Summer has just begun, and we are stoked for an incredible season! New jumpers, new events, new pilots and more! Have you been out yet to experience the 2021 season? Be sure to keep up with our events page to see what we have on deck!
A new season, a new pilot!
Meet Ben Vinych
Hailing from Fargo North Dakota, Ben Vinych is our newest pilot to join Skydive Chicago! Ben is currently studying Business at MSUM and is a first generation pilot who’s been fascinated with airplanes since early high school. Starting in his early 20’s, he began working for a crop duster as he traded work for hours in the sky. Currently sitting around 1,300 hours, his goals for the season is two fold: more flight time, AND to earn his A license!
Last season Ben spent his time at Skydive Fargo where he flew a Cessna 182 and 206. Twenty-six and charging ahead, Ben holds multiple ratings and endorsements including: Commercial, Multi-Engine, CFI, Tail Wheel, Float Plane / Single Engine Sea, SIC Type SE500/Citation 2, and a High Altitude endorsement. Ben has experience with Crop Dusting, Chase Planes with the Air National Guard, and flying corporate jets. Close to getting signed off for the Caravan, Ben is excited to eventually fly the Twin Otter, his dream plane since getting into aviation.
With five jumps under his belt, Ben is moving through AFP with a unique perspective relative to other first time jumpers. Situational awareness has allowed him to approach each jump with confidence and he loves the program we have. Having multiple instructors has helped him learn faster as each has different methods, tips and tricks. Long term, Ben would love to (with time) wingsuit and base jump in Europe. Ben was offered a position with three different dropzones and ultimately chose Skydive Chicago. When asked why, Ben stated “the reason I came here was for the community and the respect for the employees, and the reputation behind Skydive Chicago”. He’s also stoked to experience Summerfest and all of the events we offer.
While Ben isn’t flying, he enjoys snowboarding and hunting Elk with his close friend, who is now considering getting his feet wet with skydiving! Ben stays on site and is active in the community. He loves meeting and having a good time with all. If you see Ben around the dropzone, be sure to say hello and buy him a beer! Or maybe he owes us beer?
It’s only June and we’ve welcomed six new graduates and 3 licensed skydivers into the community! Congratulations to Nick Cano, Jesus Jimenez, and Derek Hays! With over 120 Student jumps just this month, keep on the look out for new faces around the hanger! If you do see a new face, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and share some knowledge!
Rook knows no boredom
With 26,000 jumps how do you not get bored?
Often I get his question when I tell people who many jumps I have. Well I get this or “how many times have you gotten injured?” The answer to the later is zero and in the following text I’ll let you know how I keep the excitement going after all those jumps.
26,000 jumps is for easy math, 26,000 minutes of freefall, yes some jumps are more and some are less but remember how I started the sentence….for easy math. That equates to 433 hours or 18 days of continuous freefall. Now, add in all the airplane rides and commercial trips to events and I would estimate a 1/3 of life has been spent not on earth.
Now that our math class is done, back to the question how do I keep the excitement up? The answer is simple, don’t do one type of jump too much. Perhaps one of the hardest things for me was stepping down from Core, however I’m still the alternate so I haven’t completely given it up. When you’re on a team you get to push yourself to be your best. When that stops its tough but I look back at the hundreds of tandem and AFP jumps I have done and I remember the excitement on their faces. I recall building the BFR at Summerfest 2019 and how fun that is. I remember getting out of control on a wingsuit jump and while not fun at the time I know I’m a better skydiver because of it. The point is, mix it up. There are so many fun jumps you can do throughout your career in skydiving it would be a shame to not try them all.
I like to conclude by asking everyone to take a moment, find a new jumper and jump with them. Recall when you graduated AFP and someone invited you on your first 4 way? While the jump may have not set any new records it was the most fun you had!
“Wanted to land closer”
Low Turns, Runways, Target fixation…. Have a plan B! We have made a lot of jumps in the past month. It’s been safe but not without a few close calls. The closest was a jumper coming back from a long spot who made a very low 180º turn from about 150ft and had a hard impact. The jumper was able to do a braked turn and PLF but the impact left them very sore, and luckily no injuries resulted. The reasoning… “wanted to land closer”. On two other occasions, jumpers crossed the runway under 100 feet with an approaching plane.
In all cases jumpers used up critical altitude and by-passed perfectly good landing opportunities to land closer. Aviators should always have an out and not be hesitant to use it. In most cases, we’ll be able to pick you up and have you back to the hanger before most jumpers should you need to land out.
Our office is being over loaded with packages. Please refrain from having packages sent here unless absolutely needed. For the safety of the packages no one is allowed in the back office to pick them up. If you have an Amazon package please consider sending it to the Amazon hub at Road Ranger. Finally, be aware campground auto payments will begin July first.
I’ve had a lot of jobs on the DZ. Manifest is the hardest. From answering phones, manifesting, checking in customers and everything else under the DZ roof manifest runs it. So next time you’re in, give a shout out to the ladies in manifest.
Be sure to check out all of our upcoming events for the Summer! You won’t want to miss the exciting activities we have planned just for you! https://skydivechicago.com/events/
See you out there!