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Long Island Skydiving Center Posted by: Long Island Skydiving Center 12 months ago

First things first, what is tandem skydiving? Tandem skydiving entails skydiving with an instructor attached to you! The forward-facing student (you) is secured to the front of the instructor by an apparatus called a harness. Imagine lying on the ground on your stomach, and then someone (the instructor) lays down on top of you with their tummy on your back – that’s all there is to it (except there’s no one crushing you in the sky, because of gravity)! Tandem skydiving is hands down the safest way to make your initial skydive.

Now here’s the scene: you booked your first skydive (woo!) and now that it’s becoming a reality, you’re thinking, “Wait, WHO in the world is taking me skydiving!?” Or rather, WHO in their right mind is going to strap themselves to me and jump from an airplane!? It actually isn’t that odd once you’re falling through the sky. Let’s take a look into who skydiving instructors are, the United States Parachute Association (USPA) skydiving instructor requirements, and what tandem skydiving New York is all about – safety! 

Skydiving in New York

Why Is Tandem Skydiving Awesome? 

Doing a tandem jump provides the student (you) with a sense of security and allows you to full-heartedly enjoy the skydiving experience without worry. While our tandem instructors are focused on the where to fly, altitude, wind direction, other jumpers in the sky, and much more, you’re free to do one thing and one thing only: enjoy it! How safe is skydiving with an instructor? Well, think of it this way – would you rather drive a car for the first time totally alone zipping down the interstate, or have a teacher with you who is able to provide guidance, instill confidence, and ultimately, be able to effectively take control of the situation? We know our answer (… we want the teacher, please)!

What Is A Tandem Skydiving Instructor? 

A tandem instructor is someone who is intensely passionate about the sport of skydiving, enjoys sharing it with newcomers, and is highly trained in their craft. A tandem instructor must complete rigorous instruction, pass examinations, and show a genuine dedication to the sport before ever thinking about applying for their Tandem Instructor Rating. 

It is a requirement for tandem instructors to abide by the standards, regulations, and recommendations of the skydiving industry and, here at Long Island Skydiving Center, they must abide by the standards set by the USPA. They are responsible for the physical act of skydiving, of course, and they are concerned with much more than the jump itself. Leading up to the skydive the instructor must show confidence in knowing the ins and outs of skydiving gear, be able to give a fully-encompassing pre-jump brief and training to their student, and be able to comprehensively understand the weather conditions at the time of the skydive to make the final call on if it is safe to jump. 

Who issues the Tandem Instructor Rating? To break it down real quick, the USPA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are the two primary governing bodies that oversee skydivers. The USPA is the one who sanctions the Tandem Instructor Rating. 

What Kind Of Qualifications Will My Instructor Have? 

Skydiving by the New York coastline
Skydiving by the New York coastline

Your tandem instructor will have the following as an absolute minimum: 

  • 500 skydives
  • USPA D-license (the highest skydiving license achievable)
  • USPA coach rating or higher (coach is only second to instructor)
  • 3 years in the sport of skydiving
  • Ace oral and written exams, showing an extreme level of care and competency in the sport 
  • FAA Class 3 Medical (a medical evaluation proving physical health, which is also needed for private pilots; it is difficult to obtain and nearly impossible if the potential instructor has any prior traffic infractions, like a DUI) 

Tandem instructors are required to stay up to date on all of the aforementioned. In other words, they must maintain consistency in the sport while staying on top of physical requirements. Despite your instructor being highly qualified and having proven some seriousness around the sport, they’re there to make sure you have a great time! Tandem instructors are in the business of keeping their students safe while showing them how fun and exciting skydiving is. 

It’s worth noting that the reason our tandem instructors must have an array of qualifications in addition to their USPA rating is because we prioritize safety as #1. Our owner, instructors, and all staff are able to do what we love every day – share the beauty of skydiving with people like YOU – because safety is at the forefront on every single skydive. 

They’re Just Like You!

In the end, skydiving instructors are people just like you. Think of something you feel super passionate about that you’re driven to share it with others, that’s how tandem instructors feel about skydiving! Believe it or not, our tandem instructors were once in your shoes – nervous, jittery, and unsure of what to expect of their first skydive. Because of this, they’re masters at instructor-to-student communication, have a magical ability to say just the right thing to calm your nerves, and are able to effectively make their student comfortable and confident about jumping from a plane with them!

Many people ask us, “Do you tip skydiving instructors?” And while it is definitely not necessary, it is always appreciated if you feel your instructor went above and beyond to provide the best and safest skydiving experience. 

Are you ready to do a full send from 2 miles in the sky? Book your skydive today! We can’t wait to jump with you. 

Book Now!

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