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Meet the Team

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Angelique Front of House Superstar

Angelique 

From South Africa

Worked in the industry since the 80s

Started working with us in 2019

Angelique’s passion for skydiving started in the late 80’s and nowadays, she can be found at our front of house, helping others check off their bucket lists and experience the most exciting time of their lives.

“Skydiving is more than a once in a lifetime experience. You will forever know that you have had the courage to leap into the great unknown and taken flight above this beautiful world. It changes you. Working at Skydive Franz is incredible as I get to be part of all these exciting experiences every day and at one of the most beautiful drop zones in the world”

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Angus Drop Pilot

Angus

From New Zealand 

Worked in the industry since 2018

Started working with us in 2019

Angus started his flying career in his hometown of Wanaka in 2018. He worked as a qualified flight instructor, where he discovered a passion for flying around New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

“I have the best office in the world, with the best views”, says Angus. He is also fortunate enough to be able to fly at our sister Dropzone’s at Skydive Able Tasman and Skydive Mt Cook.

Although he has done one tandem skydive, Angus insists he has more fun staying in the plane trying to beat the skydivers to the ground. 

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Calvin tandem instructor and cameraman

From South Africa

Started skydiving in 2016

Worked with us for 1 year

Began his skydiving career in South Africa, where he was born and raised. Started jumping in 2016, now has over 1500 jumps!.

“Decided the next step was becoming a Tandem Master, back in 2019. No looking back, absolutely love it. When I am not skydiving you can find me in the outdoors, love surfing and fun jumping. Let’s send it!”.

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Dario Tandem Master and Cameraman

From Italy

Started skydiving when he was 17yrs old

Worked with us for 6 months

Dario started skydiving at the age of 17 and he now has 2K jumps done all around the world!.

“The Dropzone really is my happy place, whether it is shooting camera, doing tandems, AFF, wingsuit courses, packing and fixing parachutes, or just hanging out with the team. Says Dario “Hopefully I’ll have my own skydiving school one day”.

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Rilee tandem instructor and cameraman

From New Zealand 

Started in the industry, making parachutes for Aerosports

Worked with us seasonally for 4 years

Originally from the mighty North Waikato, he has previously worked many years in Auckland, for New Zealand Aerosports. This company designed and produced almost all of the parachutes that we currently use daily. 

When he’s not at work you’ll find him out fishing, snowboarding, reading a book or standing strong on his standup paddle board. You will be able to spot him at our Drop Zone showing off his majestic mullet.

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Troy Editor and Ground Crew

From New Zealand

Started skydiving at the Auckland skydiving institute

Worked with us for 2 years

Troy has just completed his training at the Skydiving institute and joined us for his work experience. Originally from the Kapiti Coast right here in New Zealand. 

Troy has grown up all his life skiing in the North Island at Mt Ruapehu and has gone on to teach the high performance side of freeride/freeskiing and racing. Having found that to not be enough Troy found the NZ skydiving school.

 “After completing my training I was so excited to join the team here at Skydivefranz to continue my journey into the Skydiving industry. My aim is to become a camera flyer, eventually an AFF instructor and tandem master for work, personally I aspires to get into base jumping one day.”

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PAC 750 XL dream machine

The PAC 750 is designed and manufactured by Pacific Aerospace in Hamilton and is the first plane in the world purpose-built for skydiving.

With a load of up to 17 passengers the aircraft will enable us to double our daily capacity along New Zealand’s West Coast, with Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier businesses.

Until now, INFLITE has used the Pilatus Porter PC-6 for skydiving. The addition of the PAC 750 will enable this aircraft to return home as the third Ski Plane at Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters.

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Sandy Ground Crew and Office administration

From USA

Started working with us in 2018

In June ’18, Sandy agreed to a 1 month contract with Skydive Franz to assist ground crew personnel. She can still be found haunting the drop zone as well as the office. Her background is in communications, with experience in aviation ground crew, office administration, and herding cats. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys long walks, horseback riding, and passionate conversations about world peace.

