May 19th, 2015
After another successful overnight journey to Europe, Paul and I met up with our good friends Stacey and Tacho in airport arrivals, who had already sorted us a sweet rental car ; therefore no time was wasted before we were on our way to Airspace Indoor Skydiving, kicking off the Belgium trip in style.
It’s a short 1 hour drive from the airport to Charleroi, and every time I pass the famous Battle of Waterloo monument, I’m captivated by Europe’s history.
I feel that the USA is so young compared to Europe, and to me the history of Europe’s land is much deeper than the USA.
Someday I’ll arrive in Europe to learn about its history…but today we have flying to do.
Normally Airspace is closed on Tuesday’s, however the tunnel was open specifically to our group which was great because it was Stacey and Tacho’s first experience at an ISG facility. It was pretty cool for them to experience firsthand the difference in the dedication to the sport of Indoor Skydiving that Paul and I regularly experience at some of the facilities in Europe.
We were greeted by Steve and Magali Braff (the co-owners of Airspace) with open arms and hot cappuccinos to wake us up before our first flight of the day. Havaard Flatt (who is the lead instructor and overall guru of Airspace) also showed up with fresh croissants and Pano chocolate to fill our bellies. We’d been at Airspace for a mere 10 minutes and had such a warm welcoming…It was such an awesome feeling to be back in Europe.
It was fantastic to introduce Stacey and Tacho into the feeling of an ISG tunnel. The airflow is very different than what we experience in most tunnels across the USA. They both did an excellent job of getting their bearings flying in a new tunnel very quickly.
May 20th, 2015
Today is the official start of the indoor portion of the B-Boogie, and this year Michele Cnops brought in an amazing group of coaches that offered 1:1 coaching. The coaches were Adam Mattacola, Joe Greally, Luis Lopez, Matt Hill and myself. We had a great turnout of flyers, and this was the first time that I have done such an event were we had 5 coaches going back to back in the tunnel for 12 hours straight. It seemed to work really well with everyone and the vibe was awesome. From the tunnel flyers to the flyers lounging on the incredible sofas upstairs, or outside on the Café’s terrace (where you could enjoy some nice Belgium beer). Airspace is a fantastic facility for this type of event.
May 21st, 2015
This is always a fun day for me. May 21st is my birthday and for nearly 15 years I have always either tried to be skydiving or flying of some sort for my name day celebration. This year I turned 32 and was able to spend a great day flying with so many different people. And bonus, because this day also happened to be the Boogie Man party that was held at the tunnel after ending a day of flying. Fabian from Boogie Man (with the help of Airspace) turned the tunnel into a night club, and turned great beats until the wee hours of the morning. It was such an amazing day.
May 22nd – 25th, 2015
After a great few days of tunnel flying and partying, it was time to take the boogie outdoors. Next up…Schaffen DZ which was about an hour drive from Airspace. Schaffen DZ is used for military jump training from Monday through Friday and is normally closed to the public, however on the weekend the skydiving club is permitted to use this facility. This DZ has a great little hangar with a small café that provides affordable, filling food. The DZ itself has a huge grass landing area with a grass runway on the far side. It’s a really nice setting amongst beautiful farm land. The DZ operations use Super Grand Caravans and they turn loads quickly. They do only fly one plane at a time, however they have access to 3 planes. When one plane comes in for fuel, the standby is already fired up and ready to fly. This really creates a seamless operation and even with a few hours of weather…they still flew 33 loads.
Michele has done a great job of organizing the boogie into groups of 5-10, and each organizer works with 2 groups. For the jumping portion of the boogie, we brought in more organizers (other than the tunnel coaches) to accommodate all the participants. All groups were planned to make 6 jumps per day. We did have some weather (as you will have in Europe) but overall we jumped every day. We socialized quite a bit between weather holds and had a fantastic time overall.
We always have an excellent time in Belgium, and I look forward to our next trip back. Special thanks to Jonas Van Wesal for putting Paul and me up (and putting up with Paul and me).
So yeah…our next trip to Belgium will be September 7-12th, 2015. Now is a great time for Americans to travel to Europe because the USD is stronger than I have ever seen.
We’ll be selling tunnel time at Airspace at 750 euro per hour. That is tunnel time and the coaching fee. If you compare that to USD…it’s $850 at the current exchange. Saving $200 per hour on tunnel coaching, while enjoying a European holiday? Sounds like a win win to me. And we’d love to have you join us!
Don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions. Check a mark off the old bucket list and make the dream a reality. You won’t regret it.