Our aim is to provide our customers with an amazing experience from start to finish!
Unfortunately, though, strict Civil Aviation Authority safety regulations often prevent us from being able to operate as we would wish.
Weather restrictions, for example, prevent us from being able to offer our customers guaranteed jump times and orders – which we know can be very frustrating for all involved, including ourselves.
Specifically for this reason we asked Trading Standards, and our lawyers, to come up with a system they felt was fair and lawful on both parties. Both came back with similar answers – which have now been incorporated into our customer terms and conditions. These being…
- We should limit the amounts of tandems we book in each day to manageable amounts – assuming perfect weather conditions and available daylight hours. Our airfield planning permission allows us to fly from 9am to 8pm. During these hours, and assuming perfect weather conditions, we have the facilities to jump about 140 tandems per day, but to allow for other categories of parachutists (such as our regular club members) we have reduced this to 85. Based on this reduction, and perfect weather conditions, customers should be aware that we can usually jump about 10 tandems per hour.
- Customers should also be aware that we jump on average 65% of the 220 days we open each year and complete about 5000 tandems jumps. Which means that on perfect weather days everyone booked in will get jumped, and on other days some will have to re-book. How we decide who jumps and when is explained in the next paragraph.
- Both Trading Standards and our lawyers confirmed we should not offer pre-arranged jump times as a matter of course, or preferential treatment to new or returning customers (as we often get asked).
Instead, we should operate “a first come first served system” for each category of parachutist and by doing so give each person within that category the same opportunity to be on the first flight of any given day, and thus have the greatest chance of jumping with the minimum waiting period. It was accepted that pre-arranged jump times could work on perfect weather days, but as this was impossible to predict in advance both Trading Standards and our lawyers concluded “the first come first served system” should apply at all times. This is the reason we have adopted this system.
- Both new and existing customers should be given the same opportunity to book the available spaces. As provided on our website.
- Customers should prepare to stay with us for the full period of our operation whenever they attend (from 7.30 am on Wednesdays, Weekends and bank holidays, or 8.30 am at other times, to the earlier of 8 pm or dark) to give both them and ourselves the maximum opportunity to complete their jumps.Both Trading Standards and our lawyers felt it would be unfair for us to go to the extra expense of rebooking a customer when it was not necessary.
- We should open the airfield irrespective of the weather and customers should be prepared to attend irrespective of the weather – which both Trading Standards and our lawyers agreed was a fair condition as records show we complete thousands of jumps each year on marginal weather days if people are on site ready to go.Although it should be noted that we do endeavour to contact customers the day before if the weather forecast is showing an almost zero chance of jumping for the whole day. This, however, is an additional service that forms no part of the contract and is purely advisory. It is not a cancellation of the jump and should customers still wish to attend, instead of re-book, they are welcome to do so.
- We should allow our customers 12 months to complete their jumps at no extra cost and offer refunds (less a £165 administration fee) if at any time during this period they change their minds about taking part.Please note however that we have gone two stages further and offer a full refund to any customer that attends the airfield on at least eight occasions during this 12 month period but fails to complete their jump, as well as the opportunity for all customers to convert to our Residential Course even once their contract has finished. The Residential Course allows customers to stay with us on site until their jumps have been completed and offer a full refund if jumps are not completed within 3 continuous days – E.g. a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a bank holiday weekend.
With all these opportunities for refund, and the opportunity to convert to our Residential Course even once the contract has finished, we consider these to be some of the fairest terms and conditions amongst any of our UK competitors – most of whom offer no refunds at all even though they have to operate to the same rules.
We hope you agree and that you thoroughly enjoy jumping with us – weather-related problems and waiting periods’ aside.
On a separate note, we often get asked by customers if they can jump with their own cameras. Regrettably, the strict Civil Aviation Authority regulations referred to above only permit ‘C Licence’ skydivers with 200 plus jumps to take camera equipment into freefall, and again applies to all operators within the UK. More information about this can be found in Section 6, Paragraph 6.1 of the British Skydiving Operations manual which is available at www.britishskydiving.org/staysafe.
We do however have qualified cameramen on site who will be available to jump with you and film your jump for an additional fee if needed. This service can be booked on the day and you will be shown examples of what they’re able to offer as part of your training. Prices range from £85 to £155.
Some of the Tandem Instructors also jump hand-mounted GoPro cameras, but, as their primary role is to look after your safety rather than film your jump, this service is non-bookable and is only available as a secondary service to those who have first employed the services of a freefall cameraman. The Instructor Go Pro footage will be available for you to view immediately after your jump, assuming it’s of acceptable quality and can be added to your order for an additional £30 if needed.
If you have any questions about anything referred to above please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query before booking.