Our Staff

Melissa Gittins

Melissa is co-owner/operator and Operations/Manifest Manager at BRSA responsible for scheduling and managing daily jump operations & airplane loads. Your skydive experience is her priority whether you are a Tandem jumper, AFF student, licensed skydiver or prefer to keep your feet on the ground. A three jump wonder (Tandem & AFF), she's happy to welcome you to the sport of skydiving or help you put a check mark on your bucket list.

Charlie Gittins

Charlie is the owner/operator of Blue Ridge Skydiving Adventures. A retired Marine Corps Lt Col, he is a USPA rated AFF, IAD and Tandem Instructor with 1500+ skydives. He is an FAA Senior Rigger,  Certified Flight-Instructor-Instrument with commercial and multi engine ratings, and is sometimes seen flying our airplanes or providing recurrency training to our pilots. Charlie is one of our dropzone Safety and Training Advisors.  Charlie is committed to operating a safe, professional drop-zone.  He welcomes suggestions for improvement.

Bob Mehl

Bob is a Senior Consultant to our dropzone. Formerly our operations manager, Bob provides assistance with staff training, equipment maintenance and new-equipment purchases. Bob is also a Sigma Tandem Instructor-Examiner, IAD Instructor Examiner, Coach-Examiner and AFF Instructor-Examiner as well as a Master Rigger who performs maintenance on our parachute systems.  In his Examiner role, Bob provides training courses to our instructional staff to improve their ratings and competence as instructors. Bob is available to conduct courses for Sigma tandem instructor as well as IAD-I and USPA Coach ratings courses as well as provide advice on gear and gear modifications or alterations. Call manifest for more information.

Tasha Buckner

Tasha is one of our parachute packers. She has over 200 skydives and made her first AFF jump with us. Tasha is also an FAA Senior Rigger and she supervises parachute packing during skydiving operations. Tasha is also an accomplished fire dancer and she will entertain you on select evenings during the season.

Jonathan Newman

Jonathan is an AFF and Tandem Instructor. He has more than 2,000 skydives and has worked as an instructor in Canada and Panama. Jonathan is also an FAA Senior Rigger. Jonathan is an accomplished canopy instructor and he frequently can be seen providing canopy control courses including the B License canopy control course required to receive a USPA B license. If you want canopy instruction, call manifest and we'll arrange a class.

Larry Westby

Larry has been skydiving for over 35 years. He has more than 5,500 skydives and 3,000 tandem skydives. Larry is also an accomplished Canopy Relative Work canopy pilot and is available for coaching skydivers interested in learning CRW.  Affectionately known as "Crazy Larry", he is dedicated to providing a safe experience to our first time jumpers. If you are lucky enough to jump with Larry, he'll give you an outstanding tour of the Shenandoah Valley on your ride to altitude.

Sandy Adkinson

Sandy has over 300 skydives and has been jumping at BRSA for three years, Sandy is a USPA rated Coach who works with our Category F, G and H students. Sandy is working on his AFF-I rating and enjoys RW and CRW jumps.

Henrik Jensen

Henrik hails from Denmark. Henrik has made more than 2500 skydives and is a Tandem Instructor and USPA Coach who also shoots skydiving videos. Henrik is also one our jumpers you may find doing CRW with "Crazy Larry."

Ernie Torres                                   

Ernie is retired Navy after 20 years of Active Duty service. He is a USPA rated Coach and AFF Instructor. He has been to dropzones all over the world from as far west as Hawaii and as far east as Russia. He is also somewhat of a celebrity, as a Guinness World Record holder. Ernie is also a iFLY Loudoun County wind tunnel instructor at the Ashburn, VA facility. Ernie is available to assist our AFF students to work on their free-fall skills in the wind tunnel or at our skydiving facility.

Dan Alicie

Dan joined BRSA after five years packing at DZs all over the United States. Dan earned his A license at BRSA in 2015. Chances are, if you are a jumping a student parachute or a making a tandem, Dan packed your main parachute.

Jonathan Good

Jonathan is one of our outstanding pilots. Jonathan is an FAA A & P mechanic and IA. He has not skydived yet, but he has been flying jumpers in our Cessna 182  and Navajo for three seasons. He is our primary mechanic and he sees to it that our airplanes are in tip-top shape. 

Frank Haun

Frank is one of our outstanding pilots. Frank holds an FAA Certified Flight Instructor certificate (Multi-engine and Instrument) and has been instrumental in training our pilots to fly the Navajo, although you may find him flying either airplane, or both, on any given weekend. Frank has also made his first skydive with us at BRSA and he claims to have enjoyed jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Britton Anderson         

Britton is the newest member of our staff and this is her first job as a professional pilot. Britton flies the C-182 and the Navajo. Britton has made four skydives, including her first Accelerated Freefall skydive. She will do her best to make your flight to altitude pleasant! (She really is old enough to be a pilot, we promise!)

Chris Whitley

Chris has skydived all over the world. He is our most experienced instructor with over 10,000 tandem skydives. Chris is multi-rated, and he can be seen around the dropzone doing AFF instruction or taking tandem students on their first skydive. Chris is a United Parachute Technologies Sigma Tandem Instructor-Examiner, which means he trains Tandem Instructors and he serves as our on-staff quality assurance advisor for tandem skydiving. In addition, Chris is one of our USPA Safety & Training Advisors, responsible to assure that all of our skydivers adhere to the USPA Basic Safety Requirements and skydiving best practices. He is always willing to talk skydiving, so chat him up if you see him around the DZ.

Frank Connors

Frank works in Ground Operations, assisting with equipment, aircraft loading and customer relations. Frank is our "jack of all trades" who is always wiling to answer customer questions. Frank has over 200 skydives and made his first skydive at our DZ with his wife Gerrilyn in 2013. Frank is looking forward to earning his USPA Coach rating in 2016.

Terry Wood

Terry has been skydiving for 10 years and has over 2,000 skydives. Terry is an AFF Instructor and USPA Coach who enjoys teaching students to skydive. You can also see Terry "getting his swoop on" with his high performance landings after most of his skydives.

Rob Robinson

Rob has been skydiving for 13 years and has been a tandem instructor for 2 seasons at BRSA. Rob also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate and can be seen flying his hot Piper Comanche into New Market Airport.

Shannon-Mae

Shannon is our Manifest-Operations Technician responsible for checking in all of our skydivers. Shannon has been with BRSA for two seasons and has made 15 skydives. She looks forward to providing you with a happy experience. Shannon is looking to finish up her A license this season. Many weekends, Shannon treats our staff and guests to wonderful baked goods, which has earned her nickname, "Cupcake."