The Ohio Skydiving Center is truly a family-owned and operated business. Owners Chris and Tara Chapman have a combined total of over 8,000 jumps and 40 years of experience in the sport between them. They are passionate about the sport and sharing the knowledge they've learned with all who visit their skydive center.
Meet the Owners
Chris was born in Newark, Ohio and is a 1986 graduate from Licking Valley High School. He became interested in skydiving after making his first parachute jump in the Army in 1987. Since that time, Chris hasn't stopped since. Chris is also an accomplished Commercial Pilot with over 500 hours of flight time. Chris served as a Sergeant First-class in the US Army and was an explosives expert with the US Army Special Forces and served on an operational A-team with the 3rd Special Forces group out of Fort Bragg, NC. Chris is also a disabled veteran.
Between skydiving and flying, Chris has earned a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering, a Masters in Business, and a JD in Law. Chris spent a good portion of his skydiving career working with students on the weekends while stationed at Fort Bragg. He worked as a skydiving instructor and rigger for the Green Beret Sport Parachute club on Fort Bragg and was an active demonstration skydiver with both the All American Skydiving team and the Green Beret Parachute teams. Chris has over 6,000 jumps, is a Skydiving Instructor rated in Static line, Accelerated Freefall, Tandem, and Instructor Assisted Deployment teaching methods. Chris is also a Safety and Training advisor for the United States Parachute Association. In addition to being a Commercial Pilot, Chris is also an FAA certified Parachute Rigger. Chris personally trains and supervises all of the OSC instructors and also supervises the maintenance of our skydiving equipment. This significantly contributes to making us the safest skydiving center in the nation. Chris' greatest passion is teaching and he's happiest working with students and sharing his joy for skydiving. He has been teaching skydiving for 20 years and has taken many people on their first jump from the Ohio area.
Tara was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1969 where she grew up. Tara was a sergeant the US Army's Psychological Operations Unit. While on active duty, Tara became interested in skydiving and attended a first-jump course at the Green Beret Parachute Club, in which Chris was an instructor. In a funny twist of fate, Tara's boyfriend at-the-time actually challenged Tara that she had a crush on her instructor. Since that time, Chris and Tara became inseparable and Tara decided to move to Ohio when Chris was getting out of the Army. They married shortly afterwards. In addition to skydiving, Tara and Chris were once active competitive Ballroom dancers (few people know this), competing in the Rhumba, Cha-Cha, Swing, Bolero, and Meringue.
Tara is a tandem instructor and is often the person people end up talking to if you call us during the week. She spends a significant amount of time answering calls and emails to calm nerves and reassure anxious tandem customers. She exudes the passion that both Chris and Tara collectively share for the sport and is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Our customers often comment on how refreshing her interaction with them was during their booking process.
Tara has over 900 jumps and is our only female tandem instructor. Tara has earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and works as a database programmer for the State of Ohio. Being a true cajun at heart, Tara still often uses words and phrases that many Ohioans find funny although she really has no discernible accent.
Chris and Tara have three daughters, Kelsey, Kristen (now in the US Air Force), and Shanna, (who also works at the Ohio Skydiving Center). The Ohio Skydiving Center truly is a family-run business.
» Rick Barr