Meet the Team – Richard Wheatley

Skydive LangarMeet the Team

Richard Wheatley - Meet the Team

How and when did you start jumping?

I did ground school on the 25th June 1989, trained partially by newly rated Potential Instructor Tony Danbury (now we call them Basic Instructors) followed by my first jump (static line round) from the islander on Thursday 29th June – flown by Angela, dispatched by Dave Hickling.

Richard Wheatley - Meet the Team

How many jumps do you have?

11200 give or take a few.

Why did you want to be an instructor/camera flyer/professional skydiver?

Instructor: (CSI 1996-, Tandem 2003-2011 AFF 1999-present) I love being a skydiver and the experiences it gives me and I wanted to give people the opportunity to do what I did. Being a CSI, AFFI allows me to teach someone to become a fully qualified skydiver and guide them along the way. Being a TI allows you to be directly connected to, and interact with, someone at the moment the parachute opens, you’re a direct part of their first skydive experience.

Camera: it was a job and it paid.

Professional skydiver: it was that or a job in an industry such as engineering.

How did you end up working at Langar?

I grew up close by. Made all of my early jumps here. Started packing, doing DZ duties (yep, I swept the floor and cleaned the loos) and it developed from there.

What do you like most about being an instructor?

Being an instructor gives me the opportunity to help others to jump. I’ve always held the belief that everyone coming to langar should have the opportunity to jump more and become a better skydiver than I am and it’s my job to help that process as much as possible.

What’s your favourite thing about Langar?

The staff and jumpers. We have a vast and wide diversity of skilled instructors, coaches and skydivers. From former world champions to current world class jumpers. We’ve had jumpers start at Langar and go on to become world class skydivers in many disciplines.

Richard Wheatley - Meet the Team - Christmas Party

Any advice for people new to skydiving?

Enjoy the process- it will be scary at first but it is very rewarding. Don’t rush, like all practical skills you should expect it to take time to get really good at it. Safety is more important than trying to look cool….

Are there any jumping achievements you are proud of?

Lots. Personally, my first freefall, being part of the world record 400 way in 2006 (which, amazingly is still the world record today). Getting to take people like my mum, brother and Martine’s sister for tandem skydives.

Tell us a good joke.

How do you stop Dean Fisher from drowning when he falls in to a deep puddle—you take your foot off his head!