Skydiving Academy

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.

2017 48,000 TOTAL JUMPS
2017 16,000 TANDEMS
2017 1,900 AFF JUMPS

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.

Jeff Bramstedt

Jeff Bramstedt

Jeff Bramstedt has over 20 years of skydiving experience and has earned numerous USPA ratings. Jeff turned his passion and love for the sport of skydiving into a business in 2016 when he and his partners bought Skydive San Diego to help create one of the best and safest drop zones in the world. Jeff has earned his AFF Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Ariel Videographer, PRO (exhibition skydiver rating), Coach, IAD and S&TA (Safety and Training Advisor) ratings. He has over 15,000 logged jumps and more than 2,000 tandem jumps. Jeff is a former US Navy SEAL. During his 13 years in the Navy, Jeff spent 5 years with the US Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs.

Greg Lund

Greg Lund

Greg has over 23 years of skydiving experience and over 17,000 jumps. He grew up in Chicago Illinois and moved to San Diego in 2003 to manage Skydive San Diego and establish the Navy Free Fall School. At Skydive San Diego, he is the General Manager and a Coach, Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, Tandem Examiner, and has a PRO rating. He is a 2-time world record holder in formation skydiving. Greg also has a degree in Marketing from Texas Tech and Northern Texas State University. In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle.

Instructors

Brandon
Chance

Brandon Chance

Brandon is a skydiving veteran with over 15 years of skydiving experience and over 20,000 jumps. Born in Kansas City and raised in Denver, he moved to San Diego in 2000. Before he began skydiving, Brandon was a systems administrator. When he was 8 years old he saw someone land on Daytona beach in a demo and dreamed of skydiving ever since that day. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Tandem Instructor, Tandem Examiner, and AFF Instructor. He’s also PRO rated and video rated. He has lived in over 13 countries and made friends and family in all of them. He values living in the present and being worthy of the respect of his colleagues. In his free time, he enjoys base jumping, speed flying, paragliding, surfing, climbing, salsa dancing, and traveling the world.

Catherine
Bedell

Catherine Bedell

Catherine has over 10 years of skydiving experience and over 1000 jumps. She grew up in Lyons, 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 and AFF Instructor. 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 hide and seek (the extreme version).

Chad
Ross

Chad Ross

Chad has over 14 years of skydiving experience over 14,000 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, a 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.

Dylan
Kirchhofer

Dylan Kirchhofer

Dylan has over 5 years of skydiving experience and over 1500 jumps. Born and raised in San Diego, he remains here and is proud to call it home. He holds a degree in Mathematics with an emphasis in Economics from San Diego State University. His drive to experience life to the fullest led him to try out skydiving. He loved it so much that he decided to make a career out of it. Now, at Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Tandem Instructor, and AFF Instructor. In his free time, Dylan enjoys snowboarding, playing basketball and all things adrenaline-related.

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, which is in the south near Uruguay. 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 as a packer, 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, AFFI, and Tandem Instructor. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, surfing, snowboarding, and traveling.

Harris
Raza

Harris Raza

Harris has over 5 years of skydiving experiences 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 tunnel time, snowboarding and playing basketball.

JT
Capezio

JT Capezio

JT Capezio is a skydiving veteran with over 14 years of skydiving experience and over 16,000 jumps. JT hails from Washington State and moved to San Diego in 2011. After seeing a base jumping clip in a Warren Miller film, he was inspired to try skydiving for himself. He loved it so much that he decided to make a career out of it and never looked back. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Tandem Instructor, and AFF Instructor. When he is not skydiving, you can find him fishing, base jumping, or skiing. He has caught some prize fish over the years in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.

Luca
Ferreira

Luca Ferreira

Luca has over 4 years of skydiving experience and over 2000 jumps. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, he moved to San Diego in 2009 chasing his love for surfing. Instead, he found a new love for flying through the sky and never looked back. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, AFFI, and Tandem Instructor. He is passionate, and has Skydive San Diego to thank for his skydiving education. Currently, he is working on his PRO rating. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, barbequing with friends, sailing, and diving.

