Hawaii Skydivers Make Historic Jump – Land in Cuba

This past week skydivers from Hawaii flew to Cuba to take part in a historic jump.  Skydive Hawaii presented the largest Cuban flag to be flown over their country to Skydive Varadero.

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop "solo". ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook... If you're in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop “solo”. ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook… If you’re in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

Frank T.K. Hinshaw made the first large flag jump over Varadero landing with the Cuban national anthem being played over their public address system during the first friendship competition.

Hinshaw posted the following on Facebook:  They let me jump, just like this. Amazing. They could’ve let a Cuban make the historic first jump, but instead they let this crazy Americano do it.

Hinshaw in CubaFellow Skydive Hawaii members, Richard Doppelmayer, Nelson Suarez, William DeBlois and Elio Esqueda joined Hinshaw in the historic jump.  His father Frank Hinshaw (Sr.) was the sponsor and representative for Skydive Hawaii.

T.K. went on to say, “Our goal was to establish friendly relationships with the Cuban skydivers and to understand their needs in order to conduct safer skydiving and grow the sport within their country. We’d like to see more Cubans be able to access the sport…

To that end, we are hoping that we receive a Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) approval to provide gear, training, and possibly an aircraft.

Cuba is beautiful and we believe our island skydiving expertise can bridge the division between America and Cuba. My hope is that our relationship normalize and that both countries can realize their full potential in working together for a brighter future for both the people of the United States and Cuba.”

Commentary – Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division Desecrates Memorial

Over the last year, Skydive Hawaii has won a formal Part 16 FAA Hearing regarding economic discrimination and exclusivity of use at Hana Airport – violations of FAA AIF Grant Assurances 22 and 23. Earlier this year, in the Supreme Court of Hawaii, we provided oral arguments on the limitations of the ability of the Director of Transportation to make rules at airports owned by the United States of America (Dillingham Airfield).

In 2005, the State of Hawaii DOT-A was found moving sand containing human bones to local North Shore resident Thomas Shirai’s property. At that time the DOT-A blamed the contractor, Stay and Sons for the problem.

Click to enlarge

The present barrier (click to enlarge)

On March 19, 2015, Mr. Curtis Lau and another maintenance worker at Dillingham Airfield, under the direct supervision of Mike Navares, erected a second rope barrier between the skydive memorial at Dillingham Airfield and Skydive Hawaii. Prior to commencing with the project, Frank Hinshaw, President at Skydive Hawaii explained to Mr. Lau and his worker that putting a barrier up would only serve to cause outrage in the skydiver community.

An aircraft crash into Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1981 took the lives of 11 skydivers. In their memory a memorial was established at their home, Dillingham Airfield. The memorial is simple, a large rock with a bronze plaque and 11 milo trees in a circular arrangement symbolizing the “round or star” skydiving formation.

Skydiving Memorial

At the time the State DOT-A said that the area would not be rented or leased under revocable permit. Over the years, the skydiving community has lost more friends, but this memorial has served as a place of all their remembrances. The staff of Skydive Hawaii has maintained the memorial, cutting the grass, raking the leaves, and keeping the trees trimmed for the last 25 years and at no time was access to anyone restricted in any manner.

Friday, January 30, Mike Navares, verbally notified this company that beginning February 1 2015 the State had leased the skydiver memorial to Pacific Skydiving, a commercial company. The State and Pacific skydiving understood that the area was a skydive memorial and that this would be considered as an act of disrespect.

Desecration 2

Barrier in early February

A Pacific Skydiving business sign was moved onto the “memorial property.”A first rope barrier was put up and rocks moved in the front of the memorial to prevent access. Outraged skydivers removed the first rope barrier.

While it appears to us that the State DOT-A is using the desecration of the skydiver memorial as retribution to our FAA hearing win and likely future victory at the Hawaii Supreme Court, the memorial held sacred by skydivers and representing the memories of those who have preceded us on that eternal flight should be held above commercialization and willful desecration by our State government.

Frank Hinshaw,
Skydive Hawaii


2011 group of friends at the memorial – 30th anniversary of the plane crash.

Skydive Hawaii #Instagram Photo Contest

Aloha! We are excited to announce our first Instagram photo contest.

skydive hawaii instagram contestBest photo will win a complementary tandem skydive credited to their skydivehawaii.com account.

