Featured Friday - Luis Villa

August 04, 2016

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone with many extraordinary people from local to visiting jumpers, 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, we meet a man who made his first solo jump in 2012 and is now living his dream of flying! Meet, Luis Villa!


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Flying was always my dream. Since I was a little kid I had the urge to climb anything that I can jump off of. I wanted to know how it felt to fly. Flying was just a dream until May 12th, 2012 I made my first tandem jump with a group of 7 friends. I loved it so much that I did another two tandems that same year. It was in my third tandem, under canopy, that Kim Winslow encouraged me to do a solo jump and immediately I signed up for an AFF course.

Where & when did you learn and what kind of student were you?
On November of 2012 I did my first solo jump here at Skydive Arizona. I knew I wasn't a natural, but I consider myself a good student, willing to learn, paying attention, and always pushing myself to do better.

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What is the most exciting part of skydiving?
It's difficult choosing one part, but if I had to choose, it would be the freefall. It's where I interact with friends and strengthen my skills. I live in the moment; nothing exists except that precious moment in which I live out my childhood dream. 

Who were your mentors and idols as you learned, and why?
While you're taking the AFF course, every instructor is your mentor. For me, Aaron O'Brian gave me lots of advice. He was patient and he always made me feel safe and confident. I also loved jumping with Jared, even though he is very quiet.

As far as idols, SDAZ has so many great people with great talents; for example, Niklas Daniel, Brianne Thompson, Niklas Hemlin, Thiago Gomes, and many more can be considered idols.

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What are your future goals?
I'm currently working on my coach rating, and I'd like to be an AFF coach. Also, I want to learn how to fly with a wing suit.

One thing I love about this sport is that I can share it with my family. I'm excited because pretty soon my wife, Mary, is going to start her AFF course. In the future, I'll be able to fly with her and possibly with my daughter, Alexia.

Why did you choose Skydive AZ to be your home DZ?
Skydive Arizona has been my home DZ since the beginning because I feel at home here being surrounded by loving, caring, and friendly people. I'm fortunate to belong here because I'm able to rub shoulders with the best of the best.

Any advice for newbies?
Try not to do too many solo jumps, jump with organizers.
 If you have the time and the means, go practice in the tunnel as much as you can.
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Keep it safe, so take your time on downsizing your canopy.
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Always practice emergency procedures.
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If you want to have good landings, take the Canopy Course as soon as possible.
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Most of all, keep it FUN!

Anything else you’d like to add?
I want to thank Skydive Arizona and all the staff for helping us reach our dreams and goals in skydiving.

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