Michael
McCann

Michael McCann

Michael has over 13 years of skydiving experience and over 13,000 jumps. Michael is originally from Landghorne, Pennsylvania and moved to San Diego in February 2017. When we did his first tandem dive in college, he was hooked and has been jumping ever since. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Tandem Instructor, Tandem Examiner, AFF Instructor, licensed A through D and has a PRO Rating. He is also a Professional Canopy pilot and coach, camera flyer for Team Alter Ego, Everest skydive Team Instructor, and Top-Cut High Altitude Instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, riding motorcycles, speed flying and mountain swooping.

Patrick
Woodruff

Patrick Woodruff

Patrick has over 10 years of skydiving experience and over 5000 jumps. He is originally from Leonard, TX, a small town north of Dallas. In 2007, he enlisted in the US Navy, where he fell in love with the thrill of flying freefall through the sky. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, Coach, Static Line and Instructor-Assisted Deployment (IAD). Patrick holds a degree in Business from Mesa College. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, and cooking.

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.

Robert
Brockman

Robert Brockman

Robert has over 20 years of skydiving experience and over 16,000 jumps. Robert was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina while his father was in the diplomatic service working there at the time. In 2004, after covering a shift for a friend at Skydive San Diego, he fell in love with the location and the vibe and made the move official. His first jump was because a friend dared him to. He was hooked after the first jump and bought his first rig less than three weeks after. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Tandem Instructor and AFF Instructor. In his free time he enjoys snowboarding, golf, and photography.

Scott
Harper

Scott Harper

Scott has over 20 years of skydiving experience and over 18,500 jumps. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Coach, Tandem Instructor, Tandem Examiner, AFF Instructor, Safety and Training Advisor, and has a PRO rating. He has over 26 podium appearances in competition, is a PRO Canopy pilot, 4 time member of the US CP Team, Top 10 twice in world rankings in canopy piloting, and creator and director of Valor Flight School. He also holds a California state speed record. In his free time, he enjoys speed flying, paragliding, traveling, teaching canopy flight, and anything that satisfies his appetite for competition.

Tom
Riddick

Tom Riddick

Tom has over 49 years of skydiving experience and over 7800 jumps. Born and raised in Indiana, he has a degree in Accounting from Indiana University. He moved in San Diego in 1972 to escape the cold winters. After a teacher in military mentioned skydiving, Tom decided to try it for himself. At Skydive San Diego, he is an AFF instructor, which he has done for 22 years. Previously, he was a static line instructor for 11 years. He has competed in 2 national parachuting championships. In his free time, he enjoys reading, dog shows, and following political commentary.

Victor
Oraha

Victor Oraha

Victor has over 6 years of skydiving experience and over 3700 jumps. He was born and raised in San Diego and now lives in El Cajon. After getting his General Education degree at Grossmont College, he began working at Skydive San Diego as a gear tech specialist. In no time, he fell in love with soaring through the sky and the exciting community in the sport. Now, he is a Coach, Tandem instructor, Tandem Examiner, AFF Instructor, and is currently working his PRO Rating. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, hanging out at the beach with friends, and playing poker.

Aaron
Jacobs

Aaron Jacobs

Aaron has over 4 years of skydiving experience and over 2000 jumps. Born and raised in San Diego, he grew up in the heart of the x-games scene with skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. Naturally, he saw skydiving as his way of taking his game to the next extreme. He started out at Skydive San Diego right after he received his AFF Level 1, working his way from the bottom to his current position as a Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, and Coach. He also has his PRO Rating and is video rated. One of his best memories at Skydive San Diego was when he got to go skydiving with his 82 year-old grandmother. In his free time, Aaron enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing, and going to concerts.

