by Brent Buckner
Skydive Las Vegas
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised my entire life in the small town of Coweta, Oklahoma. I grew up playing sports, riding motorcycles, and playing music. I graduated from Coweta High School in 1989 with 150 of my classmates. After attending junior college, I began my aviation career as an aircraft mechanic when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in April of 1991. I joined the ranks of the U.S. Air Force Academy in June of 1992.
I made my first parachute jump at the Air Force Academy in the summer of 1993 in the Basic Freefall Parachuting Course. I knew then that I had found something very special and I was selected to try out for the parachute team. Approximately one year later, I was accepted as a proud member of the “Wings of Blue,” the official parachute team of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Our primary mission was to teach the basic freefall course to other cadets. Our secondary mission was to compete at the collegiate and national level and perform demonstrations at air shows across the country. As time went on, my love of skydiving and the ability to teach it to others blossomed. I was selected as the Wings of Blue Outstanding Instructor for the Class of 1996.
Upon graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1996, I received my commission as a second lieutenant, was selected to attend Navigator Training, and was chosen to remain at the Parachuting Squadron as an assistant coach to help prepare the team for the next collegiate national championships. After seeing the cadets through a successful competition, I began my first phase of Navigator Training at Pensacola Naval Air Station under a joint program with the U.S. Navy. During this time, I was able to acquire additional civilian skydiving instructor ratings and continued to skydive as much as possible.
After completing my second phase of training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in 1998, I was assigned as a Navigator to the mighty C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Unfortunately, prior to reporting to my next duty station, I was diagnosed with a medical condition and less than one year later, I was medically retired from the United StatesAir Force as a first lieutenant.
With my Air Force career behind me, I continued skydiving on a full and part-time basis in Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and other various locations. I have even been fortunate enough to jump as a member of the famous “Flying Elvi” Parachute Team based in Las Vegas. However, it was this great small-town community that drew me back to Boulder City. On May 29th of 2004, I took over the skydiving operations at the Boulder City Airport.
Skydive Las Vegas has been operating in Boulder City since 1993 and is one of the longest running businesses at our airport. The previous owner decided that he was through running a skydiving business and threw in the towel. Although actually owning and operating a skydiving center had never been an aspiration of mine, I decided to take the challenge and keep skydiving active in Boulder City.
Since then, we have continued to operate and flourish at the Boulder City Airport, dropping as many as 70 tandem jumpers in a day. We recently relocated our office from the airport as the hanger we were operating out of was sold rather abruptly. Apparently there is a disappointing shortage of commercial space on the airport for lease. Our office is now located at 1608 Foothill Drive and we simply shuttle our jumpers down to the airport so they can board the plane. Our goal is to secure space on the airport again as soon as more land is opened up for lease by the city. We will continue to operate as usual and Boulder City will hopefully be able to see our big white parachutes descending on the airport for years to come. It just wouldn’t be the same without us.
Contact me at 800-U-Skydive (800-875-9348), local 702-skydive (702-759-3483) or visit my web site at www.skydivelasvegas.com. We offer skydiving every day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment. Contact us today and receive an additional $25 off a skydive for Boulder City residents.