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If you could create the perfect DZ...

 

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MonicaheartFox  (A License)

Jan 6, 2013, 8:49 AM
Post #1 of 34 (2958 views)
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If you could create the perfect DZ... Can't Post

So I've looked through the forums and I haven't found a thread about creating the perfect drop zone.

If you could "create the perfect drop zone" what would it entail? What would it HAVE to have? If you could build a DZ from the ground up how would you run it? What are the MUST-HAVES and HAVE-NOTS? How much would you charge for full-altitude jumps and hop-n-pops? What kind of planes would you fly? Are hot air balloon rides a must? Are swoop ponds necessary? How big should the landing area be? etc

I want REAL responses not wonderland answers like, "All jumps should be free! Whee!"


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Jan 6, 2013, 9:07 AM
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I want REAL responses not wonderland answers like, "All jumps should be free! Whee!"

I got nothing then....


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Jan 6, 2013, 9:20 AM
Post #3 of 34 (2822 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm actually pretty happy with my home DZ. With a King Air, Twin Otter and Cessna 206B, really nice rental gear, great people and (Perhaps best of all) 10 minutes from my house. The only thing I'd change is to rotate us 10-20 degrees South so that jumping in the winter isn't... like it was yesterday. Jumping from 12000 AGL when it's 40 degrees on the ground seems like a very efficient way to make human ice cubes. I know, I'm a total wimp...

Of course, if I really wanted that I could just move to 10 minutes away from Deland. I'm pretty sure I could find an IT job in that area if I were so inclined.

Actually if I were looking to make the perfect drop zone, I'd just move the entire operation to Curacao!


adamUK  (C 104423)

Jan 6, 2013, 10:18 AM
Post #4 of 34 (2776 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In my ideal world jumps would be less than 20 from a turbine, 14k minimum with a wind tunnel just next door for less than 600/hr and warm enough to jump all year round.

Thing is though the bit that makes a DZ great is often not just the facilites but who actually jumps there. I've been to fantastically equipped ones that are cliquey and really unfriendly and to small ones that are a hoot and this is so much more important IMHO than fast-climbing jumpships.

Plus free cups of tea on demand. Smile


(This post was edited by adamUK on Jan 6, 2013, 10:19 AM)


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Jan 6, 2013, 1:16 PM
Post #5 of 34 (2678 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Umm? 16,000 foot elevator with a bar at the top by the launch pad. Cool


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jan 6, 2013, 1:33 PM
Post #6 of 34 (2647 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Turbines, big landing area with lots of outs (and a UPS guy), good staff that has rules in place that are enforced, good food, good camping, other options for recreation, well epuipped loft/gear store, good regular crowd, on-site tunnel.

If you put a tunnel at Skydive Chicago, that would be pretty close to perfect for me.

Oh, and make the water in the showerhouse not stinky. Angelic

This isn't to say that SDC is the only place like this, it's just the only one I have personal experience with.


Premier quade  (D 22635)
Moderator
Jan 6, 2013, 2:16 PM
Post #7 of 34 (2610 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

All of the majors have their advantages and disadvantages, but in my book the biggest disadvantage always seems to end up being at the mercy of the weather.

SDC is amazing -- Try jumping during the winter though. F that.
Perris and Elsinore -- Exactly the opposite issue.
Anything in Florida -- Hot, humid, thunderstorms.

So, if I was looking to build the perfect drop zone, I'd first try to find the perfect location with perfect weather.


(This post was edited by quade on Jan 6, 2013, 2:16 PM)


Zoso  (D 32786)

Jan 6, 2013, 3:06 PM
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Re: [quade] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

First things first - you must own the airport. That way you can't get kicked off the airport, because you own it.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Jan 6, 2013, 4:57 PM
Post #9 of 34 (2476 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Drama free jumpers and the 3% that are always trying to fuck things up would go to the competitors place


Premier quade  (D 22635)
Moderator
Jan 6, 2013, 5:14 PM
Post #10 of 34 (2457 views)
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Re: [Zoso] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
First things first - you must own the airport. That way you can't get kicked off the airport, because you own it.

Nonsense. In a perfect world . . . and this is clearly a fantasy scenario since it's talking about perfection . . . you have enough money to buy whatever property is required, including any farmer McNasties who would want to shut you down as well. If you can do that, you can make your own airstrip.


