The dropzone in Chester, known as the pretty little city on the hill, lies north of the town's central business district and is conveniently located 50 minutes north of Columbia and 50 minutes south of Charlotte. It's no exaggeration to say that Skydive Carolina is the premier skydiving center of the Carolinas with a location that also serves Asheville and Hickory, North Carolina along with Greenville, Spartanburg and Charleston, South Carolina.
But the recognition didn't come overnight. It was a hard work, passion and vision that have made Skydive Carolina the premier dropzone of the area. And all would have never happened if it weren't for Danny Smith, the Skydive Carolina owner and an avid parachutist. Danny began his skydiving career in 1966 while serving in the Air Force but it was in 1986 when he founded Skydive Carolina, initially a part time job that turned into full-time operation 8 years later.
Today, Skydive Carolina offers three jump aircraft, the popular Cessna 182 (the first airplane Danny started with 30 years ago and only used for special operations and events), a versatile and impressively quick 13-seater Beechcraft King Air and the largest single-engine airplane ever produced by Cessna, spacious 16-seater Cessna Grand Caravan.
Lift ticket for experienced is $26.00 but you can do a tandem skydive for $209.00. Apart from solo freefalls, tandem jumps and AFPs, the dropzone have you also covered in between the jumps; there is a snack bar, gear store, RV hook ups, locker rental, camping area, showers and restroom facilities on site. Not to forget padded and covered packing areas and gear that is available for rent as well.
If you get a chance then check the dropzone's annual CarolinaFest Boogie. This skydiving spectacular draws each year hundreds of skydivers from across the country for a nonstop fun. Actualy it's only six days but oh boy, those days are crazy! Free flights (for registrants only), wingsuit training, party and ultimate fun. Do I need to say more?
The dropzone is open Friday through Sunday year round, but is also open for jumping on Wednesday and Thursday during the spring, summer, and fall months. For more information, visit Skydive Carolina website.
Photos: © SC unless otherwise stated