Rapid Descent Staff

Rapid Descent Staff

Rapid Descent Skydiving is operated by a professional, experienced team of instructors, packers, pilots, skydivers, and ground personnel. This group of people are diverse and unique and all around awesome!

As a whole we love to laugh and have fun while at the Drop Zone, but we never forget that safety is always our number one priority our number two priority is to have fun! Safety is easy when we all have the same goal, enjoy ourselves and make sure we get to do it again.

Each and every member of Rapid Descent Skydiving’s staff has their own special personality plate that they bring to the DZ table. We are all different yet so much the same, we share one big thing in common and that is the love of skydiving! We all get along super great, we laugh often and we just enjoy each-others company.

The people pictured below are not just staff or employees they are family, along with the Solo jumpers who are here every weekend jumping with us. We love the sport of skydiving and wish to share that love with each of you. Come out and join us on a skydive day, meet our staff in person and create your own opinion of us…we would love to have you!

Without further adieu meet our amazing staff:

Management

Management

Manifest

Manifest

Pilots

Pilots

Tandem Instructors

Tandem Instructors

Ground Personell

Ground Personell

RD's Staff Profiles

Mike Barron

Mike Barron

DZO (Drop Zone Operator) | Mechanic

18,000+ Total Flight Hours Mike owns and operates Rapid Descent Skydiving's drop zone in Hannibal, MO. Everything we have going on at our magnificent DZ is all thanks to Mike, without him getting this place started we wouldn't be where we are now. We started out with 1 pilot, a couple Tandem Masters and an airplane. Now we run 3 different aircraft's with 5 pilots to choose from, we have 3 Manifest Ladies, 6 Tandem Masters, 2 videographers, A full time Packer and many Solo jumpers that join us most every weekend. Although Mike does not get to join us as often as he would like he always brings a smile and a laugh. His number one priority is safety and professionalism at our DZ, he makes sure we are up to date on all the latest equipment and skydiving/manifesting strategies but after we are sure those factors are in place a lot of laughter and fun are next in line.

Robin Carroll

Robin Carroll

DZM (Drop Zone Manager) | a little bit of everything

Robin manages all affairs at the drop zone; scheduling, manifesting, record keeping and all other DZ operations. She keeps up with equipment, plane maintenance, and landing area upkeep. She always has a smile on her face (at least while she's here) this is one reason we call our DZ "the happy place" because being here makes us happy! Robin has done a few Tandems with our instructors, but has yet to solo, she does truly love the sky though, as we all do here at Rapid Descent Skydiving. She enjoys the smile's on the faces of first time jumpers more so then the smile she has on her own after a skydive, seeing other people happy is her favorite part of the DZ.nn"Although I am one of the "targets" for getting picked on, and I do know it is easy, I love to laugh and enjoy living life to the fullest so I do always try to be a good sport. I do a little bit of everything while at the DZ, I enjoy working with skydivers and our other staff members and of course I love meeting the new jumpers and Tandem Students. It is a wonderful thing to be part of and to watch grow. These skydivers are my happy place family!" -Robin Carroll

John Barron

John Barron

Chief Pilot | Mechanic

30,000+ Total Flight HoursnnJohn is Rapid Descent Skydiving's Chief Pilot. He pilots the Cessna 195, Cessna 182, and the Cessna 172 for skydiving operations. He also does maintenance and mechanical work on our aircraft's to insure safety and security for our skydivers, staff and the pilots. John has been flying since our DZ opened and he loves it just the same today as he did on day one. Something John is known for is that he likes cookies and Pepsi on his breaks from flying especially on a hot summers day. Our Manifest Ladies always make sure the DZ is stocked when he is the pilot. John like's to turn loads quick to get as many up in one skydive day as he can and that is one quality we love about him.n"I use to joke that I fly for cookies, now the girls make sure I have them every time I fly. Next time I think I will joke that I fly for hundred dollar bills, I wonder if they will keep that stocked for me too!" ~ John

