Can You Skydive in the Rain?

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Negative Ghost Rider, you cannot skydive in the rain. Cozy rainy evenings curled up with a good book = perfection. Attempting to freefall 120 mph through a drizzle = downright miserable. For the record, this isn’t just our personal rule (though it’s definitely our preference): skydiving in the rain is actually prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration. Here’s why:

Skydiving operations can only occur when conditions meet Visual Flight Rules. Visual Flight Rules literally mean that it is clear enough for a pilot (in this instance, both the aircraft pilot as well as the skydiver) to see where they are flying. 

can you skydive in the rain

You may have noticed that it tends to be quite dreary when there is rain on the horizon. From personal experience, you have probably also seen that during rain the clouds tend to be thick and low, and when driving it can be hard to see where to go. Now, imagine that same scenario but as the pilot of an aircraft moving across the sky at approximately 90 mph. We call that a major uh-oh moment. So, naturally, we like to avoid it. 

In case you’re still on the fence, below we’ll give you just a few more reasons to avoid skydiving in the rain. 

Skydiving in the rain is unsafe

The number one reason on the avoid-skydiving-in-the-rain list is a simple one: skydiving in the rain is unsafe. As we mentioned above, visibility is significantly impaired during the rain. If you were to exit the aircraft without being able to see what was below you, there is the possibility that you could collide with another aircraft or another jumper — and neither option is a good one. 

Moreover, parachutes are not exactly “water friendly.” Parachute material is designed with dry conditions in mind. The added weight of rainwater on a parachute can affect its flight characteristics and prevent the parachute from functioning properly. Considering that the goal of every skydive is to land safely, directly affecting the ability to land without issue is less than ideal.

Skydiving in the rain ruins equipment.

We will be honest. Skydiving gear isn’t cheap and, as a general rule, skydiving equipment is not made to be particularly waterproof. A skydiving kit often contains many costly electronic components. If exposed to the rain, these items can be damaged. Because of the crucial role that many of these items play, we like to treat them well – and that includes keeping them out of the rain.

can you skydive when it's raining

Skydiving in the rain hurts.

We mean it. It really, really hurts. There’s a joke that skydiving in the rain is so unpleasant because you’re hitting all the pointy sides of the raindrops while in freefall. While that’s funny, it’s not true – but the sentiment behind it is: skydiving in the rain is painful. Colliding with just about anything when falling 120 mph is a recipe for discomfort and hitting those fabulously condensed bits of atmospheric water vapor is no different.

Perhaps if you like being pelted with what feels like molten pebbles, you might enjoy skydiving in the rain. But for us, it’s a hard no. 

Skydiving in the rain is messy.

While E.E. Cummings may have loved when the world was puddle-wonderful, we’re not big fans. Sure, a slip and slide landing may sound like fun… until you and our gear (or your gear) are coated in a thick layer of mud. Aside from the three reasons above, we avoid skydiving in the rain because it is messy!

Can you skydive if it is cloudy?

Truthfully, it will depend on the altitude of the cloud layer and its depth/size. The presence of low, thick clouds will generally mean that you’ll remain earthbound. Sometimes, even if it is not presently raining on the ground, there may be precipitation forming within the clouds. 

We don’t want to give clouds a totally bad rap. Sometimes the presence of puffies can actually enhance your skydive! Just keep in mind, the clouds must be above exit altitude or sparse enough that there is plenty of separation between them in order to skydive.

can you skydive if it's cloudy

The Weather Needs To Be Just Right

Admittedly, we’re a little picky when it comes to skydiving weather conditions. You see, it’s important to us that our customers experience the adventure of a lifetime while keeping safety as a top priority. We simply won’t have it any other way.

So what do you say? Give us a call and schedule your skydive today! Blue skies!

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