The season has finally started after a few false hopes, an aircraft requiring parts and an almost-completed hangar. Over the closed season we have been busy with improvements around the place and our new turbo Airvan finally has a home. Completion of the hangar has taken over a year due to other commitments but is now looking like it means business and Alec has done a great job. He looked slightly stressed the first time we put the aircraft in the hangar, but the measurements were good and it’s a perfect fit.

We waved goodbye to G-VANA at the end of 2019. This aircraft has looked after us for the past eight years so it was a little sad to see her go, though we are now on a new journey with G-HTFU and are hoping to improve the centre’s capacity for tandems and fun jumpers alike. We will be able to reach altitude faster than before and the two aircraft just seem completely different. We have also now completed our no-expense-spared rebrand of our new aircraft! Big thanks to the designers on achieving the impossible with this one. We knew it would be a challenging project…

Dave Lewis has recently passed his Pilot Examiner and Chief Pilot exams so a huge congratulations to him. Dave has been helping with training pilots for the new aircraft which has proved invaluable.

The first weekend of the year was superb and included tandems, fun jumping, static line jumps and a ‘welcome back’ jump for Ian Davies. The weekend saw new fun jumpers coming to meet us and jumpers we have not seen for some time returning. Add to this some beautiful clear skies and cold weather conditions and it was the perfect weekend.

We are already planning for the year ahead and it looks to be a busy time with charities such as Yorkshire Air Ambulance working with us. During March 2020 we are arranging a safety day, but with a bit of a difference. This will include an introduction to accuracy and display jumping as these are areas that our fun jumpers have expressed an interest in. This will be held on a Friday and advertised on our Facebook page.

We will also aim to have an open week again this year as we thoroughly enjoyed the last one until the weather beat us.

Sara Orton

Achievements: Pilot Examiner Dave Lewis

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