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The Most Surreal Experience!

Today is Thursday. Although it doesn’t feel like a Thursday as yesterday was Tuesday. I’m pretty sure anyway. The reason we are feeling like this, and we are all in agreement, is because yesterday we jumped out of a plane at 13,000ft in order to raise money for Autism Wessex. It was probably the most surreal experience any of us have ever had and it almost feels like a dream!

Before I go any further I will just quickly let you know that we all made it back in one piece and we are all pretty proud of ourselves for completing the task without anyone ‘dropping out’ (no pun intended).

So let me give you a quick run through of the day. The drive up to the airfield was a nervous one, but there was definitely a sense of excitement in the air (or maybe that was nerves!) as everyone was frantically chatting about what they thought it would be like. We were soon there though and as we arrived, a plane full of ‘divers’ was in the air and we watched what we were about to do. Nerves started settling in.

We met our friendly team of instructors, and the first task was of course to “sign our lives away” by agreeing to jump at our own risk! We then moved on to a ten minute training session that would explain everything that we needed to know about how to do a tandem skydive! The essentials are “you need to arch”, “you need to stay still!” and “try to enjoy it”!

We then picked up our lovely ‘jump-suits’ before climbing aboard the mini bus that took us to the runway. The plane landed and we jumped aboard! We were notified once we had reached 1,000ft (at which point our MD though this was the height! No chance, another 12,000ft to go!). We were notified again once we hit 5,000 ft, then the next thing you know we are at 13,000ft, the door opens and the guy you’ve only just met but are strapped too, is sliding you towards the open door of a tiny aircraft, telling you to ‘smile for the camera’!

The next bit is a blur, as we free-fall for roughly 45 seconds, reaching speeds of up to 120mph, then the chute opens and it’s a five minute descent to the ground. As we land, the only thing you can find yourself thinking is; “what just happened!”

Fortunately, we were clever enough to purchase the optional video (don’t worry, we’ve put a link below for it) and so were able to watch ourselves back, pulling stupid faces whilst trying to hide the sheer fear and exhilaration of the experience!

To sum up, we had a great day raising money for a fantastic charity. We are extremely grateful for everyones donations and would like to thank everyone at Autism Wessex and Skydive Netheravon (for making us feel at complete ease throughout) for the opportunity to raise in excess of £6,000 (so far!)!

Skydive - Autism WessexSimon Brooks
Simon Brooks 0023Simon Brooks 0024Simon BrooksSimon Brooks 0044Simon Brooks 0035Simon Brooks 0080

Stuart Hartley 0023 Stuart Hartley 0028 Stuart Hartley 0030 Stuart Hartley 0088 Stuart Hartley 0118Stuart Hartley 0203 Stuart Hartley 0206 Stuart Hartley 0211

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