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berge

Friendly US dropzones with good vibes in March?

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My girlfriend and I are considering travelling from our not exactly warm home country, Norway, to the US for a vacation of mostly skydiving in March. We'd love some dropzone recommendations!

The perfect dropzone would have decent capacity (turbine aircraft), friendly staff and good facilities, but most importantly, a great vibe. Our home DZ (the absolutely non-obscure Skydive Oppdal!) is owned and operated by our club, completely on a volunteer basis, so we love dropzones with that home-away-from-home feeling. (We wouldn't mind helping out on the DZ as guests as well!) Dropzones should also operate in a safe manner – sane exit order, clearly communicated air space planning for tracking groups, people actually flying landing patterns and so on.

I spent two weeks at Skydive Elsinore in March 2012, which was great. We may want to visit Florida this time. Or perhaps some other relatively warm state.

Suggestions? (-:

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I'll agree that it is a great time to skydive in FL during March. The weather is very pleasant and it will be before the summer storms roll in every day. You could also run up to the St. Pat's boogie in Fitzgerald, GA in mid March. A lot of us Floridians will be there.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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skymama

You could also run up to the St. Pat's boogie in Fitzgerald, GA in mid March. A lot of us Floridians will be there.



Ooh, nice, looks great!

Deland seems a bit… big. I think we want to go slightly smaller than that.

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Join the Fitzgerald FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1375779079384544/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

I guess DeLand is big, but don't let that put you off. It's good to go outside of your comfort zone anyway, right? It is my home dz. I'd never call a place "home" that wasn't a friendly place. The dz is like any other dz; manifest office and tandems in one area, team rooms in another area, full bar and restaurant, packers in the packing building, Flight-one school in an outer building. There's a big deck where you can watch all the action. You don't have to worry about landing in a congested area, there's a huge area to land in a different area where they send students and newbies. A truck will come and pick you up after you land.

Another plus about going to DeLand is that you can schedule tours of the factories like PD and UPT. It would also be good for you to schedule a canopy control class with Flight-one, if you've never done that.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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We love Sebastian, and it is our second home DZ. We will be there March 4-18. There is a boogie March 6-8. Should be lots of loads, and the vibe in Sebastian is great.
"We saved your gear. Now you can sell it when you get out of the hospital and upsize!!" "K-Dub"

"

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Pick any one of the "Big 3" DZs in FL...you can drive to any of the other two in about 2.5 hours max. Make a trip of it. The Fitz boogie is pretty much the exact same drive time from either ZHills or Deland. Add another 1.5 hrs to get to Sebastian.

Deland is definitely the most "efficient" of the three. Some find it unfriendly but I think that is silly. Great DZ. Love it. Definitely more of an after hours at ZHills and you'll find belly fliers. If you primarily free fly Sebastian is the best bet in FL. And the best view.

All have turbines. Canadian 40ish ways and German 120ish ways are at ZHill in March so there will be a plane or two...

I live in Tampa so ZHills is home so I'm biased. But all three have something to offer and are relatively close. We are pretty spoiled here...

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Berge. My opinion:
You won't find anything close to your club atmosphere at any commercial dropzone. You just won't. Those days are gone.
Maybe for the better? As the old club setups, with bonfires, drinking and a place to meet and keep friends only had Cessna 182's and 206's etc. So, it is just the price we all paid when the skydiving world went commercial. Good? Bad? Heck, I don't know. I love jumping out of our Otter (and KingAir not so much), and it is wonderful to get to 12000+ in a few minutes for a reasonable cost, and have the opportunity to have bigger numbers on a dive. Unfortunately, at commercial dropzones it is a reality that when the planes shut down, unless you are in a tight knit staff environment, the "fun" jumpers just go home, as there is nothing for them to do at the DZ.

My suggestion? Go to a DZ with an 'after jumping' restaurant, and camping, where the fun jumpers actually go after to eat and drink and tell lies. That would be Skydive Arizona and Perris Calif., just to start the list. There are more, I just don't know them. My opinion: MUST have an evening/night restaurant and bar where the fun jumpers go to after. Otherwise you'll just be sitting there and suddenly everyone has gone home and your vibe will tank lower than whale poop at the bottom of the ocean. I'd start there.

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I just checked on Google maps. I am driving a distance equal to over half the width of the continent to get out of the snow and skydive (at Fitz). You can make it up from Florida. See you there.
DOOG
Muff 846
All you people are here to make sure I have a good time.

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skymama

Join the Fitzgerald FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1375779079384544/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

I guess DeLand is big, but don't let that put you off. It's good to go outside of your comfort zone anyway, right? It is my home dz. I'd never call a place "home" that wasn't a friendly place. The dz is like any other dz; manifest office and tandems in one area, team rooms in another area, full bar and restaurant, packers in the packing building, Flight-one school in an outer building. There's a big deck where you can watch all the action. You don't have to worry about landing in a congested area, there's a huge area to land in a different area where they send students and newbies. A truck will come and pick you up after you land.

Another plus about going to DeLand is that you can schedule tours of the factories like PD and UPT. It would also be good for you to schedule a canopy control class with Flight-one, if you've never done that.



Do Fitz (I loved it). It has been nearly 4 years so things may have changed, but Skydive the Farm in Georgia was a great DZ for friendliness and getting jumps in.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Do Fitz (I loved it). It has been nearly 4 years so things may have changed, but Skydive the Farm in Georgia was a great DZ for friendliness and getting jumps in.



The Farm is closed now. Hans merged with ASC.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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