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Found 37 results

  1. Skydive Sebastian, in Sebastian Florida has just stepped up it's efforts to be the number one destination for skydivers on the East Coast, and in doing so has now attracted the world's best free flyers to instruct, coach and organize on a daily basis. The Free fly Training Center (FTC) has just opened at the DZ located centrally on the east coast of Florida. "Our mission as The Free fly Training Center, is to lead the free fly scene at Skydive Sebastian in the most efficient way possible. This will allow each and every individual flyer to progress at their desired learning curve. We are doing this through extensive coaching, events every month, and free load organizing", says Mike Swanson, instructor for the school and current Free fly World Champion. The FTC has 4 instructors on staff who are already involved in organizing on a daily basis, helping to expand free flyers in aerial awareness, communication, flying skills and dive planning in a safe and controlled manner. This program aims towards flyers who are used to visiting DZ's where it's hard to find anyone to jump with, and end up spending their vacation doing solos. " We wanted to get away from the typical situation where intermediate flyers never get a chance to jump with someone who is more skilled than themselves. Our program adds to EVERYONE'S learning curve, and gives us more capable flyers to have fun with during events", reports FTC instructor Dave Brown. The FTC is the end result of all of it's members giving a combined effort in looking to start something which will benefit ALL flyers in the end. The FTC members are: Mike Swanson, from the First School of Modern Sky flying Instructor Staff, and Rook Nelson, of Free fly Chicago, which together are the current Free fly World Champions. They will be training all season long at Skydive Sebastian, hoping to defend their title in the 2003 Free fly World Championships. Addition FTC members are David Brown, also of the First School of Modern Sky flying Instructor Staff, and Rob Silver, formerly of Sebastian Free flight. Together they ensure that the quality of free flying at Skydive Sebastian will be extensive, and without a doubt, educational. Coaching programs are available for individuals who are looking to excel past their current flying ability, OR towards specific goals. All of the instructors are highly experienced and capable of teaching all facets of free fly, in a unique and efficient atmosphere. This allows the flyer to advance and become proficient in all areas of three dimensional flight. The FTC has no minimum on the number of instructional jumps that one must purchase. HOWEVER, they recommend that any student should participate in AT LEAST five instructional jumps, to attain the most out of the program. At the end of each coaching session, the instructors will evaluate the student's progress, and give advice for the future, so as to continue the process of education and guidance after the student returns to his/her respective drop zone. With the already increased interest in their programs, the FTC has worked with DZ management to get price breaks on block ticket jumps for students who come to the DZ to do at least 25 instructional jumps or more. The FTC instructor rate is discounted with this package as well, offering discounted coach rates with the purchase of 25 jumps or more. Since the beginning of October, the FTC's events calendar has started rolling with the Halloween Boogie, the Keys Boogie and an influx of regular and visiting jumpers doing coached and organized jumps. Both of the boogies were great successes, lots of high quality and safe jumping. Each month the FTC plans on having events focused on different flying and learning. The event which has drawn the biggest response from flyers thus far, is the FTC's "Pure Progression Program", where students are engaged in a 30 jump minimum course held over a period of 7 days. This takes them to the next level of human flight. The weeklong course includes seminars in three dimensional flight, canopy piloting, and camera flying. During the week, students will visit the Sky Venture Wind Tunnel in Orlando, and participate in the FTC's Wind Tunnel Program, focusing on head up flying and dimensional control. There are also two "Big Ways" camps, a Weekend Skills Camp, and The All Axis competition. The FTC hopes to draw flyers nationally and internationally not only to have fun, but also acquire as much knowledge as possible this season. If you are interested in any of these programs, or want to get in touch with FTC members contact info@freeflytrainingcenter.com or go check out the FTC's website at www.freeflytrainingcenter.com, the web site is currently being built and will be up and running soon. Also check out Skydive Sebastian's website at www.skydiveseb.com for the latest information on boogies, skills camps and coaching info and prices. All photos of Dave Brown and student Dan Labelle by Rook Nelson Written by: Erin Golden
  2. wlie

