Who Are These People Anyway?

Meet our Passionate and Professional Team
 

Bob Verret

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: DZO, Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), Skydiving School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 3,000+ Jumps. Winner of Best Mustache award 3 years running.

Bob served a 34 year career in the Canadian Military and 27 years as a Search and Rescue Tech in the Canadian Forces. Skydiving has become his favourite activity. He is passionate about his love for skydiving and is always eager to share his love of the skies with new and old skydivers alike.

Rob MacNeill

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: DZO, Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master, Skydive School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Videographer, Skydive School Examiner, Rigger B, 2500+ Jumps

Rob has been in the sport for 31 years and has over 2,500 jumps.  Rob graduated from Oak Bay High School in 1981 and is a 25 year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Mike ‘Macko’ Cyr

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), Progressive Freefall Instructor (PFFI), Skydive School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Wingsuit Instructor, 3,100+ Jumps

Macko has been skydiving now for over 20 years and has accumulated over 2,900 jumps. He’s an electrical engineer by trade and has also served with the Canadian Forces. He is an avid BASE jumper and skydive instructor. Mike’s passion for the sport is contagious and he is more than happy to take anyone for their first skydive.

Tamara Szewczyk

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Packer, Skydive School Instructor (SSI), Rigger A, Manifest, 400+ jumps

Tamara started skydiving in 2014. As one of our main packers, photographers, and enthusiastic jumpers, Tamara is likely going to be one of the smiling faces you will see upon landing.

Darryl Cattell

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Jump Master (JM), Coach 2, Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), 1,500+ Jumps

Darryl served our Country for 35 years, 8 years as a medic and 27 as a SAR Tech. Now retired in the Comox Valley, and with more free time to dedicate to the Dropzone, Darryl is looking forward to continue sharing his experiences and being a positive role for Parachuting as a whole and the sport of Skydiving. He’s happy to introduce new comers to this great sport always with a smile on his face!!

Nicole Girard

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: DZO, Manifest, 2 jumps 

Nicole is likely the first person you’ll talk to when you get to the DZ. When she’s not hanging out with skydivers, she likes to spend her days kayaking, hiking with Rob and the dogs in the woods, sitting around a campfire or working on an art project. The best way to her heart is to ask her about her cats. Nicole enjoys the fun and positive energy of all the jumpers on the dropzone and would love to help you become one!

James  Murphy

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Jump Master (JM), Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), 1500+ Jumps

James’ first jump was in 2012 when his girlfriend convinced him to spend his money on a skydive instead of an end of season Whistler ski pass and he’s been addicted ever since. It has become his passion as well as his job and when you do what you love, it’s not work at all! He loves coaching and watching people progress in the sport as well as sharing first-timer’s excitement and joy. His favourite disciplines are Tandems, Belly jumping and free flying.

 

Jacques Levesque

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: , Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydive School Instructor (SSI), Rigger A2,  Rigger Instructor, 700+ Jumps

Jacques learned to skydive in 1975, back when they called it sport parachuting. After about 150 jumps on round canopies, including a few dozen Canadian & German Army jumps, he saw the light and moved on to square canopies. Even after almost 50 years as a skydiver, he still loves helping others get into and progress in this wonderful sport of skydiving. You’ll see him on the DZ helping out wherever he can.

 

Krystal Janicki

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 900+ Jumps

Krystal first jumped out of a plane in 2016, and she’s not been the same since. Now a regular skydiver and BASE jumper, Krystal can be often be heard before she’s seen. The unmistakable sounds of her laughing under her canopy are a testament to the joy she finds in the sky, and her infectious attitude that makes her a valuable addition to the team. When she’s not skydiving, BASE jumping, horse riding or snowboarding, Krystal can be found under the waves scuba diving and making friends with octopus. Just hide your snacks when she’s near by…

Tyler Turner

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Coach 2, Videographer, Friend, 500+ Jumps

Tyler has been skydiving with us since 2014.

