SKYDIVE INDIANAPOLIS PROFILES: Brandon Dougherty
Packers are the unsung heroes of any skydive center. After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for making sure a parachute is packed properly and safely. They can minimize hard opens and cutaways, and their skill and speed help decrease wait times. Since they’re on the mat, you may not get to say “hi,” so we welcome this opportunity to introduce you to Brandon, our head packer.
Meet Brandon Dougherty
Personal life: Musician, father to Marley
Ratings: Certified parachute packer
Experience: 19 years
Parachutes packed: Over 21,000
First job packing: In case you didn’t know, Brandon is Bob’s son, so it comes as no surprise that packing was his first job. “It wasn’t as much of a decision, as it was a mandatory,” he laughs.
What appeals to you about packing: “I like the responsibility. I like people coming to me because they know I’ll do a good job with their chute.” Brandon especially likes it when an experienced jumper opts to have him do their pack job. “It’s one of my favorite exchanges: ‘How was your opening?’ ‘Better than when I do it…’ “
What appeals to you about packing at Skydive Indianapolis: “Working with family, working with people I’ve been around all my life, and the people I’ve been able to meet. The skydive culture is really open; you meet people from all over country and world, from all walks of life, all experiences. It makes you more well-rounded.“
Top four packing facts:
#1. You need to be certified by a rigger. You can’t just walk in and do this.
#2. A tandem rig can weigh between 60 to 75 pounds.
#3. It’s hot, strenuous work, and when the drop zone is busy, we have to keep pace.
#4. You can tip packers, too!
What inspires you: Brandon’s number one passion is music. “I started playing the guitar when I was 11 or 12, and I’ve been performing live since 2004.” Currently, he’s the host of Sound Check at city360tv.com, a freelance audio engineer, plays and sings with the acoustic project, AB+, and is the lead guitarist/vocalist with IndyCA.
IndyCA began in 2013, Their bandcamp site explains IndyCA in the following way: “Every member comes from a unique musical background. Ranging from ska, punk, funk, dub, dancehall, blues, hip-hop and metal but with one common ground. Reggae. Their fusion of genres has a way of getting a metal head and a hipster to have a “bro”ment.” As Brandon explains, “It’s reggae/rock fusion, think California reggae.” The band, which now has a regional following, keeps Brandon and the rest of the band, including brother Bryan, busy. “You can find us in Chicago, Indy, and all the surrounding cities and towns.” You can check out their latest news and info here and their sound here.
Blending Skydiving and Music
Being at Skydive Indianapolis, gives me a lot of free time to work on my craft. The only hard thing is waking up after a show, he laughs.
Skydiving and Family
Skydive Indianapolis is a family business, and Brandon’s always been a part of it. Now, his soon-to-be 8-year old daughter, Marley is becoming part of it as well. “She can come out, help in the store. When she’s not in school, she can come during the week and become part of that family experience.” Because the skydive family isn’t limited to bloodlines, “it gives her endless uncles and aunts, as well.”
Bumper sticker: “Make it happen.”
Skydive Indianapolis Profiles is part of an ongoing series, highlighting the staff and regulars at our drop zone.