Dillon Barron

Dillon Barron

Pilot | Packer | Mechanic

450+Jumps | 650+Flight Hours | 20+years of AviationnDillon is one of our staff Skydive Pilots he has ratings for each Jump Plane. Dillon is one of our staff packers and he helps with the maintenance on our planes. Dillon has grown up in the world of Aviation and holds a few slots in the Guinness world records. He has made all of us very proud, his accomplishments are outstanding. Very soon he will be working for his Videographer and Tandem Instructor ratings .He is a pretty laid back, easy to get along with, guy...unless he is really hungry. We always make sure lunch is prompt when Dillon is the Pilot.n"I started out at RD as a parachute packer and then jumper; so basically I've been a dropzone bum ever since. I am now one of the pilots and enjoy kicking people out of my plane; of course I have to fight the urge to jump myself. We love to have a fun time here and take pride in that no one leaves without a smile on their face! Recently turned in my "Jack of all trades" application so I'm really throwing a lot of my eggs into one basket there. If I ever get any free time, I'm probably up to no good! Part of Rapid Descent's very own "Not so Fantastic Four" jump squad" ~Dillon

Rechelle Spurgeon

Rechelle Spurgeon

Manifest | Scheduling | Record Keeping

Rechelle helps manage Rapid Descent's manifest and scheduling affairs at the DZ, she also handles all the after hours record keeping for our skydiving activities. She has been working all winter on new, easier and better ways for us to run things, although it isn't skydiving season right now she is trying to make next season flow smoothly along side the growth that we have seen and still expect to come. Rechelle has just recently started the AFF program, she has 5 jumps under her belt with many more to come.nn"I do a little bit of everything at the DZ, my favorite part of this job is watching someone land after doing their first Tandem. Those are the happiest people I have ever seen! I try to live life like I just did my first skydive, with a huge smile on my face and excitement in my voice. Working for Rapid Descent is one of the best aspects in my life, I enjoy what I do and I get to watch others enjoy it too. For my funny fact about myself: I am terrified of frogs/toads....I will run and scream like a little girl upon the site of one. Please don't bring one around me, I just embarrass myself" ~ Rechelle

Brandon Thomas

Brandon Thomas

DZ Help | Manifest Help | Grill Master

Brandon helps out with many of the different miscellaneous tasks here at the DZ; he assists with our Manifesting affairs, he is one of our Grill Masters, he helps with set up and break down at the beginning and end of every jump day, he assists our videographers and other jumpers with shagging of their parachutes, and of course he is one of our very awesome DZ personalities. Brandon is irreplaceable, he does stuff for the DZ out of the kindness in his heart and love for the sport. He will do anything he can to help another jumper or a customer. Brandon has a very loving and helping personality and we love having him as part of our team.nn"I have around 95 jumps my duties at Rapid Descent are to help with manifest, meet and greet all tandem students and their families also any spectators! I help people to understand our sport by educating them with information about the safety and dangers of our great sport! I also help shag tandems on windy days. I help our video personnel when they land so they can get the great video and still pics of the tandem students so they get 100% full satisfaction of the skydive experience! I am one of the grill masters for our great BBQ lunches we have every weekend! I also take care of waivers and video before our tandem students meet there tandem instructors! I do what ever is ask in general because I love the sport and anything to do with it! Blue skies" ~ Brandon n

Trisha Carroll

Trisha Carroll

Manifesting

Trisha helps with our Manifesting affairs at the DZ. She was, at one time, full time staff for Rapid Descent Skydiving now she comes out and joins the fun when she can. We always enjoy her company and miss her in her absence. Trisha is one of the women who helped get Rapid Descent flowing smoothly, she helped organize and create new efficient ways to do the DZ manager's and DZ manifest's duties on Skydive Days.nn"I miss working for Rapid Descent Skydiving, I am glad I still get to come out every once in awhile and enjoy the happy place with these awesome people! I do know I am short, people don't have to remind me every day........" -Trisha Carroll

Tim (#1) Wilson

Tim (#1) Wilson

Packing Lead

Tim is our Packing Lead here at Rapid Descent Skydiving he is in charge of all packing and supervision of our DZ parachutes. Without Tim our operations would not run as smoothly as they do, his knowledge and skill in parachute packing comes in very helpful, especially on a busy day. Tim is a jokester, he always brings a good laugh with him where ever he goes and there is no such thing as a bad day with him around. Tim #1 is a huge asset to Rapid Descent and we are extremely grateful he is here with us, our Team loves him!!!

