We allow certified skydivers to jump from the balloon on regular sunrise balloon flights. To avoid confusion, if you are not a certified skydiver, or own your own parachute, then disregard information about skydiving from the balloon, and be assured that you are on the correct flight. You'll be staying in the baskets when the parachutists jump out. It is perfectly safe and you do not need to take any special precausions to join any flight where skydivers are onboard.
Skydivers. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to balloon jumps. Balloon Jumps are a novelty. Please read the info below, and look out for your confirmation email.
How to Book
To book a balloon jump, choose the shared flight option at the Casa Grande Location.
We charge a $100 deposit per person to secure your slot. The remainder is due on the day after your jump. Bring your method of payment with you.
1. An "A" License with 50 jumps under your belt and your own Rig. (you cannot rent gear for balloon jumps)
2. Jump with your phone so we can communicate if we cannot find you after you land.
3. Common Sense and the Ability to Follow Instructions.
4. Read the email that says....... (BALLOON JUMPS - PLEASE READ)
Base Rigs Allowed?
Short answer: No
Long Answer: if they are approved, most base rigs are not.
§ 105.43 Use of single-harness, dual-parachute systems.
No person may conduct a parachute operation using a single-harness, dual-parachute system, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow any person to conduct a parachute operation from that aircraft using a single-harness, dual-parachute system, unless that system has at least one main parachute, one approved reserve parachute, and one approved single person harness and container that are packed as follows:
(a) The main parachute must have been packed within 180 days before the date of its use by a certificated parachute rigger, the person making the next jump with that parachute, or a non-certificated person under the direct supervision of a certificated parachute rigger.
(b) The reserve parachute must have been packed by a certificated parachute rigger—
(1) Within 180 days before the date of its use, if its canopy, shroud, and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or similar synthetic fiber or material that is substantially resistant to damage from mold, mildew, and other fungi, and other rotting agents propagated in a moist environment; or
(2) Within 60 days before the date of its use, if it is composed of any amount of silk, pongee, or other natural fiber, or material not specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(c) If installed, the automatic activation device must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions for that automatic activation device.
You are welcome to bring non-jumper friends. They pay the same price and book the same way. Ask them to stay in the basket when you jump. It is good for their health.
I will do my utmost best to take you to 10K and we have a 99% success rate. Usually the only time I might ask people to get out lower (5-10K) is if we have high winds (20-40mph) at altitude while the forecasted wind direction was incorrect. Unfortunately, I am not able to predict whether the wind predictions will be predicted correctly at the time when you book.
We have many launch sites in the area, some as far as 30 miles away. In case the winds are high, we launch further away to still try and make 10k.
If the forecasted wind direction was incorrect, and the choice is between dropping you lower and flying the balloon into an area where I do not have road access, unfortunately you will be getting out lower. Like any jump operation, your slot is paid regardless of exit altitude with no refunds.
When you book, you will be asked for your weight. Please enter your accurate exit weight (with full gear), and not your new year's resolution weight. It is important. The heavier the load the longer it takes to altitude, the longer we fly, the further we drift. Refer to above paragraph about flying the balloon into an area with no road access.
Min and Max
Min of 6 to fly, max 12 per load, and max 3 loads per day.
I will fly for less than 6 people as long as 6 slots are paid for. For military I need 8 slots, as I won't be able to carry all you hulks with your heavy gear in my small 6 passenger balloon, we need the big boy balloon for you.
If we do not have enough bookings to fly, we will let you know before 7pm the day before. You can either reschedule or receive a full refund.
We will meet in front of the bent prop. In the past we used to meet at the south field. We decided to change that to the Bent Prop Restaurant at Skydive Arizona, as not all non-jumpers are familiar with the south field.
The meeting time is in your confirmation email. This is your meeting time, not the time for you to call me and tell me you are getting off the highway, not the time for you to arrive to pack your rig, not the time to run to the toilet and not the time to realize your rig is still in the hanger, which will still be locked that early in the morning. This is the time we meet the balloon crew and hop in the vans. The crew will bring you to me, wherever I have decided to launch that day. Meeting times are important and are worked out so that we get the balloon off the ground before the morning drainage winds start, making our life difficult. Even a 5mph steady breeze is not a fun inflation. BE ON TME. If you know you are usually late, plan to arrive earlier.
Second/Third Load Meeting times
Please refer to the above paragraph about meeting times. Balloon launches are incredibly wind dependent. Even a steady 5mph breeze or 90-degree wind switch can delay the launch. If we are running late, just wait. If we are running extremely late or decide to cancel, we will text/email you.
Backpacks, Gear bags, Hats, Selfie Sticks, Etc.
Whatever you bring into the basket, counts as your exit weight, and will jump with you, including beanies, hats, malfunctioning cameras and no-longer-needed selfie sticks. Don't leave anything in the basket, otherwise it will make its way to the lost-and-never-found-donation box for the Center for Skydivers Who Can't Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too.
Landing on the Dropzone
You have a 99% chance of NOT landing on the dropzone.
1. If you do make it to the dropzone, go back to the meeting area and wait for the crew to check you in and to collect the outstanding amount. If you land on the dropzone and disapear, a 20% PainInTheAss fee will be applied to your bill.
2. I try to avoid the dropzone, to not interfere with Skydive Arizona's air traffic. We cannot ask the otters to keep doing go-arounds so the balloon can pass through their airspace for skydivers to land on the grass. So plan on landing off.
Will I get picked up after I land?
We have dedicated vans for picking up skydivers after landing. Please make use of our services. Please DO NOT hitchhike back to the dropzone without telling us. We are looking for you and we will keep looking for you. #PainInTheAssFee.
Check your inbox and spam box for the confirmation email and do your waivers at least by the day before. If you booked for someone else, please forward them the waiver. Let us not mess with paperwork that early in the morning. #PainInTheAssFee
Why are balloon jumps so expensive???
They are not. For what goes into making them happen, they are very affordable.
We lose about 20-25% passenger carrying capacity due to the extra weight of your gear along with going to 10k. If you do the math per average person's weight, skydivers are getting the cheapest balloon rides in the country with the highest operating costs per flight. Our ascend rates are high, which means the balloon is flown hotter and uses more fuel than low level tourist flights. Higher Temperatures inside the balloon means higher wear and tear. We also need more vehicles and more crew on the ground for skydivers. We are also traveling much greater distances with multiple vehicles.
In the United States balloon rides are sold for as high as over $400 per person depending on where you are. Flying skydivers is the most expensive balloon ride business model there is along with being the most logistically demanding operation. If you ask me for a discount because you don't get the full hour balloon ride before you jump, a 20% PainInTheAss Fee will be applied to your bill. :-)