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Lake County Past Spotlight: Skydivers add excitement to Silver Bay Fly-In Airshow

It isn’t Oshkosh, but nevertheless the Silver Bay Airport held a lot of excitement for several hundred spectators at the fourth annual Fly-In.  Participating were 28 pilots, 18 of whom were visiting from as far away as Minneapolis.

Sponsored jointly by the Silver Bay Airport Commission and the Silver Bay Pilot’s Association, the day’s events included the opportunity for flying enthusiasts to have a ride in the small planes, and demonstrations of radio controlled model airplanes by members of the local model club.

One of the highlights was the exhibit and demonstration of a home-built, small racing plane, the “cassut,” built from a kit by members of the Duluth Experimental Aircraft Club.  The craft is capable of speeds up to 250 miles per hour, with an 85 h.p engine. 

Another exciting part of the entertainment was an exhibition by some members of the Superior Skydivers.  Six experienced divers, ranging in age from 23 to 52, thrilled the crowd with their performance.  Among the divers were father and son Chuck and Mark Androtsky, each of whom has made more than 200 jumps.  Chuck has been diving for 30 years.  The youngest member of the group, 23 year old John Wicklein, has been jumping for three years. 

Wicklein explained that during a free fall, a speed of 180 feet per second is reached, and it takes just two seconds to stop the free fall after the parachute opens.  The training for skydiving takes from eight to 11 hours and includes two or three jumps a day for three or four days.  Each jump includes a freefall of one minute.  Advocates claim it is a very safe sport.