ABOVE: Phantom Air Brigade over Lake Dora. (Mount Dora Buzz file photo)
It’s an impressive sight over Lake Dora that began a few years ago. A vintage military plane roars overhead as dozens of Airborne “jumpers'' parachute into Lake Dora leaving onlookers in awe. On May 6 the event returns with approximately 140 veteran paratroopers who will jump during multiple passes over the lake. The jumps, organized by Phantom Airborne Brigade, feature former military Airborne members parachuting from the Tico Belle, a vintage Douglas C-47 that dropped troops on D-day in Normandy and is now based in Titusville. The recreational brigade, based in Zephyrhills, will have multiple airlifts with approximately 20 jumpers per flight. The first jump is expected at approximately 9:30 a.m. After each lift, there will be a 20-minute break for the plane to return to Leesburg airport to pick up the next lift of jumpers. The drops will start near the west end of Lake Dora near Tavares and continue east toward the center of the Tavares side of the lake. The jumpers will slowly descend over Lake Dora and be plucked from the water by volunteer boaters that will have attended a safety briefing prior to participating. The group selected Lake Dora due to the good public viewing. The drop area is a safe distance from observers and is closest to Wooton Park and Kalua Beach Bar. Follow Mount Dora Buzz on Instagram. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app.