Skydive Chicago’s November Newsletter 2018

Skydive Chicago’s November 2018 Newsletter

Take a peek at the latest information and happenings at the world-famous Skydive Chicago!

A Letter From Rook Nelson

There are many things I love about skydiving.  One that sits atop my list is being able to skydive all over the world.   I’ll admit, it’s sometimes a pain to travel with your skydiving gear but, if you can manage the situation, skydiving can show you the world like nothing else.   Jumping over the ocean, mountains, or vast farmland can create a surreal experience like no other sport.

It’s with these sentiments that I encourage you to plan some off-season trips to go skydive.   It can be intimidating jumping at a new location to be sure.  Make sure to stick to the same plan you have when you show up to jump at SDC.   Upon arrival be sure to have all your credentials with you such as your log book, reserve card, etc.   Get a DZ briefing from a staff member.   Make a good note of the outs surrounding the DZ.  Believe me, it will take a few jumps to start recognizing all the landmarks.  Plan your landing pattern and know where the wind indicators are.   If you have question ask. There are no dumb questions, people.  Ask.  Then ask again.

The Skydive Chicago planes winter at Skydive Sebastian.  It is one of the most scenic places to jump in Florida.  Every year they host The Invasion where all the seasonal DZ’s head down to escape the cold and get some jumps in.  SDC Rhythm and SDC Core along with other organizers will be leading the charge.   Come and join us and check them out at

 Be safe and have fun out there this off-season.  Thank you to everyone for a great season and I look forward seeing you all at the Christmas Party.
Blue Skies,

Voting Is Still Open!

Is Skydive Chicago your favorite dropzone?  Then let the world know in the Blue Skies Magazine’s 2018 Dropzone Awards!

This is your chance to vote for your favorites and least favorites in the sport.  If you thought a place or a person did a fantastic job this year, you can let everyone know.  This year, the voting allows for much more detail.  If you want to write a blog about how you love Jason Russell’s organizing skills or how much you want the food to change at that other dropzone (Not SDC’s ’cause Eat Up! is crushing it!), then this is your chance.

All you have to do is click this link right here and your off an running.  Blue Skies suggested you may want to use a computer if you are going to type long responses but it’s your world.  You do what you want and you vote how you want.

Vote early and vote often!

A Message From Manifest

When it comes to the campground, there are still a few slots left on the waiting list for the new water slots (no, we haven’t forgotten about them. Work is being done!). To get your name on that list, just pop on in to Manifest or give them a call.  They will be happy to help you as they always do.  Make sure to call Manifest and square up on your rent for the 2018 Season if you haven’t already.  Emails will be headed out to remind you.

Unlimited passes for the 2019 season will be released to the public starting December 1st, so start making your plans now! All you need to get yours is to return to us the completed contract along with payment in full, and boom! One month in skydivers’ paradise is yours! If you’re an alum of our program, keep on the watch for your invitation to purchase a 2019 pass before they’re released to the masses.

Finally, Manifest want’s to make sure you know that there will be gift cards available for Summerfest 2019 coming in January.  We will also be opening up Registration for not only Summerfest 2019 but Rookiefest 2019 as well.  You can register early and have the peace of mind all year that you will be locked and loaded to come to two of the best boogies around!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tandems!

Why are we telling you about Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tandem Specials?  So you can give the gift of skydiving to your friends and family!  Share the experience that has shaped your life in so many amazing ways with those you care about most or maybe give that gift to that one person who always says, “I’ll go next year…”.

Here is your chance to share the world of skydiving with those who have always wondered or maybe have it on their bucket list. Maybe there is a person you know wants to go but needs the extra ‘push out the door’.   Whatever the reason, we are happy to help by sending out a gift card for the lowest priced tandem we’ve had all year long.

Simply click this link to the right and you can start giving the gift of human flight this holiday season starting on Black Friday: CLICK HERE.

