Skydive San Diego Flight School

Our Mission

The objective of Skydive San Diego is to provide our students a safe and fun learning environment. We have a very experienced staff with thousands of jumps and have the most up to date student equipment in the industry. It is our goal to produce safe skydivers that can learn in an experienced enriched environment.

2020 13,000 TANDEMS
2020 18,000 AFF JUMPS
2020 30,600 SPORT JUMPS

Certifications & Standards

We are a United States Parachute Association member that is the governing body over skydiving in the United States. We also fall under the regulations of the Federal Aviation Authority for aircraft and reserve parachute packing guidelines.

FAA Drop Zone

USPA Certified

USPA Member

Certification Courses

AFF Ground School

AFF Ground School - Start your skydiving flight instruction with a 4-6 hour ground course covering everything you need to know to safely conduct your AFF Level 1 skydive.

AFF Level 1

During the AFF Certification Level 1 Course you will experience freefall with 2 instructors and use your own skills to safely land.

AFF Level 2

In AFF Level 2 you will be introduced to turns and forward motion. This level is where you start to learn how to maneuver your body in free fall. Turning and moving forward will be basic skill sets you will always use in skydiving along with altitude awareness and practice pulls.

AFF Level 3

Release Dive. Once you have demonstrated good stability in free fall from the previous jumps, your instructors will release you in free fall and you are flying on your own while your instructors monitor your body position and heading control arms length away from you.

AFF Level 4

This jump you will have 1 instructor with you. Once you have left the airplane you will be released and you can then practice 360 degree turns, starting and stopping on a heading along with good body stability and altitude awareness.

AFF Level 5

On this skydive you will exit without the instructor holding you and show a solo poised exit, back loop, forward motion followed by an unassisted pull. In addition, under canopy you will practice stalls and recovery above 2,000 feet. You are almost there, just two more jumps to go.

AFF Level 6

On this skydive you will demonstrate that you can perform a linked floating exit, then two 90 degree turns, track on a heading for 5 seconds and then turn 180 degrees and then wave off at 5,000 feet and pull. You’re almost there and should be feeling good about your progress as a skydiver.

AFF Level 7

Well if you are at Level 7, you are at your graduation dive. The purpose of this dive is to observe you performing various aerobatic maneuvers, recover and good altitude awareness. If everything goes well and you advance we congratulate you. From this point forward you are ready to jump solo and progress on towards your USPA “A” license.

A License

Many AFF students who decide to go for their USPA ‘A’ License want to do it in a short period of time. One jump every once in a while just won’t cut it. At Skydive San Diego we have found that student skydivers just do better when they are able to do all of their training in a short period of time. Our ‘A’ License program is designed to help you reach that goal quickly and save money as well.

Leadership

Here at Skydive San Diego, we take safety seriously. We adhere to the guidelines set by the United States Parachute Association and the Federal Aviation Administration. From the ownership/management to our professional skydiving staff, each person takes pride in what they do. It is our duty to make sure that each student, fun jumper and observer is safe and having fun.

Tony Goodman

Tony Goodman

Tony is the Operations Manager at Skydive San Diego and has been actively involved in the sport for over 30 years and has just over 10,000 jumps. He grew up in the UK where he joined the military at the young age of 16. After 25 years of active service he retired and moved to California in 2009. He is a British Skydiving Advanced Instructor, AFF Instructor and a USPA AFF instructor. He is also pro rated and has over 700 demonstration jumps from all over the world. In his spare time he loves to follow rugby union, formula 1 and loves to hike and indoor cycle.

Catherine Bedell

Catherine Bedell

Catherine has over 13 years of skydiving experience. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado and moved to San Diego to skydive at the best drop zone she’s ever been to. Before she got into skydiving, Catherine worked with performing arts companies specializing in single point dance trapeze, Spanish web, aerial skills, bungee and invented apparatus. Upon retirement from dance, the next step was naturally to get a bit higher with skydiving. At Skydive San Diego, she is a Coach, AFF Instructor and Coach Examiner. She is also a two-time Colorado State Women’s record holder for largest skydiving formation. Catherine holds a degree in liberal arts from University of Colorado, Boulder and spent time at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. In her free time, she enjoys flying trapeze, pistol target shooting, and riding her motorcycle.