    FAA ruling grounds Bay Area Skydiving

    BYRON -- With warm Indian summer weather still lingering, the Byron Airport would have been busy this weekend with people eager to jump out of airplanes -- with parachutes, of course. But the tiny airport and its biggest business, Bay Area Skydiving, has been quiet since Tuesday. No planes have arrived or departed. The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday placed a flight ban at all airports within 10 nautical miles, or about 11.5 miles, of several nuclear facilities in the United States. Byron is near the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "It's dead out there. Obviously nothing is happening," said David Mendez, manager of county airports. The ban does not extend to police, fire and other emergency crews who might need to land at the airport, Mendez said. The ban ends at midnight Wednesday. The tiny Tracy Municipal Airport is also feeling the pinch, particularly at the Tracy Flight Center. It has been unable to run since the ban began. Steve Dietrich, the flight center's office manager, said the ban has cost the school money. Mike Tjaarda, owner of Bay Area Skydiving, estimated he's lost between $15,000 and $20,000, and turned away at least 40 first-time jumpers since Tuesday. "We're continually turning down business," Tjaarda said. "Some of these people are going elsewhere, which is an unfortunate thing for us, and it's bad for the county, too, because they're not spending their money here." Though the ban has been tough for Tjaarda, he said it was a small price to pay to own his own business and to be a part of the nation's fight against terrorism. "If my country needs me to do anything, that's fine. We're Americans first. If that means I have to find another job, I will. We're Americans first. It's not all about making money," Tjaarda said. East County commuters who store their planes at Byron Airport, and who get to work by air, have been forced to use alternatives. Discovery Bay pilot Rick Mann said the ban has forced him to drive to his Hayward business and postpone business trips to Fresno. He also had to forego a flight on Halloween to Marysville, where he planned to take his daughter trick-or-treating. "The big thing is not being able to get back and forth to work. The plane is actually stranded there. We can't move it," Mann said. Randy Howell, who owns eight Russian MiG-17 jets and two Boeing L-39 fighter jets, said the ban has not affected his business. He stages air shows around the country which are mostly held February through October.
  3. admin

    New DZ in Arizona

    This is just a note to let all of you know that a new DZ has opened up in upper AZ. Dan Bachelor has opened a new DZ in Cottonwood (close to Sedona about 1.5 hour drive from Phx). They have a Cessna 206, and the view from the plane is spectacular (snow-covered San Fran Peaks to the north, the red rocks of Sedona, and the north side of Mingus Mnt.) The DZ is right off the regional airport, and is in town, so quick trips for food and drink are quite handy. Skydive Cottonwood has been doing mostly tandems, but Dan would love to see more experienced jumpers show up and have some fun. The manifest/packing area is beautiful, and there is room for several people to pack in the air conditioned building. This is the only DZ in northern AZ so if you're anywhere near the area, stop on by and help Dan get things hopping. We can always use another DZ, and it's a beautiful location to visit. If you would like to contact Skydive Cottonwood give Dan a call at (520) 649-8899, tell him Gordon said "Hi".
  4. admin