Here’s how to enter:
1. Follow @skydivehawaii on Instagram.
2. Post a photo of your skydiving experience with Skydive Hawaii.
3. Tag your photo with ‪#‎skydivehawaiicontest‬

Since this is our first contest, the “best” photo will be the one with the most likes by the end of the contest period. We will only accept new photo postings. Contest ends on June 22nd. Winner will be publicly announced July 1st. You may ask questions on this thread.

Good luck!

Free Concert!


Free Concert at SkyDive Hawaii

Skydive Hawaii Offering 10 Free Tandem Jumps Each Day to Federal Workers Affected by Shutdown

Skydive Hawaii just posted the following comment on Facebook offering free tandem jumps to residents of Hawaii who are FEDERAL WORKERS AND HAVE BEEN AFFECTED by the Government Shutdown:

If you have a Hawaii ID and you are a Hawaii affected federal worker, how about we take up to 10 people a day at no charge for the skydive. Must be over 18 and weigh under 200 pounds and sign the liability release.If an affected worker has already made a deposit to make a tandem skydive during this period of shutdown, let us know and we’ll refund it and offer you a free tandem instead.

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

I will toss this in just for the fact of the matter… Please be prepared to show your Federal Identification badge or card.

They are also offering affected Federal workers with a Skydiving License a free lift in the sky:

We are very sad to hear that many people will be affected by the US Government‘s shutdown. Skydive Hawaii will be offering free lift tickets during the work week (Monday-Friday) to all USPA licensed sport skydivers who are federal workers directly affected by the shutdown. We will keep this up until you’re working again or we no longer can bear the costs.

Mahalo to Skydive Hawaii for hooking folks up during this time of need.  For more information on the promotion… you will need to call the company directly at 808-637-9700 or 808-945-0222.

Two Skydiving Records Set at Skydive Hawaii on Saturday – Tandem HALO Jumps Available to Public

Yesterday, on the North Shore of Oahu at Dillingham Airfield, KITV News Reporter Andrew Pereira and I participated in setting two Hawaii State skydiving records at Skydive Hawaii.

Andrew and I get ready for the jump of our lives

Andrew and I get ready for the jump of our lives

The first record was for the “highest altitude tandem “HALO” jump” leaping from the plane at over 4 miles in space at 22,000 feet.  HALO stands  for “High Altitude Low Opening” and one of the more famous HALO jumps took place recently when RedBull Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped from 24 miles from space or approximately 128,000 in altitude.

Some folks may remember the first time I set the Hawaii Tandem Halo Jump when I jumped from 21,000 feet back on December 11th of 2011, as Frank T.K. Hinshaw stated the first time I jumped… every extra 1,000 feet in altitude makes the risks and the danger just that much more.

The second record set yesterday was for the “altitude and wingsuit flight time record for Hawaii of 22,000ft & 4 minutes 37 seconds in flight time,” set by Hinshaw himself.

Frank T.K. Hinshaw on the far right in his winsuit

Frank T.K. Hinshaw on the far right in his wing suit

Here is a short video of me interviewing Andrew Pereira shortly before we went up and as you can tell… he was pretty nervous about what he was about to do as this was his first time skydiving, less yet doing a HALO jump.


After we were instructed on what we were to do and equipped with oxygen tanks, we traversed out to the airplane where we would have no chance of turning back once we got on that plane.

Ignacio "Nacho" Martinez, Damon Tucker, Andrew Pereira and "Papa Dop" get ready to board the plane.  Photo Skydive Hawaii

Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez, Damon Tucker, Andrew Pereira and “Papa Dop” get ready to board the plane. Photo Skydive Hawaii

When we were close to 22,000 feet in altitude, “Nacho” Martinez posted the following picture to Facebook and said “Took off on load one and saw a huge school of dolphins. Then went up on the next load and saw 6 whales. Now breathing pure oxygen while climbing to 22,000 ft. How could you not love Skydive Hawaii!?”

At 12,000 feet we donned oxygen masks as the air get's thinner the higher you go.

At 12,000 feet we donned oxygen masks as the air gets thinner the higher you go.

