Can You Skydive at Night?
9 months ago
The short answer to night skydiving is yes, you can skydive after dark! Don’t get too excited though – nighttime skydiving is not permitted for everyone to enjoy. There are many essential qualifications that are needed in order to have this unusual opportunity. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) says that any skydive made between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise is considered to be a ‘night jump’.
Night skydiving can offer the ultimate thrill for many reasons as it provides a new and unique challenge for skydivers. Skydiving at night can be very difficult even for experienced skydivers, therefore, they are not offered for first-time tandem skydivers in an effort to mitigate risks and keep you safe. This doesn’t completely limit you from participating in night skydiving though, keep reading below to learn how you can make a skydive at night!
How to Skydive at Night
For starters, only licensed skydivers can skydive at night – but not ALL certified skydivers can be night jumpers. Why you may ask? You guessed it – for safety reasons, of course! Night skydiving participants are required to have an official USPA ‘B’ License or higher.
Obtain a USPA ‘B’ License:
- Earn USPA A License
- Complete 50 skydives
- Perform landing accuracy
- Water training
- Successful execution of 10 formation skydives
- Completion of USPA Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card
- Pass the written USPA B license exam
In addition to these requirements, all night skydiving thrill-seekers must go through an extensive briefing before the night jumps to ensure that everyone on the dropzone is on the same page for a successful skydive.
Also, if this is your first-night jump, you are required to go solo to lessen the probability of a collision with other jumpers.
We understand that night jumping creates a bigger risk as it limits your vision of the ground and your fellow skydiving friends, and it can be quite disorienting.
However, we can make night skydiving safer through proper training/procedures, equipment use, pre-planning, and practicing sound judgment.
Special Equipment for Night Skydiving
Night-time skydiving requires specific gear to create a safer environment for everyone and to help shine a little light (literally) on the root of the problem: darkness!
Humans are not naturally nocturnal creatures, therefore we have a harder time seeing at night and require a little assistance. Night skydiving is usually performed on the brightest night when there is a full moon and clear skies – so give it your best wolf howl as you exit the airplane. Ahh-woooo!
*Pro tip: Some skydivers will prepare for their night-time skydive by shutting themselves in a dark room right before the night jump to help their eyes adjust to the darkness. Whatever your technique, we still recommend (and require) special gear when soaring through the nighttime sky.
Night-time Skydiving Equipment Required:
- Glow-face altimeter
- Clear goggles
- Flashlight to ensure a good parachute opening
- Whistle for communication amongst jumpers and ground crew
- Sufficient lighting of the landing area
- A light that is visible for at least three statute miles from opening until landing (FAA requirement)
In addition to the required equipment listed above, we also suggest attaching yourself with Chemlights (fancy, powerful glow sticks) and strobe lights. These aren’t to just make you look cool – they are to help all the jumpers spot each other in freefall and while under canopy. Some dropzones will provide this equipment for a fee or even include it in your registration! It also helps for the dropzone to have a jumper manifest to ensure all skydivers made it back safely on the ground, just as a precaution.
Why Skydive at Night?
Skydivers love embarking on new adventures and especially ones that can strengthen their skillset. Night jumps provide this challenge because of the impaired depth perception and lack of familiar reference points.
Skydiving is all about gaining a different perspective on the world and life in general – and night skydiving gives us a whole new perspective and unique experience beyond compare. I mean, who wouldn’t want to fly through the twilight sky below twinkling stars? Plus, there are some pretty amazing and visually appealing things you can do with night skydiving.
Are you an experienced skydiver and want to try it out? Contact us to see when the next night jump is happening! If you’re new to the sport, start your skydiving license journey with a tandem skydive at Skydive New England!