    Kapowsin Air Sports gets 2nd setback

    Operators of a skydiving school at Kapowsin Field, a residential airport in rural Pierce County, recently received their second setback in eight months when an administrative law judge recommended against renewal of a liquor permit. Kapowsin Air Sports owners Geoff and Jessie Farrington had been ordered last August by a Pierce County Superior Court judge to scale back their thriving skydiving business at the airport, 10 miles south of Orting. The Farringtons have gone to the Washington State Court of Appeals to contest that land-use-permit decision. The more recent rebuff came in the form of a permit ruling released April 25. Administrative Law Judge Ernest Heller recommended the state Liquor Control Board deny a permit renewal requested by Kapowsin Air Sports. The board is expected to issue a final decision in a month or so. The Class 4 special permit is the type required at a private banquet. It doesn't allow alcohol sales but permits the school to serve alcohol for free. "It appears that consumption of beer following a day of skydiving is the expectation of many skydivers," Heller said in his ruling. "The beer consumption seems to have developed into an uncontrolled potluck party." Jessi Farrington disputed that description. She said a few drinks at the end of a dive day is a 50-year tradition among skydivers. "People who are making decisions are not experiencing any of what's going on here," she said. Arguments on the subject were heard last December and in March after Pierce County land-use officials objected to the renewal request. County officials said a liquor license is not allowable at the airport, which is zoned for rural residential use. The skydiving school has been controversial among airport residents for the past few years. Some residents, as well as Pierce County officials, think the 23-year-old school has outgrown what it set out to be. The Farringtons bought 110 acres in the rural area, built the airport and opened the school. Over the years, pilots and skydivers bought portions of the airport, which now features 27 residences. The skydiving school started in 1978 with 2,000 jumps a year and the level of activity has grown to 20,000 jumps. Farrington said Heller's ruling won't affect her school, but said, "it's going to affect the social aspect of it."
  5. LONGMONT — The Mile-Hi Skydiving Center has landed in legal trouble. The business was fined $500 and ordered to pay $138 in court costs Monday after the company's attorney entered a guilty plea to a third-degree trespassing charge, a misdemeanor. The plea avoids a trial scheduled to begin today. In August, the company's president Jeffrey Sands, 37, landed his helicopter on a farm to retrieve a cut-away parachute that fell on to the property at 7457 St. Vrain Road, according to a sheriff's report. A drop zone staff member got out of the helicopter and told a woman who rents horses on adjacent property that he was retrieving the drop zone's parachute. William Jones, 70, whose wife owns the farm, called the Boulder County Sheriff's Office to file a trespassing complaint. Jones said Monday all he really wanted was a letter from the district attorney or sheriff's office telling Sands to stay off the property. "A lot of the neighbors have had problems with the skydivers," Jones said. "In the past he (Sands) has had no respect about going on to people's property." Jones said he was unsure if Sands received a letter but that "he was told if he comes on the property again, it will cost him some more money." Deputy District Attorney Ken Kupfner said he specifically requested that the misdemeanor charge name Sands' business in hopes that Sands and his employees will be more accountable for their future actions. Sands said he does his best to be sensitive to the community. To avoid problems, he said his company — operated out of Vance Brand Airport since 1995 — stopped using detachable rip cords in 1998. The company airplane flies double the 800-foot requirement and reduces the propeller's rpm when flying low to avoid noise complaints. He said the company policy is for a land crew to seek permission from property owners before retrieving items that inadvertently fall on private lands. "I want to be a good neighbor," Sands said. He called the August incident of landing a helicopter on private property "a fluke situation" because the woman the staff member got into an argument with had complained about noise before and threatened to steal and damage the next parachute she found. He also said that he thought he landed on Boulder County open space land and did not intentionally land on Jones' private property.
