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Karl says the Verde Valley is excellent for skydiving due to the scenery and clear weather, though he says the winds can be “squirrelly”. As we spoke, three young women from New York were buttoning up brightly colored flight suits. Karl led them through training exercises on jumping, landing techniques, and the best positions for the freefall and parachute experiences. Paperwork and the training take about 45 minutes, followed by a 20-minute scenic air tour of Sedona and the Verde Valley. The jump takes place two miles above Cottonwood – the one-mile freefall lasts about 34 seconds while the one-mile parachute experience lasts three to five minutes before landing, usually in a seated position, in a 150-ft. diameter pea gravel pit at the airport.
Skydivers jump one at a time – Karl’s Cessna Turbo 206 only seats five – while friends and family watch from below. For an extra fee a videographer or photographer will make the jump with you and record it all. Karl assures us there haven’t been any fatalities or broken bones since he’s owned the company, and first-timers are generally enthusiastic. “No one has ever hated it,” Karl says. “We have had some say it was fantastic but that they’ll never do it again.”
Red Rock Biplanes, Red Rock Helicopters and Sky Safari Charter & Air Tours
Biplane, helicopter and fixed-wing tours of Sedona and the Grand Canyon; air charter anywhere in the lower 48 states
To get to the Mingus Mountain site take Hwy 89A south through Jerome to top of mountain. Turn left at the sign for the Mingus Recreational Area where a packed-dirt road begins. Drive past a meadow, small lake, church camp, and campground. Take a left at the campground to the launch.
Red Rock Skydiving