Jamie Rich, customer service representative at Lyddon Aero Center, prepares to skydive off a plane with an instructor during the Air Fair in 2012. Tandem skydiving has been a staple of the Air Fair since 2010, and has been immensely popular every year. Courtesy photo
By VICTORIA CALDERON
• Leader & Times
Falling to the ground from an altitude of 10,000 feet sounds like it would be a bad idea. However, if you jump with Skydive Colorado, a professional group of tandem skydiving instructors, it could be the experience of a lifetime.
Tandem skydiving will be offered by Lyddon Aero Center as part of its Air Fair 2014 festivities.
The Air Fair will be taking place on Saturday, Sept. 13. Skydiving will be offered after the air show the same evening, and then again in the afternoon the next day.
For the days leading up to the Air Fair, all the times for skydiving have already been booked.
“It’s been really successful,” Lyddon Aero Center’s customer service representative Jamie Rich said. “Last time that we did skydiving, in 2012, we sold out completely. The first time we did it in 2010, we only had it one day, and there were a lot of people who didn’t get to (skydive) who really wanted to. So that’s why in 2012 we decided to do two days instead.”
Due to the high popularity of tandem skydiving, those interested in taking the plunge must book their jump soon. Times for skydiving can be scheduled by calling Rich during the day at Lyddon Aero Center, 624-1646, or after hours on her cell phone, 655-7036.
To book a jump, they require a deposit of $50, and the total price to skydive is $250. However, Skydive Colorado does offer picture and video services. Pictures of the dive can be purchased for $75 extra, and both video and pictures can be purchased for $105.
Each skydiver will complete an instructional course before heading up with their instructor in the plane. The instructor will jump with the student to make sure his/her skydiving experience is safe and relieve the pressure of jumping alone.
“They will have two planes, two instructors, and two students go up at once,” Rich explained. “So if you have a friend that you want to go with, they can try to get both of you to go at the same time. So you go through the instructional course together, then you go up together.”
The Air Fair’s tandem skydiving is very safe; no injuries or deaths have ever occurred as a result of skydiving at this event.
The price is also the best in the Liberal area.
“I did compare, because people asked ‘Why should we do it here?’” Rich said. “But if you research... the nearest place from here where you can skydive is Wichita, and it’s $220. So it’s really only $30 more for you to come out here to the airport in Liberal, and not have to drive somewhere and plan a big trip. It’s actually really cost efficient to do it here.”
Rich encourages anyone interested in checking skydiving off their bucket list to book a jump as soon as possible.
“People should really give it a try. If they have any questions or concerns, they can call me. It’s a nerve-wracking thing for people to think about doing,” Rich said. “It has gone well, and that’s why we keep having it. We’ve had several people who have gone every year it’s available.”
The Air Fair will offer much more than skydiving – for the air show’s main act, they will feature the Immortals Act, which includes The Shockwave Jet Truck, Skip Stewart’s Prometheus and Michelle Pemberton’s Edge 540. They will also have a Kid Zone and vendors to make Air Fair 2014 a great time for the entire family and the community.