Tandem jumps explained

Iain LandingTandem parachuting is a quick, easy introduction to free-fall and the most common entry-level jump. Using a dual harness,  you are securely attached to one of our fully qualified and experienced instructors who will guide you through the whole jump from the exit, through freefall, piloting the canopy and finally the landing.

Exiting the aircraft from up to 10,000ft above the ground, you’ll experience approximately 30 seconds of free-fall – diving through the air at up to 120 miles per hour – before the instructor deploys the parachute at around 5,000ft. Our parachutes are large, ram-air parachutes designed to hold two people.

Once the parachute has been deployed, your instructor may give you the opportunity to help steer the parachute.  If you wish, you’ll now be in control, experiencing the beauty of Scotland as you descend to the ground.  From above our drop zone we have great views over the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh, and Fife – on a good day you will be able to see the southern Highlands in Perthshire.

A brief history

Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first successful parachute jump from a hot-air balloon in 1797. In the early part of the 20th century parachuting technology started to be developed by the Military as a way to save aircrews from emergencies from aircraft in flight and in the 1920’s as a way of delivering soldiers into the battlefield. Early competitions date back to the 1930s, and parachuting officially became an international sport in 1952. The British Parachute Association (BPA) was formed in 1961 and responsible for regulation sports parachuting in the UK.

The sport is made up of many disciplines. Some focus on the Freefall phase and other on under the fully deployed parachute. Freefall disciples include: Formation skydiving, Free style, Freeflying, Wing Suits, Sky Surfing. Parachuting disciplines include: Canopy Piloting (swooping) and Canopy Formations.
There are a number of ways to get into the sport, in the UK the options available are: Static Line, Accelerated Free Fall courses and here at Skydive St Andrews we offer Tandem Skydiving.

The chronicle of tandem skydiving, like so many elements of this sport, began with the vision and enthusiasm of an experienced skydiver to try something new, and more significantly, to be able to share the thrill of freefall skydiving with someone else. It was 1977 and when most parachutes in use were ex military round parachutes. The technology was evolving, but still far behind today’s sophisticated equipment and procedures.

Around this time an american skydiver took his wife as the first “Tandem Student,” strapping her into the same harness with him for the experiment. Encouraged by this relative success, a number of further jumps were made, all with positive results. Intrigued by the possibilities of an actual training program centered on tandem skydiving, leading parachute manufacturers began engineering the tandem concept into real equipment that would be made specifically for tandem jumping. The first tandem jump made on this newly engineered equipment was made in January, 1983.

Two and a half years and hundreds of experimental tandem jumps resulted in tandem skydiving equipment and procedures reaching an acceptable level of feasibility and more importantly, safety.
Today, almost one million tandem skydives are made each year, bringing the thrill of Freefall skydiving to a vast and more diverse audience than ever before.

Gentle or adrenaline?

It’s your parachute jump and it will be up to you how it is done! Our competent instructors want nothing more than for you to enjoy the experience. If you enjoy thrills, you can ask for a more adrenaline-inducing descent – sharp turns, spiral descents and wild fun! If not, you can relax as you slowly descend to the ground, admiring the wonderful views.

Ready to jump?

If you’re happy to go, you can book online now! If you have any concerns, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us and we’ll be happy to speak to you.