MIT Skydiving Club - History

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2000 The September 26, 2000, Tech had an article commemorating the formation of the club in 1957.

1997 The October 21st, 1997, Tech had a picture in it of a demo jump that some jumpers did on to Briggs Field. Club member Greg Galperin about to touch down:

Greg Kuhnen -- The Tech
The caption read: "TOUCHDOWN -- Four members of the MIT Skydiving Club parachuted into Briggs Field last Friday in a demo jump."

1992 In the fall of 1992, club members built an eight-way round over Skydive Pepperell in Pepperell, MA, consisting of Jim Rees '89, Stephen Dyer, Dean Cerrato G, Meredith McKenzie '93, Carl deMarcken G, Olaf Bleck '89, Tupper Hyde G, and Greg Galperin G. As far as we know, this is the largest formation that has been made of MIT club members. There's a not very good scan of a picture of this from the October 6, 1992 Tech.

1990 The January 17th, 1990, Tech had an article about Club members' performance in the 1989 33rd Annual National Collegiate Skydiving Championships

1987 Easter Sunday of 1987, a second first jump course of 25 students travelled to Turners Falls, MA for another first-jump course. In that one Scott Fullam actually made his first jump (he was unable to participate in the first course).
During that school year, the club discovered it "owned" a couple student rigs which were stored in the basement of East Campus. These were the standard (at the time) Strong harness single-point release systems, with round mains. Given that the club was working exclusively with an established dropzone with its own student gear, it was decided to sell off those rigs ASAP, and save the money for an off-status rig. Ray Yongen helped with that sale to another drop zone that still had use for the round-mains. Back then a few DZ's were still putting out students on rounds.

1986 Wednesday, October 15th, 1986: Roughly 20 MIT students take the classroom part of a static-line first jump course in Building 20. The cost was $120. This class was organized by Scott Fullam '89 and Army ROTC Sgt Maj Ray Yongen. The instructor was Kevin Walsh, and the jumps took place on Saturday the 18th at Skydive Lebanon in Lebanon, ME. Ray Yongen helped out a lot over the next couple years as the club's faculty advisor.

1959 The history of the drop zone at Orange also includes a short blurb, that while not about the skydiving club, shows how far back MIT's association with Jumptown goes. From the article about the opening of the drop zone:

"Still another new flying activity took place Saturday at the airport when the Gliding Club of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated the sport of gliding. A number of times through the day the glider, towed by an automobile, took off [from] the runway in front of the spectators, climbed to several hundred feet, cut itself loose from the tow-line, and soared for several minutes before gliding in for a landing."

That's over 45 years!

1957 Club is founded by Charles Negrin '60, John Cadwaller '60, and Ted Ansbacher '60 after hearing a lecture by Jacques Istel. You can read the original articles about the lecture in the September 24, 1957 Tech and the subsequent founding of the club in the September 27, 1957 issue of the Tech.

If you know of any more history that should be listed here, please contact