Can you pass out while skydiving?

If you’re the discerning type, you may have already looked into skydiving safety statistics and picked up on the relatively low risk presented from your upcoming tandem skydive. You know how unlikely it is to die from skydiving (a risk of .0002% to be specific). But there is something that troubles you deeply.

No, it’s not getting injured that you fear but, rather, the sheer mortifying possibility of having your skydiving video become a viral sensation because you passed out mid-air.

You can see it now—limp legged, head hung, the brunt of the joke—and it sends shivers down your spine! Or worse yet, you might even end up “memeified”—your discomfort framed with some clever quip on the internet for ages to come.

Before you let your mind get too far ahead—and trust us you’re not alone, we get these kinds of questions all the time—we are here to set the record straight for those who fear their dignity is at stake!

Woman smiling while tandem skydiving at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Can you pass out while skydiving?

It is possible. Yes, you can pass out while skydiving. But, it’s not a very likely scenario for you to find yourself in. The rare handful of people who experienced a lapse in consciousness while on a skydive likely made a few key mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not Eating Before A Skydive

So many people are afraid of the possibility of meeting their lunch again (if you catch our drift) that they think it wise to skip meals altogether before skydiving. These are the same folks that are unwittingly tipping the scales toward having a less than stellar time on their skydive. Your body needs a steady level of glucose to keep you feeling alert. Skipping meals can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The combination of adrenaline dump and low blood sugar can leave you feeling woozy and, in extreme cases, can cause you to pass out.

Mistake #2: They Forgot To Breathe

For some, it is not intuitive how to breathe while skydiving . As you probably know, the brain needs a healthy flow of oxygen in order for you to remain conscious, but some people hold their breath without even realizing it. To keep this from happening to you, try to concentrate on your inhales and exhales, focusing on the feeling of air filling your lungs. This practice will ensure you keep breathing and may even help to settle your nerves a bit.

Man amazed while tandem skydiving at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Mistake #3: They Were Already Feeling Unwell

If you’re already feeling a bit off, a skydive will rarely make the situation any better. If you are feeling sick, push your skydive to another day. When it comes to an enjoyable skydiving experience, it is better to be firing on all cylinders than puttering along.

Mistake #4: They Tossed Back A Few Too Many Cold Ones the Night Before

There is no activity on earth that is fun with a hangover. In fact, most things are considerably worse with a hangover. Skydiving is one of those things. Because of the dehydration that a heavy night of drinking causes, individuals who skydive with a hangover put themselves at an increased risk of passing out while skydiving. It is best to forgo a night of drinking before your skydive. Instead, take it easy and get a good night’s rest. Save the celebrating for after the skydive!

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Family Going Skydiving in Wisconsin

What happens if I pass out skydiving?

As we said above, it is highly unusual for someone to pass out while skydiving, but it can happen. Now, in the unlikely case you do pass out, what happens? On a tandem skydive, you are paired with a licensed, professional skydiving instructor. If you happen to pass out while skydiving, you are physically attached to your instructor. S/he will take the lead and will do all they can to help get you both back safely to the ground.

Do you pee when you skydive?

Those with weak bladders or incontinence issues often wonder if the “shock” of the opening parachute will cause them to pee their pants. Because of a staged deployment and the design of the parachute, typically, the parachute opening is quite soft. As far as we know, no one has peed while skydiving.

Skydiver saying goodbye to the plane at the end of the season at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee

Can you have a heart attack from skydiving?

Like any physical activity, a generally healthy person should not be concerned about having a heart attack while skydiving. However, because skydiving can induce high levels of stress in certain individuals, if you have a weakened heart or a history of heart trouble, it may not be a good idea to skydive. That being said, we are not medical professionals, and so, any medical counsel concerning if your heart is fit enough to skydive should come from your primary care physician.

It is perfectly reasonable to worry before your first skydive, but if you prepare properly for your first time skydiving experience , you can do your part to prevent discomfort on your skydive and make the unlikely even more unlikely!

It’s easy to make excuses. Challenge yourself and get the ball rolling. You’re ready to make that jump, and we’re ready to help you!

Can You Pass Out While Skydiving?

If you’re Googling “can you pass out while skydiving” then it’s likely you’ve pulled the trigger and made your reservation to skydive but now feel panicked about all that could go wrong! Fear not kindred adventurer, feeling nervous (or completely freaked out is completely normal). In this article, we’ve got all the answers… so don’t cancel your reservation just yet!

Is Passing Out During a Skydive Possible?

Yes. It’s possible to pass out during a skydive, but while possible, it is unlikely. We’ve been in the skydiving business for over 20 years and have conducted tens of thousands of jumps, and we can count on one hand how often this has happened!

The cause for passing out during a skydive is usually related to one of three things:

  1. A medical condition
  2. Low blood sugar
  3. The fear of heights (acrophobia) and feeling overwhelmed

At Skydive Monroe, we have never had anyone pass out due to extreme acrophobia. The most common cause for passing out is low blood sugar and this usually occurs after the parachute is deployed.

can you pass out while skydiving

How To Prevent Passing Out

Fainting during a skydive is a rare occurrence but as in all things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preparing for your skydive will greatly reduce the chance of passing out.

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Your body is an engine, it needs to be prepared to be put through the paces because jumping from an airplane isn’t exactly a normal thing! Your body will need to be ready to respond to the rush of adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine that awaits it! Not being ready could lead you to say “night-night” and miss the whole skydiving experience altogether, and nobody wants that!

