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Emily Vanderburg


Emily Vanderburg carrying her parachute after a jump at Skydive City

Emily Vanderburg


USPA License Number:

Number of Jumps:

How many years in the sport?
It has been two years since I did AFF, but I technically made my first tandem jump at Elsinore in 2010.

When you were a kid, were there any early activities that might indicate you’d one day become a skydiver?
I used to dream that I could fly 🙂

What was the circumstance that led you to the DZ for the first time to make your very first skydive?
My college roommate and I planned to make our first tandem jumps together after graduation. I hastily accepted! The follow through took a couple years, but it was worth the wait. I flew to California from the East Coast and we made an unforgettable jump at Elsinore.

What made you want to continue skydiving after your first jump?
Although I loved my first tandem jump, I had other aspirations at the time. I went back to my life- happy to have had the experience, but with no intention of pursuing skydiving as a hobby or a career. It wasn’t until I made another tandem several years later that I became truly enthralled with the idea of jumping on my own. I started AFF right away, left my old life behind, and never looked back! What made me want to continue? The community. I had never felt so at home, or so truly myself.

What’s the best / most memorable skydive you’ve ever made?
My most memorable was definitely my first solo AFF jump! I got caught in a rain cloud. There was zero visibility, strong winds, and the rain drops were assaulting my senses. I could barely hear my radio guide telling to stay in full flight and not make any turns. I didn’t know at the time that no one on the ground could see me. I was basically oblivious to the danger I was in. I was even singing “stormy weather” as I got blown farther and farther away from the landing area. Luckily someone spotted me emerging from the clouds at around 800ft…. with just enough time for the person on radio to scream “FLARE” at me in perfect time. I landed alone, way off, and it began pouring rain. As I huffed it back to the DZ, completely drenched, I was so happy to have landed on my own I felt as warm as could be!

What is one of the best customer experiences you’ve had at Skydive City?
I made a tandem jump at Zhills last Christmas, and had a phenomenal time! This was before I was an employee, and before I really knew anyone at the drop zone. My doctors had not cleared me to jump on my own yet, and honestly, I was reluctant to do a tandem. I thought it would be disappointing not jumping by myself. I was so wrong! My tandem instructor was Scotty. Thank goodness for him! He was very understanding of my situation, and treated me like one of the gang. We had a great jump! I had so much fun, and it was amazing to get back in the sky.

What about your daily work at Skydive City contributes to FUN at Skydive City?
Working at the bar contributes to fun in quite an obvious way, I think 🙂

What is most gratifying about your work at Skydive City?
Interacting with the people in our community. I love the spectrum of personalities, goals, achievements, and interests. Being part of such an eclectic mix of humans working and playing together every day is truly gratifying.

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