Here is a quick clip of the freefall part of my jump from 22,000 feet:


I free falled for about a minute until my tandem instructor Martinez pulled the chute at about 5,000 feet from the ground and then glided smoothly in for a stand-up landing.  I even got to steer the parachute myself for about 30 seconds and that was super cool!

I spy VH07V

I spy VH07V

Once again I can say it was cold… but it wasn’t near as cold as the first time I did the HALO.  Ever since I did the first HALO jump, they have offered this experience to the public as well… of course it costs a lot more then the regularly advertised jumps and I suggest you contact Skydive Hawaii directly at (808) 637-9700 or (808) 945-0222 if you or a group of folks are interested in doing this.

My view from 22,000 feet as we were about to jump from the plane

My view from 22,000 feet as we were about to jump from the plane

Here is the video of the second record that was broken… as T.K. said though “Set a new altitude and wingsuit flight time record for Hawaii today: 22,000ft & 4 minutes 37 seconds. . . not bad for not knowing I was going to go for the attempt until this morning. If I had inflight oxygen & gloves, I think I could get 6 minutes easy.”


I’d like to say thanks to Skydive Hawaii for giving Andrew and I this opportunity and to T.K.’s father Frank (Sr.) and the Hinshaw family for running such a great operation out on the North Shore.  They bring in a lot of tax dollars from the tourism industry and you know how much our islands depend on tourists having a good time and wanting to come back to Hawaii.

Skydive Hawaii Drops In on the 2012 Kaneohe Air Show

The folks at the best skydive company in Hawaii, Skydive Hawaii, had the privilege of participating in the 2012 Kaneohe Air Show that was held this past weekend over on Oahu.

A view of the Kaneohe Base from above

They were the folks that skydived in with the flag!

Lyle Stewart drops in over the US Blue Angels at the 2012 Kaneohe Air Show

And here is a video to show you what it’s like to drop in on the airshow from above!


From what I’ve heard, they may be ending their Big Island operations pretty soon but until then, there is still time to get in on the action:

Hawaii Island Skydiving, located at Upolu Airport near the town of Hawi in North Kohala, is now offering the only skydiving adventure available east of Honolulu (O’ahu). Skydivers will cruise to altitude on a 20-minute scenic flight in a Cessna jump-craft, taking in majestic views of the North Kohala coastline, West Maui, and the summits of Maunakea, Maunaloa, Hualalai, and Haleakala. The adrenaline-pumping freefall lasts for about 45 seconds, after which you will enjoy a peaceful three to five minute descent under parachute to a soft-landing back at Upolu Airport. No skydiving experience is necessary to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. For more information, visit www.bigislandskydiving.com or call (808) 949-4852.


Wordless Wednesday – Clothing Optional, No Spectators

A sign at Skydive Hawaii:

Skydiving Again on the North Shore of Oahu with Skydive Hawaii – First Skydiving Company in the World to Go Digital

On Saturday I had an opportunity to skydiving again with Skydive Hawaii.

The first thing that I noticed when I got to the dropzone, was that Skydive Hawaii has gone digital with their check-in process which allows for literally no waste of paper during the check in process.

Electronic signatures required… and yes… you may die skydiving, however, I say it’s safer then driving on Oahu!

The first time I went skydiving… I have to be honest in that I was totally nervous.  Now after skydiving a few times… the nerves are still there… but at least the butterflies have left!

The last time I went skydiving, I set a Hawaii Tandem RECORD for the highest tandem jump where we jumped from 21,000 feet (4 miles ups) and had to use oxygen tanks.  The temperature at that altitude was said to be negative 57 degrees below zero!

Tuck and roll baby here we go!

This latest jump was said to be at about 12,000 – 13,000 feet so it wasn’t nearly as scary as the last one.

See the “Aloha”?

Here is a video of me getting my groove on again!


I’d like to thank the friendly staff at Skydive Hawaii for hooking me up with the pictures and DVD of my jump.  I’d also like to thank Sonny, T.K., Frank, Bryan and Nelson for taking care of me while I was out there!

I still can’t wait to skydive on the Big Island with Hawaii Island Skydiving!

Man Jumps Off Edge of Pololu Valley – Lands Safely Below

Yesterday, Frank T.K. Hinshaw, of Hawaii Island Skydiving pulled off a maneuver over the skies on the Big Island that has never been attempted before as he became the first known man to “speed-wing” into Pololu Valley here on the Big Island.

