Check out our Scuba Dive Milwaukee page.
Try a tandem skydive! With tandem skydiving you're harnessed to the front of a jumpmaster and are basically just a passenger going along for the ride. There are no training classes to take. You view a video, fill out some forms, and then go through some basic exit, free-fall, and landing positions with your jumpmaster. Then you're ready to jump!
Lets face it, jumping out of a airplane 2.5 miles above the ground on your first skydive is the scariest thing you could imagine. That's only natural. But it's often said that "you leave your fear in the plane" because the rush of a
120-mphfree-fall overwhelms the senses. Your jumpmaster will likely let you pull the ripcord if you want - just ask! And once you're under canopy the feeling of soaring around like a bird is indescribable. Your jumpmaster will even give you the "toggles" so you can steer the parachute. Don't blame me if you get addicted. (Information on pursuing skydiving training is given further down on this page including a link to an AFF training video recorded during one of my jumps.)
A Friendly WarningBe weary of the Web sites with 'milwaukee' and 'skydiving'
in their URLs but only have 800 numbers and no pages with
their physical address, maps, or directions on how to get to
their facilities. It's because they don't have any facilities.
The owner of these sites, Cary Quattrocchi, has been the
subject of numerous lawsuits and "I-Team" investigations.
The cost of a tandem skydive at Skydive Milwaukee in East Troy, Wisconsin is $199 on weekends (a little cheaper during the week), plus an additional $99 if you'd like a video shot of your free-fall. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes with laces. Sandles and slip-ons may fly off during free-fall. (Be sure to remove any rings also as the
120-mphwind during free-fall will cause a loose-fitting wedding band to fly off your finger.) Family and friends are welcome to come and watch as there is a large back yard for picnicing (no pets please). For $25/person they can even ride in the jump plane as an observer to get a "high level" view of your jump. (This is not recommended for those prone to motion sickness as the pilots make some pretty aggressive maneuvers to get back down quickly. It takes 15 minutes to go up but they usually make it back down in 5.)
Fear is temporary.
Regret is permanent.
This is similar to the view you would have as you are gliding back torwards
the DZ if you jumped on a day when the wind was out of the northwest.
(Original photo by Gary Dikkers - WI Bureau of Aeronautics.)
Skydive Milwaukee / Sky Knights is located on County Highway L in East Troy, Wisconsin southwest of Milwaukee. It is very easy to get to from Milwaukee (and Chicago) by taking the freeway.
- From I-894 take I-43 South (the "Rock freeway") southwest of Milwaukee (only takes about 20 minutes once you get on I-43).
- Exit at
Hwy 20(you'll see the airport on your left side as you are approaching the exit).
- At the end of the exit ramp turn left onto
- Go under the freeway and turn left onto
County Road L.
- Hwy L winds around past the airport buildings and a farm house and Skydive Milwaukee will be on the right side.
From Chicago / Northeast Illinois
- Take I-94 north into Wisconsin to the southern part of Racine County.
- Exit at Hwy 20 (exit no. 333) and go west. (
Hwy 20forks in a couple places around Waterford so be sure to follow the Hwy 20signs. If you get lost just call 800-ET-CHUTE and let them know where you are.)
- Turn right onto County Road L which is just before the I-43 North entrance ramp. (You'll see the airport on your right as you're driving down
Hwy 20approaching County Road L.)
- County Road L winds around past the airport buildings and a farm house and Skydive Milwaukee will be on the right side.
- Skydive Milwaukee is the drop zone operated by the non-profit Sky Knights organization. Sky Knights is a non-profit club that has been serving Milwaukee area skydivers for over
50 years.Any "profits" from training and jump fees go back into the club. You don't have to become a member to train or jump there, but if you become a member a portion of your gear rental fees goes into a fund for you which you can use to buy your own rig.
A PAC 750 similar to the one shown is often used for a jump plane. It's a turbo-prop that carries up to 12 to a jump run at 13,500' in about 15 minutes. They also use a smaller
Cessna 182from time to time.
More information on Skydive Milwaukee and Sky Knights is available at www.skydivemilwaukee.com.
Here is their page on doing a
- The goggles provided by drop zones tend to be fogged and scratched from heavy use (and not the most comfortable things in the world). If you're planning on doing a one-time tandem jump you may want to invest the $15 and get your own goggles for the occasion (makes a nice souvenir of your jump). If you're going to take an AFF or static line class you'll definitely want your own goggles.
Kroop's Goggleshave a padded edge and wider strap that makes them more comfortable. Their "Boogie" model has the "skydive punched" (vent holes) clear lens. They also have their "VFR" model that will fit over eyeglasses (you'll want the skydive-punched clear lens with those too.)
- Tandem Jumps Count! The USPA requires 25 training/coach jumps to get an 'A' license. If you think you may pursue skydiving training, be sure to write down all of the facts about your tandem skydive because even these jumps count towards this total. Write down date, time, location, type of plane you jumped out of, exit altitude, time (in seconds) of free-fall, etc. You may even want to get a log book ahead of time and have your tandem master sign it after you fill in the information. Chuting Star sells the
Starloglog book for $10. I prefer the Starlog because it has a "two jumps per page" format that gives you plenty of room for both the instructor and you to write notes about your training jumps.
- If you're planning on pursuing skydiving training, get a jump (no pun intended) on the material by ordering the SIM (Skydivers Information Manual) directly from the USPA (United States Parachute Association.) Web site. The cost is around $26 and it contains ALL of the material that is (or should be) covered in your training. They also have a PDF version of the SIM that is available for free.
- The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is the sanctioning body for recreational skydiving in the US. They have an awesome instructional site they call the "online ground school" and it is an interactive site covering equipment, aircraft, freefall, canopy, and landing information and is an excellent learning aid. Check it out at:
- Here's a video of one of my AFF training jumps from the PAC 750 at Sky Knights:
AFF Category F Training Jump
- See my introduction to tandem skydiving video which was shot at Skydive Milwaukee:
Sydiving The Easy Way
- Even if the weather in Milwaukee or Chicago is not skydiving friendly, the weather in
East Troycould be a whole 'nother story.
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