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Published: June 27, 2014
If you've jumped at Skydive Long Island in the last couple of years, there's a good chance that you've either chatted with or jumped with Erika Dufort. Erika is the woman who makes everything possible and runs the show at Skydive Long Island. As a tandem skydiving instructor and the person who handles the day to day operations, Erika is the glue that holds the place together.
We recently talked to her about her own experiences as a skydiver.
Skydive Long Island: How long have you been jumping?
Erika: I've been jumping since August 20, 2006.
Skydive Long Island: How did you get into skydiving?
Erika: My brother (Matt) and I were meant to go together from about the time I turned 18...but excuses kept arising and it didn't happen. Finally, at the age of 20- I gathered a group and did it! 3 years later, I took my brother on his first jump :).
Skydive Long Island: What made you decide to become a tandem instructor?
Erika: I wanted to prove that girls can do ANYTHING that boys can do!
Skydive Long Island: What kind of training goes into becoming a tandem instructor?
Erika: A LOT! In the beginning, being a tandem instructor is pretty overwhelming, remembering all the important parts and acquiring the physical strength requires dedication. The very minimum # of skydives that you have to have to become an instructor is 500, but it's far easier for experienced skydivers with 1000s of skydives to learn the skills of a tandem instructor. You also have to have been skydiving for at least 3 years before undertaking a tandem instructor course.
Skydive Long Island: What attracted you to the sport of skydiving?
Erika: The Thrill! The Rush! I have to do this at least once, right?
Skydive Long Island: Who / What inspires you?
Erika: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Skydive Long Island: Of the places you have visited - what is your favorite place and why?
Erika: I could no sooner chose my favorite star in the heavens!
Skydive Long Island: What other interests do you have outside of skydiving?
Erika: Chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry! Oh, and I like most sports as well :)
Skydive Long Island: What is something about you that few people know about?
Erika: I am incapable of watching more than 10mins of a movie without excusing myself for a bathroom break!
Skydive Long Island: What's on your bucket list?
Skydive Long Island: What do you do for work? If you could do anything as an occupation - what would it be?
Erika: I'm a graduate student. I'd like to be an Organic Chemistry Professor.
Skydive Long Island: What are your future goals?
Erika:To get a dog! I have not lived in the same place for more than 6 months in nearly 8 years. I would like to settle down and get a cute, cuddly, slobbery puppy! Maybe two!
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