Frank T.K. Hinshaw prepares to launch

I asked “TK” what a speedwing was and he stated, “a speedwing is a small paragliding wing first developed after “blade running” competitions became a bit more well-known. These competitions began with skydivers “ground launching” their parachutes and flying down ski slopes. Soon, paragliding manufacturers picked up the sport & began making small paragliding wings adapted for this purpose. In short, a speedwing is a very small paraglider.”

I’ve gotten the chance to meet Hinshaw a few times over on Oahu where I have tandem jumped three times with the last one setting a Hawaii Tandem altitude jump where we jumped from 21,000 feet.  I asked Hinshaw how long he’s been doing this and he stated, “I began ground-launching/speedflying in earnest shortly after I was separated from the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at the beginning of 2009. We first began by foot-launching our skydiving parachutes back in 2008 in an experimental fashion, this charge by the skydivers was led by Evan Whitlock. But it wasn’t until 2009 when we all bought our first real speedwings, mine was an Ozone 12m Bullet. We routinely began flying off of Kealia and the rest of the Mokuleia range on the North Shore of Oahu. We soon expanded to Makapu’u and began looking for more intense places to fly such as the Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Steps) on Oahu and Kalalau Valley on Kauai.”

When asked what inspired him to jump into Pololu Valley Hinshaw says “Flying into Pololu was just an idea that was given to me by Jake Kilfoyle after he saw a picture I took from the lookout. Since then I have wanted to do it, especially because I moved to North Kohala to start my skydiving business. However, I injured my knee doing another activity, and so I never had the chance to attempt it until the other day. It was just something that had to be accomplished sooner or later in order to progress the sport.”

Here is the video footage that was taken of the jump.  Normally “TK” uses a GoPro when he does stunts like this but he didn’t have his equipment with him.


Recently TK had an incident that made him re-evaluate what he was doing and took some time off and I asked him about this incident and he said, “I was doing a practice jump before the 4th of July because I was going to jump the American Flag into Schofield Army Barracks for Independence Day. I ended up getting entangled with the Flag, it was an ordeal, but I landed fine even though my equipment was malfunctioning. I took a very short break from skydiving due to issues in my personal life, not so much because I was spooked from the jump. I am a very busy individual with trying to progress all the sports I am involved in, dealing with the government on a constant basis (usually negative), and running my new skydiving business here on the Big Island.”

I still haven’t gotten a chance to jump with him here on the Big Island, but I look forward to it.  I don’t think I’ll be doing anything crazy like jumping into Pololu Valley anytime soon.

Handicapable Tandem Skydiver Jumps From Plane and Lands in Wheelchair

As most readers of my site know… I’m a bit crazy and love to go skydiving every now and then.

Today out at Dillingham Airfield, Skydive Hawaii did a tandem jump with a former Big Island resident named Damon Boiser who is “handicapable“.

Damon Boiser about to take a jump of a lifetime!

There are no laws or rules that prevent someone in Boiser’s condition from skydiving and the folks at Skydive Hawaii were well prepared to take him up.

Getting some assistance into the plane

Boiser wrote on his Facebook account:

Insanity!!! Richard saw my chair in the field from way up in the sky and said, “Lets land you right in your chair.” And did!! Perfectly!! You guys are absolute pro’s and nothing but first class all the way! Mahalo loa! Aloha :)


Boiser let me know that he broke his neck when he lived in Kona on the Big Island diving at Magic Sands beach.  He is still active in Akido and Shotokan Karate where he is working to become a Sensei to instruct other disabled folks.

Richard (the person he jumped with) was incredible and so was photographer Knox. I sat right next to the door and was the very first to jump. (It was for my friends birthday, Keoki Copeland.) Any ways we rolled out backwards did a double back flip into free fall. The air was so wonderful and crisp. Surprisingly i didn’t have the slightest sensation of fear. It felt like boyhood dreams of being Superman, (I wrote a letter to Christopher Reeves back when I broke my neck in 2003). Then Knox the photographer flew over to us and we horsed around in air. I actually played Karate and sparred with him. We play fully blew a kiss as we separated to deploy our shoot. The flight down was gorgeous. As it turned out Richards god mother or childs godmother was my Hawaiian teacher up at Kamehameha. Small world. Then he landed me in my chair. Absolutely amazing. He did it all bare feet too.

