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September 29, 2023

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BGSU student has unique hobby

Unlike some students who may like to spend their weekends at the bars, senior Ryan Katchmar likes to spend his weekends jumping out of airplanes.

He doesn’t jump without a parachute, of course — he likes to skydive.

Katchmar has been skydiving since he was a senior in high school and still avidly does so today.

He started at the University as a business major, but soon switched to an aviation management major.

“I just kind of started studying something that was more interesting to me,” he said.

After he graduates, Katchmar wants to manage a small airport and get an air traffic control certificate.

He got interested in skydiving because of his father, Kevin Katchmar.

Kevin began skydiving in 1973, but stopped once he had children. Katchmar heard stories about his father’s skydiving days and wanted to go skydiving at 12 years old. Katchmar, however, told his son he couldn’t skydive until he was 18.

When Katchmar turned 18, he asked again, after remaining silent about it for six years.

“On the morning of his 18 birthday he said ‘Come on, let’s go jumping,’” Kevin said.

Katchmar and his father still routinely go skydiving. Kevin feels his son is a natural skydiver.

“He’s a born skydiver, what I would call a natural at it,” he said. “He’s far better at it than I am.”

By being “better,” Kevin means Katchmar excells at doing stunts and manuevers in the air by himself and with groups of people.

Katchmar currently works at Skydive Tecumseh in Tecumseh, Michigan, where he helps with skydive instruction and packing parachutes.

When he’s not working, Katchmar gets a discounted price of $18 per skydive, as opposed to $26 for licensed skydivers and $200 for beginners.

Rob Harris, instructor and manager at Skydive Tecumseh, said Katchmar originally came to skydive and decided to work there.

The Head Videographer at Skydive Tecumseh, Garet Bloodworth, works with Katchmar and skydives with him.

“[He’s] very passionate about skydiving,” Bloodworth said. “It’s part of his life.”

Katchmar tries to skydive as often as possible. During the summer he went skydiving every day, but since classes started he only does so on the weekends.

“Over the summer it was seven days a week,” he said. “I worked there and pretty much lived there.”

Katchmar enjoys skydiving because of the people he’s met and the places he’s been, which include Tennesse, Alabama, Florida and Wisconsin.

“It’s all awesome, the people you meet and the places you go,” he said. “I know people from all over the country now just from skydiving. It’s a tight knit group.”

Katchmar encourages anyone to try skydiving and said it’s not as dangerous as people think it is.

“There’s a lot of safety things put in place,” he said. “I’d say you’re more likely to die in a car accident driving down the road.”

Kevin agreed, and said skydiving is safer than walking down the street in New York City.

Katchmar sees skydiving as an important part of his life.

“It’s not so much a hobby as it is a lifestyle,” he said.

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