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Lookout below: Skydivers abound

July 13, 2011

A student gives the thumbs up as she jumps with Steve Verner, of Plymouth, tandem instructor.

PLYMOUTH — Since they opened March 18, the sky over the northern edge of Plymouth has blossomed from time to time with dozens of skydivers who, according to Jenny Verner, a 17-year jumper herself, “want to experience the exhilaration at least once.”
Jenny, her husband, Steve, David Elliott and Troy Church, all sky-divers for years with experience totaling 30,000 jumps, love the sport so much that they have brought Plymouth Sky Sports to hangar B at the Plymouth Municipal Airport in order to teach others how to freefall out of the sky 10,000 feet up, from a Cessna 182, at 120 miles an hour.
Jenny said a 96-year-old man in Chicago recently successfully made the jump as has former president George Bush on his last two birthdays.
Jenny said that the number of female jumpers is almost equal to that of males.
Plymouth Sky Sports can train a student (18-years-old or older) to jump solo or in tandem with an instructor.
“Once you do it, you’ll love it,” Jenny said.
PSS provides all of the equipment needed. A 20-minute lesson and a video tape are included with each package.
Some of the skydiving maneuvers are relaxation and release jumps, upper and lower body turns, back and front flips and barrel rolls.
Requirements for a United States Parachute Association license are 25 jumps. A six-hour class will prepare students to jump with their own parachute.
The marked landing area is just south of the runway at the airport.
“We’ve had a couple stray off onto the Plymouth Rock golf course,” Jenny said. “The golf folks were very kind. They even drove our students back over to the hangar.”
Prices range from Wednesday, birthday and military specials at $179 to discounted group rates. Reservations are required three days in advance by calling 574-936-7700. Walk-ins are welcome.
The PSS plans to be open seven days a week from March to December. The hours are from 9 a.m. to sunset, Monday to Friday: Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to sunset.
The group is planning for special demonstrations and participation in community events.

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