Robert Roman

Robert Roman

Tandem Inst. | AFF Inst. | Skydive Coach

1,200 + skydivesnnRobert is one of our staff Tandem Instructors, he is also one of our AFF Instructors and a Skydive Coach for our DZ. He is a lot of fun to be around, always has a wonderful sense of humor and something smart to say. Robert is one member of our staff that we can always count on to be at the DZ, Tandems scheduled or not Robert loves to Jump! Robert is flexible and easy to get along with, if something changes in the schedule he never complains. He is here and ready to do whatever necessary to get the day going smoothly. Robert is fun loving and just a great personality to be around. We enjoy having him on our team!n

Jacob Zehner

Jacob Zehner

Pilot

Jacob flies our Cessna 182 and our Cessna 172 for our Skydive operations. He was the newest member of our crew last season but of course it did not take long for him to fit right in. We have such a wide array of personalities here at Rapid Descent that Jacobs, go-get-em attitude slid right in along side the rest of ours. Jacob not only flies our skydivers he also flies the tow plane for the Glider Rides with Barron Aviation Private Flight Services and he is another one of our Pilots who has never jumped out of an airplane, he says he likes to stay in the Plane for landing. He is always willing to fly, he's another one that just loves it in the sky! Almost seems like that is a requirement for our staff: "You must love it in the sky" n"Flying Skydivers is a whole different area of Aviation. Because, in a Pilots, mind why would anyone jump out of the plane if there is no emergency don't they know you can land with the Plane? After a few days of Flying for Rapid Descent I realized ' These people are all crazy ' and now that is my conclusion on why they jump out: They are all a little Crazy. But they are a crazy little skydive family and we laugh and joke and just enjoy the day every day we are out there. I am happy to be part of this DZ family" ~Jacob Zehner

Mark Welchert

Mark Welchert

S&TA | Tandem Inst. | AFF Inst. | Skydive Coach

2,000+ skydivesnnMark is a Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, and Skydiving Coach at Rapid Descent Skydiving. He is also the S&TA for the DZ. Mark is someone we can always count on to be here on jump days, even when the weather doesn't look good he will be here just encase it clears up. Mark is one of a kind(in a good way) he always finds the positives in any situation and has this way of making you feel the positive vibes that he lets out while sending the negative vibes away. Mark is wonderful!nn"I did my first jump fall in 1980 and began instructing in 2002. I do a little bit of everything when it comes to Skydiving: Tandem instructor, AFF instructor, High Altitude 28k jumps, Boing 727 Jumps, Base Jumping, D license 20066, Pops #10301, member of Team Flail #299, FOB skydiver #430. All of that and I am only 55yrs young! I was born and reside in Quincy IL, I am single and I have 2 grown daughters. I am the owner of Welchert Auction & Realty Service inc. a full service Real Estate Office. and I am also Scuba Certified with Open Water & Enriched Air endorsements. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE skydiving and especially working with the newcomers." ~ Mark n

Kevin Hennen

Kevin Hennen

Senior Rigger | Tandem Inst. | IAD Inst. | Coach | Videographer

1,000+ skydivesnnKevin is Rapid Descent's Senior Rigger, one of our staff Tandem Instructors, an IAD Instructor, a Skydive Coach, and a Videographer for our DZ. Kevin is one of our many Jack of all Trades in the world of Skydiving and we are blessed to have him on our team. Kevin is always on weather watch, he is very cautious about weather conditions because he is safety centered at all times. If Kevin doesn't believe we should jump due to weather then we stay grounded. Kevin is very knowledgeable about the sport of skydiving and can give you any fact or piece of information that you wish to know. When the manifest ladies have a question they go to Kevin first, he not only is very knowledgeable but he words his response in a way that anyone can understand. He is a huge asset to the Rapid Descent Team and we love having him!nn"Skydiving has always been a huge passion of mine, being able to share that with this DZ is amazing. As new solo jumpers enter this sport and I see the excitement they hold, I am reminded how I felt and still feel about jumping out of perfectly good airplanes: It is not for everyone, but if you find that you love it nothing else will ever compare to the feeling you get as you step out of the plane" ~ Kevin

