1. What attracted you to the sport of skydiving?
JB: My father was interested in the aviation sports all his life. He used to go to all kinds of air shows and take my brother with him. When skydiving became available for the civilians in Lithuania, my dad decided to give it a try. One day he and my brother were getting ready to go to the DZ to make their first jump. I think it didn’t cross his mind that I might be interested in jumping as well. I was 16 years old at that time. So he asked me if I wanted to go with them to watch. I said, “Well, if I am going to watch, then I don’t want to go, but if I can jump too, then I’ll go”. I think he was surprised by my answer, but he agreed. So the three of us went and made our first static line jump that day. We all liked it, but I couldn’t say that I was hooked on it instantly. Later that year, dad offered my brother and I to make a few more jumps. I ended up making 5 jumps that summer and started to experience the first few seconds of free fall. That’s when I fell totally in love with skydiving! 🙂 So I would say the free fall attracted me to the sport of skydiving! 🙂
2. What influenced you to actually make the phone call to make your first skydive?
JB: My dad made that phone call.
3. What’s the most memorable skydive you’ve ever been on?
JB: It’s very hard to point to a single skydive and call it the most memorable, because I’ve been on many cool jumps over the years. Anyhow, here is the story of one very cool demo jump from a biplane (AN-2) wing. My friend Rita, was sitting on the left wing, and I was on the right one. The plane took off with us sitting on the wings and leaning to the struts between the upper and lower wings hooked with a static line cable. The jump was from 2000 ft. so that the spectators could see it better from the ground. The plane tilted to the left side first, Rita jumped off, then it tilted to the right and I jumped off. Really cool! 🙂 Maybe that’s what it takes for me to do a hop & pop jump and to absolutely love it! 🙂 I highly doubt that something similar would be allowed in the US these days.
4. Who / What inspires you?
JB: People with a very positive outlook on life, who live active lifestyle and are very fit in their later years. It make me think “if they can do it, so can I!”.
5. Of the places you have visited – what is your favorite place and why?
JB: It’s another one of those tough questions where you have to pick at least on… The Monument Valley in Utah left an unforgettable impression – very unique and cool place! Is it my favorite place since I’ve been there only once? Probably not… But I could easily call Skydive Carolina my favorite place! I’ve been there hundreds and hundreds of times, and look forward to going there every weekend! 🙂
6. What other interests do you have outside of skydiving?
JB: I love being outdoors, going hiking, spending time in the mountains, at the beach, traveling, seeing new places. I also like going out to concerts, Broadway shows, movies, some other public events and celebrations. A good company is important part of all these activities, because it’s not something that I would like doing by myself.
7. What is something about you that few people know about?
JB: I’ve been skydiving for over 17 years now. I have about 60 jumps with a round parachute. A lot of people are surprised when they hear this because of my age I guess.
8. If you could meet anyone in the world for a coffee and a chat (alive or deceased) who would you wish to meet with?
JB: I’ve never been fascinated by the movie stars, musicians, or other famous and “hot” people. And I’ve been fortunate enough not to lose too many close people in my life, but the most recent loss left a big empty hole in my heart. So I’d love to have another drink and a good chat with Pete Langehans again…
9. What do you do for work? If you could do anything as an occupation – what would it be?
JB: I work as a Process/Chemical Engineer for one of the large engineering companies in Greenville, SC. I really have not figured out what would be my ideal job to make a living off of. If I could make a decent amount of money and live comfortably from skydiving, I’d definitely give it a try, but I’d be a little bit afraid to be burned out from it as well… The last thing I want is to lose my passion for skydiving… I guess I’ll keep doing what I do for the time being and see what life brings next!
10. What are your future goals?
JB: Keep living a healthy lifestyle, retire early and enjoy little things in life, because that’s what really matters most!
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