On 21 April, a group of eight cadets, supported by three adult volunteers, from 9 Company, Greater London South East ACF made the trip to the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon in Wiltshire. The aim was to complete the static line parachute course and carry out their first parachute descent. For one cadet, it was to be their first trip in an aircraft!
The course was made possible by a generous financial contribution for the Jack Petchey foundation, and cadets were very grateful to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Saturday was a very busy programme of ground training under the direction of their very professional instructor The cadets learnt how the parachute works and how to control and land it safely. The day concluded with both a written and practical test which everyone passed with flying colours.
They then had to wait patiently for the weather. Hopes of jumping late on the Saturday afternoon were dashed when the wind speed increased. Sunday dawned very cloudy and overcast. Thankfully this lifted during the morning and after a period refresher training, it was kit on, a final briefing and a nervous walk out to the waiting aircraft. The aircraft soon reached the jump altitude of 3,500ft and all cadets successfully jumped and, after having had the exhilarating and unique experience of seeing the expanse of Salisbury Plain under canopy, they all landed safely. All in all, a fantastic adventurous training weekend. Many thanks to the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Army Parachute Association for making it happen.
SI Rob Perry