A perfect landing!

I’m definitely going back. I used to be a surfer, then I played music semi professionally. Now that I no longer can, maybe I’ll be a skydiver.

Video – High Altitude Wingsuit Jumping in Hawaii

In December, I had the opportunity to set the Hawaii Tandem High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) skydiving record with SkyDive Hawaii.

This video uploaded today reminded me of that jump… however these folks are using “Wingsuits”!


Commercial and Tandem Skydiving to Open in Kona on the Big Island – “Island Skydiving”

A few months ago I mentioned that the folks from Skydive Hawaii did some exploratory jumps to see about the the feasibility of starting up  a commercial and tandem skydiving business on the Big Island.

Today, the Hinshaw family, from Skydive Hawaii, is pleased to announce that Island Skydiving, LLC., a family owned partnership, will begin skydiving operations at Upolu Airport on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 6:00AM.

Frank T.K. and his Father Frank Hinshaw at the Upolu Airport

Skydiving operations will be conducted from a Cessna 182 or 206 with Airvan support, all with a 10,000’ target exit altitude.

Skydiving operations will be conducted from a Cessna 182 or 206 with Airvan support

The memorable view from the aircraft and in freefall can be spectacular at Upolu Airport as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa loom behind Kohala volcano. Waipio Valley and the Hamakua Coast are on the East side of Upolu Airport and often in clear view. With blue skies on Maui, the sacred volcano on Haleakala can be also be seen reaching up from Hana. Mo’okini Heiau and Kamehameha Akahi Aina Hanau, the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great are also visible within the Upolu Airport area.

The view from 10,000' is breath taking to say the least

Tandem skydiving will be offered with hourly arrival times between 6:00AM and 9:00AM. Due to the strong winds conditions at Upolu Airport reservations are limited within these hours. The tandem skydive is priced at $329 per person and included photos and video taken by the tandem instructor. Customers should plan on spending 2 hours at Upolu Airport.

Tandem skydiving will be limited to those over the age of 18 and under 200 pounds. The customer will be required to sign the company’s standard liability release. Upolu Airport is in a remote part of Hawaii island and emergency medical services may take time to respond.

Sport skydivers are required to hold a USPA class C or D license with 250 jumps and jump with their own gear

Sport skydivers are required to hold a USPA class C or D license with 250 jumps and jump with their own gear. A wing loading of more than 1 to 1 is required.

Reservations can be taken at this time or more information obtained at 808 949-4852 for reservation dates beginning May 5, 2012. www.islandskydiving.com is expected to be operational soon. You can “Like Us” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawaii-Island-Skydiving/173920866012443

Red Bull Stratos Project Smashes My Tandem Altitude Skydive Record!

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to go with Skydive Hawaii up to 21,000 feet where I faced temperatures of NEGATIVE 56 Degrees below Zero and set a Hawaii Tandem record for Altitude jumping in a tandem jump.

Well this Red Bull Stratos Skydiver has really topped them all at 71,580 feet, well over three times the height that I jumped at!


On March 15, 2012, Austria’s Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a space capsule from an altitude of approximately 71,580 feet as the Red Bull Stratos project moved forward into the manned flight stage in New Mexico. The 42-year-old rode the space capsule attached to a giant helium balloon above the so-called “Armstrong Line.” The goal of the Red Bull Stratos project is to see Baumgartner attempt a record-breaking freefall from 120,000 feet this summer where he’ll potentially become the first man to go supersonic without the support of a vehicle.

A Hawaiian Sunset at Skydive Hawaii

A day at Skydive Hawaii starts at sunrise & ends with sunset.


Experienced Skydiver Has Serious Accident on North Shore… Could Have Been Prevented Had State Kept Outdoor Circle Agreement

*EDITORS NOTE* I have updated this post with some corrections that the skydiver who suffered this accident has made in  red bold.  This Skydiver has asked that I remove the video from this post but I can leave the picture up.

Skydiving is a dangerous sport, there is no question about that.  However, certain things can be done to make the sport safer.

