At Sheringham situated on the North Norfolk Coast in England UK - Our community newspaper online
@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 68 - Friday 24th October 2006 - Choose another issue
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COME FLY WITH ME - A TANDEM SKYDIVERS TALE!

On a day which dawned overcast and gloomy, the intrepid team (Maureen, Jacki and Jayne - the Jumping Beavers) were pleased to see sunshine as they headed to Old Buckenham airfield.  Incidentally, this is where the great actor Jimmy Stewart was stationed during WWII - probably jumped out of a plane or two in training!

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Upon arrival, the Jumping Beavers met up with their cohorts from Sheringham Primary and filed through registration - no turning back now we've paid!   With some time to go before our jump we had plenty of time to watch the clankety little plane ascend numerous times with its occupants in varying degrees of apprehension.   Once on the manifest it was time for a full briefing before entering the kit room - emerging clad in jumpsuits (not exactly stylish - no Vegas Elvis stuff!) and harnesses.   A quick refuel (the plane, not us - too nervous); climb aboard; squash together and away we go.  In the cramped close quarters we couldn't help but get to know our instructors - sitting with his legs around you and getting buckled up tight!

It seemed an eternity before we reached 10,000ft - hadn't worked it out beforehand, that's TWO miles high!!  Be assured, the ground is a very, very long way down.  But there's no time to worry - shuffle to the edge, assume the exit position and we're away.  After the moment of terror just before launch, the freefall is a fantastic experience.  0 to 120mph in 9 seconds; icy cheeks wobbling wildly in the wind; clear cerulean skies and brilliant sunshine; cotton-wool clouds to fall through, and no sound other than the whistle of the rushing air as we hurtle back to Earth.   Plenty of time to take in the view then tuck yourself in - no arms or legs flailing - and thankfully feel the tug of the chute deploying.  Take the controls and elegantly twirl round as we glide back down while the instructor points out all the sights, the hazy horizon shrouding the view of Sheringham!  Lift your legs up high while the instructor takes the impact as he brings you in to land.  Touchdown.   Terra firma.  No broken bones.  Yippee!

A big thank you to everyone who came to watch us jump.  Massive thanks to the folks of Sheringham who have supported and sponsored us.  We're optimistic that the Jumping Beavers have raised over 1000 - there'll be an update in a future issue when it's all been counted and handed over to the Scout Group and the Primary School, with details of what the money will be used for.  Anyone who would like to sponsor us can phone us (822323 or 821317).

Visit the school website (www.sheringhamprimary.norfolk.sch.uk) for lots of pictures, kindly taken by Tim Groves, a teacher at the school.  And if you ever get the chance to do what we've done - go for it!

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