Featured Friday - Tyler Lavineta

May 06, 2016

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

Today, meet one of the many people behind the scenes that are an important part of Skydive Arizona's operations. Meet the young pilot whose thrilled to fly the awesome jump planes - Tyler Lavineta!


What/who inspired you to become a pilot?
My inspiration to become a pilot was through my dad. He went through the ranks all the way from flight instruction, to now Chief Pilot and First Officer at American Airlines. My father’s dedication to be better each and everyday, and strive to accomplish things others have not is my driving force. This inspiration has given me the determination to learn as much as I can about every little aspect of what I am doing, for instance, being a jump pilot.


What’s it like being a non-skydiver flying jumpers?
At first, definitely a challenge. In this business, I have learned that prior knowledge to not only flying an airplane, but also the fundamentals of skydiving are key to learning and being the best possible jump pilot I can be. There are many things about skydiving that I have never even thought of before becoming a jump pilot, types of canopies, different styles of skydiving, etc. This is what makes working here fun because everyday is a learning experience, and I am always eager to learn more.

Do you have any interest in trying skydiving or flying in the wind tunnel? Why or why not?
I’ve been in a wind tunnel before, I have about one hour I believe in New Hampshire. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done and what an experience that was. I still want to do my tandem while I’m here, why not, right? Getting into skydiving is something I have never put much thought into, but maybe at some point later in my life.

If you could tell fun jumpers one thing, what would it be?
I would probably tell them to not risk hurting themselves when conditions are adverse and crazy. There is always tomorrow when weather could be great to get in that awesome jump you’ve been hoping for!


What’s the most loads you’ve flown in a day?
I have flown 20 or 21; I can’t remember to be honest. It was definitely during nationals in October, just checked out a week and a half prior; I was in the airplane from 8:00am to 5:30pm, roughly about 8 hours in the airplane with taking into consideration fueling, picking up skydivers, etc.

What’s your favorite thing about a being a jump pilot?
My favorite thing about being a jump pilot is the opportunity to fly these amazing airplanes. I have buddies who are flying Pilatus aircraft, Cessnas and Pipers, or even gliders. It is pretty cool when I can talk with my friends and tell them I fly Twin Otters, their reaction is shock and awe! I am very excited to have been given this amazing job!


What are your goals as a pilot?
My goal as a pilot is to fly in the airlines, preferably American Airlines. It has always been my dream to command an airplane with myself in the First Officer chair, and my father in the Captain seat. It would be great to possibly be a Chief Pilot, but I would be grateful to be in the airlines.


Speed Round (quickly choose without thought):

First load or sunset load? First load

Citation or Lear? Citation

Private or corporate? Private

Beer or wine? Beer


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