Instructors

Ricky
Nelson

Ricky Nelson

Ricky has over 13 years of skydiving experience and over 3500 jumps. Born in Oceanside, NY, Ricky moved to San Diego to attend BUD/S Training to become a Navy SEAL and has been here ever since. He has been in the military for 18 years and counting. He jumped out of his first plane in 2001 in Fort Benning, GA, and loved it from there. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Coach Examiner, AFF Instructor, Tandem instructor and examiner, Senior Rigger for the Federal Aviation Administration. He earned his PRO rating this season and is currently pursuing canopy piloting.

Matt
Diaz

Matt Diaz

Matt has over 5 years of skydiving experience and over 2500 jumps. He was born and raised in Chula Vista, California. On his 23rd birthday, he went skydiving for the first time with his best friend and immediately fell in love with the sport. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach Examiner, AFFI, and Tandem Instructor. He also holds the 2015 World Record for wingsuit formation. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, swimming, and traveling.

Larry
Barbiaro

Larry Barbiaro

Larry is a skydiving veteran with over 17 years of experience and nearly 6000 jumps. Born in New York City and raised in Altamonte Springs, FL, he currently lives in Chula Vista. His love for skydiving began when he was in the military and attended free fall school. He has been at Skydive San Diego since 2000 when he first visited as a part of the Navy Parachute Team. Now, he is a Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, FAA Senior Rigger, Static Line Instructor, has a PRO rating, and is currently working on getting AFF Examiner rating. Larry also has a degree from Excelsior College. Most of his free time is dedicated to his family. He is a fitness enthusiast and an avid biker and swimmer.

Harris
Raza

Harris Raza

Harris has over 5 years of skydiving experience and over 6000 jumps. Born and raised in San Diego, Harris attended Southwestern College for general studies. Inspired by his close friends who began skydiving in high school, he decided he would give it a shot and was hooked from the first jump. Now, at Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, AFF Instructor, and Tandem Instructor. He is also a rigger for the Federal Aviation Administration. In his free time, he enjoys indoor skydiving, snowboarding and playing basketball.

Felipe
Perrone

Felipe Perrone

Felipe has over 10 years of skydiving experience and over 9500 jumps. He was born and raised in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In 2001, he visited San Diego to catch some waves on the surf and loved it so much that he made plans to move permanently later that year. He started out at skydive San Diego packing parachutes, but after he did his first jump, he was hooked and wanted to jump full time. Now, after over a decade, he is a Coach, AFF Instructor, and Tandem Instructor. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, surfing, snowboarding, and traveling.

Chris
Beckmann

Chris Beckmann

Chris has 4 years experience in the sport, with 900+ jumps.  He hold ratings for Coach, AFFI, Tandem and Rigger.
Outside of Skydiving he enjoys Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Traveling
Chad
Ross

Chad Ross

Chad has over 16 years of skydiving experience and 17,000+ jumps. Chad hails from Wisconsin and moved to San Diego in 2003 to attend Mesa College, from which he holds a degree in Fine Arts. Most of his family is in the aeronautical community, so getting into skydiving was his way of carrying on the family tradition. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Static Line Instructor, Instructor-Assisted Deployment Instructor (IAD), AFF instructor, Tandem Instructor, and is PRO rated. Chad is also a member of the USA Skydive Team, 4 Time US Gold Medalist, National gold medalist in Freefly, and holds world records in both head up and head down jumps. In his free time, he enjoys Surfing, Snowboarding, painting, reading, Muay Thai style kickboxing, and boxing.

Beau
Gillespie

Beau Gillespie

Beau has over 8 years of skydiving experience and over 750 jumps. Born and raised in Reno, NV, he currently lives in San Diego. From an early age, he loved flying of any kind. His friend was a rigger in the Army and invited him out to Colorado to skydive for the first time. He loved it and hasn’t looked back since. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, and AFF Instructor. He attended UNLV on a full ride, won the 1994 national championship in Bull Riding, and earned a degree in Criminal Justice. On the side, he runs an IT Management Services company. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and traveling the world.

Jay
Shipley

Jay Shipley

Greg
Melcher

Greg Melcher

Dalton
Kadow

Dalton Kadow