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Sancho tandem instructor and cameraman

From Switzerland

Started skydiving 8 years ago

Worked with us seasonally for 4 years

Many years in skydiving Sancho has done several thousand skydives and when not skydiving he enjoys many other adventure sports including base jumping and speed flying or working on his car.

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Sarah BASE Manager

From New Zealand

Worked with us over 6-7 years

Originally from Greymouth, Sarah has spent the last six years working in Franz in the summer and at Ohau in the winter where she managed a café and went snowboarding as much as possible.

“The interaction with the skydiving customers is awesome, everyone’s super stoked,” says Sarah. “It’s a lot less stressful and different to my other jobs, it’s fun seeing everyone excited and happy, it’s really nice.”

Sarah has now done ten tandem skydives and she’s happy to offer advice especially to first time or nervous skydivers.

“It helps to talk to people, I know what they’re in for and if they’re nervous I tell them to try to relax as the staff know what they’re doing,” says Sarah “The nervous people are the most excited after their skydive, they seem to have more fun.”

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Nathan drop-pilot

From New Zealand

Worked in the industry since the 90’s

Started working with us in 2017

Nathan Graham has returned to his childhood hometown in 2017 to take up the role of full time aircraft pilot at Skydive Franz. Nathan trained as a pilot in the mid-90’s and has done about 2000 hours of flying. He also learnt how to skydive in 2007 and has done nearly 1000 jumps.

“I like skydiving but I prefer flying a plane,” says Nathan. “I like being in control of machinery.”

“What I like about the aviation and skydiving industry is that it’s not regimented,” says Nathan. “It’s not like work, it’s like a hobby to fly a plane and enjoy what you’re doing.”

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Matthis Tandem Instructor and cameraman

From France

Worked with us for 3 years

Matt started working at Skydive Franz on a three month work experience placement while gaining his Skydiving Diploma through the NZ Skydiving School.

Now he’s a skydive Tandem Master and cameraman, he aims to continue to learn and eventually teach others to skydive and travel around the globe!

“I originally wanted to do something like my dad who is a helicopter pilot, it was actually my Dad who told me the skydive school existed,” says Matt. “I’ve always been climbing buildings, jumping off buildings doing parkour and freerunning and I wanted that feeling in my every day job.”

As an aside, Matt has spent two years travelling around New Zealand, so will be a wealth of information for other travellers.

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Lily office manager and ground crew

From New Zealand

Worked with us for 2 years

Lily says she loves tandem skydiving and has done 7 herself and encourages others to give it a go.

“My job has so many exciting and challenging aspects. It’s awesome to meet such a vast amount of diverse people everyday and to be able to give them the experience of skydiving,” 

“Being able to skydive in such a unique place in the world, with the most amazing team of skydivers is reason enough for anyone to do a skydive,” says Lily. “It really is an experience enjoyed by such a variety of people.”

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Kelly Tandem Instructor and camera flyer

From New Zealand

Started skydiving 10 years ago

Worked with us for 2 years

Kelly from Taranaki New Zealand, is part of a family of rally drivers so was no stranger to adrenaline as a youngster. She had always been keen to try skydiving but her parents requested she waited until she was 21 and she did her first solo jump the day after her 21st birthday. Since then she’s gone on to become a tandem master, AFF (advanced freefall instructor), and skydive camerawoman and she’s now done more than 3300 skydives.

Her career has taken her around the world.

“I’ve skydived in Dubai, Jordan, Kuwait, NZ, Australia and Norway,” says Kelly. “No one jump is the same which makes it exciting.”

Being a female tandem master allowed her to take women skydiving in the Middle East where female customers don’t jump with a male tandem master.

Kelly’s enjoying being back amongst the amazing scenery in New Zealand and loves skydiving in Franz Josef.

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Henry Chief Parachute Operations Manager

From New Zealand

Started skydiving 8 years ago

Worked with us since we opened

He is our company’s senior operations manager, you will see him all around the South Island at our Able Tasman and Mt Cook Bases.

He has been with Skydive Franz from the very first day of operation, initially employed as a parachute packer.

Henry loves the natural environment of Franz Josef and the outdoor opportunities it provides. He is a keen speed flyer and parachute swooper.