Skydiving With Burning Sky
Burning Sky is a Burning Man theme camp where we (the skydivers) pool our membership dues to rent an aircraft and buy fuel. This is not a commercial drop zone and we are not a business. This is not a boogie. This drop zone is run by all of us and requires the participation of all of us.
For email announcements and the occasional newsletter from your Burning Sky DZM, EyeBall, please sign up for the Burning Sky Skydivers email list: http://eepurl.com/CBy8n
Q: I'm a skydiver with more than 150 jumps. Can I jump with Burning Sky?
A: Yes! All you have to do is sign up in advance and pay your membership dues. This is only allowed *before* Burning Man starts. Your membership dues do not include the price of admission to Burning Man, so you still have to buy a Burning Man ticket!
Q: How much experience do I need to land in the center?
A: Skydivers with fewer than 200 jumps experience will be landing outside of the city along the 5:00 road between Black Rock City and the BRC airport. Skydivers with at least 200 jumps experience can land in any permitted landing area. Skydivers may not land within 100 feet (30 meters) of any person, vehicle, art installation ... anything. Skydivers may NEVER land within Black Rock City.
Q: What if it's my first year at Burning Man?
A: If it's your first year at Burning Man, we urge you to at least consider not jumping at all and just to experience the burn. But most first year Burning Sky members seem to jump and it's not a problem.
Q: How much can I jump?
A: First, remember that there is a LOT more to do at Burning Man than skydive. And it's hard to just crank out jumps like you can at your local DZ. With some work you could maybe do 3 or 4 jumps in a day, but we don't recommend it. Included with your skydiving dues are 5 jump tickets. You can use these to skydive, or gift them to anyone else for a ride on the plane. These are some of the best gifts on the playa.
If you use up all of your tickets and you're still really itching to jump some more, we will put a body in every seat on every flight. Manifest will have a wait list and will call people from the wait list at 10 minutes before a gear call. If you are ready to go, you can get on and jump, even if you have used up all of your regular tickets.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: For 2018 skydiving dues were $440, (independent of the camping dues). Our costs change year-to-year depending on how much the plane costs, ferry charge, fuel, etc. 2019 costs will be announced early summer.
Q: Why is this so expensive?
A: We are a small group of skydivers sharing the expense of a very cool aircraft. We pay for ferrying the plane to Burning Man, 4 days of jumping, fuel delivery to a very remote corner of the earth, pilot(s), and to take up many, many free observers. That expense is spread out to only about 100 skydivers and a handful of campers.
Q: Why is this so cheap?
A: Okay, now you get it!
Q: Can I share/split dues with another jumper?
A: No, every skydiver at Burning Sky has to register and pay dues. You're not "buying" jump tickets to split. See "why is this so expensive?" above. You can share your tickets with another registered skydiver for a jump, or you can gift them to anyone for a firefly ride.
Q: Why do you give away so many observer slots?
A: Burning Man is based on a "gifting economy". The idea is to freely give whatever it is you have. If we were a group of exotic dancers we would give away lap dances. We have a cool airplane with some extra space so we give away observer rides.
Q: I don't have my own gear. Can I rent/borrow gear at Burning Man?
A: Nope... Unless you can find some sucker to loan you some, but we don't have any available as a camp.
Q: I'm a skydiver but I don't have 150 jumps. Can I jump?
A: Sorry, but no. Burning Man is an event with thousands of people freely walking through your landing area and obstacles peppered around, albeit a huge landing area with hundreds of meters between obstacles. You have to have your approach and landing wired in order to safely jump at Black Rock City.
Q: Can I jump with a wingsuit?
A: Many do. If you are already an experienced wingsuit jumper you are welcome to fly one at Burning Man, too.
Q: Can I jump with smoke?
A: Yes, but there are additional approvals needed from BRC pyro staff. Contact us for more info.
Q: Is there a rigger available at Burning Man?
A: We have several riggers working and camping with us, but there are no rigging services available at Burning Man. Make sure your rig is in date. If you have a reserve ride, your rig is done for the rest of the event.
Q: Do you have packers?
A: Radical self reliance! Pack your own rig. Maybe someone is hanging around the packing area and "gifting" pack jobs, because that's in the spirit of things, but that's kind of rare. :)
Q: Is Black Rock hard on my gear?
A: Your canopy will probably look a little duller for the rest of its life. The container can be cleaned up pretty well depending on how nice your local rigger is.
Q: Can I jump a BASE rig?
A: Hell no.
Q: Can I camp with Burning Sky?
Maybe? Check out the camping page for more info.
Q: Do I have to camp with Burning Sky to jump?
A: Nope. Some of our jumpers are associated with other camps and live elsewhere. Every jumper, however, is has to contribute in some way to the camp and skydiving operation... working a shift, help with setup/teardown, etc.
Q: If I don't use all of my slots, can I get some funds after the event?
A: Nope. This is a tough nut but we budget and the money is spent before the event.
Q: What if weather prevents Burning Sky from jumping? Can I get some of my dues back?
A: No. We still have to pay for the plane, so all of our money still gets spent. Weather is a risk that all of us take. Don't wait until the last day to try to get all of your jumps in.
Q: What if there's a mechanical problem with the plane?
A: If the plane does not fly its contract then we don't have to pay for it. If this happens we'll pool the funds we get back minus expenses and divvy it back out to the jumpers.
Q: Does anyone make any money from this?
A: No. Nobody associated with Burning Sky makes any money from this. The organizers are a group of volunteers who often pay more money into the pot than the rest. Never mind the time contribution.
Q: What else do my dues go toward?
A: Any additional funds are spent on Burning Sky-related expenses such as shelter, services, the art car, and projects to make our camp (and Burning Man) better and shinier. And beer for the skydivers.
Q: What is this 'participation' thing all about?
A: This is not a boogie. A boogie is where you show up, buy some jump-tickets, and somebody else does all the organizing and work. This is an event where everyone pitches in to pay for, organize, set up camp, run manifest, fuel the plane, help the observers, and clean up after the event. Everyone needs to work a scheduled work shift and help out with running the operation. The Burning Man organizers also expect you to participate in the art of the city with costumes, art installations, and in our case aerial art. First timers usually get a pass while they pop their cherries and get oriented, although you may feel out of place without some kind of costume.
Q: Where do I sign up?
A: Right here! When registration is open there will be a "Registration" link in the top menu of the website. If registration is not yet open, sign up for the mailing list to be notified when it opens: http://eepurl.com/CBy8n