Mark Schroeder's last drop
Skydive Kansas pilot Mark Schroeder announced he's
putting his "jump pilot career on hold" and will not be
flying for us. Mark said that "With all the recent and
upcoming changes in my life I have decided to dedicate the weekends
to my family. With a baby on the way, I feel that I need to jump in
both feet first and dedicate every minute possible to this new
adventure. Melissa has been very supportive and has left this
entirely up to me. I have gone back and forth with this decision.
I want to thank both of you for giving me the
opportunity to be a part of your successful business and a part of
your skydiving family. Over the years, I have met some wonderful
people and made some good friends. I would like to keep in touch."
Mark began flying for us only a few months after we opened in 1995,
and in those 8 years has flown over 1800 loads. His last day
was This past Sunday, April 13, 2003. As our most senior pilot, Mark has been
through the entire life of the DZ, from the beginnings at Pomona
Airport where when business was slow, he had to be an "extra" in
Jen's movie productions... to Osage where he helped paint N100SD and
flew Bravo when it belonged to Hodge. He even made a tandem
skydive in 1996... but due to a near malfunction it was more like a
canopy ride from 8K.
Mark relived memories through some photos and receives farwell
He's a skillful jump
pilot: he would give "door" right over the spot, and we'd make fun
of him and tell him to not be so accurate, and to give us door early
so we could FEEL like we were actually spotting. Sunday, the
DZ presented him with a Homer Simpson watch (Lobo's contribution for
a "retirement watch"), some photos and an etched beer mug.
Mark wanted to let everyone know he will "miss the B.S. sessions...
the water balloon fights, trying to steer the round down the runway
on a cart when its too windy to jump," but he WILL NOT "miss the
smell of the after-effects of the previous night's beer and
burritos!" We wanted to let him know we will miss his skill as
a pilot and his attention to safety and detail, but we won't miss
the cloud pictures.