In 2008 I was invited to do indoor skydiving at Skydive Perris. After flying for 2 minutes (which is standard for the first time flyer) I asked for 2 more minutes and then 2 more.
That day I flew a total of 14 minutes. After that, I asked the tunnel instructors if skydiving was similar to the tunnel experience and they said: “its way better”. With that , I walked from the tunnel to the skydiving school and I signed up for AFF.
So you can say I was born and raised at Skydive Perris.
What is it about Skydive Perris that makes you want to jump here?
95% of my jumps have been at Skydive Perris and the reason is simple, it’s the community. The facilities are beautiful, the planes are great, but it’s the people that make the drop zone. From manifest to regular jumpers and visiting skydivers…that’s what makes Skydive Perris a drop zone like no other.
How did you get into load organizing and what do you love about it?
I was a very nervous student. I would cry before getting on a plane (yup, that kind of nervous!) Darryld Light, one of the original Perris Organizers would hold my hand while on the ride to altitude. Bob Ferguson had endless patience for my mistakes. As nerves gave way to excitement I knew that one day I wanted to give back the way the Perris Load Organizers did for me.
I think Skydive Perris is Disneyland for skydivers, We’ve got Twin Otters, Sky Vans, FS/RW organizers, FF organizers, Wingsuit training and the best weather in California.
The Perris Load Organizer team makes Disneyland happen!
Does someone need to have a minimum number of jumps before they can jump with a Load Organizer?
Jumpers need to have an A license to jump with the Perris FS/RW Load Organizers. We create skydives for everyone, Whether someone walks in with thousands of jumps or an A license stamp on their forehead one thing is for sure, we want to jump with you.
What kind of jump do you most enjoy doing?
My new found passion is 4-Way. I love the precision and speed of a good 4-Way dive.
I have to say the first one. I was so terrified and full of excitement. If I would’ve know how much my life was going to change after that first jump, I would’ve done it sooner, much, much sooner.
Do you have a ‘dream skydive’ that you’ve yet to do?
No, not really, I’m very fortunate to say I have a “dream skydive” every time a new jumper tells me it’s been their best jump ever.
What canopies do you jump and why?
I jump a Pilot 104 because it always opens on heading and it’s small enough that it has the right performance for me.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to become a load organizer?
You’ve got to do it for the love of the sport. If someone wants to organize for the free jumps, they will soon learn it’s the most expensive free jump they will ever do.
2016 is the year I won the 4-way lottery! Dan BC filled the missing slot we had from the previous year’s line up. Dan gave the team not only much-needed knowledge, but most important of all, his life philosophy, love of the sport, and spirit of competition.
I can honestly say that by the last round at Nationals 2016 my face hurt from smiling so much.
When you’re not skydiving, how do you like to spend your spare time?
I do tunnel, just kidding! I don’t have much spare time but when I do I like to travel, but I find myself missing my friends at the DZ.
Tell us something that is little known about yourself?
Some people don’t know that I’m a practicing Buddhist. The short time I lived in Argentina, I volunteer cleaning penguins from oil spills. David, my husband, says I’m the most aggressive pacifist he knows. Namaste bitches!
What’s on the cards for Grace in 2017?
More load organizing at Skydive Perris, more events for new, regular, and visiting jumpers, and an ALL WOMEN’S FS 4-way team!
Sum up Grace Katz in 5 words or less.
I’m constant student.