James "Jim" Nipper
James Rice Nipper enlisted in the Army at age 17 in 1975 and became a US Army Golden Knight in 1980, and stayed for 14 years. He was on both the Black and Gold demonstration teams then became a member of the Style and Accuracy competition team and would finish his Golden Knight career as the Team Sergeant. Jim has numerous National and World skydiving titles. He retired from the Army in 1996 as a Sergeant First Class. He is also a parachute rigger, A&P/ IA mechanic for their airplane, former commercial pilot and D-7693 license holder. Jim maintains the airplane, ensures the parachutes you are jumping are safe, and will always ensure you have a safe, fun, life-changing skydive.
Melanie Nipper became a pilot in 1986, was an instrument flight instructor, crop duster, and flew cargo before flying for Gene Paul Thacker at Raeford Parachute Center where she met Jim. Melanie served in the Army as a Warrant officer in 1993 and flew Blackhawks helicopters and airplanes - a King Air! She has served in Korea, Haiti, Bosnia and 3 combat tours in Iraq. Melanie was active duty for 12 years and was in the National Guard and still serves in the Army Reserves with 25 years of service. She currently flies a King Air overseas as a contractor.