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Jumping out of a Perfectly Good Airplane

Photos: Steve Marcotte/OsideNews

Oceanside CA-There are two rules for people at Tsunami Skydivers, in Oceanside, ” Be safe. Have fun.”  stated Rich Grimm, owner of the skydiving company. Tsunami Skydiving has been operating out of the Oceanside airport since July 14, 2012. Oceanside offers a unique location for skydiving. Grimm explained, “Most jump locations are out in the desert or in the middle of nowhere. We have the beach and the scenery that makes Oceanside a premier location. The best in California.”

Tsunami has become a destination for jumpers from all over the world with a benefit to surrounding area businesses. Grimm is proud of what Tsunami has been able to contribute to the city of Oceanside’s economy in the short time they have been here. “Everyday, jumpers ask where they can get something to eat. I ask them what they like.” Grimm continues  “I steer them to the harbor or downtown depending on what they are looking for.” Another example” A Russian jumper, brought friends and family to Oceanside for several weeks, staying at local hotels and eating at Oceanside restaurants.” said Grimm.  A retired firefighter, Grimm believes companies should be an active part of their communities. Tsunami provides for area charities and helps with local functions. Last year they made a night jump into the El Camino High School football stadium to crown the schools Homecoming Queen (video link). Grimm also makes the jump plane available to the military for special training missions.

Instructors at Tsunami are certified by the United States Parachute Association with each having thousands of jumps to their credit.  All skydives for beginners, at Tsunami, are made with an experienced Tandem Skydiving Instructor. Smiles and mix of apprehension mark the faces of new jumpers as they are briefed by the instructor about what to expect on their first skydive. Then the plane ride to an altitude of 13,000 feet takes about 15 minutes.   At altitude, the experienced, licensed jumpers leave the plane first. The students follow out the door, attached to the instructor.  Tsunamis 750 hp jump plane, the PAC 750XL, is built for skydivers by Pacific Areospace in New Zealand.  The plane carries fourteen skydivers.  Anyone living near the airport has seen the brightly colored plane make its steep approach to the Oceanside runway.

On the ground, Rich Grimm drives the shuttle bus to the landing zone where friends and family members can watch the skydivers return to earth. Now smiles are abundant as any apprehension was erased in the free fall the skydivers experienced before the 5-7 minute parachute ride to the ground. Some are exuberant and speechless when they return but the most common thing heard after the jump is “I can’t wait to do it again.” Although the single divers leave the airplane first, they often arrive at  the landing zone after the tandem jumpers. Wing suits enable those jumpers to glide all the way to the coast and back to the airport.

The cost of a tandem jump is $210.oo. The price is higher when you add photos and video to the package. More information about Tsunami Skydivers, to make reservations, see the requirements needed to make a jump and a must read blog can be found on the company’s website.