Featured Friday - Ben Cowden

August 28, 2015

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone. No - a GINORMOUS drop zone with a lot of people from visiting jumpers to local jumpers, to staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event orgnizers 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 extraordinaire, Ben Cowden!!


What inspired you to become a pilot?
My grandfather is responsible for my enjoyment of flying. He was a Navy fighter pilot in WWII and Korea.  When I was little he would take me to air shows and airplane museums, and also read airplane books to me. It apparently had a lasting effect on my career ambitions. 

What's it like being a non-skydiver flying jumpers?
In a word: Safer. ;-)

If you could tell fun jumpers one thing, what would it be?
Trust the pilot's spot (or at least mine!) and stop jumping out on red lights!


What's the most loads you've flown in a day?
28 loads a tthe Independence Boogie at Skydive Dallas 2015. 12.5 hours of non-stop flying. The day ended well as I was met at the plane with a beer after shutting down.

What's your favorite thing about being a jump pilot?
A steep descent is always fun. That never gets old. I get some enjoyment out of watching reluctant tandem students. Trying to put a cat into a bathtub comes to mind with how I've seen some of them act. That too, never gets old. Other than that, I've been able to meet a lot of interesting people, see a lot of whacky things, and experience a lot of fun flying that most flying jobs wouldn't be able to offer. 


SPEED ROUND (quickly choose without thought):

First load or sunset load?
Sunset! It's quittin' time after that!

Citation or Lear?
Lear. Way more sex appeal on the ramp than a 'slow'tation.

Private or Corporate?
Corporate. Getting paid to take the boss to the Caribbean wouldn't suck. 

Beer or wine?
Beer. Especially German or Swiss beers. 

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