Corina Jones

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Packer, Manifest, Rigger, 170 Jumps

Corina Joined the sport in 2021 after doing her first tandem at CRSC and was immediately hooked. When she’s not at the drop zone she’s probably  rigging or sewing a new jumpsuit. She is also Canada’s youngest rigger!

Colin Dunlop

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydive School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Tandem Instructor (TI), Skydiving School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Rigger B, 1800+ jumps

Colin is always up for a fun jump and is always enthused to coach new jumpers, take someone on their first tandem or organize a zoo dive 🙂 Colin provides vast knowledge of the sport, a super fun attitude and we’re lucky to have him at the DZ.

Tim ‘Gunny’ Turner

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), 600+ Jumps

Gunny has been in the sport since 1982 and is a 31 Year Veteran of The Army. He was a Military Freefall and Static Line Parachutist and was a member of The Canadian Forces Parachute Team, The Sky Hawks. Gunny Has Jumped with the Military in Canada, USA, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Don Graves

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Coach 2, Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), Progressive Freefall Instructor (PFFI), Skydive School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 2100+ jumps

Don started skydiving in 1989 as it looked like it looked like a ton of fun and his friends were putting a group together. After his first jump he was hooked. I’ve been blessed to have made the wonderful friends and gained the amazing experiences that skydiving has brought me.  

 

Jen Mackinnon

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Jump Master, Coach 2, Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Videographer, 1100+ Jumps

Jen took her first jump course with us in 2016 after which there was no looking back. The Navy brought her here from  New Brunswick and the Skydiving made her stay. As a former member of our Skyhawks military team, Jen can be found at the drop zone coaching, instructing and spreading her enthusiasm for the sport. In her free time, you can find her outdoors and she has also recently taken up paragliding. To get a rig packed quicker, you can bribe Jen with anything Ottawa Senators.

Andy Tomlinson

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Coach 2, Tandem Instructor (TI), 800+ Jumps

Christine Kuizema

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Packer, Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 550+ Jumps

Christine is currently training with the Skyhawks para demo team, but returning in 2023 to be part of the gang. She enjoys canopy formations and piloting, as well as free flying. She is also learning to wingsuit and is becoming a helicopter pilot. Christine is typically seen with her 4-legged side kick, Young Buck.

Pete Vos

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Progressive Freefall Instructor (PFFI), Skydiving School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 2,200+ Jumps

Pete started jumping in 1988 and has recently celebrated his 30th anniversary in the sport! Since then, he has done over 2,200 jumps and holds an ‘expert’ Skydiving License. At the Drop Zone, Pete can be found involved in all aspects of skydiving from coaching students in the air to ground control. Pete is our Demo jump coordinator and has participated in numerous skydives into local events. He is always helping students with written test requirements for licensing. His knowledge and experience is a great asset to our Drop Zone.

Evan Rader

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Jump Master (JM), Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI) 750+ Jumps

Evan’s been jumping since 2016. He loves taking people for their first skydive whether its a tandem or a student learning to solo. We notice we get a lot of requests from the ladies to jump with Evan 🙂 

Paul Steele

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Pilot, 2,500+ jumps

After 30 years of family and career obligations, Paul has returned to the sport! Paul has extensive knowledge of the sport thanks to his over 2,500 jumps and piloting for skydivers. Paul can usually be found piloting our aircraft. When he gets a chance to be a passenger, he is always up for a fun jump with fellow skydivers! One incredible fun fact about Paul is that he’s done 100 skydives in a day!

Tucker Tomko

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Tandem Instructor (TI), 800+ Jumps

Tucker made his very first skydive at the Campbell River Airport in 2015. Like for many, it was only supposed to be a one time thing. Around 900 jumps later, he says it’s only getting better. Tucker loves taking people for their first tandem and seeing all of their different reactions. He challenges you to have a bigger smile on your tandem skydive then he does!

Amy Patton 

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Concession, Driver, PAcker 40+ Jumps

Amy is the proud winner of our 2021 no filter award. Her mission is to convert tandem passengers to solo students, one annoyingly enthusiastic conversation at a time. She came for a tandem 2 years ago and left with a new family and life path. 

