I thought it might be a good idea to post an article about how I arranged this jump and what it'll involve. Getting on for a couple of months ago, after days of indecision, I made a snap decision to do a parachute jump for cancer research (it's the way my mind works, I spend ages fretting about things then just decide to do them).
I was vaguely aware that there are people who organise parachute jumps for charity, so I did an internet search and came up with several options. The one I picked - mostly on the grounds of the ease of use of their website - was an outfit called Skyline who offer parachute jumps to beginners, including charity jumps. One of the charities they have a relation with is the North West Cancer Research Fund, which sounded like exactly the kind of outfit I was looking to support.
Skyline offered a range of options as far as the jump is concerned, from static line jumps to solo skydives. I went for a static line jump because that was the cheapest option, and also because it struck me as the least dangerous. The actual jump, along with the training, will take place at the Black Knights Parachute Centre, which is a few miles outside Lancaster. They've got a nice-looking website, I just hope the training's as good!
What will actually be happening on Saturday 15th September is that I will arrive at the airfield at the crack of dawn (no later than 8.30am) and spend the day being trained. I imagine the training will mostly be about how to avoid being killed or injured. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to stay awake! At the end of the day, if weather permits and my instructors are satisfied I'm ready, I'll be taken up in a plane to a height of 3,000 feet to do the jump. As I said, it's a static line jump - like when you see films about paratroops in World War 2, there'll be a line connecting my parachute pack to the ceiling of the plane, and when I go out of the door, the line will pull my parachute open - hopefully. Instead of being the traditional circular type, it'll be a square 'chute, so I should be able to steer it down - although I reckon I'll be a lot more bothered about my speed of descent than exactly where I touch down!