No other sport is included in the must-do lists of people more than skydiving. Other than the adrenalin rush one gets from jumping off a plane at 10,000 feet, the allure is partly because of a human’s great desire to fly, something that seems to be remedied by skydiving. Whether you travel to Cebu or Pampanga (top Philippine skydiving spots), expect a Philippine skydiving adventure to be a truly unique experience.
Skydive with us and experience the thrill while using state-of-the-art equipment that will assure you an enjoyable and undoubtedly safe adventure. You will be guided by ground-to-air radio every step of the way, starting from the airplane all the way to a gentle tiptoe landing. We hope that you come back for more.
Best Times to Go
Skydiving in the Philippines can only be safely done in the fair weather months of November to June, when the sky is clear and perfect for skydiving.
Skydiving Spots in the Philippines
Skydiving in the Philippines is done in two locations: Pampanga and Cebu.
The Pampanga center provides student training and static line parachuting, as well as advanced training.
Jumps in the Queen City of the South can be made in either of the two drop zones (DZ) near the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA): Camotes Island or Tagbilaran Airport. Loads will be done at the MCIA, after which a cross-province flight will occur before jumping above the designated DZ.
Camotes Island is a very big island and virtually every land below you is an alternative landing area. The designated landing area is the runway itself, while the DZ in Tagbilaran has a grassy landing area with the length the same as the runway, but one that is not suitable for swooping.
Beginners have two options: Tandem freefall or a static-line program.
In tandem freefall, you get to experience the dive with a licensed instructor who is harnessed to you. You will be instructed for a few minutes before the actual jump that would take place immediately after.
Most beginner skydivers choose tandem skydiving because of its minimal amount of instruction, and the knowledge that you are harnessed to a licensed skydiving instructor definitely makes things easier, especially if it is your first dive. This is touted to be a great introduction to the sport. Training generally lasts just 30 minutes and depending on the variables, a student may spend only half a day for the training and jump.
Nearing the jump, both student and instructor are attached together to the same parachute system. On signal, they freefall together for about 30 to 50 seconds, depending on the jump altitude (typically 10,000 to 13,000 feet). They descend together under a single large parachute with dual controls.
In the static-line program, the student is assisted during the climb out by the static-line instructor, exits the aircraft solo with the parachute deploying immediately. Exit and opening altitude occur at 3,500 feet, then the student pilots the parachute to the landing area. Pre-flight programs include practical instruction on climb-out and exit, freefall, canopy flight, landing, and emergency procedures.
The static-line program is meant to be an initial course for those wanting to become licensed sky divers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is Tandem Skydiving?
Tandem skydiving refers to a type of skydiving where a novice skydiver is connected via a harness to an experienced skydiver (the “tandem master” or “tandem instructor”). The instructor controls the entire jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. Since the jump is under the control of an experienced instructor, the student needs only minimal instruction prior to making the jump.This type of skydiving is popular among beginners and first-time skydivers, though it is more expensive than a static-line skydive. It exposes first-time jumpers to the skydiving routine with minimal expectations from the student. In some programs, first-time jumpers are instructed on how and when to deploy the main canopy themselves. Typically about half of the first-jump students succeed. However, the tandem master is still primarily responsible for a safe and timely parachute deployment.
- What is a static-line?The static line is the cord connecting the deployment bag of the parachute to the aircraft from which the parachutist jumps.  After falling away from the aircraft, this short line then pulls the parachute deployment bag from its container from which the parachute deploys. The static line separates from the parachute, and remains in tow behind the aircraft. It is subsequently pulled in and stowed away by the jumpmaster. Static lines are used in order to make sure that a parachute is deployed immediately after leaving the plane, regardless of any actions taken by the parachutist.
- How does free fall feel?While akin to the stomach churning feeling one gets in an amusement park ride, it is not quite the same. You will feel like you are falling on a cushion of air like a hovercraft, and you get a feeling of buoyancy similar to being in the water but with a much greater thrill.
- What if I do not open the parachute?Not opening the parachute is certainly something that you do not want to do. First off, it’s a very simple affair. You take a toggle attached to a pilot chute and throw it into the airflow and the parachute then opens in sequence. If any time during the jump you lose altitude awareness, we would guide you through hand signals telling you to open the parachute, and if you do not respond we would open it for you. It is also worth noting that our parachutes are fitted with a computerized automatic activation device, which would open the parachute for you if all else failed.
- After opening, is it easy to find the landing zone and fly the parachute to the land in the target area?It is understandable why people are worried about this, but everyone finds landing very easy. We will teach you exactly what to do and we will also equip you with a mounted radio and talk you down till you are confident and competent to fly and land yourself.
- Are landings hard?While landings used to be hard, we now use the latest ram air canopies which allow you to land like a fairy’s fluff! Even big guys can be afforded soft landing.
