Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dave Schwartz: Skydiving Yoda

Just got off the phone with Dave Schwartz, who produces Skydive Radio, a free podcast for advanced skydivers. More info at www.skydiveradio.com.

Dave is a commercial pilot who is a longtime skydiver (or is he a longtime skydiver who is a commercial pilot?). He started jumping in 1990 and has 2,500 jumps under his belt. He's a tandem instructor, static line instructor, and freefall photographer and holds a professional exhibition rating. Naturally, he flies jump aircraft as well.

Dave was kind enough to spend a big chunk of his Tuesday evening recording an interview for an upcoming episode of Airspeed. I became aware of Dave and his show when he wrote to augment my understanding of skydiving after the Golden Knights episode. He was authoritative and diplomatic and really made me want to learn more.

Anyway, after subscribing to his show and listening to a couple of episodes, I asked him to appear on Airspeed. He agreed and, despite a longish day at work, he leaned into every question and called them as he saw them.

Dave's experiences both as a pilot and a skydiver made this a really good interview. Normally, I do a boatload of research and rarely ask a question to which I don't already know the answer. But I went out on a limb this time and decided to risk asking the dumbass question here and there in order to get the real skinny on skydiving. I figure that I have a lot of the same conceptions and misconceptions as many pilots and, to the extent that I need to be disabused of the misconceptions, I'd be your proxy and ask the questions that are probably on your minds.

It worked, at least to my way of thinking. I learned a lot and I'm tickled pink about how it came off. Dave's perspective as a pilot really added to the value of the content. Makes me want to get the episode out as soon as I can so that GA pilots have benefit of his perspectives before the skydiving season ends here in the northern latitudes.

Dave is an excellent emmissary for his sport. I'm not about to jump out of an airplane. My shoulder dislocates when I assume the proper freefall position and any backward force is exerted on my arm. Even on the ground. And I am also quite chicken. But that doesn't mean that Dave won't be my skydiving Yoda.

Look for the episode in a few weeks after Part 2 of the KC-135 series and possibly one other show. I want to edit this one right.

Thanks, Dave!

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