Scott Palmer, or better known as “Plamer” made his first jump in 2003 and now holds multiple world records, is a sought after wind tunnel instructor, and is one of the original creators of Dynamic flying and won the first D4W and D2W competitions. Palmer now focuses his energies on wingsuiting and flying planes, because as he says, “I love all things flying!”
It was in the rural area of Boise, Idaho that Plamer came into this world. He grew up around ranches, farms, and the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states and he loved it. “I was the type of kid who was outdoors from sunup to sun down, whether it was riding motorcycles, playing in the irrigation canal, or running around with my friends. I am not very good at being still,” he shared.
Many of us have been or know others who were inspired to try skydiving after watching movies like Terminal Velocity, Gypsy Moths, Fandango, Dropzone… but it was the movie Point Break that captured Plamer’s curiosity about the sport. “I grew up in a family of Aviators,” began Plamer. “Both of my grandfathers, my father, and my uncles were all pilots. So I spent a lot of time as a kid at the airport. I can remember seeing the skydivers jump at the airport shortly after watching Point Break and thinking as soon as I turn 18, I am doing that!”
The dream of jumping from the plane had never left his memories or his desires. As fate would have it, Palmer joined the military before he turned 18 and because of that, the military wouldn’t allow him to jump on his birthday. “But when I came back from Basic Training,” he remembers, “I rushed out to the airfield I grew up on and enrolled in the static line course.”
When he arrived at the little Cessna dropzone he experienced a bit of culture shock. “Coming straight from Basic Training and rolling up to a Fandango-like dropzone was a bit of a shocker!” he said. “I remember sitting in the plane on that first jump thinking to myself can I really trust these characters!? Well, I was committed at that point so I crawled out and hung from the strut and just said screw it, and let go. My life changed right then and there.”
To say Plamer was hooked was an understatement. “All I wanted from that moment onward was to do it again. Now almost 20 years later and over 12,000 skydives later I still want to do it again and again!” Some skydivers get into skydiving with a clear path of wanting to wingsuit skydive or become an instructor. For Plamer, it was different. “I never set out on any path in skydiving. I just knew I wanted to do it more so I was going to do whatever it took to make that happen. Once I started working in the industry I really tried to always say yes to anything that sounded fun. This ‘yes’ attitude gave me a lot of really good opportunities that lead me to a great career in skydiving.”
Palmer was also captivated by body flight in general and naturally gravitated towards flying in the wind tunnel. He progressed at the time when the discipline of indoor skydiving was growing and evolving into a sport of its own. He shared the beginnings of dynamic flying, “The birth of Dynamic was some of the best times I have ever had. A great group of people came together to share their knowledge, learn and create something fun after years of competing in FAI comps and not liking the rules and politics surrounding those competitions. In the beginning, we were just playing with “numbered” moves at Indoor Skydiving Bottrop. There was nothing written down the info was passed to other flyers by hand gestures and Barbie dolls and then smashing into each other in the tunnel trying to work it out.
About a year in, Havard Flatt and Alex Aimard took the reins and started designing a way to grow from numbered to moves to a viable completion format using lines on the tunnel glass. Then came time to test the concept. Twelve of us came together in Voss in the summer of 2012 and ran a mock competition to work on the kinks and start to figure out judging. It was so much fun and I remember laughing so hard the whole time we were flying the “outface shuffler” that I nearly crashed every time I passed thru the center!”
For Plamer, being a part of the team that developed Dynamic flying was one of his best memories, but there were also other benchmarks in his career that were equally as memorable.
“Being in the wind tunnel world since the introduction of high-speed wind tunnels, I have had the opportunity to train a lot of people, watching their progress and witnessing the discipline of dynamic grow to the monster it is now is definitely what I am most proud of,” he said.
During this interview, Plamer shared he was working on a large movie doing “hidden rig” stunt work and that was all he could share until the movie is released, but was very excited to be a part of this opportunity. He also added that lately, he’s been focusing on wingsuit BASE jumping with hopes to open new exits in North America this summer. He also said, “Fingers crossed my aviation career will take off and I am hoping to become an air tanker pilot fighting fires!”
When asked what his biggest takeaway or life lesson from his career of all things flying, he simply said, “Cherish the relationships you have. Life is short – live hard!”
Photo credits (L to R) Ryan Lynch, Scott Plamer, Richard Kheir)
Sitting from here we can see all the hard work, dedication and passion poured into such a successful career in skydiving, indoor skydiving and flying and proud to have Plamer as part of the CYPRES team. If you’d like to learn more about or follow Plamer on his adventures, check out his pages here: