The first parachute was invented when Jack, tumbling haplessly from his titanium beanstalk, used a purloined pair of giant underpants to steady his fall. Glide to earth safely with today's deal: $119 for a tandem jump (regularly $199 on weekends and $159 on weekdays) at Skydive Sacramento, located at the Lincoln Regional Airport.
Snug in a sturdy, comfortable harness, first-time leap-alongs will ascend to heights of up to 12,000 feet in one of Skydive Sacramento's three FAA-inspected aircraft. There, they’ll be tied to an experienced, USPA-certified instructor and catapulted into the azure void for a minutes-long plunge that flings you groundward at speeds of up to 120 mph. Once the instructor pulls the ripcord, you’ll have time to take in views of the nearby Sierra Mountains as gravity reels you toward the 32-acre student landing area. Those who opt to purchase a digital video or photo package get a 10% discount on the regular price ($99-$125) and the chance to smile for a falling photographer. Jumpers should budget 4 hours for the experience, from on-the-ground orientation to touchdown.
Air rushes past you at 120 miles per hour while the California countryside unfolds thousands of feet below. Blue sky and empty space surround you, and the voice of your U.S. Parachute Association–rated instructor is the only sound you can hear above the wind. At 4,500 feet, the instructor pulls the parachute cord, and the two of you gently drift down to land in 32 acres of open, unobstructed grass. This is what divers experience during tandem skydives or jumps as a part of the Accelerated Freefall program at Skydive Sacramento.
Pilots at the helm of a 15-passenger King Air twin turbine, a four-passenger Cessna 182, or a five-passenger Cessna 206 take students to altitudes of up to 13,000 in as few as 15 minutes. Fitted securely with harnesses and chutes, participants can ask their diving instructor questions about the sport before plunging from the plane in a hands-on free fall and canopy flight, during which they learn steering and hot-air-balloon-avoidance tactics. Though the instructors cater to first-time divers, they also coach more experienced students toward their skydiving license. Instructors, many with 2,000 dives under their belt, also teach students to land in a main grass landing area or a high-performance area with swoop pond.