Every one in a while, we like to interview one of our team. We want to share with you their story, how they got into skydiving and why they chose to jump as a career. So, we’d like to introduce Logan Humphreys who has steadily and quietly been working his way towards being a full time camera flyer and now tandem instructor. The course isn’t easy to pass and requires a lot of dedication and passion. Read his story here…
1. Lets start with – how many jumps do you have, when did you start and are you a full time skydiver?
I started skydiving at Hibaldstow 2 years ago alongside university and since then I have accumulated 950 jumps. I was working at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver and just starting university when I was offered to learn to pack parachutes and then work as a packer on the drop zone which was a dream come true!
For a year I worked in the packing shed until I got up to 200 jumps by sneaking in a jump at the start of the day, every day. At this point, I began building a camera setup for filming tandems and practicing by jumping alongside tandems. I then joined the camera team and worked my way towards the tandem instructor rating which I got last week, I don’t feel like I have worked a day the last two years!
2. How did you get into skydiving and when did you know you wanted to earn a living from it?
I did a tandem skydive with my friend Pete when I was 16 at Hinton, as soon as I turned up to the car park and saw the parachutes flying around I knew that I wanted to be a part of something like this. I instantly started saving up money to pay for AFF by working at Ralph Lauren and Pizza Hut alongside university!
3. You previously mentioned you are at university? Do you find this can cause a conflict for free time for your studies? And do you think that being a full-timer skydiver is only a temporary stepping stone?
I like to try and balance university and jumping equally, however inevitably with such a fun job, studies get pushed aside and I end up spending all of my time on the DZ! It’s difficult to study and work on the DZ almost full time but definitely possible with a few late nights here and there. I don’t think that full time skydiving is just a stepping stone, I can see myself pursuing skydiving for as long as possible!
4. You’ve recently qualified as a Tandem Instructor? How did your course go and did you find it scary doing your first bag jumps?
I just qualified as a Tandem Instructor a couple of weeks ago. The course in headcorn was so much fun, it was challenging, very in depth, and informative, but most of all enjoyable. The examiners were brilliant and were equally passionate and knowledgeable which made the two weeks of examination intense but also educational. The bag jumps were surprisingly not scary as I felt well prepared. The first live jump was terrifying however as I couldn’t find my primary handle on deployment and had to go for the secondary!
5. Aside from work jumps, do you ever get to play with other disciplines?
I haven’t yet hit a wall with work jumping, I still have fun and get a buzz on every jump. I get the opportunity to explore all disciplines from tracking to freeflying after work jumps, which is an awesome way to cool off after a long stressful day work jumping!
6. What are you studying at university? And what do you plan to do with your degree eventually?
I am studying business at university. Like many people, I chose to go to university as I was confused about my future. I then found skydiving just after I started studying which has given me a platform to work, earn money and experience and secure a backup degree in the case of skydiving not working out. I don’t have a plan to use my degree just yet, but the options are endless, managing a DZ? Running a jumpsuit business? Starting a business outside of skydiving and becoming a weekend warrior? Only time will tell.
7. You mentioned freeflying? How far have you got with that so far? FF1, FF2? Have you thought of becoming a freeflyer load organiser?
I have FF1, TR1, and TR2 for tracking and free-flying. Being an organiser for modern dynamic movement style skydives would be brilliant, I love the idea bringing people together to create quality jumps.
8. Do you have a competitive side to your personality? Would you ever like to participate in a team?
Having filmed 2 teams at the British 4-way nationals this past weekend, I discovered how fun being part of a team can be even as a pool camera flyer. I would be keen to be part of a 4-way team and even a VFS team in the distant future after a lot of tunnel work! I did find myself being competitive and becoming invested in the scores (it was a pleasure to film Fortunate and Lend Chill Chaos) and definitely will be involved next year as well.
9. Lastly, do you participate in any other interesting sports now or in the past?
At this moment in time I’m enjoying climbing a lot due to its physicality and problem solving. I used to play rugby at club level for a few years, which I enjoyed thoroughly but stopped after worries about neck pain.
A job in the world of skydiving is about as different as we can think of to any traditional office or outdoor job as you can get. There’s always lots of opportunity to meet new people, especially those out of their comfort zone about to exit an airplane at 15,000ft! Whether your job is as a camera flyer, tandem instructor or Accelerated Freefall course instructor, there is always the exhilaration and joy of being in freefall and in charge of flying a parachute.
If you’ve just done your first UK tandem skydive, then the obvious next course, is to do 8 level of Accelerated Freefall where you get to open and land your own parachute. That’s where it starts and then the route onwards is open to you. For sure it’s a lot of hard work, but the views are amazing and so are the people in the sport whom you befriend.