Meet The Owner: Franz Gerschwiler

Skydiving and Tech Entrepreneur

Franz Gerschwiler, owner of Skydive TecumsehLiving The American Dream

Franz Gerschwiler is living the ultimate American Dream because of one skydive he made more than 20 years ago, all because of a work colleague who happened to have a brochure and a daydream.

Franz’s early story gives no indication to the life he leads today. Born and raised in cloud-filled England, Franz attended the University of London studying computer science where he would go on to lead a successful career in programming.

Skydiving was never on his radar as Franz, like many others, was working long hours in a London office grinding away through mountains of code at a merchant bank.

The Crossroads Moment

His life changed when a colleague shared his interest in skydiving and showed Franz a brochure from a skydiving center located in the sleepy town of Deland, Florida. Up for an adventure, they took a side route after a conference in New York City and visited Skydive Deland and enrolled for jump #1 in the AFF (learn to skydive) program. After he landed… he was hooked.

That’s when my life truly changed; I met my amazing (and incredibly patient) wife Shannon at the local bar, and Tecumseh became my permanent home.

England isn’t the ideal place to learn to skydive rapidly with many stops and starts due to weather. Wanting to feed his newly found passion that gave life beyond the computer screen, Franz took a two-week vacation and went back to Deland to get certified. This vacation would change the path of Franz’s life.

Franz became a regular skydiver at his local skydiving club in England, became a very successful programmer and then did what we all daydream about: He retired at a young age and decided to travel the world. His mission was to travel and skydive at every location. One of those stops on his world tour happened to be Tecumseh, MI.

Tecumseh, Michigan: Attracting Skydivers Far and Wide

Says Franz: “I fell in love with the place, and the vibe was fantastic, so I bought a trailer and stayed for the season. Of course having a trailer there I couldn’t, not return the next summer. 

That’s when my life truly changed; I met my amazing (and incredibly patient) wife Shannon at the local bar, and Tecumseh became my permanent home. 

Still kidding myself, I was retired when I was offered the opportunity to buy the gear store on the dropzone. I grabbed it as it would be somewhere air-conditioned to pack. Little did I know the trouble I was letting myself into. The story is a bit more complex than this but long story short, the drop zone owners ended up asking if I wanted to buy the drop zone as well.”

From the life of a programmer in bustling London to the owner of an historic skydiving center in Tecumseh, Michigan, Franz Gerschwiler hasn’t looked back. Not only has Franz tirelessly worked to improve the storied skydive center, but he also put his programming skills to good use. Franz developed a reservations software specifically for the skydiving industry and today, Burble Software is the most used booking software in the entire world.

Franz and his wife Shannon are happily married and have two children together.

From the Gerschwiler family: Welcome to Skydive Tecumseh!


Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

This was a great experience! The staff were friendly, the TI (Amber) was informative and made it fun. I felt very safe and in the care of a qualified and capable TI. Skydive Tecumseh has been around for over 50 years and I can see why. This is a fantastic place to check off one's bucket list, have fun with friends, and do something exhilarating. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to have a chance of a lifetime.

Ellen Brothers