Skydive New Mexico offers two different ways to make your first skydive, Tandem or Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD). On a tandem jump the student and instructor are harnessed together and the instructor controls the skydive. IAD students wear their own parachute system and make a solo skydive with the assistance of an IAD instructor. Tandem is ideal if you just want to experience skydiving one time or simply don't want to go alone the first time. If you think you might want to become a skydiver, or if you just want to take a more "do it yourself" approach to your first jump, then IAD might be for you.
Tandem is the easiest way to have the total skydiving experience. For a tandem jump, the student and instructor are harnessed together and share an oversized parachute system built for two. The jump starts with a one hour ground school where you will learn some basic information about skydiving. Next, you and the instructor will gear up and get on the plane for the ride up to 10,000 feet above the ground. After a scenic airplane flight you and the instructor will exit the plane and free fall together for 30 - 40 seconds before deploying the parachute. The student, assisted by the instructor, then flies the parachute to a landing, several thousand feet below.
IAD stands for "Instructor Assisted Deployment" and is a method of training where the instructor initiates deployment of the student's parachute when the student jumps from the plane. IAD is a good method for those that think they might want to become a licensed skydiver, or for folks that want to take more responsibility on their first jump. The class lasts around 4-6 hours and covers all the information you need for your first skydive. After the course is complete, you will gear up and fly to an altitude of 4000 feet. Once you exit the aircraft your parachute will be deployed after a short 2-3 second fall. You will then fly and land it!