(This post was edited by quade on Jan 6, 2013, 5:16 PM)


demoknite  (D License)

Jan 6, 2013, 5:54 PM
Post #11 of 34 (2404 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

The weather comment is pretty spot on. Perhaps SoCal is perfect (or other places on earth that are similar). The AZ desert is too hot in the summer. It needs to be close enough to a major transportation artery. Las Vegas, Perris/Elsinore, SDAZ fit this bill. This gives plenty of hotel, grocery, and other options. Skydive Dallas is a bit too rural to fit this, for example.

Perhaps 2 or 3 turbine aircraft are "all"Tongue that would be needed. Sort of a "one for tandems, one for fun jumper set up". $22-25 would be the rate with bulk discounts as applicable.
A well manicured grassy area the size of half a soccer field would be good. I always imagined in the middle, instead of pea gravel, the DZ's logo painted like they do in american football. Plenty of safe outs, and no farmer Mcnastys. A huge arrow telling which way to land. Not a tiny windsock that you cant see until 1000 feet. No tetra hedron. A frickin' huge arrow. Some places do this.

A good gear store, a good cafe/restaurant with quality food. A decent sized bed and breakfast or small type hotel with full maid service.

A wind tunnel. Lots of places do some of this, none do all....that Ive known or heard of.


grimmie  (D 18890)

Jan 6, 2013, 9:37 PM
Post #12 of 34 (2295 views)
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Re: [demoknite] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

We have a pretty close to perfect DZ going. Great weather, a mile from the beach, beach jumps once in a while, a rocketship jump plane we send with six minimum, great food and lodging, $20 weekends, A-star heli jumps, $20 lunch jumps on Thursday and Fridays and world class organizers. And a 20 pax shuttle van to pick you and your friends up at the airport and get you to the DZ...free.


kawisixer01  (D 32859)

Jan 6, 2013, 10:21 PM
Post #13 of 34 (2276 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

If you put a tunnel at Skydive Chicago, that would be pretty close to perfect for me.

Oh, and make the water in the showerhouse not stinky. Angelic

Yup! lol


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Jan 7, 2013, 4:08 AM
Post #14 of 34 (2202 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I take the above points about the weather but you're asking about the DZ - to me that's the built environment. You can take the "perfect DZ" and plonk it anywhere in the world and get what weather you get. But yeah... if I could magic it - weather would be number 1.

The rest, in no particular order:
A huge landing area, split up into a swoop area, exp. landing area and student landing area. A great big arrow you can see from the freaking plane.

Lots of nice outs - either vacant land or friendly farmers. Lets say grass land so you don't loose your shit too easily if you cutaway.

Relatively level terrain. Lets not have any 800ft hills under you when you're cutting away on a long spot. No water hazards. No trees - they can cause rotors and you don't want to land in them. No pylons, this DZ gets its power through a buried line. A couple of country roads - you don't want to walk that far if you land off. No big highways though.

A nice camping area. A nice bunkhouse. A nice big packing hanger that never gets too full even mid-season. Showers. Toilets that don't get skanked up by tandems. Something to do when on weather hold - maybe table football or something. Sofas and a TV with something playing on it throughout the day - skydiving videos or something that I've not seen 100's of times before.

Food for sale of some form - in fact, this being the perfect DZ there's a full cafe doing everything from a pack of crisps to cooked meals throughout the day. A bar for the evenings, one that doesn't jack the price up as it's only going to be jumpers drinking there anyway. A fire pit - everyone likes a fire pit. Plenty of parking. Free WIFI.

Dedicated classrooms so the students don't get in the way. A whuffo area away from any skydivers area. No smoking on the DZ - I don't want fag burns in my canopy from whuffos trying to watch their kid do a tandem.

A nice long paved runway that you don't have to cross to get to the landing area. Long because even if using STOL aircraft, wouldn't it be nice to have somewhere to go with an engine out.

A tannoy system so you can hear your calls. It plays music I like. A slick computerised manifest system with a screen so I can see what load I'm on and how long away it is. A hot manifest chick (this is the perfect DZ, right) who doesn't shout at me.

A pool and sports massage. A tunnel next door doing a great rate for club members. Club dues are only a tenner a year and run from when you last paid. Rig racks. Team rooms.

On-site rigging with a full loft and master rigger. Pro-shop with demo gear from all the major manufacturers and a large stock of used gear as, of course, they're the major hub for used gear sales throughout the country.

A manufacturer or two has chosen to base themselves no more than a mile or two from the DZ. There's an awesome jumpsuit manufacturer based at the DZ.

A couple of the top teams in each discipline is based at the DZ and regularly offer coaching. There's also a load of old jumpers that started back in the 70's who love to tell stories round the fire pit and give advice to all. They've some old gear and can hook it up to a big boy rig for you to jump when you're feeling adventurous.

