SDC Newsletter – April 2018

A Letter From Rook Nelson

It is important as the season starts to get going, well, once it stops snowing, that you remember your basic fundamentals.   In other words, don’t think that you remember everything.  Even if you attended Safety Day, please make sure to be extra cautious.   Make sure to get a good DZ briefing.   The SDC info center is a great place to gather your pre-jump intel.  Check winds aloft, review exit  order, emergency procedures, plan your canopy pattern, and plan an alternate landing area.   While I stress the importance of taking extra time when starting the season, I challenge you to do this every jump.   There really is no ‘good’ time to stop gather pre-jump info and planning your jump to include alternate landing areas.   I have 25,000 jumps and I still make a plan every morning before jumping starts.   I suppose thats why I have gone all my career without an injury.

When developing your daily plan remember the Golden Rules of Skydiving: Rule 1: Land safely under an open canopy or in the aircraft.  Rule 2: Land safe, not close.  Rule 3:  Leave room for error. Rule 4:  Check gear prior dressing, boarding, and exit.  Rule 5:  Stay ahead of the jump.  Rule 6:  Always have a plan.  Rule 7:  Know thy altitude.  Rule 8: Know when to say no.  Rule 9: Never give up!

We have one of the busiest events years we have ever done.   Its easy to get complacent when all the ‘cool guys’ and friends show up to the DZ.   Have a good foundation that includes daily plans that  help keep you informed so when things go bad, you’re ready.  I wish everyone a Safe and Challenging year!


Rook Nelson

Manifest Makes Magnificent Messages

Spring is not only a time to get your rigs ready for jumping, but also a time to get accommodations in order. If you have not already filled out a campground contract, please stop by manifest at your earliest convenience to do so, as well as to get caught up on any past due rent. We are no longer adding a 3% surcharge for credit cards used for the campground. Electric slots for the 2018 season are $165/month and full hook-ups are $205/month.

Current locker reservations are good through April 30, 2018. If you want to renew, please stop by manifest to do so. Lockers are $60/year, and we have plenty available to safeguard your goods!

If you’re not a current campground tenant but are wanting to join us for any or all of the amazing events we have going on this summer, please consider staying in one of our cabins. With all the fun we have planned for the season, they are booking up quickly, so check your calendars and call us to make reservations.

We still have unlimited passes available for May, August, September, and October. To apply visit, download and fill out the contract, then return it to us at Your slot will be confirmed once payment is received. It’s going to be a jam-packed season full of tons of talent, so don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to increase not only your jump numbers, but also your skills.

Dan’s Diaries – A Grounds Crew Story

Dan is campaigning to make the campground great again!  As soon as the weather breaks, we’re going to be out there with the mower and the weed whackers. Weather permitting and assuming there is no other unforeseen circumstance, we will be mowing the campground on Tuesdays starting at 7:30 am. To make this process go as smooth as possible, please have your yards cleaned up on Monday evenings. If it’s not reasonably cleaned, your yard will be skipped.

On another note, grounds has been working to get the fire pit back in order. It is taking a lot of time and effort to get it up to par before all of our guest start showing up for the year. Keep in mind that if you would not want to sit in front of something while its burning, chances are someone else will not want to either. So please, if you bring it…burn it.

Finally, we are aware of the damage winter has done to the roads throughout the campground. We will be spearheading Operation Pot Holes and bringing in gravel to fix the roads soon.  Thank you for patience while we finalize the mission.

Eat Up! Is Here To Wake You Up

Two words.  Cappuccino Machine!  You heard it right.  Eat Up has a new cappuccino machine and is ready to brew you a cappuccino, latte, Americano, or just a good old-fashioned espresso. Stop in anytime and get your caffeine fix any time the deli is open.

They Skylounge has been open and if you’ve missed the amazing plate service dinners and movie nights with endless pizza and pasta, you should stop in to take advantage of Chef Allen’s amazing staff and cuisine.  Also, look for a few menu changes coming soon to a deli near you!

Eat Up!

The Fleet Forever Flies

Another season is upon us and as some of you probably have heard that we added a new aircraft to the fleet.  That’s right.  We bought a Skyvan Justin and Donovan have been busy this winter getting it up to Skydive Chicago standards. It has received some fresh paint courtesy of Positive Painting (Russ Ellis), a new interior, and a lot of TLC. It has been flying contract work and will be getting an engine upgrade this week to make it more efficient for our customers. We still have a little more work to do. The biggest project left is putting in the mechanical, pilot operated door. In addition to the Skyvan, the guys have been busy keeping up with the maintenance on the Otters and Caravans to bring you the best and safest jump planes around. We wish you all a safe and fun year. It’s going to be a busy one!

A Safe Skydiver Is A Better Skydiver

Brrrr! It’s cold outside and even colder up there.   So how cold is too cold?  We have a cut off for tandems at roughly 36 F degrees on the ground and 10 F degrees up at altitude here at Skydive Chicago.  With an average of 20 degree and 120 mph, the wind chill would -7 degrees F.  At this temperature any skin exposed for more than 5 minutes risks frostbite. In other words, its cold!  Just putting on a bunch of clothes isn’t always the safest option.  Bulky clothing has been an attributing factor to incidents in the past and has already been a contributing factor in one fatality this year.  When jumping with extra layers, please consider the following things.  Do you have the dexterity to handle any emergency that may happen? (pulling, pulling your emergency handles, unstowing your breaks etc.) Can you open your full face?  They have a tendency to fog and ice up in cold whether.  A tip to avoid this is anti-fogging spray and or leaving your helmet open until right before exit.  Be prepared for the sudden shock of the cold air on exit.  It will literally take your breath away.

So before you get on the next cold load take a second, check your gear, and practice your EP’s with gloves.  Don’t worry too much.  Allen will have hot chocolate ready when you get back to the ground.


Skydive Chicago Welcomes Rock Sky Market

Welcome back to Steve and Jenny Verner! Steve and Jenny used to work at SDC from 1999 to 2011 as camera flyers and instructors.  They left to start their own gear store, Rock Sky Market.  Since then, it has grown from selling rubber bands and gloves into what it is today with multiple locations and a very prominent website. Click here to visit it:

This year they will have a gear rental fleet of 9 complete parachute systems from Sun Path, UPT, Parachute Systems, Performance Designs, and NZ Aerosports.  They are offering great per jump and daily rates.  They are also offering $99 per month all-you-can-jump rental when you purchase a complete parachute system.  Their program will allow you to have something to jump while you are waiting for your system to be built and you can work on downsizing as well.

They also have two master riggers on staff so there is no job too big.  If you are new to Rock Sky Market, they will give you 10% off your reserve repack through July 2018.

Finally, they are excited about offering financing where you can have 6 months same as cash and 2% cash back if paid within those 6 months.Please come by the gear store and meet Steve and Jenny.  They are super stoked about meeting and getting to know you!

Summerfest 2018 Early Registration

Registration for the biggest and best boogie of the year is now open!Early registration this year is $80.00 and ends June 28th.  So what do you get for registering early?  Well, you will be registered for an amazing week of fun times, great jumps, world-class load organizers, incredible food from Eat Up!, nightly acitivities, multiple bands and DJ’s, and friends that will last a lifetime!


 Register today and claim your spot and FREE t-shirt for SF18 right here:

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