Landing Off the Map—Jumping Into Exotic Locales

Photos courtesy of Donald Schultz

Born in South Africa, 31-year-old Donald Schultz, star of Animal Planet’s “Wild Recon,” is an internationally known expert on snake venom. He started with an internship at the world-famous Fitzsimons Snake Park in Durban, South Africa, and found work in the United States at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, California. But beyond his work with snakes, Schultz also had aspirations of bringing his adventures to the public with a TV show. Since harvesting venom from the fangs of deadly snakes and swimming in shark-infested waters wasn’t spectacular enough for the TV show Schultz envisioned, for extra effect he decided to skydive into his remote locales. more »


Turn back the clock for a moment and imagine it’s the early 1960s. The television screenwriters of the time are scrambling for something sensational to base their next show on. The genre of the day, aside from westerns, is low-budget action-adventure. The writers use a simple but sure-fire formula, in which some new-fangled technology forms the backdrop for good guys to fight bad guys. The concept worked successfully for scuba diving in “Sea Hunt,” twin-engine aircraft in “Sky King,” high-speed airboats in “The Everglades” and helicopters in “Whirlybirds.” So what’s left? Well, there’s this daring, new sport of parachuting looking for an outlet... Voilà! “Ripcord” is born. more »

Point Break—20 Years Later

photos courtesy of Tom Sanders/ Aerial Focus

The filming of “Point Break” began in early 1990; the movie opened the summer of the following year to mostly positive reviews and left the audience hungry for more skydiving. Never mind that some critics, such as Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly, mused, “’Point Break’ makes those of us who don't spend our lives searching for the ultimate physical rush feel like second-class citizens. The film turns reckless athletic valor into a new form of aristocracy." Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for many people, the speedstar over Lake Powell touched their souls and made them want to jump out of planes. Ultimately, “Point Break,” starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, ushered in a new era for the sport of skydiving. more »