August 13, 2011

Jumping into Adventure in Central Massachusetts

Some people think it is downright crazy to jump out of an airplane but it is something that I have always wanted to do.  Crazy or not, some of our Clamber Hill guests come to the North Quabbin Area just to visit Jumptown, the first commercial skydiving center in the US.

Jumptown is located just 12 miles from Clamber Hill at the Orange Municipal Airport.  It is a small quiet airport with multiple 5000 ft long runways.   Jumptown is operated by the Massachusetts Sport Parachute Club (MSPC), a not-for-profit organization.

It is also a group member of the USPA, the United States Parachute Association,  a non-profit individual membership organization dedicated to promoting the safe enjoyment of skydiving.  Speaking of safety, skydivers take safety seriously.  It is estimated that there is only a 0.0007% chance of a fatal accident, making skydiving a very safe sport, much safer than driving your car!

All levels of student and experienced jumpers welcome at Jumptown.  You have to be 18 or older but there is no upper age limit.  If you happen to be over 65 and new to skydiving, Jumptown does recommend that you consult with your physician first.  There is a weight limit, you have to weigh less than 240 lbs for Tandem jumps and less than 250 lbs for Accelerated Free Fall.  Most people start with a Tandem jump.

A Tandem Skydive

A Tandem Skydive at Jumptown in Orange MA

Jumptown offers Tandem Skydives where one goes through the training and then makes the tandem skydive all in the same day.  The cost is $225 (plus another $90 if you want photographs of the experience) A friend of mine recently did this and gave me permission to use the photos for this article.  The report is that it is an absolutely fantastic experience.  Jumptown uses a multi-engined Twin Otter aircraft to get you to the 13,500 ft jump altitude quickly.

Ready to jump

OMG it's time to jump!

Down on the ground, there is on-site food service and a shaded observation area for spectators and Jumptown does welcome spectators.  The Jumptown facility at the Orange airport was specifically designed to support skydiving, and there are classrooms, team rooms, showers, and indoor packing space.

Skydiving has become quite popular since the end of World War II.  The USPA now has 33,000 members and it is estimated that they make 3 million dives annually.  New England has 11 drop zones with 4 of the 11 right here in Massachusetts, 2 in CT, 2 in RI, 2 in VT and 1 up in Lebanon Maine.

So if you're looking for a little adventure in your life, try a Tandem jump at Jumptown.   A Gift Certificate to Jumptown ( or combined Gift Certificates to Jumptown and Clamber Hill) makes a great birthday and/or anniversary present.  Adventure is just a short drive and a long jump away.

Open Parachute

The end of the ride