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Her airplane crash hasn’t stopped her from flying.

Posted by Taylor Thompson in Blog, News | 0 comments



You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® member Jan Ryan as a member of NSDCAR’s board of directors as an at-large member. After joining the board in 2016, Jan was recently reelected for a second two-year term through 2019. The Ramona resident previously served on NSDCAR’s Grievance Committee before becoming an NSDCAR board member. She also has served as a director with the Ramona Real Estate Association.

But did you know that Jan has gone skydiving nearly every chance she gets for the past three years? “It’s exciting, thrilling and lots of fun,” she said. “I have made about 160 jumps, most of the time at Skydive San Diego in Otay Mesa. The first time I packed my own parachute, it didn’t open, so I had to pull my reserve chute.”

Last month, on her birthday, Jan and her daughter Tori jumped out of a hot-air balloon at about 7,500 feet (click here to see video, https://youtu.be/0F-kPtiE1x4). A few years back, Jan also took her mom skydiving on her 80th birthday.

When she’s not serving real estate clients, skydiving is not Jan’s only recreational activity. Last summer, she learned scuba diving with her children (their favorite dive spot is Key Largo, Florida).

Jan also flies airplanes. In 2003, she earned her private pilot’s license along with husband Jeff Gan and son Ryan Vernazza. Together, their flight plans have included trips from Ramona to a variety of locations, including the Grand Canyon, Sand Point in Idaho, Palm Springs, Sedona in Arizona and Loreto in Mexico, as well as Central and Northern California to visit Jan’s mom in Redding.

In 2006, on a planned long-distance solo instrument flight from Ramona to Redding, Jan’s plane’s engine sputtered and coughed dark plumes of smoke at 7,000 feet, about 13 miles over the Pacific Ocean near Monterey. For the next several miles, the engine would run a bit, smoke and then flare back up. Oakland’s air traffic controllers gave Jan two options, either ditch the plane in the ocean or head towards Monterey 20 miles away. She chose Monterey.

When she popped out of the clouds approaching the Monterey airport, facing a 22-knot crosswind, she was greeted by a number of emergency vehicles crowding the small runway. “I followed all my emergency training which saved my life,” said Jan. “After the landing, the plane was damaged by the oil spilling out of the exhaust. The mechanic later showed me the piston and it was destroyed. But, that incident didn’t stop me from flying. I still enjoy it immensely.”

Jan began selling real estate in 1977, and earned her broker’s license in 1981. Jan and Jeff have lived in Ramona since 1988 and opened Ryan Gan Real Estate in 1990. In 1996, they bought a RE/MAX franchise, calling it RE/MAX Direct.

Jan and Jeff recently celebrated their 25-year wedding anniversary. “I go by my maiden name, otherwise, my name would be Jan Gan,” said Jan. Their three adult children also work in the real estate industry, including daughter Kelly Coleman with a brokerage, son Ryan Vernazza with a bank’s lending division lending division and daughter Tori Gan with a mortgage company. Jan and Jeff have four grandchildren.

Jan was a member of another large local REALTOR® Association for 25 years before joining NSDCAR. “The other Association is no longer member driven and I felt disenfranchised by them, so I switched to NSDCAR,” Jan said. “Our North County Association is so much better. We keep the members as our number one focus. The staff is amazing and their customer service is excellent.”

Jan also attended NSDCAR’s recent “Conversations” event. She said it was impressive. Chris Voss, author and former FBI hostage negotiator was the keynote speaker. “I’ve gone to a lot of seminars and actually quit going because I never learned anything, but Conversations was different,” she said. “I loved the FBI negotiator speaker. I learned new negotiation techniques and strategies that I’m now using in my everyday business.”

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