Skydive Chicago’s 2019 May Newsletter

Skydive Chicago’s May 2019 Newsletter

Giving You All The News & More From SDC!

A Letter From Rook Nelson…

I know we have all been thinking ‘it’ but we try our best to remain positive and hopeful….

OK, Ok, Ok…  I’ll say ‘it’.  The weather thus far has been crap!  UGH!  I was really hoping to start off 2019 a little different that last year.   While I still remain hopeful and confident it will get better, I would like to take this, hopefully short, down time to ask all of our friends and family a favor.

I have challenged all of my team at SDC to get 1,000 Google reviews by the end of this season.   Now,  before you open your Gmail and whip up a review simply because I asked you to do me a favor and hook up the DZ,  I really would prefer if you thought about a good moment you have had at the DZ or when a team member went above and beyond for you.   Maybe take a second and look back into your memory bin and find one that stands out.  Remember the ‘when and why’ you started coming out here.  Think about what keeps you coming back.  I’ve had the pleasure of hearing so many stories from people over the years about how SDC has impacted them in one way or another.  I love it.  It’s part of the ‘why’ I get up each day and try my best to deliver these experiences to people in our community and why I push my team at SDC to deliver those experiences to help make memories that last a lifetime.

In our department meetings I brought up the fact we have never lost ‘Blue Skies DZ of the Year’.  It’s both humbling and awesome to win over and over.  It’s because each of you votes and tells the story of why this place rocks.  That is the exact reason why I believe, together with your help, we can crush the goal of 1,000 Google reviews this year!  I thank each of you in advance for your help.

Let’s all do our rain / cloud dance….. Then click the link below and write a Google review!
Blue Skies,

A Manifest Minute…

RaRa and her team of Manifest Masters are in full swing and working for you.  This month, they will email out campground agreements to those who haven’t filled them out yet this year.  Little paperwork tasks sometimes slip through the cracks but Manifest is helping to remind you.  We encourage everyone to call 815-433-0000 and settle up on rent from winter or just see what is owed.  It’s always nice to know what your bill will be before you arrive for the season and get shocked by how much you owe from a few months of being gone.  Just call the ladies and they will help sort you out.

Speaking of trailers and slots, the new North End water slots are being built and installed as we speak.  We had planned on getting construction going again and then the rain came to Ottawa.  Lot’s of rain.  All of the rain.  Flooding has been an issue all over town and it’s just so wet that the machines will just get stuck and make a bigger mess out there on the North End.  We  will be getting them completed as soon as weather cooperates.  If you want to be on the list, please call Manifest and get your name in the mix!

We will be doing the locker audit next week as well, so if lockers haven’t been renewed, please do that ASAP.  Just give us a call and we can sort you out for your gear storage needs.  Also, We have our first night jumps of the season on May 18th. You can call or stop by the office to sign up for the fun.

We are looking forward to another fantastic year and we are here to answer any questions you may have.  Just reach on out and call us at 815-433-0000 and we will be there and happy to help.


The Toggle Monkey…

Every once in a while we all see that someone consistently making minor toggle corrections almost all the way to the ground.  They are trying to get themselves perfectly into the wind and then flare at the last minute.  Afterwords, they wonder why they did not have that super smooth landing that they were trying to make happen.  There is that look of misunderstanding or confusion as they try to figure out what just went wrong.  They planned and tried so hard.  Why would this happen?!

Well, on average it takes seven seconds for your canopy to respond and recover from any toggle input.  Stop right there and think about it.  Seven seconds…  That can be a lifetime in the sky.

As we all learned in the canopy classes we have attended, Speed = Lift.  In order to get the most effective flare for landing, you need to be in full flight seven seconds prior to the start of your flare.  You do not need to be facing perfectly into the wind to have a good landing.  So, by rule of thumb, once you are approximately 20 feet off the ground and your space in front of you is clear, leave those toggles alone and let that canopy fly free and flare appropriately for a safe landing.

If you have any questions about this or other canopy or landing topics, please feel free to ask Anthony while you’re here or talk with any of our fantastic canopy pilots out here at SDC.

Who Loves You?  Yeah, The Danimal Does…

You know who else he loves?  He loves his mother.  Of course he does!  It’s The Danimal.  He loves with a full heart and shows it by helping anyone and everyone along the way at SDC.  He literally set up a rain shelter for the Community Cookout while getting soaked so that we could have a dry place to grill last week.  He did it without thinking.  It’s what his mother taught him to do.

You know what else Dan’s mother taught him?  To pick up after himself!

We chose a little humor and a little truth to convey to all of you that it’s time to step up the game of cleaning up after yourself when you’re out at the DZ.  We don’t want to moan and groan at anyone here.  We just  want to have a great time at a great place that is clean and safe.  We happened to have found broken beer bottles in landing areas.  That’s just not safe and we simply have to ask everyone to not do this.  Would you want to land on glass?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  Neither do we.

