What is a HALO jump?
If you’re thinking of a certain game involving a certain Master Chief jumping out of anything that flies, you’d be on the wrong site.
A skydiving HALO jump is an adrenaline-pumping way to get your skydiving fix. It involves jumping out of a plane at a very high altitude, and then freefalling until you reach a lower altitude, at which point you open your parachute and float down to the ground.
HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) parachute jumping was a tactic used by the military to get soldiers to their targets quickly while keeping the plane out of range of surface-to-air missiles.
HALO Jump Height
HALO jumps usually means a jumper exits the plane above 15k feet. Although this is not as high as the military takes it, it’s pretty darn close for a civilian experience. For the experts, though, they can go way, way beyond this.
Depending on the skydiving school or drop zone you’re working with, the HALO jump height varies and will be dictated by FAA approval. Some skydiving schools are authorized to go higher than others, based on their equipment and training. FAA regulates the drop height, and training is required to get certified to perform or offer HALO jumps.
High Altitude Skydiving Not Only For Experts
Skydiving enthusiasts like HALO jumps for the adrenaline rush of freefalling. To do a solo HALO, jumpers need hold a current B license and have their own rig, which should be packed by an FAA licensed rigger. That’s just how serious it is.
You don’t have to be an expert or a license parachutist to do HALO jumps, however. Tandem HALO jumps are available through licensed instructors at selected drop zones. It’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but the experience will be well worth it.
What’s Great About HALO Jumps
Besides the adrenaline rush? Experienced jumpers are always looking to take their skills to the next level, and what better way than to go as high as possible (and legally allowed) ?
- The view – here’s nothing better than the view from way up high. It’s nothing like what you’ll experience elsewhere. It’s not the same as being in a plane. Not by a long shot.
- The feeling of freefall – nothing like total freedom. Almost as good as piloting a Cessna on a solo flight, that feeling of total unencumbered freedom where you’re just one with the Earth.
- The bragging rights – yes, HALO jumpers come with big bragging rights, and rightly so. Not very many people on Earth can say they’ve HALO’ed. The experience is unparalleled, and you get to go home telling your friends you did a Master Chief.
Skydiving Schools That Offer HALO Jump Experience
There are, however, not very many drop zones licensed to do HALO jumps. This is because jump altitudes require FAA approval. This typically involves the skydiving school or drop zone need to have planes that are capable of reaching high altitudes without compromising performance and safety.
We’ll update our resources section so you can find a DZ that offers HALO jumps. Depending on your level of expertise and certification status, you’ll find some more beginner friendly than others.
HALO Jump Cost
It’s not cheap, but it’s also not as expensive as you would think. You can get a HALO in for about 2k a pop in some DZs. That’s not bad considering all that goes in the jump itself. Again, the cost will vary with different drop zones, so call them and check out the prices, requirements, procedures, and what not before you drive out to the DZ.
If you’re new to skydiving, HALO jumps are not for you. Read our article on tandem jumps instead.