Dunnellon Man Breaks Florida Skydiving Record
On Sunday, Feb. 26, Dave Bosanko’s 31st birthday, he broke the state of Florida’s record for the most skydiving jumps in a 24-hour period, with 77 tumbles from a perfectly good airplane.
He completed the feat at Central Florida Skydiving, based at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport just outside Dunnellon. Bosanko began his jumps at sunrise and made the 77th jump around 8:30 p.m.
He coordinated with the drop zone to rent out the whole facility for the day, with two planes and two pilots. He scheduled it so he could go up in one plane, jump, then when he hit the ground, he’d hand over his parachute to someone on his packing team, grab another parachute, get into the second plane, jump, and repeat until he reached 77 jumps.
“You can do anything if you put your mind to it, “said Bosanko as he dashed between planes.
Bosanko, a licensed practical nurse at the HCA Citrus (Citrus Memorial Hospital) Emergency Department, jumped from an altitude of about 3,000 feet on Sunday, as compared to the conventional 10,500 feet for regular skydives, in what he called “hop and pop” jumps with a couple of seconds of free fall time.
A group of supporters including family members, fellow parachutists, friends and co-workers watched from near the landing site as Bosanko went smoothly through the roughly six-minute cycle for each jump. As the attempt went on into sunset, the group continued to shout and clap as Bosanka made each landing.
Central Florida Skydiving is owned by Donnie Hickey. Chief pilot Brittany Owens and pilot Tim McLain, both flying Cessna 182 aircraft, worked as a tag team, each making 10 drops and then handing off to the other pilot.
Bosanko made his first jump in 2010 at age 18 and has now made more than 600 skydives in his parachuting career. The idea to try to break the current record came to Bosanka when he needed 12 jumps to qualify as an instructor.
Bisanko’s parents, Sonya and Robert Bosanko, of Dunnellon, sat and watched their son swoop in overhead with only a slight sound of rushing air on each landing.
Sonya Bosanko, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Nature Coast, said she’s “not surprised” her son would try to break the jump record.
“He goes to extremes, but in a good way. His attempt was well thought out,” she said.
Robert Bosanko, retired operations manager with the Citrus County Road Department, said his son learned strict safety rules when he trained to be an underwater welder when he was first out of high school.
“Safety never takes a day off,” was his expression, Sonya Bosanko said.
Co-workers, fellow ER nurses Caitlyn Hill and Angelina Banks, were part of the supportive group.
“Dave is very calm, cool and collected. (At work) he’s the first one to show up if you need help,” Hill said.
Banks said Bosanka regularly cheers up his co-workers and tries to put a smile on their faces. Banks has made a tandem skydive and she called the record attempt “awesome.”
“David is very competitive. He holds a record for getting life-saving medication to a stroke patient,” Banks said.
Kyle Bosanka, Dave’s brother serving in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, connected to the event via phone.
Also a parachutist, Kyle Bosanka called the record attempt “pretty cool.”
Dave Bosanka has two sisters, Bailey Bosanka and Megan Bailey
Hickey said FAA certified riggers were using a rotation of four Ram Air Canopy parachutes in the attempt. The record attempt took planning and a number of safety meetings with the entire crew
At about jump number 70, the theme from the movie “Rocky” was played and Bosanko threw his arms up in the air in celebration.
Larry Elmore held the precious record, at 72 jumps within 24 hours.