Welcome to the Standish Branch of The Royal British Legion
The Members are doing a 14,000 feet Tandem Parachute jump.
Left to right: Steve Surples, David Curry, Judith Atherton, Jordan Curry & Chris Velone. The holder of the Royal British Legion T-shirt is Lydia Curry (not participating).
Judith Atherton is the current Lady Mayoress of Wigan.
Saturday 21st August 2010.
Our day started at 8am as we all met up on Pole Street Standish. The weather in the morning was sunny with a slight breeze, so we were confident the jump was going to go ahead. David Curry, Jordan Curry, Steve Surples, Judith Atherton and Chris Velone and a few spectators were all ready for the 45 minute journey to The Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham, Lancashire.
On arrival we registered, and after a little "hick up" with one of the registrations all was well. We eagerly awaited to be called forward for our safety briefing and then onto the parachute jump. We waited and waited, and we waited some more.
Finally after a couple of hours passing our names were called forward for the safety briefing. The safety briefing was short and clear, everyone knew what was expected and what to do during the jump.
David and Jordan Curry were the first names to be called forward to do their jump, so off they went to get dressed for the occassion. Then Steve Surples, Judith Atherton and finally Chris Velone. The last three going on seperate flights.
Unfortunately Steve Surples missed the transport and had to walk to the aircraft.
Next it was onto the local taxi for the transfer to the aircraft. Not the most comfiest of journeys, but only a short run to the runway. As the aircraft came and went with more students our times were getting closer to jump. Judith was the most nervous, forgetting what she was told at the safety brief, but it all came together at the end for her.
Up up and away. The aircraft was back and forth with a party every 15 - 20 minutes.
The aircraft, a Pilatus Porter took approximately 12 minutes to reach altitude (14,000 ft). That is when the safety briefing had to be put in place. A certain position had to be adopted to exit the aircraft and during free fall. Free fall lasted aproximately 10 - 15 seconds before the tap on the shoulder was felt for the next position was to be adopted. The parachute was opened and it was then a gentle glide down, the instructor throwing a few tight spins and turns before the final approach onto the drop zone.
David Curry on approach.
Jordan Curry on approach.
Steve Suprles on approach.
Judith Atherton on approach.
Chris Velone on approach.
With everyone down safe and sound, the walk back to the centre was short but with a great feeling of what we had all just achieved.
In Rememberance of Bob.
Back in 1987, my friend Bob Bilodeau and I, after graduating from High School, joined the Army together. We went through basic training, Infantry school and Airborne (parachute) School together. The army sent us in seperate directions. I went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Bob went to Europe. A year later while on winter ops training at Fort McCoy, Wisconson I was informed of his death.
I wasn't able to get home for his memorial service. So on special occasions like rememberance day and high school reunions I always make a point to remember him. I was born and raised in Rhode Island United States of America. Bob was originally from Virginia. I think his parents divorced and he moved to Rhode Island with his Mother, but he was buried in Virginia.
On my Parachute Jump, I carried a Poppy in Rememberabce of Bob Bilodeau.
We would like to thank the instructors of The Black Knights Parachute Centre for taking us on this (maybe) once in a life time experience.
But back to what it was all about. We all carried out the parachute jump in aid of the Poppy Appeal. We are aiming to raise as much as we can and are still accepting donations.
The Standish Royal British Legion Parachute Team. WELL DONE TO ALL. We would also like to mention the people who came up with us to support us on the day. Thank you.
The Parachute Team.