HE’S taking the biggest leap of his life.
But former Dalton man Dean O’Flaherty is confident it’s the right move.
And he certainly has the right pedigree.
Dean is about to open his own skydiving centre in the USA, with fellow skydiver Marc Tripari, after a career which has seen him make an astonishing 20,000 parachute jumps.
He has certainly come a long way since his very first jump – a charity parachute jump with colleagues at Huddersfield Sports Centre where he then worked.
The Boston Skydive Centre will be opening for the summer season in May 2011.
The two experienced skydivers behind the project have both spent many years in the business and have worked at, or managed, skydiving centres around the USA.
Dean, who turns 40 in July, is moving to Boston from Florida and is optimistic about the new venture.
He said: “It is our goal to offer the general public a stellar location for their tandem experience. The environment at Boston Skydive Centre is stunning and we believe you should enjoy being able to make a tandem skydive in this relaxed atmosphere.
“The airport is very user-friendly and spectators can be at the edge of the landing area to watch you land. Cameras and photos from your friends are always welcome.
“Both Marc and I are among the most experienced instructors in the world, with many years of experience taking the public on tandem skydives.”
Dean emigrated to the USA in 1993, having been brought up in Dalton, where his parents John and Jean still live.
His first job on leaving Rawthorpe High School was at the Sports Centre, but he never saw it as anything other than a stop-gap.
After making the charity jump he was bitten by the bug and moved to live in Blackpool, so that he could make regular jumps at a local skydiving centre.
His first trip to the States was as part of the Camp America project and he decided on the big move to emigrate.
Since the move, he has worked at a variety of skydiving centres and has qualified both as a aircraft pilot and as a skydiving cameraman.
He said: “I never tire of it. I’ve made more than 20,000 jumps over the years, but I would skydive every day if I could. It always feels like enjoyment rather than a job of work”.