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 Groupon to Skydive Sacramento, located at the Lincoln Regional Airport. Choose between the following options:
• For $155, you get six to eight hours of ground school-training (a $120 value) plus an AFF solo or working-tandem skydive (a $189 value, for a $309 total value).
• For $119, you get a tandem jump (up to a $199 value).
Ground-school graduates can apply their six to eight hours of training in landing and emergency procedures toward an AFF solo skydive. While hurtling from heights of up to 13,000 feet, meat missiles will receive in-the-moment instruction from two skilled teachers who, if requested, can also keep a grip on their pack for extra stability and whistle a Simon and Garfunkel song for comfort. At around 4,500 feet, lone leapers will yank their ripcords and pilot their newly opened parachutes in a leisurely groundward glide.
Snug in a sturdy, comfortable harness, tandem leapers 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 will fling them groundward at speeds of up to 120 mph. Once the instructor pulls the ripcord, skydivers will have time to take in views of the nearby Sierra Mountains and compute their weight in Newtons as gravity reels them in toward the 32-acre student landing area.
Those who opt to purchase a digital-video or photo package receive a 10 percent discount off the regular price ($99–$125) and the chance to smile for a falling photographer. Tandem jumpers should budget four hours for the experience, from on-the-ground orientation to touchdown to celebration jig, and ground school and an AFF jump usually take a full day.
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.