  6. Oren Peri has skydived all over the country, but the thought of floating over Long Island's scenic East End is enough to make him want to relocate here from New Paltz, he says. Peri, a carpenter as well as a professional skydiver, was one of several skydivers who testified before the Riverhead Town board Tuesday night in support of a local skydiving school's request for an extended, five-year lease within the industrial core of the former Grumman property at Calverton. Skydive Long Island, which says it is the only skydiving school in the area, needs to be named a qualified sponsor by the town to secure an extension on their one-year lease. With the long-term lease, the company will seek $700,000 in financing for business development and to buy a larger plane that can carry more skydivers. "I was limited at Spadaro," said Skydive owner Raymond Maynard, referring to the small airport in East Moriches. "Here I could grow, but there's no way I can get financing unless I have the security of a longer lease." While many supporters at the hearing welcomed the company, some safety concerns were raised. A letter was filed by Peter Wynkoop, a union representative for the National Air Traffic Control Association, who noted in an interview that "two pilots had to take evasive action" from jumpers. "Calverton is one of the busiest airways," Wynkoop said. Maynard said one incident was caused by an instructor who had difficulty speaking English and was immediately fired. "If everyone is in communication, everything can be coordinated," said Maynard. Maynard also said he believes his operation would actually decrease air traffic in the area because a skydiving symbol over Calverton will now be incorporated in the Federal Aviation Administration's aeronautical sectional chart. He says he also abides by the guidelines established by the U.S. Parachute Association, a nonprofit safety trade organization. In 15 years, the company has had one fatality with a skydiver in 1989, which Maynard said was the result of a jumper releasing himself from his parachute before landing. One of the company's planes crashed in 1991, killing the pilot and injuring three jumpers, which Maynard said was due to a faulty engine piston. A parachute association spokesman said he was not aware of any complaints received about the company. The company has been at Calverton since September, leasing two buildings for close to $30,000 a year and using the 10,000-foot runway. His company operated for 15 years out of a trailer at Spadaro, which Maynard says was an "inadequate facility" that could not handle larger planes. His two single-engine planes could only carry up to four jumpers and a pilot. The turbine engine planes he is looking to lease can carry up to 14 jumpers. If he was able to buy the larger plane, he said he could quadruple his business to 4,000 jumpers annually. He said he'd also like to eventually buy property at Calverton to build a wind tunnel so he can operate year-round. The tunnel would create a 120-mile-per-hour airflow that would lift "jumpers" straight up, giving them a free falling sensation. Town Supervisor Robert Kozakiewicz said he didn't see a "downside" to having the company at Calverton, but needs to look into safety concerns raised by some residents. Councilman Edward Densieski said he wasn't opposed to the business, but said he would like to see businesses such as aviation retroffiters and corporate charter jets lured to Calverton. Jack O'Connor of Grubb & Ellis, the property's exclusive marketer, said he recently had interest from five aviation-related companies interested in coming to Calverton. Skydive Long Island web site
  7. For those of you not aware, Air Ventures Skydiving is now Atlanta Air Sportz. Sandor Vali and myself are the new owners and we're looking forward to serving our skydivers with a new dz and a new persona. Our goal is to build a skydiver's dropzone! Our single objective is to promote our sport and to provide skydiver's with a place to hang out and have fun. Whether you have 10,000 skydives or 1 skydive ... you're a "skygod" to us. You will find no clichés or attitudes at our dz ... those things are intolerable here. We just want to enjoy skydiving and keep it relaxed and enjoyable. As everyone is aware, skydiving in Rome, GA has had it's trials and tribulations. Well NO MORE! Rome has had both a good and bad reputation in several aspects. Well now it's ALL GREAT! At our dz, you will always get 13,500' skydives with no hassle and everyone eager to meet your needs. Skydiver's come first! Over the next couple of months, you will see many changes at Atlanta Air Sportz including the additional covered packing area as well as a huge observation deck. One thing that is different is children are welcome. We will be building a playground specifically for your little ones. Yea ... you read that right. What a concept ... huh? A family atmosphere is what we're going for here. A new BIG building will be coming soon. Other additions include the completion of the swoop pond, a full service rigging loft to address all of your rigging needs on site, as well as other additions specifically for the "up-jumper". We will also be providing packing classes as well as license prep classes on a regular basis. USPA certification courses to be announced soon. This weekend we are hosting the season opener of the Georgia Skydiving League as well as some additional events including a 4-way skills camp Sunday with David van Greuningen of PD Blue. There will be covered creeper area for this weekend and we will be flying Friday! Grab a couple of your friends and come out for the competition and the skills camp. Remember ... it's about fun ... whether you turn one point or 25, as