Frequently Asked Questions
Skydive Windy City Chicago
Below is a list of commonly asked questions about Chicago area skydiving and the city’s best skydiving center. Skydive Windy City is Chicago’s closest skydive. We offer consistently fast service (almost twice as fast as our competitors), a top safety record for the area, and unmatched views of three states on the 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 skydiving center can offer you these views or our proximity to the city.
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. Due to increased fraud, you may need to produce the credit/debit card you used to make your reservation.
When you make an online reservation (booking) from our website, you will need your email address, phone number, and names of the people in your group, you will also be required to leave a $39.00 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 24 hours notice. We operate on a reservation basis, so keeping your reservation (or giving us 24 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 24 hours notice so we have an opportunity to fill those time slots. 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 24 hours notice you need to reschedule.
Jumpers need to arrive on site at their scheduled 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 15-20 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 assigned an instructor and get ready for your jump. Generally, the first group is getting on the airplane less than an hour after arrival. If you are late it causes lots of problems and can significantly increase your time here, increase your cost, or even cancel your skydive for that day.
Your time is important to us, and we strive to service our customers within three hours total. The average time our customers were onsite in 2018 was 1.5 hrs (weekdays) and 2.15 hours (weekends), but it may be longer with larger groups or due to weather delays. If we have foreseeable weather conditions that will prevent jumps we try to call or email your group at least two hours ahead of your reservation time to discuss the weather and options. We also post weather information (if the 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 significantly affect the total time you are here. It is not fair for people who are on time to wait for people who are late (your group is not likely the only group in your time slot).
Skydive Windy City carefully complies with the USPA’s (United States Parachute Association) 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 22 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 the weather, please email us before you depart for our facility.
Bring a government-issued picture ID (passport, driver’s license, or state ID); you will 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 (no sandals, hard-soled shoes, or boots). 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 a bit 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.
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 years 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 three to five 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 participants weighing between 240 and 270lbs will be charged an extra $50. In some cases, we can take people up to 300lbs, so if you are over 270lbs you can email us for more information. 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.
We normally take between two and five 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 all flights are made in cooperation with air traffic control and we are always in direct communication with air traffic control. 14,000′ is the maximum altitude any aircraft can fly without the crew on oxygen, and we fly as close as we can to the maximum altitude on every flight. Sometimes meterological conditions and/or air traffic can affect the jump altitude a bit. The minimum altitude (by law) for a tandem skydive is 7500′, so we never jump from less than that altitude.
Unfortunately, we cannot let you take your own camera/phone on the aircraft or on the skydive, we need you concentrating on our instructions, not trying to get video of yourself. The FAA holds us responsible for everything on our aircraft. If you dropped your camera/phone and it caused damage or injury, Skydive Windy City would be held 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).
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 six-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.
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.).
When you book online, you receive an email with a link to the 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 address, you can also follow this link: 2021 Tandem Skydiving Waiver.
Skydive Windy City often has openings throughout the day and we do not overbook. 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. Alternatively, you can also email us at [email protected] and get a pretty fast response.
You may call anytime, 24/7. 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, and within one week during the off-season).