Last year on June 20th, there was a serious and life threatening accident that happened where one of the skydivers, a skydiver ended up being taken to Queens Hospital where she was diagnosed as having  broken femur two breaks in her left femer, three broken ribs a collapsed left lung, and a broken neck, after crashing into the ground after a gust of wind collapsed her parachute right as she was about to land.  Several months after the leg healed… she went into surgery again for an aneurysm Two months later she had a 4.5 cm aneurysm that took a 13 hour surgery to work on and save her, caused from the jump.

The Skydiver is recovering… Unfortunately, it appears that this accident could have been prevented.  Here is a video of her landing courtesy of T.K Hinshaw (Caution… language is not safe for work).  (VIDEO REMOVED UPON REQUEST)


Skydive Hawaii Owner Frank Hinshaw had the following to say about the incident:

This skydiver had made over 500 jumps. She was taken to Queens, as she had a broken femur, perhaps compound as I remember. Several months after the leg healed, she went into surgery again for an aneurysm, also from the accident, and perhaps just as life threatening. She had made several uneventful jumps at Dillingham Airfield prior to this bad experience.

In 2004 the State DOT Highways and Outdoor Circle agreed to have to have the trees cut (and maintained at that height) below the bottom power line. Of course the State soon abandoned the deal and the trees were allowed to grow back. State DOT Airports did completely remove the ironwoods on “their” property on the Farrington Hwy side on the landing area at that time. I do have a letter from 2004 in which the Outdoor Circle wrote that tall trees by airports are not good. Last year the skydiving community went to Mokuleia Community Association and North Shore Neighborhood Board asking that the trees be trimmed to the 2004 agreed height. The State trimmed the trees at 40′, but I’d hate to see the skydiver’s jump repeated 10-15 feet lower, it would end pretty much the same – ugly.

No official ruling from anyone on the accident, but it is clearly wind turbulence which put some spin into her normal landing. The accident was totally preventable by simply keeping the ironwood trees trimmed low to the ground.

The skydiver went on to state:

I hope that people realize what needs to be done with those trees after seeing and reading this…

Wordless Wednesday – Nude Skydiving Playboy Bunnies With Skydive Hawaii

I heard from a friend that some Playboy Bunnies were going to do some nude skydiving with him this month for a show on Playboy TV.

A skydiving Playboy Bunny. Photo courtesy of Sascha Schindler of Sky and Hell Photography

Well this morning they did just that courtesy of Skydive Hawaii!

Photo courtesy of Sascha Schindler of Sky and Hell Photography

I’ve gotten to see some of the cool photos taken but I’ve been told we need to wait to see the “good shots” so to speak!  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I don’t have Playboy TV so this is the best chance I’ll have to see naked ladies skydiving!

More Incredible Footage From Last Weeks Record Breaking Tandem Skydiving Jump… Mike Zagorski’s Clip

Last weekend my friend Mike Zagorski and I had the opportunity of a lifetime as we were invited to set a tandem altitude skydiving jump with SkyDive Hawaii. While the video that was taken of me was cool… I really like the footage that was taken of Mike using a GoPro camera attached to a couple of the skydivers.

Mike Zagorski and I set a Skydiving Tandem Altitude Record in Hawaii

You can check it out here:


I asked Mike about his experience and he said:

While on the ground I met with my instructor; Tandem Master – Shaun Dunn, who asked me if I wanted to do some “flips”… I responded with “Hell yeah!”. Surely enough, as soon as we left the plane we were backflipping into the blue skies over O’ahu’s North Shore. The first few seconds felt a little weird… “Goodbye perfectly good plane!”… but then I got used to the feeling of falling and forgetting the fact that I was 21,000ft above terra firma with my life in the hands of the guy (and parachute) strapped to his back.

After almost 2 minutes of freefall, we hit some cloud cover and the chute was deployed…. The next few minutes were spent swooping around the sky. I guess this is what it feels like to be a bird!

The skin-rippling speed of the freefall was amazing, but it was still cool to float around and admire the view for the final 5 minutes of the ride!

Skydive Hawaii were very friendly and put great attention into the details of our jump and I can’t wait to return and do it all over again!… and again

Mahlalo once again to SkyDive Hawaii for this once in a life time opportunity.

