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Skydive Chicago, located in Ottawa, Illinois is my home drop zone. This is where I took my first jump and where I earned my USPA license. The drop zone is owned and operated by Rook Nelson who is a 4 time World and National Free Fly Champion.  Skydive Chicago is also home to many award winning teams of skydivers.  In addition to the skydiving facilities, Skydive Chicago, which is located on the Fox River, has a campground and a swimming/fishing pond.  Although it’s only a little more than an hour from Chicago, its tranquil setting makes it seem very far away.

Each August Skydive Chicago hosts “Summerfest” which attracts skydivers from all over the world.  This week long festival offers jumpers the opportunity to jump from hot air balloons and helicopters, as well as airplanes.  It also features community dinners each night, bands, a casino night and an annual film festival, with films being submitted by the skydivers themselves.



When I’m traveling in Florida I like to jump at Skydive Deland (Deland, FL).  This drop zone, which is one of the busiest in the world, is located in central Florida near Daytona Beach and offers the great advantage of year round skydiving.  It’s fascinating to sit at Deland and listen to all the languages being spoken, as this drop zone is very popular in the winter with European jumpers.


Skydive City at Zephyrhills – known to jumpers as “Z-Hills”, is located about an hour north of Tampa in a very un-Florida looking rural pasture.  Just like Deland, it’s very busy in the winter as the weather is great for jumping!  It’s one of my favorite places in Florida to jump.


The World Free Fall Convention, held in Rantoul, Illinois was the largest skydiving convention in the world.  Unfortunately for 2007, due to poor economy and the decline in jumpers who participate, this years’ convention has been cancelled.  In the past as many as 6,000 skydivers would attend this week-long fraternal event, making jumps from bi-planes, hot air balloons, WW II bombers and passenger jets.


Skydive Arizona, which is located in Eloy, AZ is a drop zone that I hope to visit in the near future. Skydive Arizona is also home to the largest simulated skydiving wind tunnel in the world.


Parris Valley Skydiving, in Parris CA, is another drop zone that I hope to visit in the near future.  The largest drop zone in sothern California. They also own a DC-9 passenger jet, making it the only place in the world where skydivers can jump from a jet airplane.

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Gerald C. Borek
1612 Landmeier Road   Unit H   Elk Grove Village, IL   60007
  847-956-9373   Copyright © 2007 Gerald C. Borek