Skydiving School (Dictionary)

Below are commonly used terms by expert skydivers and Skydive Philadelphia’s staff. If you do not see a term in our dictionary that you have a question about, feel free to give us a call!

Accelerated Freefall

A skydive that is performed without an instructor attached via harness. 2 Instructors will accompany the student during their jump to ensure that the skydive goes as planned.


A device that measures the skydivers current altitude. Altimeters are used to judge height above the landing zone and allow the instructors to deploy the parachute at proper altitude.

Automatic Activation Device (AAD)

A device that is connected to the reserve parachute container. AAD’s automatically deploy the reserve parachute at a pre-determined altitude, speed, or time.


Also known as parachutes, canopies allow each and every skydiver to land at a safe and comfortable speed.

Drop Zone

Any area that skydivers reserve to land. Drop Zone can also refer to the skydiving establishment, as a whole.


The time during a skydive that the skydiver is falling without the parachute deployed. Freefalls typically last anywhere from 45-60 seconds.


An object which holds the skydiver securely inside the parachute system.


To properly fold the parachute system before a scheduled jump.

Pilot Chute

A smaller parachute that is used to allow the main parachute to open correctly and promptly.


Refers to the sharing of one parachute system with another person. Tandem jumps are typically performed by newcomers and students.

Wing Suit

A jumpsuit that is designed specifically for the act of gliding horizontally until parachute deployment.

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That was incredible!! My group was super stoked about the whole experience and will definitely come back!
- Derek Johnson

I had a hell of time! Bunch a thanks to my instructor.
- seda

i always wanted to jump out of a perfectly good's a shame i waited so long to do it. matt was my instructor and he made it one of the most awesome experiences of my life. you can't do that just once!
- joseph yurko