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It's not Flying, It's Falling With Style

2014-08-12 11:04:38
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By 733 Sqn Website - 733 (Newcastle Airport) Squadron

Two cadets from 733 (Newcastle Airport) Squadron have recently proven they are certainly not afraid of heights, by taking part in a 3000ft static line parachute jump!

Corporals Rachel Somerville and Andrew Richardson, both aged 16, travelled down to Peterlee Parachute Centre in Durham in April, to undertake the necessary training. The pair were instructed by a British Parachute Association qualified instructor who put them through both theoretical and practical training to ensure that they could safely make their static line descent.

The static line parachuting method involves the parachute being deployed by a static line secured to a strong point within the aircraft. Both cadets successfully completed the training and were cleared to jump. However, due to adverse weather conditions, the cadets were unable to be taken up to the drop zone to complete their jump. Fortunately they were given the opportunity to return several weeks later on the 11th July to attempt the jump. After brief revision training to ensure they remembered the safety drill and actions, they were finally in the aircraft on their way to the drop zone.

Corporal Somerville commented, “When I saw there were places for a static line parachute course, I jumped at the opportunity, literally. The fact that I was afraid of heights didn’t cross my mind until later on, but now I’ve jumped from a plane at 3000ft, I feel I can do anything. I am so thankful to have been offered such an amazing experience, one which I will never forget.”

Corporal Richardson added, “It was a thrilling experience that certainly tested us during the fall from 3000ft! I would recommend doing the course to everyone and I can’t wait to go again from my next jump and hopefully progress onto freefall. This was just one of the many amazing opportunities that the Air Cadet organisation has offered me and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Both cadets were presented with a video of their jump to take away as a memory of the day they first jumped out of an aircraft at 3000ft. The pair and now eligible to undertake further jumps and even progress onto free-fall parachuting! Officer Commanding 733 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant John Sheedy, commented on the activity: “It’s not every day that cadets get an opportunity to undertake a parachute jump, so it was encouraging to see Andrew and Rachel seize this opportunity as soon as it became available. From speaking to them and seeing the video of their jump, it is clear that it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one they will certainly not forget.”

733 Squadron prides itself on providing a wide range of opportunities to cadets from the local area, with activities such as flying, gliding and shooting complementing schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, BTEC qualifications and the Youth First Aid Award to name but a few. The Squadron Parades on Monday and Friday nights at Kingston Park TA Centre. 

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