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Wheelchair Accessible Skydiving Facilities in the US

wheelchair accessible skydiving US

Who said the sky was the limit? In skydiving, it’s just the beginning of an extraordinary thrill. But what if you’re in a wheelchair? Can you still engage in this adventure sport? The answer is a resounding YES! There are numerous facilities across the US that offer adaptive skydiving experiences so that everyone, regardless of physical abilities, can feel that ‘top-of-the-world’ buzz pumping through their veins. Read on to learn about their specialized equipment, trained instructors, and safety protocols to guarantee a smooth, exhilarating jump.

Top Wheelchair Accessible Skydiving Facilities in the US

If you’ve ever dreamed of swapping wheelies for freefalls, check out the following accessible skydiving facilities in the US:

Long Island Skydiving Center, NY

Established in 2003, Long Island Skydiving Center is one of the premier skydiving destinations for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts in New York. This center is renowned for providing paraplegic-friendly skydiving, where experienced instructors make it easy for individuals with mobility limitations to experience the unparalleled sensation of freefall. 

Once you’re in the air, you’ll take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Coastline, Hampton Beaches, and Fire Island, all while feeling the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your face. And who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of a seagull flying below you.

They also offer tandem jumps for visual and hearing-impaired individuals up to 250 lbs. The best part? This establishment meets all rules and regulations set by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the USPA (United States Parachute Association), so you can leap with peace of mind, knowing you’re in good hands.

Start Skydiving, OH

Located conveniently between Dayton and Cincinnati, Start Skydiving offers an inclusive, adrenaline-packed experience that’s hard to beat. This accessible facility goes the extra mile by offering tandem jumping to quadriplegics and paraplegics. Their highly trained instructors employ standardized, specially designed equipment and custom approaches to ensure a safe and exhilarating experience.

If you’re interested in skydiving solo, Start Skydiving offers a comprehensive training program through its Jump Institute. Within the course of about 25 jumps, participants will progress from novices to skilled skydivers who can confidently carve through the clouds and perform aerial moves, all while working towards earning their United States Parachute Association (USPA) license. It’s important to note that since skydiving requires a range of physical movements such as crouching, crawling, scooting, and arching, the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) training is only provided to those with significant upper body strength.

This facility offers different activities so you won’t get bored while waiting for your chance to defy gravity or if you’re accompanying a jumper. Here, you can challenge yourself at the indoor climbing wall, test your skill on the ropes course or engage in some friendly competition of cornhole and other tabletop games. 

What’s more, this center is located near the scenic Smith Park, which boasts a variety of family-friendly amenities like a fishing pond, splash pad, playground, and soccer and baseball fields, ensuring that waiting times between jumps are anything but dull.

wheelchair accessible skydiving US

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iFly, Nationwide Locations

If you want to try skydiving but are generally afraid of heights, consider visiting an iFly center to experience the freedom of flight without the daunting jump from an airplane. Besides offering gravity-defying fun and hosting various competitions that’ll have you on the edge of your seat, this indoor skydiving center offers an “All Abilities” program that caters to individuals facing physical or cognitive challenges. 

They have highly trained staff that not only provide assistance with gearing up in the flight suit and helmet but also additional guidance during the initial orientation, so every flier knows what to expect when they enter the wind tunnel. 

Each flight in the wind tunnel lasts about 60 seconds, but these moments are more than brief. They are intensely exhilarating, offering a genuine sense of weightlessness and freedom that many compare to actual skydiving. iFly even offers generous discounts to different groups of flyers, so grab your loved ones and gear up for an adventure that will lift everyone’s spirits (literally)!

Safety Tips for Accessible Skydiving

Accessible skydiving sounds like a great idea, but only if done in a safe environment. Follow these essential safety tips to ensure a thrilling yet secure skydiving experience:

    • Before the jump, engage in thorough ground training. This should include deploying a parachute, rehearsing the jump process, practicing emergency procedures, and familiarizing yourself with the equipment you’ll be using.
    • Be particularly mindful of weather conditions. Certain conditions, such as rain and cloud cover, may present additional challenges or become hazards for skydivers with mobility impairments.
    • Skydiving is as much a psychological challenge as it is a physical one. Discuss any anxiety you may have with your instructor to address your worries head-on.
    • Since wind velocity can put a lot of stress on your limbs and extremities, it is essential to securely strap your legs and arms. However, make sure the straps are not overly tight to prevent triggering autonomic dysreflexia.
  • When tandem skydiving, you must strap your legs with your instructor’s. This not only prevents your legs from flailing during the jump but also ensures a synchronized landing approach.
  • If you’re quadriplegic, request your assistant to firmly hold your legs to prevent them from dragging on the ground upon touchdown, which could cause harm or discomfort.
  • If possible, arrange to land in a water drop zone, as it will provide a softer landing.
  • After landing, check for possible injuries or areas of discomfort, given that some jumpers might not feel immediate pain.

How to Choose an Adaptive Skydiving Facility

Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver with specific needs or someone looking to take that exhilarating first jump with some adaptations, here are some tips to help you choose the right facility:

  • Before settling on any skydiving facility, look for reviews and testimonials from previous participants to see how they felt about their experience. This can give you a great first impression of what to expect.
  • Check for a facility’s safety record and ensure they are a member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), which is a hallmark of excellence in skydiving standards.
  • Make sure they offer the full jumping experience, whether it’s tandem jumps, AFF (Accelerated Free Fall), canopy piloting, wingsuit flying, or specific skydiving goals you want to achieve. 
  • Find a facility that offers accessible amenities such as entry ramps, restrooms, wide doorways, tactile signs, and dedicated parking spots. 
  • Don’t hesitate to inquire about the specifics – from the type of harnesses and adjustable training equipment to the comprehensive training process that will prepare you for the ultimate flight.
  • Look for a facility with transparent pricing and policies, including those related to cancellations or weather-related rescheduling. This helps avoid any unexpected costs or complications.

Experience Limitless Adventure with Wheelchair Getaways

Wheelchair-accessible skydiving facilities have made it possible for nearly anyone to enjoy the sensation of freefall and parachuting back to the ground. But the adventure starts long before the jump; you need a safe and smooth ride to reach those destinations. 

With availability in more than 200 locations nationwide, Wheelchair Getaways is here to take you to skydiving sessions or any other adventure you have in mind. We boast an impressive wheelchair-accessible vehicle fleet that meets and exceeds the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. For rental quotes and other booking information, contact us today, and let Wheelchair Getaways be part of your next journey!

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