Can You Skydive At Night?

July 13, 2023

Night Skydiving


Jumping out of an airplane conjures images of sunshine, open skies, and warm weather. But are these the only conditions suitable for skydiving? Can you skydive at night? 


Believe it or not, night skydiving is a thing! But answering “Can you go skydiving at night?” is a little more complicated than you might think. 


Official night jumps must take place between one hour after official sunset and one hour before official sunrise. And that’s just one of the non-negotiables of nighttime skydiving. Read on to find out all the ins and outs of skydiving at night!


skydiving at night 

Requirements To Skydive At Night


As you can imagine, skydiving at night requires some additional expertise. Certain requirements have to be met before a skydiver can leap into the night sky. Skydivers aren’t allowed to participate in night jumps until they have earned the United States Parachute Association (USPA)  B license or higher, which includes passing in-air assessments, written exams, and training to land in the water. 


Needing a B license or higher also means that newer jumpers, including tandems, aren’t able to participate in night jumps. The added risk and additional considerations that come with being in the night sky aren’t conducive to bringing first-time jumpers along for the ride. 


But all that means is that if you want to do night jumps, you should get your own skydiving license! The Skydive Danielson AFF program will get you in the sky and jumping at night in no time!


There is also training during the day of the scheduled night jumps that’s beyond the licensing requirements. According to the USPA, every skydiver, regardless of experience, should participate in night-jump training to learn or review: 


  1. techniques of avoiding disorientation
  2. use of identification light, lighted instruments, and flashlight
  3. target lighting
  4. ground-to-air communications
  5. reserve activation


The dropzone’s Safety & Training Advisor or an experienced instructor will cover all of these topics in detail before anyone gets into the plane to do a night jump. Every jumper who’s going to be in the sky must be on the same page so that the jumps are smooth and without incident. 


Skydive Danielson skydivers at night

Additional Equipment For Night Skydiving


It’s not just extra training that’s required to jump at night. Skydivers need more equipment, too! Removing one of the most important senses for skydiving (sight, of course) means that jumpers have to compensate with visual aids or their hearing. It’s a good idea to have the following items on every night jump:


  • A backlit or glow-face altimeter – it’s awfully hard to know when to deploy your parachute if you can’t see your altitude!
  • A small flashlight – even in the dark, skydivers need to be able to see their parachute to make sure it’s in good condition to fly after it opens. 
  • Glow sticks or chemlights – jumpers attach these to the front and back of their legs to make them more visible to other people in the sky with them.
  • A whistle – a good, loud whistle can be used to alert anyone in the surrounding area of a jumper's whereabouts.
  • A strobe light that can be seen for 3 statute miles – a strobe light will function similarly to the lights on airplane wings. Both other skydivers and aircraft will be able to spot a strobed jumper long before a collision happens. 


Bonus equipment: most airplanes have internal lighting that doesn’t impact night vision. Instead of brightly shining, white overhead lights, the pilot will use a low-intensity red or green light if someone needs to illuminate the inside of the plane. That way, jumpers’ eyes don’t have to readjust to the night sky when it’s time to exit! 

Skydiving at night at Skydive Danielson

The Night Sky


So, what is nighttime skydiving really like? That depends on who you ask. In general, skydiving at night is exhilarating, liberating, emotional, and, truth talk, scary. 


No matter how many jumps a skydiver has done in the light of day, getting out of the airplane at night comes with new sensations. The moon in the sky, the dark ground, and even the way the sky looks change the perspective completely. 


Removing, or at least hindering, the ability to see heightens all of the other senses, including fear. Skydivers are completely dialed in at night in a way they probably haven’t been since their first student jumps. The mental focus and adrenaline are intoxicating. 


Finding a super familiar landing area is suddenly tricky, and looking for runway lights instead of geographical landmarks is an entirely different experience from the one they're used to. Having to try harder to see gear, other skydivers, and familiar landscapes poses a challenge that experienced skydivers don’t often get to experience in their everyday jumps. 


And, of course, there’s a sense of pride! Accomplishing the difficult task of skydiving at night feels great, and validates all the reasons skydivers jump in the first place! 


We’d love to get you in the air during the day so you can start your journey into the night! Check that tandem skydive off your list with Skydive Danielson!


skydivers at night at Skydive Danielson