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ITP class jumps from airplane,
summer open for all interested

Technology News, Volume 148, Issue 14, May 8, 2000

by Boldizsar Lassu
News Editor

Web format by Prof. P. Johnson

ITP class jumps from airplane, summer open for all iinterested

SINCE FALL 1997, ILLINOIS TECH has had its own Skydiving Club. Started and still headed by Josh Cameron, currently a third year aerospace engineering and computer science major, the club still exists, and has helped many people freefall from the sky.

Ever since the club was introduced, some 130 students have taken advantage of the service offered. Some have jumped more than once, like Carl Lebsack, who has attained about 40 jumps since he started. He and Cameron jump together often; Cameron has about 270 jumps under his belt.

The club usually goes to Skydive Chicago, located outside of the city, for their jumps.

Since it does get rather cold on one's way down, this is a seasonal sport: "The first jump I made this year was on the lst of April," says Cameron. He adds that the Chicago winter usually does not get too cold until late in the year, and so they jump all the way through the beginning or middle of December every year.

Aside from the students who have participated, some Illinois Tech professors have also taken the challenge. John Kallend and Kevin Meade of the department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, and Peter Johnson of the Department of Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences have all made jumps. Kallend, as a matter of fact, has in his two years of jumping already surpassed

Prof Johnson jumps out of plane skydiving
Photo added by Prof. Johnson
Cameron in his number of jumps, most likely due to the fact that skydiving is too expensive for college students. To take an introductory jump at Illinois Tech's discount rate costs $140, as opposed to the full, actual price of $190.

Last Sunday, April 30, was the club's most recent official jump, in which Cameron took Meade and his Introduction to the Profession class out to jump. It was Meade's first jump, and he rather enjoyed it.
"We're going to keep taking people out who want to jump," says Cameron about the future of the club. "We'd like to get more people involved, but we know that's not going to happen," he says, referring to the hefty price of the sport. He is looking into organizing events in conjunction with other groups and universities in the Chicago area for next semester.

Since the club is moving away from regularly scheduled jumps, no official date has yet been set as to when the next excursion will be. However, Lebsack will be around for the summer, jumping virtually every weekend, so if anyone is interested in trying out skydiving, they can contact him at, or Cameron at

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