- Can I take my own camera on the jump?
We have recently realised the 20,000ft Skydive which will be an upgrade from our previous 19,000ft Skydive.
Skydive Franz Josef Limited does not allow clients to bring along personal cameras, GoPros, cell phones, and other photography equipment on their jumps due to safety and regulatory issues.
Past experience has proven that untrained passengers pose a safety risk to their instructors, equipment, and people on the ground. Untrained passengers trying to film their jumps can easily interfere with parachute operation and/or injure themselves or their instructors.
Additionally, Skydive Franz is governed by the rules of the New Zealand Parachute Organisation, our Civil Aviation Authority Part 115 certificate holder, which specifically state that no photography equipment may be used by skydivers on tandem descents who have less than 200 jumps.
Skydive Franz has professionally trained freefall photographers and offers a variety of camera options available should you wish to record your jump. Thanks for your understanding.
- Can I wear glasses/contacts during a skydive?
Yes you can. During freefall the glasses will be protected by our goggles and once the parachute is open you can take the goggles off. Contact lenses are also fine to wear while skydiving.
- Can we share a skydive photographer?
Sorry no. It’s impossible for one photographer to film two different tandem customers during freefall. We keep tandem skydive customers separated in the air for safety reasons.
However it’s a great experience to freefall with your photographer who’s focusing on just you. Same goes for the instructorcam option as your tandem instructor will be filming just you while you’re in the air.
- Do you have a weight limit?
Many drop zones in New Zealand will not take over 100kgs, at Skydive Franz Josef our modern equipment allows us to take up to 120kg but that depends on the fitness of the participant and assessment from the Tandem Master.
Our harnesses are designed specifically for comfort and allow more/easier mobility for heavier people than any other type. There is a maximum weight limit on the equipment, and as long as this is not exceeded, there is no problem.
- Does it rain on the West Coast?
Yes. Yes it does. BUT rain makes the West Coast the untamed natural wilderness that it is. We operate a little more than half the year, making for a pretty exclusive club of skydivers who either strike it lucky or are flexible enough to plan around the rainy days.
Hey, if everyone was able to skydive every day at Franz Josef then it wouldn’t be so special and the ground would be dry and dusty instead of lush, vibrant green. Every skydiving day on the West Coast is precious and beautiful and inspires spontaneity.
Want to see what the current weather is doing? Click here to check out this webcam of Franz Josef!
- How high do we jump?
At Skydive Franz Josef we jump from 9,000 feet, 13,000 feet, 16,500 feet and 20,000 feet above ground level! Aoraki/Mt. Cook the highest mountain in New Zealand is slightly over 12,000 feet high and only a few kilometres away from your jump.
- How long does it last?
The whole trip from Franz Josef Glacier township and back is around 2 -3 hours. We provide transport from the Franz Josef Glacier village for the short 5 minute drive to the airport. Upon arrival you will be briefed and geared up.
The plane ride up takes 15-20 minutes, the free fall lasts for between 20 and 90 seconds depending on the height you choose. Once the parachute opens at 5000 feet you’ll fly around for around 4 – 7 minutes depending on how adventurous you are with turns and spirals.
- I'm unsure about the photos and video, is it worth it?
We highly recommend at least one option for your first jump, you only ever do one first jump and the scenery around here is spectacular. The nature of skydiving can leave some with a surreal and vague memory of the freefall afterwards, the photography really helps your recollection of the experience.
- What do I have to do?
We will teach you the basic body position for the free-fall, and we will give you the controls of the parachute to try (if you wish to). There is not too much to learn and you don’t have to do it perfectly. You are there to enjoy yourself.
- What do I wear?
All you need to wear is warm lightweight clothes and shoes, we supply jumpsuits, hats, goggles and gloves so just wear comfortable clothing. It is not uncommon to have sub zero temperatures at or above 13,000 feet even in summer so do bring something warm.
- What if I have a medical condition?
We suggest that all people that wish to participate that have a health concern, consult their doctor or specialist first to see if it is O.K. Especially heart conditions, sinus and ear problems and anyone that has had problems with consciousness.
- What time of day can I book a skydive?
In winter we have three check in times 8.30am, 11.30am and 2.30pm. In summer our check in times are approximately 7.15am, 9.45am, 12.15pm, 2.45pm and on demand 5.45pm. We may have additional timeslots available on some days under certain circumstances too.
- Where is Skydive Franz?
Our office is located on the main street of the Franz Josef Glacier township and our dropzone is at the airport, five minutes drive away. Franz Josef Glacier is the biggest town in the Glacier region of the West Coast of the South Island and is at the base of New Zealand’s biggest mountains.
It’s only about 15 kilometres (9miles) from the town/mountains to the ocean and the airport is in between. This location, with the mountains, glaciers and ocean so close, makes it the best place in the world to skydive.
- Why is Skydive Franz one of the only NZ dropzones skydiving from 20,000ft?
We are currently the only operation certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that jumps from 20,000ft in New Zealand’s South Island. We were the first in the country to go this high – 8 years ago, and since then we’ve been going to 19,000 ft.. The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is the government agency tasked with establishing civil aviation safety and security standards in New Zealand and certifies skydiving up to 20,000ft above sea level.
Our Swiss built Pilatus Porter PC-6 aircraft is capable of flying to 25,000 ft, we have a landing location that is near sea-level, and have few airspace sharing issues with airliners. Many other skydiving operators in New Zealand can’t meet these requirements.
And we dig freefall. We are the high altitude specialists in New Zealand having jumped thousands of people from 19,000ft for nearly ten years. We take the time to fly higher for our customers who want the longest freefall experience possible.
Dropzones that aren’t capable of delivering high altitude skydiving may try to bluff customers with reasons why they’re not up for it – try not to feel sorry for them, they’re just feeling inadequate.
- Will a disability stop me from skydiving?
Because the skydives are with a tandem master it’s an excellent adventure for people to safely undertake despite most disabilities. We have done dozens of jumps with people with a variety of disabilities so contact us with any questions.
- Will I be safe?
We have a 100% safety record here at Skydive Franz. We are proud of this, and intend to maintain it. Our staff are dedicated professionals and our equipment is the best available.
- Will I feel sick?
Not usually, though some people do suffer from motion sickness. if you are one that suffers from motion sickness you only need to inform your Tandem Master and they will reduce the G’s and spirals during the parachute ride. The free fall and plane ride are never usually a problem.