Staying Safe in 2018

Our main goal every year is to have a safe season.  Unfortunately, as hard as we may try, this goal is not always achieved. What we do is dangerous. It’s beneficial to recap on the year and hopefully learn from other people’s mistakes.  This year there was total of 5 ambulance rides. Unfortunately, one was a fatality due to not responding to a canopy malfunction, 3 were from hard landings in which all three have or will recover, and the other was from a hard opening.  There were nearly 47,000 skydives made at Skydive Chicago in the 2018 season. We had 39 reserve rides during this time. That is a malfunction rate of 1:1205, which is better than the national average of 1:1000 skydives. Here is a breakdown of the malfunctions:

Line Twists: 16 — Packing Error (Line over, uncocked PC, step through) 3 – Bag Locks: 2 — Premature/Horse Shoe: 3 — Unusual: (collision, cutaway pulled in FF) 2 — “I don’t know It was a ball of crap and it didn’t work”: 4 — Tension Knots: 1 — Unreported: 8

A majority of the malfunctions were line twists and, within that, 10 out of the 16 were either a wingsuit or someone with a wing loading higher than 1.8.  If you fall under either of these categories the chances of you having a malfunction increases dramatically. Many of the other malfunctions may have been avoided by proper gear packing and gear maintenance.  Malfunctions have always been a part of the sport and probably always will be. The best way to be prepared is through proper training and repetition. Thanks to everyone that helped to make this season as safe as it was.  We wish everyone a safe off season in their travels southern dropzones.

The Danimal Is Thankful

I just wanted to personally take a moment in this newsletter and say “thank you” to everyone on my staff and those who worked so hard for SDC and Grounds this year.  We had a challenging schedule and everyone banned together to make sure it was done well and they did just that.  While I’m giving out thanks, allow me to say thank you to the many, many people who aren’t a part of Grounds but lent a hand this season as well.  Your willingness to help was so very appreciated.

As the season came to and end, we did get to move and store a great many things for winter.  Benches, tables, covers, docks, bikes, and a bunch of other gear was stored and is awaiting next season.  I’d like to encourage everyone to do the same at your trailers before the rough weather hits.  Winterizing your trailer will help keep it safe this winter and be ready for you in the spring.

Finally, I’ve heard a few requests to fix the gravel road in the campground before the end of the season and winter.  Fear not, my friends.  I am on top of this one for you all.  I know how frustrating it can be to bounce through the campground while driving.  Since there will be limited traffic until the 2019 jumping season, it’s fiscally more responsible to fix this in the spring.  I will make sure to have this place up and ready for all of you come March of 2019.  Thank you again for a great season and I will see you all very soon!

~The Danimal

A Message From Steve and Jenny

We can’t believe how fast our first season at SDC flew by!  We want to thank everyone for being so welcoming and great as we moved in and got rolling this season!  Taking on a new location for a small business is always a challenge.  There are so many little things that could go wrong but we had an amazing year with all the little things going just right.

With the success of 2018, we are so excited to move into next year and will be even more stocked up next season, with a heavy emphasis on clothing such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jerseys.  Don’t worry.  We’re not stopping there either.  We plan on beefing up our gear game as well.  Rest assured that Rock Sky Market at Skydive Chicago is here to supply you with everything you need to get into the sky and afterwords as well.

Don’t forget that on Black Friday, Nov 23rd, we will be having a 5% off sale of everything in the store, AND on our website.  You can get everything from our website with free shipping for orders over $40.

Finally, Rock Sky Market at Skydive Chicago will be open this winter season by appointment only since SDC will be closed until spring.  Simply give us a call at 815-786-4560 and we will be happy to help.  We really like it here at SDC and we’re so glad to be a part of the team!  Thanks again and see you all next season!

-Steve and Jenny Verner

Eagle Air Wants You!

Eagle Air Transport is a growing company looking to add a qualified A&P to or team. We operate a Fleet of 3 Twin Otters, 2 Cessna Caravans, 2 Short Brothers SC7 Skyvans and a Cessna 182. We support the Skydiving industry and well as DOD contracts. We pride ourselves on providing top quality reliable aircraft to our clients and are looking to expand our team and add two new positions. Details of each position are listed below.

If you’re looking for a challenging but rewarding work environment with the opportunity to grow with an industry leader we can offer a salary range between $36,000 to $50,000 D.O.E. Please send resumes to for consideration.