long as you have a good time. That's what matters. We'll have homemade BBQ and Brunswick Stew and other good eating as well. Free beer Saturday night and a huge bonfire. Sandor & Randy (the "fire starters") will ensure that! We look forward to kicking off the season with a bang. We aren't the biggest in Georgia and that's OK. We want to be a "home" for skydivers, in the tri-state area, who want to enjoy a laid back and relaxed environment. Please check out our new website www.airsportz.com. It is Under Construction so be patient however if you have comments or suggestions ...please let us know. Stay tuned for the announcement of the RIPCORD CLUB! ( I figured we'd let your imagination run wild for a little while!) Hope to see ya this weekend! Blue Skies. Ron Green - rg@airsportz.com Wanna Skydive? - Check our www.airsportz.com! Email : iwannaskydive@airsportz.com
  8. A judge in the next few weeks will render another decision in an ongoing feud among owners of the Kapowsin Airport, divided over a skydiving school operating at the facility. At Lakewood City Hall on Wednesday, state-assigned Administrative Law Judge Ernest Heller presided over a second public hearing on the skydiving school's request for a liquor license renewal. The case draws a line between Kapowsin Air Sports and Pierce County officials, who oppose the school serving alcohol at the privately owned airport, which is zoned for rural residential use. A resident group, Citizens for Kapowsin Airport Safety, is supporting the county. "The county's position is, in the R-10 zoning, a liquor license is not allowed, period," said Stefan Kamieniecki, a county planner. He said the county missed its chance to oppose the original license, granted in 1999. An adverse decision would be another blow to the skydiving school owned by Geoff and Jessie Farrington. In August, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frederick Hayes ruled in favor of airport residents who want the thriving skydiving business scaled back. Hayes told the Farringtons to apply for a conditional-use permit for their operation. That would give Pierce County the power to limit operations at the jump center, 10 miles south of Orting. The couple's appeal of the decision is before the Washington State Court of Appeals. The liquor license at issue is a Class 4 permit that allows the school to serve alcohol to its skydivers free of charge. "It would allow us to sit around a campfire after the jump and drink beer," said Jessie Farrington, owner of Kapowsin Air Sports. She said the school has such a get-together twice a week on average with about 15 people gathering each time. Even though residents privately own the airport, the state requires the liquor license because the school is open to the public. Farrington said the skydiving business will survive without a liquor license, but said she wants to keep the tradition of after- jump get-togethers. She said the county's opposition is a way for it to shut down her business. Not so, Kamieniecki said. The county's intention is to bring the growing school into compliance with codes and regulations, he said. The Farringtons bought 110 acres and built the airport in 1978 to continue the business Jessie Farrington's father started in the 1960s at Pierce County Airport, formerly Thun Field. Pilots and skydivers gradually bought portions of the airport, and 27 families live there now, many with their own hangars next to their homes. The skydiving school started in 1978 with 2,000 jumps a year. It has grown to 20,000 jumps a year. A few years ago, some residents brought up concerns about liability and safety. A feud over the school split the airport community. Jeff Dow, who has lived on airport property since 1983, has been leading the group opposing the skydiving school. "The jump center has grown beyond its authorized capacity outlined in the original permit," Dow said. "It's a liability to homeowners. They are a hazard to homeowners due to the increased traffic and skydiving activities." The three-member state Liquor Control Board has the final say on the liquor-license renewal. The board will review Heller's ruling, along with all evidence and testimony, before deciding the matter.
  9. The original Skydive America in Immokalee, Florida, was sold and re-named on February 1st. 2001, to a small group of investors/skydivers. That's about the only change. We are still the friendliest DZ in Florida, reports Roy Torgeirson. The DZ operates a C-182 and a Grand Caravan. Jumpers from the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area don't mind the extra 10 to 20 minute drive to be able to get plenty of jumps from the Grand Caravan without the wait at some busier drop zones! Skydive Naples will try to attract more European jumpers as well. There are Motels, Gambling Casino, Drag Strip and Restaurants within walking distance of the DZ. A brand new Racetrack (oval) with a full service camp-ground is under way right next to the airport. And they are only about 40 minutes from Fort Myers Beach, and beach jumps they do on a regular basis. This drop zone is a must to visit next time you're on the west coast of Florida. You're guaranteed to have a great time.
  10. admin