To prepare for a skydive, here’s what you need to know:

Notice we added the word “Correctly.” Eating a heart-attack-inducing breakfast from your favorite fast-food spot is definitely the wrong play. A light and nutritious meal prior to your jump is highly advised. If you’re intermittent fasting, we recommend breaking your fast and having breakfast if jumping in the morning.

The most common reason people pass out or become quite sick is by not eating at all. During the skydive, adrenaline levels will spike and if there isn’t anything in the system to sustain the spike, it could be lights out.

It’s not unheard of for folks to go on a bender the night before their skydive. This is a bad idea! When we recommend hydrating, it’s not with alcohol the night before! Save the libations for after the jump. It’s very important that you arrive at the skydiving facility feeling hydrated with good, old-fashioned water. It would seem that Red Bull would go hand in hand with this adventure, but it’s really not recommended. Push that water!

Arriving at the dropzone without sleep will lead to a subpar experience. The combination of a healthy meal, proper hydration, and good sleep will set you up for success.

It’s possible for some people to get themselves so worked up with anxiety that they pass out. This is a rarity but can happen. The key to facing any challenge and overcoming fear is to breathe correctly. Slow, deep breaths. As anyone who does yoga will testify, thinking consciously about your breath is important. Find your center and breathe through the anxiety – once you leave the aircraft, you’ll have the time of your life!

passing out while skydiving

What If the Instructor Passes Out?

You may not have considered this but we have! An instructor passing out is extremely rare, but we’ve planned for this as well. Within every parachute container system (the backpack that holds the parachutes) is a small computer known as an Automatic Activation Device (AAD). The AAD is designed to measure altitude and speed and will deploy the reserve parachute when a skydiver crosses through a predetermined altitude threshold at a high rate of speed. This computer has a proven track record in reliability and serves as an added safety tool should a skydiver be unable to deploy the main parachute for any reason.

The Stats Are In Your Favor

If you’re worried about passing out, you may ultimately be worried about a slew of things related to skydiving (like death). Of course, we can’t call skydiving perfectly safe because jumping out of a plane does have inherent risks. You can indeed die while participating in a skydive, but the statistics of the sport show that skydiving is a manageable risk for most people. Each year millions of skydives are made annually.

Have questions about passing out or anything else? We’ll answer them! Feel free to contact us via e-mail, phone, Facebook message, or carrier pigeon. Whatever the method of communication, we’ll happily talk with you about skydiving!

Do People Pass Out, Pee Their Pants, Scream or Puke Skydiving?

Do People Pass Out, Pee Their Pants, Scream or Puke Skydiving?

Maybe you frame the risks of skydiving a little differently than the average bear. When most people are chewing their fingernails at the thought of physical injury (or worse), maybe you’ve checked out the safety statistics on skydiving and you’re way more worried about–well–some other stuff you’ve heard about. Maybe you don’t even bat an eye at the thought of dying on a skydive, but you’re not even close to okay with the idea of puking in front of your friends and family–or becoming the star of a viral video where a skydiving tandem student passes out in midair.

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Y’know what? We get it. You should totally have the full information about what you’re getting into, from the standpoint of dignity as well as safety! Since we get these questions more often than you’d think, we’ve decided to break it all down for you here.

Do people pass out skydiving?

Well, yeah. The thing is that it’s very uncommon–and pretty much always preventable! People who pass out on a tandem skydive usually made one of the following mistakes:

  • They didn’t eat a nutritious meal of moderate size before they made their jump
  • They pushed forward with a planned skydive even though they were feeling unwell
  • They drank too much night before and showed up with a hangover
  • They didn’t breathe while they were in the plane and in the door for exit

These are all easy pitfalls to avoid, right? We think so. As a side note: The reason passing out on a skydive is so uncommon is that your brain wants to be firing on all cylinders for this.

Do people puke skydiving?

Yep. They sure do. Most folks who throw up on a tandem skydive do it on account of the same mistakes described above, but others were just handed a bad hand as far as a natural predisposition to motion sickness. If you already know that you tend to get motion-sick, do yourself a favor and pre-medicate yourself just as you do when you’re getting on a boat or a long, twisty car ride. You know the drill, right?

Do people pee their pants skydiving?

Most folks don’t come up with this one out of nowhere. If you already have problems with urinary incontinence, though, you might be concerned about what the cameras that will be trained on you during your landing might pick up.

This author (and those surveyed) has never seen this one in real life. Maybe someone made a little tiny piddle up there on opening, but nobody down here figured it out. The body’s natural reaction to fear, interestingly enough, is to hold it in!

Do people scream skydiving?

Hell yeah! It’s not just okay, it’s expected and accepted in this sport! There’s nothing particularly undignified about letting out a huge holler–or several–in the door, in the air and under your parachute. Screaming isn’t just an expression of excitement. It helps to fully relieve the anticipation you’ve been building up and to help you feel the joy–the rush–in every fiber of your being. There’s a reason so many elite airborne troops name themselves by some form of the moniker “The Screaming Eagles.”

Here’s some more of the science behind screaming, if you’re curious

If you’re worried about any of this stuff, rest assured that you’re not alone! Duck under the mistakes, challenge these fears and make a jump. We’re here to help you do it!




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