A & P Description of job function:

  • Perform and assist in maintenance on Eagle Air Transport aircraft as directed by Director of maintenance.
  • Assist in aircraft squawks on a daily basis to help determine appropriate actions to keep aircraft in an acceptable condition for continued safe operation under supervision of the director of maintenance.
  • Be available to travel as required to complete scheduled and unscheduled maintenance while aircraft are away from home base of operations.
  • Maintains adequate supplies for Eagle Air Transport shop to perform daily maintenance effectively IE. Hardware, consumable items, sheet metal supplies.
  • Maintains Shop and work area in a organized and presentable manner at all times.
  • Provide feedback and input to improve on any and all functions within the Eagle Air Transport maintenance department.
  • Ensure all aircraft in Eagle Air Transport fleet are kept clean both externally and internally to project a positive professional experience for our customers.
  • Be available and on call to work most holidays and weekends as needed.
  • Keep up to date on fuel farm filter service dates and replacements to eliminate fuel contamination.
  • Work non routine and or extended hours as needed to meet contract obligation.
  • Reports any major mechanical or structural issues to superior on a timely basis so corrective actions can be made to resolve the problem.
  • Ability to use interpret and apply technical data to complete tasks as required
  • Work independently and work as a team to accomplish required work.
  • Provides own tools to perform tasks as required except for any airframe specific tooling.
  • Additional items as required
*Must be legal to work in the United States.
*High School or equivalent. Airframe and Powerplant rating or willingness to work towards achieving an Airframe and Powerplant rating
*Preferred working knowledge of aircraft and basic principles. Willingness to learn and continue education in the aviation field a must.
Working conditions:

*Ability to walk, stand, crouch and sit.  Work in close quarters for extended periods. Ability to work extended hours to meet project deadlines as needed. Ability to safely work elevated off the ground on ladders scaffolds and mechanical lifts. Ability to lift 50 pounds regularly and up to 100 pounds or more safely. Work in a variety of weather conditions ranging from high heat and humidity to cold conditions as well as rain and snow are possibilities at times.

Aircraft Mechanic Apprentice

Eagle Air Transport is currently hiring an apprentice for our Aircraft maintenance division. You will assist in the maintenance and repair of our fleet of aircraft. As well as shop and facility maintenance as required.  This is a Great opportunity for someone to work toward their A&P certification in a hands on environment.

Basic Requirements:

  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Have reliable transportation
  • A desire to learn and grow
  • Have a basic set of tools standard sizes.
  • Legal to work in the United States.
Working conditions:
*Ability to walk, stand, crouch and sit.  Work in close quarters for extended periods. Ability to work extended hours to meet project deadlines as needed. Ability to safely work elevated off the ground on ladders scaffolds and mechanical lifts. Ability to lift 50 pounds regularly and up to 100 pounds or more safely. Work in a variety of weather conditions ranging from high heat and humidity to cold conditions as well as rain and snow are possibilities at times.Please note:  This is a full time year round position. Depending on qualifications this position will pay up to $15.00 per hour to start.
If you are a motivated hardworking self starter looking to start or advance your career in aviation please contact for consideration

SDC’s Annual Christmas Party

Have you ever been to a Skydive Chicago Christmas Party?  If you have, then you know.  If you haven’t…. What are you waiting for, people?!  Join us for our annual Christmas Party on December 1st!

The Christmas party is a time to celebrate the 2018 season and the joy of Christmas as well.  It’s a fantastic night of cheering on our new AFP Graduates, handing out DZ Awards,  watching slide-shows and a video edit, eating incredible food,  and spending time with great friends and family.

Join us on Saturday, December 1st, 2018 in the Skydive Chicago Auditorium.  Appetizers are from 6 pm until 7 pm with dinner at 8 pm.  We will have the Awards Ceremony afterwords and then dance the night away!

Tickets for this event are $35 in advance and $50 at the door.  Contact Eat Up! at 815-433-5840 for tickets.  If you will not be joining us for dinner, entry is free after 8 pm for the awards and after party.

We hope to see you all there and celebrate another incredible year at Skydive Chicago!

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