    Skydive Daytona Beach to Close Doors

    Fellow skydivers; It is with a very heavy heart that I announce to you all that Skydive Daytona Beach will close for good on Feb 25th. After two years of trying, for whatever reasons, it hasn't worked out. We've had some great times, some great boogies, and some great parties. Most of all, we've all made some great friends. The drop zones may come and they may go, but the friends you meet are forever. For that I am grateful. We will be flying the Porter through the 25th, so try to come by before it all goes away. In addition, why not have one last blowout. We will have a party on Sat Feb 17th on the deck or in the restaurant which ever weather permits. Come on out. Also my good friend Jerry Bird will be with us that weekend. Thanks to all of you who have supported us over the past couple years--I'll never forget. Freddie (Owner)
  11. MCHENRY -- Tandem skydiving may come to the Garrett County Airport if the Pittsburgh Skydiving Center Inc. meets four requirements set by the Garrett County Commissioners on Tuesday. Saying an agreement should be no more restrictive nor more liberal than others operating out of the airport, the commissioners agreed with the recommendation of the Garrett County Airport Commission. Director of General Services Gary Mullich presented an official request from the Pittsburgh Skydiving Center in December for a formal lease agreement with the airport by Jan. 31. The commissioners approved the request but did not agree to a waiver of liability insurance. The county does not have any building space to lease to the center, and area for land lease would need to be added to the Airport Layout Plan and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Electricity and water are not provided to land lease tenants; they provide their own. "You would have to have a good reason to deny anyone the use of the airport," Mullich said, since it receives federal funds. The skydiving center would have to give the county a hold-harmless agreement and would have to have an agreement with the county if it uses the airport as a base of operation. Don Bick of the skydiving club, which operates out of Connellsville (Pa.) Airport, met with members of the advisory group in December. He would like a standard three- or five-year lease, beginning May 1, with an option to renew. The group is interested in leasing appropriate building space or installing a mobile office. The county requires $1 million general liability coverage. The skydiving group has $1 million in premise or "slip and fall" insurance, and $50,000 in third-party insurance for all licensed skydivers through the United States Parachute Association, but says it cannot get general liability coverage, Mullich said. Bob Railey, a local pilot, said the group seemed to have a pretty smooth operation at Connellsville. He said it might be possible for them to just use a trailer as an office on weekends. He felt it would be an attractive business for the county and could not see any airplane operations vs. skydiving issues that would hinder either activity. Ken Wishnick, president of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, said the skydiving club had joined the chamber and asked if any staff members wanted to jump. "A few are actually considering it," said Wishnick. "I would love to do this myself," said Deb Clatterbuck of the chamber. "You would be jumping with a jump master," she said, stressing safety must be first. The addition of the skydiving, Clatterbuck said, "would be an inclusion of another adventure sport and of course, the increased amusement tax received off that." Also the number of take-offs and landings at the airport would help make it eligible for an increased runway. "Dick assured us the jump would not interfere with any planes coming in, and would not take up much room at the airport," said Caroline Hill, co-manager of the Garrett County Airport. "He said they were quite busy up in Connellsville. They haven't had any problems, but there are a lot of questions to be answered. "Some local people have supported him and I think there is an interest," she said. She is worried some about parking problems because of the participants and curiosity-seekers the event would draw.
  12. admin

    Skydive Sebastian Sold

    Skydive Sebastian has been sold and is also under new management. Come and check out the great new vibes !! We're looking forward to a busy and exciting winter season and have planned plenty of fun events for all levels of experience! See our website http://www.skydiveseb.com for a complete calendar of events. Our "New Ownership Celebration" is going to be over the "THANKSGIVING BOOGIE" 20th - 26th November!! $16 skydives, plenty of load organizing, freeflying, flat flying, wing suit flying and more! Celebrate with us! Live band, party and Turkey dinner! And......Its that time of the year again!!!! Our infamous "KEYS BOOGIE" is going to be held in Marathon from the 10th to the 12th of November!! This is always an excellent boogie and one not to be missed - Beach jumps, great party and a weekend of FUN FUN FUN skydiving over the beautiful Islands of the Florida Keys!! Contact info@skydiveseb.com ASAP to sign up or call us @ 1800 399 JUMP. See you there!! (Please note that there is a B License requirement for this event) The "HALLOWEEN BOOGIE" is next on our agenda from 27th to 29th October! Jump for $16 all weekend, free load organizing for free flyers and belly flyers! Wear a costume and party with the band "RUDY" on the night of the 28th! See you in Sebastian soon!!