If you’ve jumped at Skydive Perris for any length of time then you’ve met Mark Brown. Mark loves skydiving and helping others improve their skills. In this month’s People of Perris segment, we sat down with Mark and asked him the tough questions. ;-)
SPV: When, where, why and how did you make your first skydive?
MB: My first Jump was in 1991. Of course at Skydive Perris. It was an office bet. No I was not drunk, I was not even betting. My ex-wife made the bet with a co-worker that there was NO way he could ever get me to skydive (she knew me so well ). So he says to me “let’s go skydiving. Give me your credit card.” I did, and that’s it. He signed Us up for the AFF-FJC. He never even told me that tandem was an option!
Opinionated. Stubborn. Passionate (they tell me… but that’s Bullshit). Furry.
SPV: How many total jumps do you have and how many of these do you estimate are load organizing jumps?
MB: 12,700. Around 10,000 as an L/O.
SPV: How did you get into load organizing and what do you love about it?
MB: Actually, by 1997 I was ready to quit. I did not like the pressure of team, and finding people to jump with was difficult, especially with low jump numbers. I was sort of shy and un-confidant. At one point I received an invitation (by actual mail ) to do a big way camp. I sent in a check for the full amount (not just a deposit). It was actually sent back to me saying “Sorry, we accidentally put you on the wrong mailing list.” Then Vinny Palmieri (our then-chief instructor) suggested that I get my AFF rating. Now that’s a confidence booster! After I got my rating, I saw two guys at a table. I asked one of them if he wanted to jump. He said “Yes, I have been looking for someone to jump with.” So I asked the one standing across the table from him, and he said “Yes, I have been looking for someone to jump with.” I got their names, and told manifest I was organizing… the rest is history.
SPV: You’ve built an amazing group of RW load organizers here at Skydive Perris, tell us about your team!
MB: Mostly we are misfits & loners who have found that we love to jump. I mean REALLY love it. Everything about it; the sport, the community, everything. We love jumping, teaching, learning, improving, laughing, hanging out and making friends from every conceivable walk of life. We teach the first jump course, do AFF, coach, organize events, compete, and take part in record events. We can’t get enough of the people or the place.
SPV: You’ve been on multiple big way records, can you name a few?
MB: World 2-point 202, World 300, Aussie National 112, 119, Dominican National 20, PoPs 110, 113, and 123.
SPV: Is there any one record that stands out above the rest?
MB: While organizing the Dominican record, at a boogie hosted by their air force, we needed to include the commanding general. Darryld Light and I had to AFF him out the door. His rig had no storage for his leg-mounted pilot chute bridle, so I ended up holding the extra 10 inches of loose bridle to his leg strap. We made the record with one frame of video, with Darryld doing a John Travolta dance move to close the last grip. The general rolled over and took out the whole mess. Happily we got one still photo to present to their President in front of 5000 air show attendees.
SPV: What is it about Skydive Perris that makes you want to work and play here?
MB: Have you BEEN here? This is the place! Besides, it’s only 11 miles from my house. What are the odds of that? Well, not really…it’s the other way around. When I last moved I printed a map, drew a circle around the DZ, and told my wife if it’s not in the circle it does not exist! We got lucky and found a great place with a barn for her horses, so now she says things like “Why don’t you go skydiving so I can spend time with my horses?” I love it!
SPV: What kind of jump do you most enjoy doing?
MB: The jump itself is not that important. It’s the “newbie” that I had to harass and pressure into coming along because they “did not want to ruin the jump” or “don’t want to do a BIG way.” (6. Really?) Then after we land, they say “that was the best jump of my life!”
SPV: What canopies do you jump and why?
MB: Pilot 96, by Aerodyne. It’s sporty enough, but still opens softly, without sniveling forever (that shit scares me!).
SPV: What advice do you have for anyone who has just got their ‘A’ license?
MB: That’s an easy one! JUMP! Or better yet, jump with ME or one of the other Perris Organizers. We even have a jump suit you can borrow.
SPV: When you’re not skydiving, how do you like to spend your spare time?
MB: What spare time? You mean sleeping?
SPV: Tell us something that is little known about yourself?
MB: There is nothing “little known” about me. My life is an open book.
SPV: Sum up Mark Brown in 5 words or less.
MB: Opinionated. Stubborn. Passionate (they tell me… but that’s Bullshit). Furry.