At Niagara Skydive Centre (NSC), safety is always placed first. NSC welcomes your questions, and looks forward to showing you why we are your premier choice for a skydiving facility (a.k.a. drop zone)!
Parachuting and skydiving have risks, just like driving a car, taking a train, elevator, or working at home for that matter. In fact, you are statistically safer to go skydiving versus driving your car to go to work. However, this does not mean that we take safety lightly.
The reasons are simple and very straightforward: we take extraordinary steps to ensure safety in every aspect of what we do, every time. Checks, re-checks, and further re-checks are standard practice here at NSC.
We have some basic suggestions for what to look for to in helping you decide where you should jump. Asking questions is the best thing you can do to help you determine your choice of drop zone.
Is the facility organized and tidy? This is your first indication of how the drop zone is run. If effort is spent on organization and cleanliness, there is most likely a management attitude that ensures that equipment is maintained to the highest standards.
Is the facility adequate for running a drop zone? Is the facility professional? Are there: Paved runways? Safety zones for viewing? Clearly marked offices such as manifest? Packing areas? Recreation areas? Classrooms? Are the owners and management personnel readily accessible? It’s a good bet that a professional facility will provide for a professional and safe experience.
Is the landing area large, flat, and unobstructed? Are there any wind turbines nearby that could pose a potential hazard? Is it very visible from the air? Is it adjacent to “friendly” alternative landing possibilities, such as yards or fields? Does it look safe?
Equipment includes airplanes, parachutes, helmets, goggles, jump suits, and anything else that is used to get you in the air and back on the ground safely. Aircraft should be very stringently regulated. You can rely on the fact that the planes at NSC are airworthy. Ask us about regulations and safety inspections. Ask to see the student and tandem parachutes. Make sure they appear very neat and tidy, with no signs of overuse or misuse. Though you may not be an expert, the general condition and outward appearance of the chutes are important, and should give you confidence that the parachutes inside are in good working order.
The facility and the equipment are important, but the management and ownership are every bit as important to your safety and enjoyment. Is there a management presence? Is there a respectful attitude amongst ownership and management? Listen and look at how the team interacts. Look at how other jumpers act and are treated. You are placing your life and enjoyment in the hands of people you do not know. Are your questions answered respectfully? Is there a respectful and business approach that is also done in a fun way? Remember, this is also supposed to be a fun experience!
Ask about the experience of the owner, instructors, parachute packers, manifestors, as well as pilots. Ask about what certifications they have.
Training is extremely important. Make sure that the instructors take their job seriously. They should have fun teaching you, and the training should be conducted in a serious, but also enjoyably manner. Is there an adequate training facility? Are there up-to-date technologies to aid in the training, such as video, PowerPoint, detailed hand-outs? Training is extremely important and will allow you to be safe and have fun. Good training will give you a chance to evaluate the sport in a competent fashion, and allow you to decide if it is right for you. A versatile drop zone has the facilities, equipment, and staff to offer three kinds of first-time skydiving experiences: (1) Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD) , (2) Progressive Freefall (PFF) , and (3) Tandem . Always feel free to ask questions, and ask for credentials. A good facility answers those questions politely, and without reservation.
Find additional safety information, such as the Basic Safety Requirements for drop zones in Canada, at the Canadian Sport Parachute Association’s or The United States Parachuting Association's website.