Nick Byers

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Tandem Instructor (TI), Progressive Freefall Instructor (PFFI), Rigger A, Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Pilot, 6,000+ Jumps

Nick is a jack of all trades: He jumps, he packs, he flies, and he hopes one day he’ll get good at at least one of them! In the meantime, he’s working on his professional student designation! When not at the dropzone, he runs, bikes, and pretends to be as cool as all the younger kids! Nick did his first jump in Toronto in 2002 and has since jumped and worked all over the world.

Erika Dufort-Lefrancois

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Tandem Examiner (TE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 8,000+ Jumps

Over the past 10 years, Erika has worked all over the world as a professional skydiver and won multiple competitions in canopy piloting, including the Australian National Championships in 2012. She has also been a member of many record setting teams and was a part of the current Canadian Bigway Record 102 way. A scientist by training, a skydiver by trade, and a natural badass, Erika loves coaching and making sure that things run smoothly at the dropzone!

Dan Verret

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Jump Master (JM), Skydiving School Instructor (SSI), Coach 2, Videographer, Tandem Instructor (TI), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), 1500+ Jumps

Dan took his first jump on his 18th birthday. Since then, Dan has accumulated over 1,500 jumps. Dan joined the military in 1994 and served the 1st and 3rd Battalion PPCLI including an overseas tour in Kosovo in 1999.  Dan remustered to the air force in 2001 when he was selected as a Search and Rescue Technician.  Dan is on his 3rd operational tour with the rescue team as a member of 442 Squadron based at 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island. At the drop zone, Dan will keep you smiling with his witty remarks.

Tiffany Skogan

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Packer, Driver, 89 Jumps

 

 

Amanda Lunny

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Resident nerd, 30+ Jumps

Amanda (or Lunny as she is known around the DZ) started jumping in 2014 and did her first jump course with the lovely Tamara. Amanda takes care of the website and answers any nerdy question some may have. Amanda has been working in software development for the past 10 years. When not writing about herself in the third person, Amanda can be found doing anything active. The outdoors are her favourite place to be. If forced indoors, she can be found diving into a book. 

 

Hank Miller

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Videographer, Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Rigger A, PFF Instructor, Sky Hawk Competition 4 Way and Accuracy Team (CISM) 1999-2005,  3,000+ Jumps

Hank took his first jump into the sport in October 1981. In 1982, Hank took the military jump course which lead to joining the Skyhawks in 1987 and 1995. Hank is our camerman and video-editing extraordinaire. His knowledge and contagious smile are a staple at the drop zone. When Hank is not busy fixing parachutes and editing videos, he can be found hiking or at the gym. In the winters, he follows the sun. Challenge Hank to a hike up Mt. Finlayson if you dare! For quick turn-around on video edits, we recommend bringing gin!

Tianna Freund

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Packer, 1 Jump

Tianna joined our team in 2023 as a student from Robron school and has become one of newest packers. She’s super happy to be a part of this amazing team!

Sue Verret

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: DZO, Manifest, Bookkeeping, 1 Jump

Olivia Laidlaw

Skydive Ratings/ Roles:  Packer, 6 Jumps

In October 2022, Rob gave Liv the opportunity to go skydiving, and Liv never passes up an opportunity like that. That Saturday, she went to the dropzone and did the first jump course at 16 years old. Aside from skydiving, Liv enjoys travelling, camping, hiking, and spending time with her animals. She’s beyond happy to be a part of this drop zone!!

Derek O’Connor

Skydive Ratings/ Roles: Coach 1, Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Packer, Driver, 400+ Jumps

If you need proof that radio ads do work, Derek is your guy! Derek started jumping in 2014 after he heard a radio ad about skydiving. Since then, he has become a staple at the drop zone. Derek is always very encouraging and positive. He does a variety of jobs around the DZ including packing and driving. We are lucky to have Derek’s calm and helpful demeanor around the DZ.