Related articles

Setting a Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record With Skydive Hawaii… Pictures and Video

On Saturday, December 10th at 11:30 in the morning, my friend Mike Zagorski and I were invited to break a Hawaii State tandem skydiving record with Skydive Hawaii on Oahu’s North Shore at the Dillingham Airfield dropzone.

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

This was the third time that I have jumped with Skydive Hawaii, but this experience was definitely unique!  There were eight of us that actually jumped, we had four people filming and taking pictures of the jump and of course the two skydivers that we were attached to.

Participants in this record setting jump were, Diver Dunn, Papa Dopp, Ignacio Martinez, Amberly Brown, Rod Boden, Randy StamperMike Zagorski and myself.

Normally folks tandem jump from about 12,000 – 13,000 feet depending on the conditions, on this day we headed up to the 21,000 foot elevation, nearly 4 miles in the sky, where we were had to wear oxygen masks because the air was so thin.

Gaining altitude we put on the oxygen masks at 8,000 feet and then continued to climb to 21,000 feet

I was a bit worried about the weather and on Skydive Hawaii’s facebook page they posted the following a few hours before our scheduled jump:

Today’s State record high altitude tandem skydive will be well above the clouds: Isolated showers. The rain could be heavy at times. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Breezy, with a east wind between 8 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Well the weather on the ground was perfect for the jump at the Dillingham drop zone however in the air it was much colder and we were required to wear gloves and even carry emergency oxygen tanks in case the parachutes deployed early in the jump where there might not be much oxygen in the air.

Looking up in the sky in anticipation of this record breaking attempt

The temperature at 21,000 feet on this day was 27 degrees BELOW ZERO and I was quoted on KHON2 News saying:

“The Skydive Hawaii people said this is the first time they’ve ever took a tandem people up to this elevation, 21,000 feet. Normally the tandem jumps in Hawaii are done between 12,000-13,000 feet, so they brought us almost twice as high as they normally do,” said Damon Tucker, a Big Island resident.

21,000 feet equals about 4 miles.

The temperature up here — 27 degrees below zero!

“I was so cold I thought I was going to freeze I was literally frozen,” said Tucker.

And before he knew it, it was time.

“And next thing you knew I was jumping out and doing somersaults outside the back of the airplane. It was crazy I mean it was crazy,” said Tucker. “What’s going through your mind is you hope that chute is going to open. You’re dropping so fast and realize you’re in a really dangerous predicament.”

“We dropped out about a minute and a half of free fall, then they pulled the chute and then we floated about five minutes down,” said Tucker. “Between being nervous and between being scared I was making sure I was having a good time and that was the really important thing.

What I didn’t tell the news station… is that for the first 10 to 15 seconds of that jump… I literally thought I was going to pass out!

I'm holding my nose and attempting to blow through it to clear out the air pressure that was building in my ears

A lot of folks were saying your crazy or your nuts to do something like this… but I think skydiving is safer then driving a car on our local highway here in Puna and I bet the statistics could actually prove that!  The scariest thing for me about the jump… was when we were leaving the plane and just holding onto the outside of the plane!

Here goes nothing!

Here is the raw video footage of the freefall part of my jump:


I’d like to thank Skydive Hawaii President Frank Hinshaw for offering National Bicycling Champion Mike Zagorski and I up on this record setting jump!  It was definitely a thrill of a lifetime and I look forward to jumping again sometime soon!

Skydive Hawaii President Frank Hinshaw and Mike Zagorski and I pose for a picture after the record jump

Professional Skydiver Ash White Dies Today While Skydiving

Ash White

Ash White in a picture posted on SkyDive Hawaii's Facebook page today

I’m saddened to learn that experienced parachutist Ash White passed away skydiving today at Skydive Hawaii.

Their facebook page stated the following a few hours ago:

We are closed at this time for the rest of the day. A freefall collision rendered Ash White unconscious. Our thoughts are with those he loved and all the skydivers who he jumped with over his some 12,500 jumps. Rest in peace.

I’ve gone skydiving twice with them and I’ve never had any problem.

The first time I went they took pictures of me and the second time I went they took video of me.


Skydiving is a dangerous sport and recently Red Bull Cliff Diver Orlando Duque got injured skydiving which put him out for the 2011 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Championships.

I still remember signing the waiver that said skydiving was dangerous and that I could die!

Always read the fine print when signing waivers