Dustin
Swagger

Dustin Swagger

Dustin is a skydiving veteran with over 22 years of experience and over 14,000 jumps. Born and raised in St. Paul, MN, he currently lives in San Diego. He did his first tandem jump in 1995, loved it, and has been jumping ever since. From a young age, Dustin has always engaged in things that pushed the limits of his comfort zone, leading him to become a professional skier, professional skydiver, and BASE jumper. Through these professions, he has traveled to over 30 countries all over the world. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Tandem Instructor, Coach, AFF Instructor, FAA Senior Rigger, and is video rated. He also holds a degree from St. Cloud St. University. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, BASE jumping, speed flying, rock climbing, skiing, and surfing.

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 Tandem Instructor, 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.

Eddie
Cavilelli

Eddie Cavilelli

Eddie is a skydiving veteran with over 19 years of experience and over 10,000 jumps. Born in Brazil and raised in New York City, he currently lives in Santa Cruz. When he jumped for the first time, he fell in love and never looked back. He enjoys the never-ending challenge and is still learning new things after nearly 20 years in the profession. He started at Skydive San Diego in 2010 while working on his AFF Rating. Currently, he is a Coach, AFF Instructor, Video Rated, and is currently working on his PRO Rating, Coach Examiner rating, and AFF Examiner rating. In addition to his skydiving career, he has dedicated over 450 hours as an airline pilot and is currently working on obtaining his ATP and Multi-Engine Licenses. In his free time, Eddie enjoys traveling, surfing, and skydiving.

Kevin
Chirico

Kevin Chirico

Kevin has over 10 years of skydiving experience and over 8000 jumps. Born in Manchester, CT, he now lives in San Diego. Since he was a child, Kevin dreamed of skydiving. After college, he finally did his first tandem and never looked back. Within two weeks of his first jump, he jumped 25 times, and by the next year, he was jumping solo. At Skydive San Diego, he is a Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, Coach, Instructor Assisted Deployment Instructor (IAD), and is has his PRO Rating and Video Rating. He is currently working on becoming a Senior Rigger for the FAA. In addition, Kevin is a 2016 Gold Medalist in the USPA VFS and 2014 Bronze Medalist in the USPA MFS. He also holds a B.S. in Sociology from Connecticut State University. When he is not skydiving, he is still flying in some way whether it’s paragliding, speedflying, or base jumping. When the weather doesn’t let him fly, he enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his dog.

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.

Mark
Schetter

Mark Schetter

Mark has over 5 years of skydiving experience and over 7500 jumps. A San Diego native, he did his first tandem skydive as a Christmas gift from his mom. He loved it so much that he did his first solo dive shortly after and never looked back. He did his first jump at Skydive San Diego, and is now a Tandem Instructor, Coach, AFF Instructor, Video Rated, and is currently working on his PRO Rating. This past year in 2017, Mark beat the standing record for the California State head down jump. In his free time, Mark enjoys riding motorcycles, snowboarding, and kicking back with his golden retriever, Levi.

Emily
Nelson

Emily Nelson

Emily has over 12 years of skydiving experience and over 2100 jumps. She is originally from Washington State. Growing up with 2 older brothers who challenged her from a young age, she developed a love for concurring her fears and pushing the envelope of the norm. When she saw canopies for the first time at the age of 10, she knew that skydiving was her calling. After having trouble skydiving in Washington with the poor weather, she moved to San Diego to start the AFF program at Skydive San Diego. Emily holds a degree in Communications from Seattle Central University and spent time at the University of Northern Colorado where she became a sign language interpreter. At Skydive San Diego, she is a Tandem Instructor and AFF Instructor. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and being happy!

Matt
Diaz

Matt Diaz

Matt has over 5 years of skydiving experience and over 1900 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 the wingsuit jump. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, swimming, and traveling.

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 Level 1

For individuals who are looking to jump on their own, we offer the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) Program. This includes an advanced tandem jump to get you familiar with jumping out of a plane and canopy control. You then continue into a First Jump Course (FJC) for the classroom portion of the training.

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.