This deposit will move with your group in case of reschedules due to weather or if you give Skydive Windy City at least 72 hours notice. We operate on a reservation basis, so keeping your reservation (or giving us 72 hours notice if you cannot keep it) helps us keep prices (and service times) low. You may lose a portion of your deposit or your entire deposit if you cannot give us 72 hours notice so we have an opportunity to fill those time slot(s). If you do not show for your reservation (or cancel the day of your reservation) you will lose your entire deposit and be charged the full balance as if you had shown up.
You will NEVER lose your deposit if rescheduled by us (due to weather) or if you give us 72 hours notice you need to reschedule.
FAQ 3
Jumpers need to arrive on site at their scheduled time (Central (Chicago) time). If you have a group of jumpers, everyone must arrive at the same time in order to take advantage of any group discounts. Spectators can arrive 45-60 minutes later. Upon arrival you will check in, complete any required paperwork , and pay for the balance of your skydive. Once completed, you will be paired up with an instructor and get ready for your jump. Generally the first pair in a group is getting on the airplane about an hour after arrival. If you are late it causes lots of scheduling problems and can double or triple your wait time.
FAQ 4
Your time is important to us, and we strive to service our customers within 3 hours total. The average time our customers were onsite in 2017 was just over 2 1/2 hours, but it may be longer with larger groups or due to weather delays. If we have forseeable weather conditions that will prevent jumps we try to call or email your group at least 2 hours ahead of your reservation time to discuss weather and options. We also post weather information (if weather looks questionable) on our Facebook page early in the morning. You don't need to be early, but please do not be late. If you or someone in your group is late, it can double or triple your wait time.
FAQ 5
Skydive Windy City carefully complies with the United States Parachute Association's Basic Safety Requirements, and the Federal Aviation Administration's Federal Aviation Regulations. We cannot jump if the cloud cover at or below our jump altitude exceeds 50% (we cannot jump through clouds or skydive within a mile of a cloud), if winds aloft (at altitudes where we are flying our parachute) exceed 30 MPH, or if the ground winds exceed 20 MPH. These are maximum values, and sometimes we do not jump for safety reasons even when the conditions are below these values. We do not jump in rain or when there are storms in the area, or when ground temperatures are at or below 30ºF. If you are concerned about weather, please call us before you depart for our facility.
FAQ 6
Bring a government-issued picture ID (passport, drivers license, military ID, or state ID), you may not be permitted to skydive without it. As for clothing do not wear clothing you cannot get dirty. Lace-up sneakers (tennis or running shoes) are required (sandals and hard-soled shoes or boots are not appropriate or allowed for your tandem skydive). Wear comfortable clothes for the day. You may come in shorts and a t-shirt if you wish. We will provide everything else you need, including a full-body jumpsuit and gloves/hat (if we feel conditions require it), and goggles. At jump altitudes temperatures are generally 30º colder than on the ground, so if you chill easily, dress a bit warmer than you normally would. Do not wear clothing you cannot get dirty, your pants will likely get grass-stained during the landing.
FAQ 7
EVERYONE skydiving must be at least 18 years of age and be able to prove it with a government-issued picture ID. Due to stipulations by the United States Parachute Association and skydiving equipment manufacturers, we cannot skydive with anyone under 18 year old, even with parental consent. There is no maximum age limit, and Skydive Windy City has taken people as old as 94 years old. Reasonable fitness is important. Most notably, the tandem students must be able to lift their legs up (and hold them up) for 3-5 seconds to ensure a safe landing. Weight limits are also based upon the maximum weight capacity of the equipment. All participants must be under the maximum weight for their height on our height-weight chart. Participants weighing between 210 and 239lbs will be charged an extra $30, and particpants weighing between 240 and 270lbs will be charged an extra $50. All weights are on our scale in the clothes the participant will wear on the jump. The extra charge is because it wears equipment faster and is much harder for the instructors). Exceptions to these guidelines can only rarely be made. If you exceed these guidelines, you may come in for a personal assessment, and as long as we feel we can make the jump safely, and stay within the weight limits of the equipment, we would love to skydive with you.
We can also skydive with mobility-challenged and wheelchair-bound individuals (physically handicapped or elderly), contact us for details.
FAQ 8
We normally take up between 2 and 5 tandem skydivers at a time (depending on group sizes and staffing). Regardless of how many are on each flight, everyone has one of the most amazing experiences of their life. The shared portion of the experience for groups is on the ground, watching others jump and seeing them land. Once you are in the airplane it is exceedingly a personal experience, and you should be concentrating on instructions.
At Skydive Windy City, we make our standard tandem skydives from 10,000'. This allows up to 45 seconds of freefall time and up to 5 minutes of parachute ride back to the landing area. We do offer an upgrade to $14,000' for an extra charge. If we cannot jump from at least 8,000' (due to weather or FAA/ATC limitations), we will give you the option to jump or reschedule. There are other skydiving centers that may jump from slightly higher altitudes in more remote locations, but what would you rather experience, a skydive with an amazing view of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, or a skydive with a view of cornfields?
Additional Questions
FAQ 10
Unfortunately we cannot let you take your own camera/phone on the aircraft or on the skydive. The USPA (United States Parachute Association) requires jumpers wearing a camera to have at least 200 skydives. The FAA holds us responsible for everything on our aircraft. If you drop your camera/phone and it causes damage or injury, Skydive Windy City is liable and responsible. Our cameras and mounts are specifically designed for skydiving, and we have the experience and talent to get you the best video and pictures. You and your group/spectators may take as many pictures on the ground as you like, including pictures/video of landing skydivers (as long as you stay in the designated spectator area).
FAQ 11
Absolutely! You can learn to skydive. Our STP (Solo Training Program) is second to none. Four tandem skydives are part of the training program, and satisfactory completion of certain objectives are required to advance. Once you advance from tandem to STP, you will have to complete an approximately 6-hour ground school, and then begin jumping with your own parachute (which we provide). Once in STP, you will have an instructor with you for 18 jumps (through your jump # 22), then you may jump without direct supervision. 25 jumps total are required for a USPA skydiving license and our program takes you all the way through. Check out our Learn to Skydive page for more information.
FAQ 12
When you book your skydive online, just choose the skydive type you think you want, you can change it when you arrive at our location. Most people choose to pay the deposit only, and the balance when they arrive. If you choose to prepay in full for the skydive, you will not receive any discounts when you arrive (group, birthday, etc...).
FAQ 13
When you book online, you receive an email with a link to the online waiver. Forward this email to all jumpers in your group. If the waiver is not completed at least 24 hours in advance, you will be charged an extra $10 same-day processing fee when you arrive. If you lost the email or didn't have the correct email, those not able to follow the link can complete their waiver by clicking this link: 2017 Tandem Skydiving Waiver
FAQ 14
Skydive Windy City is generally fully reserved weeks in advance, but from time to time people have to delay their reservations and that leaves open time slots. If you are looking to skydive in the Chicago area today or tomorrow you cannot book online and must Call us at (219) 210-3338 to see if we have any openings.
FAQ 15
You may call anytime, 24 hours each day, 7 days per week. If the operator on staff at the time of your call cannot answer your questions, she will forward us a message and someone who can answer your questions will call you back (usually within 24 hours or less during the season, within one week off-season) .
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