detroit as a skydiving destination

Detroit As A Skydiving Destination? Who Knew!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Even if you’ve lived around the Motor City for most of your life, there’s a good chance that it still keeps some secrets from you. For instance: Did you know that Skydive Tecumseh, the closest skydiving dropzone to Detroit, has been introducing new jumpers to the thrill of freefall for more than half a century? Top-level skydiving teams have shared the skies over Detroit with us, as well as hobbyists, skydiving event participants and countless first-time tandem skydivers. It’s been an epic 50 years!


If you didn’t know that, there’s probably plenty more knowledge of which we can apprise you. Here are some other things that even seasoned Detroiters might not know about our town, seen–naturally!–through the skydiving lens.

1. The very first state fair in the USA was held in Detroit in 1849.

The Michigan State Fair is the oldest in the country, and it had its birthplace right here in Detroit. While that get-together was mostly about pies, livestock, crafting and a “husband-calling contest” (yeah, seriously), the Detroit events that get our blood racing are the skydiving events we throw right here at Skydive Tecumseh. We have something for licensed skydivers of every level and predilection–and we happily host brand-new first-time tandem skydivers alongside them!

2. Detroit was the first city where you could get someone’s digits.

If you’re bonded to your phone pretty much on the molecular level, you kinda have Detroit to blame for that. Without personal phone numbers, cell phones would never have been invented–and the city assigned individual phone numbers back in 1879, making it the very first to do so. Luckily, one-number one-destination telephone technology means that Detroit skydiving is just ten digits away. For a good (parachute-assisted) time, call 517-423-7720, baybee. We’ll scribble it on a napkin if you ask nicely.

Tandem skydivers looking happy in mid free fall

3. The ice cream float was invented in Detroit.

Heckyaw, son! The ice cream float was invented right here, when the clerk at Sander’s ran out of sweet cream. To compensate, the clever dude plunked in some vanilla ice cream, making one of the best improvisations ever. (How long has it been since you had one? Might be about time.) Speaking of lightning-bolt improvisations: Did you know that skydiving has at least eight major disciplines (and loads of sub-disciplines under the umbrella of each) that licensed skydivers can tackle? While you’re here for a tandem skydive, check out the cool variations-on-the-theme that the sport skydivers are doing on their sport jumps. You just might be inspired to learn to skydive!

4. The salt mines beneath Detroit could keep our food flavored for over 70,000 years.

Did you know that there’s a secret world 1,200 feet below the Motor City streets? The Detroit Salt Mines were around long before the cars that gave the city its nickname (since before the first fish went shoe-shopping, as a matter of fact), and it still pumps out a steady supply of road salt to keep our slippery city a little less-so in its legendarily brutal wintertime. Cool, huh? Well: as a matter of fact, lots of secrets hide in plain sight if you keep your chin on level with the ground. If you’ve missed the weird wonderland beneath you, it’s almost certain that you haven’t looked up–and there have been parachutes over Detroit for fifty years, y’all!

5. At the opening of the Detroit Zoo in 1928, the mayor John C. Nagel tried to shake hands with an escaped polar bear.

…For reals. This has nothing to do with skydiving, but we think you’ll be happy to have this Detroit fact in your dinner-party repertoire.

6. MLK first had a dream in Detroit.

Martin Luther King may have made his “I Have a Dream” speech famous at the March on Washington, but it made its actual debut at Detroit’s Cobo Hall Arena on June 23rd, 1963. MLK’s dream. It may seem incredible that this landmark piece of rhetoric shares any ground with the sport of skydiving, but y’know what? It does. On the dropzone, everyone is created equal. The skydiving community is big-hearted, inclusive, mutually supportive and representative of every race, culture, profession and creed. We pride ourselves on that fact–and we have a dream that you’ll join us someday.

Great experience!! This was my third time doing a tandem jump but first time with Skydive Tecumseh. Being able to jump from 18,000 feet was awesome! Plane ride up is quick and comfortable. Instructors were friendly and professional. If you're thinking about...just do it!!

Tara Geror