Tandem Skydiving Rockstars!
Meet Your Freefall Coaches
We have the best job on the planet!
Our instruction team at Orange Skies holds itself to the highest of standards and takes pride in flying safetly. We select our instructors for their experience, amazing in-air skills and customer service they provide. Our instructors love to relive their first jump over and over again through each customer’s first time skydiving experience, and there is nothing like watching someone embrace flight!
Our skydiving rigs and parachutes are all new and top of the line. They are designed and built by the world leading parachute equipment manufacturer, United Parachute Technologies. Our riggers who maintain the equipment are certified by the USPA and also hold direct certifications for the equipment they maintain.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
Founder of Orange Skies Free Fall Center
Mike is a fifth generation Coloradan. He grew up in Green Mountain. He spent most of his childhood running round the hills and fields just east of Dinosaur Ridge and Bandimere Speedway. Even at a young age Mike was passionate about teaching others in one way or another, he coached both his little brothers baseball teams and also loved to assist the instructors at his karate school teaching the newer students. At the age of 19, Mike followed in the footsteps of his grandfathers and joined the United States Marine Corps. His assignment after bootcamp was to become an aircraft mechanic specializing in fighter jets. He was assigned to the VMFA-212 Lancers in Iwakuni, Japan. Mike had the honor of serving his country in both Operation Enduring freedom and Operation Southern Watch during the conflict following 9/11.
Mikes first skydive came during deployment to Guam in 2003. Over 100 marines had signed up for to skydive, but only Mike and his bunkmate showed up for the ride. To say the least… Mike’s life was forever changed when he stepped out of that airplane door. When he landed the instructors asked him if he would be willing to do one more jump? His reply was, “Thousands!” Mike returned from Japan in 2004, and immediately went to a skydiving school and began his journey that would lead to a career in the sky…
Currently Mike is representing the U.S. Parachute team as the captain of Team FLO, the four time national free fly champions. Mike has worked tirelessly for the last five years designing and developing his dream of opening a dropzone, so he can share his passion with others. Mike is committed to being a positive and supportive community member in Ft Collins and the Northern Colorado region. When you come out to make your skydive you will surely see Mike around the DZ. Shake his hand and share your story of flight with him. But be careful, you may find yourself wearing a goofy suit and smiling ear to ear, whilst in free fall holding his hand, if you do. Orange Skies!!!
Growing up in Larkspur, Leland is a Colorado native. Playing football and competing in track and field in high school and college, Leland found a passion for competition and the art of learning new and focused skillsets. This passion for progression turned toward skydiving in 2008 when Leland went for his first skydive with his close friends and family. Since his father has been jumping since 1977, Leland was familiar with the sport but had no idea the effect that first skydive would have on his life.
After a slow few years of skydiving while he was finishing a degree in exercise and physiology out of Nebraska as well as moving for an information technology job, Leland decided it was time to come back home to Colorado and push his passion for skydiving and competition to the next level. Shortly thereafter, striving to learn and grow as much as possible, he got his skydiving instructional rating and pushed to build a body flight coaching business so that he could share what he knew with the community.
In 2014, Leland went to his first national skydiving competition and has not missed an USPA nationals since. Leland is currently a member of the U.S. Parachute team as part of Team FLO, an artistic skydiving team. At this dropzone, Leland now has a new opportunity to grow and learn from the skydiving community in northern Colorado. Behind the desk, in the plane, or in the air, Leland will be looking forward to getting to get to know you at Orange Skies Free Fall Center.
As a native of the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and a longtime resident of Colorado, Ray’s adventures in skydiving started when his first airplane ride was his first jump: a 1200 foot static line in Ft. Benning, GA in 1981 at the US Army Airborne School. He would spend the next three decades weaving his career with his passion, in the Military, in the Aviation Industry, and in Skydiving.
After “Jump School” he continued his skydiving career in Girdwood, Alaska while being stationed at the Airborne Infantry Unit in Anchorage, Alaska. In 1983 he joined the US Army Special Forces and after graduating Special Forces he was assigned to a Military Free Fall (HALO/HAHO) Team for 18 years. He continued to pursue his civilian skydiving and flying career during his 21 year Military Service. His favorite Jump was a 32,000 foot High Altitude/High Opening (HAHO) over the countryside of Germany.
In a 20 plus year career with NetJets Aviation and other flying, he has accumulated over 11,000 flight hours in various Jet and Turbo-Prop aircraft. He currently serves as an Instructor Pilot with NetJets Aviation. During his Aviation career he was part of an Airshow Team based out of Denver, Colorado where he flew a DHC6-300 and various Military aircraft, including an OV1-D Mohawk. He also served as a Check Airman in the DHC6-300 and Instructor/Training Captain in various Jet aircraft with NetJets Aviation. He also held the Assistant Chief Pilot position at NetJets.
As a member of USPA for 30 years, Ray has accumulated over 14,000 jumps and has earned many awards, wings and ratings. Over the years, he has competed on a 4 and 8 way FS team, on a CRW team and in the “Big Way” circuit, but the most enjoyment he gets is as an Examiner certifying new AFF Instructors, Tandem Instructors and Coaches. As time permits he organizes “big ways” at boogies across the country.