Helmed by an by ex-military parachute-regiment veteran who holds three World Skydiving Championship medals, the United States Parachute Association-certified instructors at Skydive Alabama fly customers up to heights of 14,000 feet for solo and tandem dives. The skydiving center supplies oxygen for these jumps, and conducts both ground schools and eagle-impersonation classes to get first-timers and experienced divers ready for their aerial plunges. Instructors take up to 18 participants to the height of the drop zone in a Grand Caravan turboprop plane, from which they free fall for more than one minute, either by themselves or securely fastened to an instructor. A professional videographer can also join visitors on each jump to capture the aerial experience.
In accelerated free-fall programs, instructors lead students through a ground school, up to seven flights with instructors, and several solo jumps, allowing them to earn their USPA diving license without having to compete a multiple-choice test inside a wind tunnel. While every dive takes place in the designated drop zone, ground-school classes are held inside the airport's dedicated hangar. They have a brand new 80,000 sq/ft., state-of-the-art air conditioned facility which boasts indoor bathrooms and showers, as well as a common area with couches and TV's available to all guests.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Tennessee Skydiving, LLC's founders boast military training and they now put those veteran skills to work creating a thrilling skydiving experience for the public. They can prepare a first-time skydiver for a tandem jump experience in as little as 15 minutes of ground training. After instruction, they head to their 18-seater aircraft and take to the skies, enjoying views of nearby countryside on their quick ascension. Once they reach altitude, they strap themselves to aspiring divers and leap from the plane, soaring downward toward a landing area spanning more than 700 acres. After a few minutes of free fall and gentle parachute ride, they deliver guests safely back to the earth. They run their operation so efficiently that even the military's 101st Demonstration Team comes to them for training and advice on handling moody parachutes.
Tennessee Skydiving, LLC, which is one of the closest skydiving schools to Nashville, boats a squadron of crack skydiving instructors that are more daring than most. Riding alongside clients in their spacious and speedy turbo-charged plane, the instructors strap themselves to jumpers for tandem jumps at the standard height of 10,500 feet, which provides 45 seconds of free fall. Sometimes, though, they urge the pilot to climb higher—up to 18,000 feet—for jumps they call “extreme tandem”. At this height, divers need oxygen tanks to breathe, but the risks are well worth the reward—a lengthier, 90-second free fall at face-stretching speeds of up to 120 mph. Even at such intense speeds, adventurers have no need to fear because Tennessee Skydiving is Department of Defense certified with most of their instructors being ex-military.
Dream Adventures USA's guides lead informative, scenic tours down the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Up to three sets of sightseeing eyes can climb aboard each Yamaha 110 jet ski for a river trek. Cumberland River voyages, which cover up to 120 miles, include an exploration of Old Hickory Lake's coves, inlets, and dam before breezing through downtown Nashville and stopping at Rock Harbor for lunch. A sampling of up to 60 miles of the Tennessee River loops around Long Island and gives riders a view of the Alabama state line, which glows like the first down marker used on NFL broadcasts. Both tours begin with a brief safety overview and conclude at the original launch site.
Whether they're seasoned skydivers or newcomers to this whole gravity thing, customers at Adventure Skydive Tennessee feel the rush with some of the state's most experienced instructors. From it staff members with up to three decades of experience to its busy schedule with jumps every single weekend, the company's experience and preparedness helps calm the nerves of even first-time jumpers. The large, open-air hangar provides a relaxed environment before take-off, and an onsite picnic area makes a great spot to hang out afterward. All parachutes are equipped with computerized automatic activation devices, digital altimeters, and zero porosity canopies. More experienced skydivers can take advantage of the indoor packing area, the showers, and outdoor training mock-ups of the airplanes.