Blog Post: An Up-Close Look at How Our Tandem Instructors Take You Into the Skies

June 20, 2018

When you come to Skydive Suffolk for the adventure of a lifetime, you are paired with one of our expert tandem instructors who will be your guide through the entire experience.

It’s important to understand the critical role tandem instructors play every day in our Drop Zone. These team members are committed to your safety above all else and receive significant training before they can wear the title of tandem instructor and take someone else for a skydive.

To help you understand the role of a tandem instructor, meet three of our best – Robbie Hill, Alberto Macias and Grant McNulty.

Robbie is a former Marine who has completed more than 8,600 skydives. Alberto has done 2000+ jumps while Grant has completed 757 jumps.

To become tandem instructors, all four had to first complete a minimum number of jumps (500) and then go through a rigorous training program as follows:

  • 10 hours of classroom instruction
  • 10 jumps with an instructor
  • For the first jump, the tandem student is connected to the instructor
  • The second jump is done solo
  • For the remaining eight jumps, the instructor serves as the “student” and the tandem trainee takes control
  • Finally, the tandem trainee does 15 more “probation jumps” with an experienced skydiver as the student.

Once completed, the trainee receives his/her tandem instructor license.

While safety is paramount at Skydive Suffolk, our tandem instructors are also experts at making you feel safe and confident in your decision to go skydiving.

Robbie: “We realize that you’re doing something intimidating. I always want to make it personal and get to know the person I will take for a skydive. I reassure them that safety is our top priority and that we’re going to have an incredible experience they’ll remember forever.”

Alberto: “I know that going skydiving is stressful for someone who has never done it. That’s why I always remain calm and confident as we prepare for the jump. My demeanor helps the person have more faith and trust in me as well as Skydive Suffolk.”

Grant: “I make jokes to get people laughing so once we get to the door of the plane, we are both ready to have an amazing experience. That’s why I wear the Cookie Monster helmet. People know right away I am a professional but also a fun guy.”

Let our experienced team take you on the jump of a lifetime. Book today!

Grant McNulty doing a tandem jump while wearing his signature Cookie Monster helmet.

Robbie Hill with a tandem jumper high above it all.

Alberto Macias with a tandem jumper under clear blue skies.

Alberto congratulating a jumper on his skydive with a certificate of completion.

Robbie lands with a skydiver at a special event for Wounded Warriors at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Grant is thumbs up after another great jump!

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