LIZ Forsyth of Langholm
describes her recent tandem sky dive for charity.
My husband got me what he claimed was “the best present ever” for Christmas. It was a voucher for a tandem skydive from 10,000ft. As an incentive to go through with it I thought I might as well try to raise some money for Alzheimer Scotland, a charity close to my heart.
As the date approached, I become more and more anxious and scared. Peter and our friends Steph and Neil took me to the wee airfield at Peterlee. My nerves were not helped by the talk on the way there about what my obituary would say and how they would transport me home if I my parachute didn’t open.
At 1pm when I was called for my training with a group of about 15 people, all scheduled to jump that afternoon. The training took about 45 minutes and included the phrase “arch or die” which I will probably never forget.
After that, the waiting started. My name didn’t get called until around 4.15, and I was going to be on the last flight of the day.
‘Charlie’ my tandem got me sorted with a jumpsuit and a very tight rugby ball shaped hat/helmet. He went over the training and introduced me to Connor who was filming the jump. Around 16 of us made our way to a wee plane with 4 tandem jumpers and the rest were solos.
Bizarrely, I started to feel less nervous and more excited at this point. Charlie and I were first on as we were going to be the last to jump. We went up to the front on the floor and I had to sit between his legs. Everyone else did the same in a row in front and beside us.
The plane took off and as it got a bit higher, I had to shuffle onto Charlie’s lap so he could connect me to the harness and pull my goggles on tight.
Once we got to altitude people started jumping. Charlie checked I still wanted to do it and I said yes, giving him the thumbs up as instructed. Then it was our turn. We shuffled to the back of the plane where Connor was waiting for us.
He hung outside the plane to film us going out. We got to the edge and after just a few seconds we were off. I remembered to arch and really enjoyed the sensation of falling through the air, I wasn’t scared at all at this point.
Connor was filming us on the way down until Charlie pulled the rip cord and inflated the parachute.
It felt like we shot upwards and then we started floating rather than falling. Charlie let me do some spins by getting me to pull the handles at the sides to change the direction we were going.
The views were fantastic. I could see right along the coast. In no time at all we could see everyone on the ground. I waved but they couldn’t see me.
As we got nearer the ground, I had to hold my legs up out of the way and Charlie gently set us down.
Although I was a ‘reluctant’ jumper I would do it again in a heartbeat. The bonus is that my lovely friends and family have helped me raise £400 for Alzheimer Scotland which is a
If anyone wants to add to the total, the link is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Elizabeth-Forsyth2