While we are on the topic of trash and good behavior our mothers taught us, let’s remember to  actually throw away trash at the dumpster.  Trash like an old couch isn’t going to fit.  Please don’t leave them next to the dumpster like the magic couch fairy is going to come by and lift it into it for you.  Again… Humor but we are also genuinely asking you to throw things away and into the bin.  Large items that don’t fit will have to be removed by you or get with Dan and something can be worked out.

Finally, since we are talking about cleaning up after ourselves, the new bin for gear that is left in the hangar at night has arrived.  If you leave gear setting out, we will gently place it in the bin for you.  Lockers are available from Manifest if you would like your own space in the hangar.  Food and drink will also be removed each night.

Thanks for helping us with this initiative to keep our DZ clean, everyone.  We really appreciate all of you helping the Danimal!

It’s Almost Tiki Time…

Yep!  It’s almost time!  This Memorial Day Weekend marks the opening of the Tiki Hut and our official move to outside for food, fun, and adult beverages.  Eat Up! has hired on new staff to help this season and they are showing up each day in preparation for the move down to The Tiki.

We will have a few new decorations down at The Tiki and new drink specials all summer long.  We will make sure to move the new popcorn machine down there as well.  Chad Staerkel might have a heart attack on the spot if we don’t.  (Chad, honestly, eat that stuff slower.  You’re gonna bite your fingers right off if you don’t!)  The Food Truck is currently being prepped to get ready to make you all the goodies you love and enjoy.  (Honestly, we could eat those garlic tater tots everyday…)

Stop by the Deli for the quality and quantity you need in the meantime or join us up in the Sky Lounge but get ready; Summertime Tiki madness is just around the corner!


Let’s Get This Party Started…

The season is off and running and we let you know about the schedule last month.  We just wanted to make sure that, if you didn’t get a copy, we have one for you.  It’s gonna be a busy few months and you can download a copy to your device and stay informed of the latest and greatest from SDC all year long.

This year we have also done a few things to make planning your time at the DZ that much easier.  We’ve added early registration for both Summerfest and Rookiefest!  You can register now and then sit back and think about how much fun your event will be when you can finally get out of work and make your way to Skydive Chicago for your favorite jumps of the year.

Summerfest Early Registration can be found right here and Rookiefest Early Registration can be found right here.

With such a busy schedule, you may have a question or two.  We welcome calls at 815-433-0000 or simply email AJ and he will sort you out and make sure you are ready to have the time of your life at the greatest dropzone around!


Rock Sky Market Has Your Back…

That’s right.  It’s our promise.  It’s our guarantee.  It’s our passion.  We aren’t your average gear store.  We won’t stop until we’ve proven it to you either!

Let’s start by letting you know we hired a new family member to help grow our business.  Welcome Erin Fabing!  She’s already in the store and helping out customers with her smile and her dedication to skydiving and the customer.

Secondly, we’ve got you covered when it comes to new gear and product releases.  Take our new beautiful Benchmade hook knives that have arrived.  Benchmade is quality craftsmanship and they just look cool too!  We partnered with UPT to offer iFLY tunnel instructor discounts as well.  If you’re an instructor, stop on in and see what other discounts you can get on our gear as well.  Vigil is offering one week delivery on new AAD’s and Cypres is at six weeks for new units and four weeks for service.  We can help you out with either of those critical safety units.  We’ve also got a few new releases coming for you such as the Kraken (NZA Icarus wingsuit canopy), Om-7 (Icarus World wingusit canopy), and the long, anticipated Cookie G4!  Call the store today to find our more at 815-786-4560 and we will be happy to tell you about what’s going to be here for you soon.

We promised you that Rock Sky Market is not your average Gear store and we mean it.  If you need it, we’ll help you find the product at a price that’s fair with an unsurpassed quality check. Even if we don’t have the item in store, we’ll help you avoid the everyday worries of buying secondhand and help you find what you need.


Keep faith in Rock Sky Market, we’ve got your back!

Chaos Or A Really Cool Flow…

Establishing a mindful regiment of safety while skydiving is a lot like every day life: Being ahead of the clock keeps panic out of our preparation for work day just as much as it does our skydives. At the 15 or 10-minute call, you’ve wrapped up your dirt dives and you’ve got your gear on. At the 5-minute call, you’re at the loading area with your cell phone put away, discussing landing direction and load order. Staying ahead of the game—and the skydive—keeps us all safer, less rushed, and more prepared for exiting the plane safely at altitude.

Let’s all be amazing and respectful of each other this year. Be at the loading area before the 5-minute call, keep your phones away, introduce yourself to a visiting jumper, and make sure you know what everyone on the load’s plans are. Check your gear. Check your friend’s! Make sure your reserve tag is visible. Double check that the correct twenty-three people on the load are accounted for and get lined up in advance—hanging out in jet fuel exhaust fumes by spinning propellers can’t be good for you! With all of that out of the way well before the plane gets there, everyone can focus on the amazing skydives that are about to go down!

Try it! Be proactive, present, and enjoy your jumps!



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