Our Instructors

Gold Coast Skydivers has some of the most experienced instructors in the skydiving industry. Our senior instructors include four world record holders, two former U.S. Army Parachute Team members (Golden Knights) and a 3-time world champion. They average over 25 years experience. Meet some of the most talented instructors in the New Orleans area:

Mike Igo

In Loving Memory 3 May 1952 - 21 April 2010

Mike made his first jump when he joined the U.S. Marines in 1969 and fell in love with the sport. In April 1993 Mike founded Gold Coast Skydivers. Through Gold Coast Skydivers he has moved and inspired thousands of people around the world. Mike passed away shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer. Mike will forever be missed at Gold Coast Skydivers.

Leanne Igo

Drop Zone Owner

Freefall Coach Leanne started skydiving in 1998. She was in the Air Force 10 years but got stationed in Mississippi and fell in love with the people at Gold Coast and decided to call it home. Leanne says "the thing she likes most about Gold Coast is the people are like her family and no one is a stranger. No matter how many jumps you have or what your skydiving preference is, you are welcome just the same."

Andre Lee

Videographer, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated

Andre has been skydiving since 1991. He has worked at Gold Coast Skydivers since 1993. Ask Andre about Gold Coast and he'll tell you "it's the safest, best and friendliest skydiving operation in the world."

Ben Crowell

Safety and Training Advisor, Tandem Instructor, Vector Tandem Course Examiner, Master Rigger, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated

Ben is has been skydiving since 1982. He started jumping at Gold Coast Skydivers in 2000 and became the primary rigger at Gold Coast in 2005. He holds the record for the highest tandem jump, 30,000 feet, as well as the POPS high altitude record in Mississippi. Ben retired from the USCG. What Ben likes most about Gold Coast is "this place is so friendly to jumpers of all disciplines and the facilities are outstanding."

Brian Rasmussen


Bryan Buechler

Safety and Training Advisor, Tandem Instructor, AFF Instructor, Videographer, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated

Bryan started skydiving in 1989. He is retired from the Air Force. He is one of the leading canopy pilots in the sport of skydiving and truly enjoys passing his knowledge and expertise on to up and coming jumpers. Bryan states "I enjoy the camaraderie and family feel at Gold Coast Skydivers."

Charlie Porter


Christy Voss

Video Editing

Began skydiving at Gold Coast Skydivers in 2008. "I'm The Rockinest Video Editor in Lumberton! Christy loves the family atmosphere. Everybody picks on everybody and protects each other like they are kin.

David Fortner


David has been with Gold Coast since 1998. What David says he likes most about Gold Coast is, "How great the staff is with everybody."

Dee Fortner


Dee has been with Gold Coast since 2000 and has 9 tandems to her credit. The things she loves most about Gold Coast is, "How nice and friendly everybody is".

DJ Kemp


Started at Gold Coast Skydivers in 2008. He loves Gold Coast because it is a friendly place to work and have fun. DJ said "my boss is the best boss anyone could have."

JC Fallo

Tandem Instructor, Freefall Coach, Videographer, Senior Rigger, Video Concession, AFF Instructor

Jesse Guldan

Tandem Instructor, Pilot, Freefall Coach, Videoagrapher

Tony Cascino

Tandem Instructor / Free Fall coach

Tony made his first skydive in 2005 Since then he has logged 2000 jumps. Tony says "He has enjoyed all the close friendships he has made from skydiving over the years with other skydivers and the view from 14000 feet. It is also very rewarding to be able to pass my knowledge on to the new jumpers."

Karen Blanks

Freefall Coach, Manifest, First Jump Course Teacher, PRO Rated, AFF Instructor

Karen started skydiving at Gold Coast Skydivers in 2004. Karen said, "the staff at Gold Coast will go above and beyond to make even the most novice jumper feel welcome."

Martin Swords

Tandem Instructor, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated

Martin has been skydiving since 1991. In addition he also works with novice jumpers and teaches them basic freefall maneuvers to prepare them for relative work. Martin holds an Eagle Award, a Falcon Award, and a Starcrest Award.

Matt Peneguy

Tandem Instructor, Freefall Coach, Videographer

Matt started skydiving in 2006 and has over 1,200 skydives. Matt said he loves Gold Coast because "Gold Coast is home."

Paul Cozic

AFF Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Coach Course Examiner, Rigger, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated

Paul has been skydiving since 1992 and joined Gold Coast Skydivers in 2000. He holds high altitude records in both Mississippi and Tennessee and has acquired his PRO rating to go along with his Instructor ratings. Paul's experience ensures every student's questions are addressed and his or her fear of the unknown is put at ease. "Skydiving is easy! It's all about relaxing, smiling and having fun. Fear is usually of the unknown. Once you teach a student all that is going to happen, their fear goes away and is replaced by exhiliration." The things Paul likes most about Gold Coast is "the professionalism of the staff and their safety consciousness."

Rob Hansen

AFF Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Videographer, Senior Rigger, Freefall Coach, PRO Rated, Pilot

Rob has been skydiving since 2003. He has been at Gold Coast Skydivers since 2006. He enjoys taking people for their first skydive and helping up and coming jumpers. Rob says, "I like the small family connection between the people at Gold Coast." Rob says, "I like the small family connection between the people at Gold Coast."

Julie Golden

AFF Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Free Fall coach, Videoagrapher

Julie made her first jump in 1989. She has logged 7500 jumps since then. She say's "Gold Coast is a great place to make that one tandem jump you have been planning or stick with us for our amazing training and friendly atmosphere to make 1000 jumps or more."

Robert "Bo" Blanks

Videoagrapher, Free Fall coach, Head grounds keeper

Bo made his first tandem in 2004 and fell in love with skydiving. He has served for the Army for 22 years as a medic. Bo say's "what I enjoy most about Gold Coast is how dedicated the staff is to the sport, be it helping a new jumper find their way or helping experienced jumpers master new skills." Bo is truly an inspiration to all of us.

Ben Ford

Elliott Mertz

Zach Starr

Davis Hall

Sean Rader

Luis Hawkins

Travis Butler


Totally awesome

That was by far one of the best experiences of my life my brother and I did it together and now we're addicted since weve jumped were trying to get everyone to go

William Muirhead, Jul 12, 2015