There are certain milestones that stick out in our lives. A first step. A first kiss. A fist time hurtling towards the Earth at incredible speeds. Virginia Skydiving Center's tandem instructors help people accomplish the latter by strapping themselves to novices and jumping out of airplanes into the open skies. From 14,000 feet in the air, the two free fall and take in a hailstone's-eye view of the terrain around Washington, DC and Virginia Beach before a two-person parachute smooths the rest of the path back toward earth.
It only takes 20–30 minutes of training to prep for that tandem experience, but Virginia Skydiving Center's videographers can preserve the fall for years to come. The initial dive can also serve as the first step an accelerated freefall program, which helps students become licensed to take on the skies all by themselves.
Matthew Fitch, the owner of No Limits Skydiving, has more than 9,000 skydives under his belt, has gotten a zeppelin's eye view of all parts of the country, and has even dove in front of 96,000 people at an LSU football game. But every time he feels the high-altitude wind on his face, he gets the exact same thrill as the first time. And he wants you to know that feeling too. The dropzone Fitch calls home was chosen specifically for its natural beauty—the rolling green hills west of the airport contain no manmade structures, letting divers take in the stunning Virginia countryside and fiery sunsets without requiring them to point out how much the cars look like ants. He and his team of full-time skydivers also give clients peace of mind with a 100% safety record that has earned them frequent jobs diving into professional sporting events and NASCAR races, along with fulfilling life goals with the Make a Wish Foundation.
Skydive Orange's first plane-to-sky plunge happened in 1977, and the business has been safely guiding students through the skies ever since. The coaches and instructors here are all USPA-rated, and offer tandem skydiving for beginners as well as Accelerated Freefall programs for advanced skydivers. Whatever their level of experience, students learn the fundamentals inside of air conditioned classrooms before boarding the plane, and leaping from heights up to 2.5 miles. Once the parachute deploys, divers gracefully coast to a designated zone to the sound of applause from watching family members and the boos of jealous penguins situated on nearby bleachers. Jumps are commemorated with a certificate and logbook, and
Skydive Orange also has a videographer on staff who can film the experience for skydivers who want video documentation of their leap.
The pilots at DC Skydiving Center fly to heights of up to 2 miles before divers of all skill levels hurl themselves from the plane's side door. Before they ever leave the ground, though, students receive a safety briefing and thorough explanation of the jump process. The center’s instructors specialize in calming the jitters of newbie divers by strapping in with them on tandem dives, but they also regularly shed single tears as more experienced adrenaline junkies pull out their own parachute at the culminating point of accelerated free-fall programs. Once in the air, the small aircraft's large, panoramic windows grant breathtaking views of the capitol skyline and Blue Ridge Mountains, all of which are captured on RVT video by instructors on the descent.
It's not everyday you leap from an airplane two miles above the ground and soar through the air at speeds up to 120 miles per hour. Unless, of course, you're one of the seasoned skydiving instructors at Maryland Skydiving Center.
Here, the team of fearless free-fallers introduce others to the thrill of the jump. Tandem skydives start with a brief training lesson to familiarize
newbies with the free-fall position and teach them a few basic words in bird. From there, skydivers are strapped to an experienced instructor and spend several minutes watching other divers jump before boarding their plane. Once the proper altitude is reached, the only thing left to do is jump
while the instructor takes care of the rest. After several minutes of adrenaline-boosting free fall,
the parachute opens and slows both diver and instructor, allowing them to coast back to solid ground while taking in stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
When you're ready to take on your next adventure, head to Soaring Adventures of America-Milwaukee in Williamsburg for some fun.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So this weekend, don't do the same old thing. Head to Soaring Adventures of America-Milwaukee!