Tim (squared) O'Neill

Tim (squared) O'Neill

Pilot | DZ Comedian

Tim flies our Cessna 182 but he has unfortunately never enjoyed the experience of Skydiving. Tim love's flying and would be in the Sky everyday if he could! But flying skydivers is not Tim's only forte at the DZ he is also the lead of crowd control (If you would like to know his duties as lead of crowd control, please feel free to ask him on your next visit) He is definitely a comedian of his own making. There is never a dull moment when Tim squared is flying, that is one thing we love about him. He comes out to fly and have fun, he definitely enjoys this life and we enjoy having him in ours.nnThe reason for Tim having the nick name of Tim Squared is because Tim#1 decided we needed a way to keep them from being confused with one another. Since Packer Tim and Pilot Tim are really not fun nick names to say......we present to you Tim Squared!n"You can come up with something for me to approve, but I cant think of anything appropriate." -Tim O'Neilln

Jeff McHenry

Jeff McHenry

Tandem Instructor | Videographer | Coach

600 + SkydivesnnJeff is one of our Tandem Instructors, a videographer and a Skydive Coach here at Raid Descent Skydiving. Jeff has a very outgoing and upbeat personality. His excitement is contagious and he loves to spread it everywhere! When it comes to having fun, Jeff definitely knows how to do it. He is always ready for something new, something fun and something exciting and always, always ready to do a jump! We have never seen him skip a load that he could have been on (this is the reason he has two Rigs, so he can be on as many loads as possible) Jeff is a lot of fun to be around and we are very grateful to have him on our team!nn"I love to take pictures at 120mph!" -Jeff McHenrynnMost of our Pictures on our website were taken by Jeff or Kevin, they are both very good photographers!

Charles Whitcomb

Charles Whitcomb

Free Fall Coach

3,600+ skydivesnnCharles is a Free Fall Coach here at Rapid Descent Skydiving, in the past he was one of our staff Tandem Instructors unfortunately for us Charles has decided to slow down in some aspects of skydiving. Although he was not able to be here as often this past season as he has been in the past, it doesn't change that he is always fun to have around.He is one of our Go-Get-Er's here at the DZ. He is all about having fun on his jumps because Skydiving is one of his passions in life and he surely proves that during and after each and every of his jumps. Charles is a blast to be around, he loves to laugh and joke and how to just have fun no matter what. We love having Charles here with us at Rapid Descent.nn" 'If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you' that is my motto" ~ Charles

Eric Kasparie

Eric Kasparie

DZ help

Eric helps out with many miscellaneous tasks at the DZ. He is a Grill Master, a Solo Jumper and one of our awesome DZ personalities. He has 200 + jumps and looks forward to adding more every chance he gets. Eric has been learning to help out with the manifesting for Rapid Descent, he helps hand out waivers and talks to the tandem students and their families. He is great with people and Eric is just a lot of fun to have around, he loves to laugh and make jokes and most importantly have a good time doing so. We definitely enjoy having him as part of this ever growing team.nn"Around the DZ...I would say I skydive and help out wherever I can. A side note...I enjoy long walks on the beach, romance novels and spooning!"- Eric Kasparien

Quinn Bieniek

Quinn Bieniek

Staff Pilot | Flight Instructor

Quinn Bieniek is one of our staff jump plane pilots, he flies our Cessna 182 and our Cessna 172. Quinn also does flight instruction and training for Barron Aviation Private Flight Services. Although Quinn is not available to fly skydivers as much as he use to, he is our Go-To pilot for check out's of our new Skydive Pilots as they inquire about flying skydivers. Quinn is also a Solo Jumper, he doesn't get to jump as much as he would like to but when he is here he is a blast to be around!nn"Checking out new Skydive Pilots is a lot of fun, especially when they have never watched someone jump out of a Plane at 10,000 feet. The look on their face is priceless! They do come around to enjoy the site of someone leaving their plane. Hopefully they enjoy the DZ as much as the rest of us, but if they don't....that leaves an opening for a pilot who will" ~Quinn

Elsa Mae

Elsa Mae

Dog

Elsa is our DZ dog, she has taken on the responsibility of alerting us as the jumpers open their chutes after freefall. Elsa come's to work with two of our Manifest ladies, Rechelle and Robin. She loves all People and will be your very best friend if you feed or pet her. nn"Ruff!" -Elsa Mae