The average cost of a tandem skydive across the industry nationwide is between $250-300. We work hard to offer competitive prices to give customers the best experience at a fair price. This may still seem like a lot of money however, the profit margin in the average skydiving business is less than 10%. The truth of the matter is that skydiving and any aviation-based business for that matter, is just plain expensive to operate. Here are some of the largest costs involved:


You’ve probably guessed that buying an airplane is expensive, that’s a no-brainer. A large jump plane can cost more than a million dollars. 

In addition to the purchase price, all expensive assets need to be insured. Monthly premiums are at an all-time high and they just keep going up every year. Why? First, the value of aircraft has been going up in recent years, making them more expensive to insure. Incidents in the private sector are common and large-scale natural disasters take out entire fleets of aircraft. The cost of repairs are skyrocketing and it is often more likely that an aircraft will be totaled after an incident rather than repaired. All of these things contribute to high insurance premiums.

Repairs and maintenance to aircraft are also costly. All aircraft are on a maintenance schedule. Every 100 hours flown requires an inspection. Inspections, even if no repairs need to be done as a result, can cost more than $15,000. Something as small as a new tire can cost more than $900. Every part must be approved by the FAA and all work must be done by certified Aircraft Mechanics, all of which carries a higher price tag. 

Why Is Skydiving so Expensive - Airplanes


Fuel is one of the major expenses in a skydiving operation. Turbine engines are fueled by JetA. This is more costly than Avgas or gasoline for your car. In addition, a twin engine aircraft burns more than 30 gallons of fuel flying a single load of jumpers. That can add up to more than 900 gallons of fuel in one day!


Skydiving operations require a large crew to operate efficiently and safely. Office Manager, Customer Service Representatives, Manifest Specialists, Accounting/Bookkeeping/HR Department, Video Editors, Parachute Packers, Tandem Instructors, Videographers, AFF/ATP Instructors, Coaches, Ground Crew, Operations Manager, Safety & Training Advisors, Aircraft Mechanics and Pilots. We work hard to offer competitive pay for our valued staff. Having experienced and knowledgeable tandem instructors is of the utmost important as they are providing a service that is essentially life-saving. Tandem Instructors have to make a minimum of 500 jumps and obtain a Coach Rating from the USPA before they can take the course to become a Tandem Instructor. The approximate investment prior to taking the course is over $14,000, the course itself is another $2000. They have invested a lot of money in training and education to become licensed in this specialized, life-saving activity, so it’s important that they be compensated accordingly.

Skydive Midwest Staff


Skydiving equipment is expensive to purchase and maintain. We buy our equipment from the best manufactures in the industry. It’s life-saving after all, so it’s no time to be cheap. All repairs must be done by a FAA Certified Rigger. We also have to pay for surveillance cameras and security systems to protect the equipment from theft. 

Skydive Midwest Equipment Maintenance


At the end of the day your (approximate) $250 payment covers: 

The fuel costs associated with your seat and your instructor’s seat on the airplane
The instructor’s pay
The use and maintenance of the tandem equipment
The use and maintenance cost of the aircraft
Everyday business expenses/overhead – utilities, office staff payroll, pilot pay, advertising, training, building/hangar rents, supplies and more.)

After the above expenses, there isn’t much left over, It’s a labor of love. Though there are lots of skydiving deals out there that advertise a lower cost skydive, just remember to read the fine print and know exactly what you’ll be getting for that price. You tend to get what you pay for. Check out our deals, with no hidden fees or costs and let us help you have the best experience ever.


Book your ultimate aerial adventure today!