Featured Friday - Tyler Gatson

August 14, 2015

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone. No - a GINORMOUS drop zone with a lot of people from visiting to local jumpers, to staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event organizers and load organizers!!! The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock

In this week's series, Skydive Arizona is featuring pilot, Tyler G.!

Where did you come from before Skydive Arizona and what made you choose to come here?
I graduated from Arizona State in 2011 with a degree in communication, and I took an internship at the Phoenix alt-rock station in hopes of getting my band on the radio!  I worked in broadcast media for the next few years to pay for flight training, most recently at CBS (KOOL 94.5, Live 101.5, and KMLE Country 107.9).  I loved the company, but ultimately the sky is where I am meant to be, and SDAZ gave me the opportunity to fly airplanes for a living, which has been a lifelong goal of mine.


What's your favorite part of being a jump pilot? 
Although repetitive, diver driving in a unique kind of flying, and it's cool to help people cross 'jumping out of an airplane' off their bucket list.  I am also fortunate to have the opportunity to fly large turbine aircraft like the Twin Otter here at SDAZ.

Have you ever made a skydive? Why or why not?
Yes, although I am one of the many pilots that question the act of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, I decided it would make me a better jump pilot to see the operation from the skydivers' perspective.  I did my tandem back in February with Josiah and Wes captured it on camera!

What's 1 think that skydivers do in the plane that they can do to help the pilot?  
Stop farting.  For real.  I don't know if you guys just eat too much Bent Prop, but it reeks and takes a long time to dissipate in the cockpit.  On a more serious note, just be mindful that we are working extremely hard up there and tapping us on the shoulder during critical phases of flight (take-off, dodging traffic, jump run, etc.) for a special request is be a better thing to do while stopped in the loading area.  No offense, but safely flying a nearly 6-ton airplane with 23 humans on board takes priority over your hop and pop.  Be smart and be safe :)


What's the most loads you've flown in a day?
24 one day of the Easter Boogie I believe, but I'm sure I will beat that at Lost Prairie.

Speed Round (quickly choose one without thought):

First load or sunset load?  
First load.  Sunset is for happy hour, not skydiving.

Single engine or turbine?  
Multi-engine turbine all the way!

Private or Corporate?  

Mountains or Beach?  

Beer or wine?  

All News