Skydiving Stories #3 - Covid-19

May 4, 2020

Covid-19 - What Are Our Skydivers Up To?

We are all going through challenging times right now with Coronavirus information everywhere. Skydive Danielson would like to share good news and take some time to thank people who are doing extraordinary things. Many of our skydivers who jump here or work here as instructors are some of those people. We hope these stories will help us feel connected, even though while we are apart. Thank you for reading their story!

Skydivers are an interesting group of people. Men who can sew are very common in our industry. In fact, we think that there may even be more male skydivers who can sew than female skydivers. We did an interview with Joe and Dustin to find out more about their Covid-19 mask making project.

Skydivers making face masks for coronavirus

Q & A with mask makers - Joe and Dustin

Q: What is your background with skydiving and where did you know how to sew?

Dustin: I'm an instructor at Skydive Danielson and an FAA licensed rigger. I learned to sew when I became a rigger. 

Skydive instructor packing parachute in CT

Joe: I'm a licensed skydiver at Skydive Danielson. I learned to sew working on submarines at EB.

Skydiver in freefall in CT

Q: With the skydiving center closed, what do you miss most about being at the dropzone?

Dustin: We are all missing our sports, passions and even jobs - hah! And being a full time skydiving instructor, it's no different. I miss being in the sky with new students every day. Seeing the smiles and excitement on first time jumpers is why I've been skydiving for over 15 years now and it never gets old. Anything can be a ''job'' but I'll never take my job for granted. It's taken me all over the world, made so many life long friendships, and is an incredible way to make a living. I love hearing people say, "You have the best job in the world", because I do. They are not wrong.

Skydive instructor taking pictures of tandem skydiver

Joe: I miss my skydiving family. I miss driving up to the skydiving center and seeing the dropzone appear - it brings a smile to my face. 

Skydiver exiting airplane in CT

Q: What inspired you to start making masks?

Covid-19 masks for free at the Danielson Airport in CT

Dustin: I've been working as an FAA licensed parachute rigger for many years. These last few years I have been involved in parachute gear manufacturing, which is basically heavy industrial sewing work. While Skydive Danielson has been shut down due to Covid-19 I have been putting my sewing skills to work making masks.

Joe: Seeing the need for them and having the capability to provide them seemed like a no brainer really. Both Dustin and I are out of work due to Coronavirus and have the capability to provide them to people free of charge. It feels amazing to help. 

Q: Masks for free? That sounds too good to be true. How is that happening?

Chief in Framingham, MA wearing a free mask

Chief of Framingham, MA FIRE wearing our mask

Joe: We have asked for donations from people who support our cause. We have asked people to send us fabric if they would like us to make masks. The skydiving community is very close to each other and our friends have supported this mission 100%. They have donated $700 already! The love and goodwill is just amazing. 

Q: Would you like to share anything else?

Dustin: We will all get back to what we love in the near future, but now is a time to reflect on the smaller things. These are things we have taken for granted and I know I have reflected plenty over the last month. And for all of you out there working every day, I fully applaud you and thank you for your service - whatever that may be. And obviously the front line health care workers, you guys are amazing and I'm proud of you!

If you would like information on masks, please contact Dustin at