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South Lakeland - Skydive Tampa

Submitted by Clifford B. Dobson

Skydive Tampa Bay, Inc. officially closed for business on July 4, 2014 after 34 years of teaching over 30,000 people to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at least once. It is hard to tell how many went on to make more jumps, become licensed skydivers, Instructors and even Drop Zone Managers or Owners. We had several individuals and several teams that went on to earn medals, National Championships and World Championships. Many World Records were made by those jumpers. Even had one team member become a major parachute manufacturer. We operated at South Lakeland Airport for over 24 years.

We are very proud of our great safety record over the 34 years. We were the second DZ behind Marana to use square main parachutes for students, First to use piggybacks with square mains and reserves for our students. Our instructors attained AFF instruction from Ken Coleman before USPA took over the program after Ken's death and I was in the first AFF Class run by USPA in Deland.

Jerry Rouillard, Bill Hazlett, Alfred "Ferd" Boger, and Cliff Dobson were in the first class certified by Bill Morrisey from Strong Enterprises for Tandem jumping.

We had great fun and they were the "Good Old Days", but there will be many more of those in the future. It is time to go on to other things. Thank you for sharing those days and jumps with us. We will never forget.

Photos below are from Cliff Dobson's 50th anniversary jump.