- Is packing a parachute difficult?Packing a parachute is a very simple procedure, and it is one of the things that we teach you as the course progresses so that you will be competent at all aspects of skydiving before we are finished with you. In your initial dives, however, you are not expected to pack parachutes.
It is unavoidable to experience some sort of fear throughout the course. Some find that the first jump is the most terrifying while some others feel quite relaxed during their first skydive and feel fear later in the course. This is quite normal and is part of the adrenaline buzz of this course. One of the things you will achieve is the ability to confront and control your fear. When you get past this stage, you can really start to relax and enjoy your sky dives fully.
- How fast do I fall?Upon leaving the aircraft, you are moving horizontally at the same speed as the aircraft, which is typically 90-110 mph. During the first 10 seconds, the diver accelerates to about 115-130 mph straight down. Do take note that in tandem dives, the pair uses a drogue chute to keep them from falling much faster than this.It is also possible to change your body position to vary the rate of your fall. In a standard face-to-earth position, you can change your fall rate up or down a few miles. More experienced divers can do standing freefall jumps that can reach speeds of 160-180 mph. Speeds of over 200 mph can be achieved, but not with great practice and experience. In fact, the record freefall speed done without any special equipment is 321 mph. Obviously it is desirable to slow back down to 110 mph before parachute opening.Once under a parachute, descent rates of 1000 ft/min are typical. A lighter student with a bigger canopy may come down much more slowly. A heavier person may have a somewhat faster descent. Experienced jumpers’ canopies descend up to 1500 ft/min. During radical turns, the rate can go well over 2000 ft/min.
- What if my parachute does not open?Among the frequently asked questions in skydiving, this one takes the cake, especially with new divers.By law (FAA regulations), all intentional parachute jumps must be made with a single harness, dual parachute system with both a main canopy and a reserve canopy. In other words, you have a second (spare) canopy in case the first one fails to open properly.However, it must be noted that the technology utilized in today’s sport parachuting equipment is years ahead of the old military surplus gear used in the 60s and 70s. The canopies are drastically different from the classic G.I. Joe round parachutes. The materials are stronger, lighter and last longer; the packing procedures are simpler, and the deployment sequence is much more refined.
The reserve canopies are even more carefully designed and packed. The reserve parachute must be inspected and repacked every 120 days by an FAA rated parachute Rigger – even if it has not been used during that time.
The student’s main canopy is always packed either by a rigger or under a rigger’s direct supervision by experienced packers.
There are also additional safety features employed to ensure canopy deployment such as Automatic Activation Devices (AAD) and Reserve Static Lines (RSL) which add still more layers of safety.
- What are the physical requirements?
In general, the prospective student should be in reasonably good physical shape; this is a sport after all. You will be required to wear around 35 lbs of equipment, endure opening shock, maneuver the canopy, land, and possibly trudge great distances on foot. You will experience 30 degree swings in temperature, atmospheric pressure changes, 4-6 hours of lecture, and lots of beer. It’s grueling.Seriously, problems may arise where a prospective skydiver is too heavy (over 250lbs/110kg, see below) or if they have medical conditions which may impair them during the activity. Someone who experiences fainting spells, blackouts, or has a weak heart should not be jumping. Someone with respiratory illness may have a problem due to atmospheric changes at altitude. The better your physical condition, the more you will enjoy the experience. This being said, very few people have medical or physical conditions which actually preclude jumping.Most drop zones will try to work with you. If you have a question, ask them, and as always, ask your doctor. You may be surprised at the relatively few physical constraints involved.
Concerning weight restrictions, there are two primary concerns: First, does the drop zone have a parachute system which you can both legally use and safely land? Second, if you are going to be at the top-end of the safe weight range for a particular parachute, are you in relatively good shape? An imperfect landing will be much less likely to injure an athletic person. If this is unclear, consider the difference between a 5’10” linebacker who weighs 240lbs, and a 5’10” channel surfer of the same weight. If the former has a bad landing, he’ll probably brush himself off and get up. The latter may very well injure himself substantially, lacking both the strength to withstand landing and coordination to do a good parachute landing fall (PLF). With this in mind, use the following table as a guide.
- Weight Comments
- < 200lbs. Almost every DZ should be willing to let you jump.
- 200-230lbs. The majority of DZs should be willing to let you jump. Being in relatively good shape is a plus. Beyond 230lbs, most reserve canopies are no longer strictly legal for you to use.
- 230-250lbs. Some DZs may take you, but will likely insist that you be in good shape, i.e. not a couch-potato. You must recognize that there is a greater chance of injury, particularly if you are not somewhat athletic.
- > 250lbs. Very few DZs will be able to let you skydive. They are likely to use converted Tandem gear. Without this type of equipment, you will need to be in excellent physical condition, and be willing to accept a greatly increased chance of injury in case of a bad landing.
Please note that this table is only a guideline. There are experienced skydivers who are quite heavy — however, they likely learned when they were lighter and had mastered landing before they gained the additional weight.