Several aircraft - a couple of fast turning turbines with big doors and high tails. There's one with a tail exit. They're all super quiet and have heaters and padded floors. They always have enough seat belts and they never get crammed. They have fart extractors. There's also a smaller plane for when the cloud base is low and we want to do hop & pops. It's usually used by students so they don't take up slots in the up-jumpers plane. They do helicopter jumps and have a couple of old war birds that fly in sometimes for you to jump from.

The packers pack for food and there are free bungies. There are TV's for de-briefs and to watch back your dive. There's one secluded one for you to watch your funnels on and a big one in front of everyone to watch everyone else's funnels.

There's shade for the summer and a large covered creeping area. A DZ dog that's awesome. No other dogs or kids.

Oh, and it has to be over the road from my house.

Clearly these aren't the "essentials". They are some of the things the "perfect" DZ would have.


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 7, 2013, 4:28 AM
Post #15 of 34 (2189 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue


kingbunky  (B 5376)

Jan 7, 2013, 5:16 AM
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue

you just described Skydive MonctonCool

seriously though, skydive chicago comes clsoest to perfect. it was designed from the cornfield up to be a dropzone, not a public airport adapted to the purpose.


potatoman  (Student)

Jan 7, 2013, 5:26 AM
Post #17 of 34 (2139 views)
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe a nice Antenna, and/or a cliff, just 10minutes drive.


raveninca  (B 6377)

Jan 7, 2013, 5:44 AM
Post #18 of 34 (2120 views)
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Re: [kingbunky] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue

you just described Skydive MonctonCool

seriously though, skydive chicago comes clsoest to perfect. it was designed from the cornfield up to be a dropzone, not a public airport adapted to the purpose.

+1 Give Skydive Moncton a few years... Private property/airstrip. Personal campground, dirt bike track for rain or wind days and kegs almost every weekend...what more could you ask for!


(This post was edited by raveninca on Jan 7, 2013, 5:46 AM)


fastphil  (D 5801)

Jan 7, 2013, 6:20 AM
Post #19 of 34 (2089 views)
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue


A DC-3 on that grass strip would make my day...


kd5xb  (Student)

Jan 7, 2013, 7:50 AM
Post #20 of 34 (2047 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

My perfect DZ would be that little grass strop where I learned to skydive in 1978. It was called Big Daddy's, was just outside of Goldsboro, NC, had a seafood restaurant -- a GOOD one -- on the field! Two Cessna 182's.

Of course, it would also have 1978 prices!

And, the only change I would make is that the DZ would own the airport and the land around it.

Am I mistaken, or did I just describe the Lincoln SPC, except with Twotters????


(This post was edited by kd5xb on Jan 7, 2013, 7:53 AM)


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jan 7, 2013, 8:02 AM
Post #21 of 34 (2031 views)
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue

Me personally? Nothing more at all.

As a matter of fact, that was my little slice of heaven for almost 10 years. My own key to the hangar so I could go up during the week and "just breathe."

But the "turbine babies" are spoiled. They want to be to 14k in a short time. They want more than a 4-way.

And 5 or 6 people arent' enough to keep a place going. Frown


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jan 7, 2013, 8:04 AM
Post #22 of 34 (2027 views)
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Re: [MonicaheartFox] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

A NON-Skyride DZ!!!


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 7, 2013, 8:26 AM
Post #23 of 34 (1996 views)
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Grass strip, 182, no politics, cold beer @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.Tongue


Sounds like where I stared jumping...

182 on a grass strip with a private club full of beer drinking old schoolers.!


I can't complain about my 'home dz' now...Spaceland has good weather, nice aircraft, great people - and it's 40 minutes away from my house.

If someone would have told me 35 years ago I'd be living a stones throw away from a year round multi turbine DZ that's run like clockwork... I'd have thought they were dreaming! Sly

Only thing better would be free pizza & handjobs during the ride to altitude!! Devil


MY fantasy 'perfect dropzone' would be a traveling one.

A personal Super Otter with 1/2 a dozen friends going from place to place jumping when, where and how ever much we wanted to...the GOOD life! Cool


kcjen24  (B License)

Jan 7, 2013, 8:59 AM
Post #24 of 34 (1966 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Drama free

+1 Can't stand it... then add in a little dose of what everyone else has said!!!


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Jan 7, 2013, 11:38 AM
Post #25 of 34 (1891 views)
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Re: [stratostar] If you could create the perfect DZ... [In reply to] Can't Post

+1 with a couple of minor changes.

Grass strip, Otter, no politics, cold beer and a pool @ end of day... what else do you PUSSIES really need.


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