“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
There’s nothing like a forced lockdown for us skydivers to truly appreciate that quote when we have been deprived from doing the one thing we love with a passion.

The news we waited for arrived that skydiving could resume, and no time was wasted in starting to get pilots checked out and current again on the Tuesday. The day was organised with limited numbers as plans were put in place on the safety side to prevent coronavirus spreading as people were tested and masks put on.

It was so nice to see and hear the Cessna Caravan cranking up, with the smell of jet fuel lingering in the air. At last parachutes could be seen over Dunkeswell and smiles returned on jumpers faces. “That felt great” could be heard as jumpers returned from the landing area. A glorious sunny weekend greeted us with visiting jumpers paying us a visit, always a nice thing to see. 340 descents were made, which normally would have been 612 but reduced numbers of jumpers in the plane was imposed due to COVID-19. But one thing hadn’t changed and that was the good vibes, “wonderful it’s like coming back home” commented Veronika. All around skydiving banter could be heard and the jumpers even had the flavour of being in Devon as they were transported back from the landing area by tractor and trailer.

Well, the time has come to return to our playground in the sky and get some fun memories embedded for us to reflect on for years to come. As you can imagine coming out of the lockdown it’s going to take time to get back to normal, but with that in mind the club will be pushing to organise some fun events. Helicopter jumps, night jumps, communication with the balloon pilots to reorganise balloon jumps for the 40 people already registered has taken place. Those that have been adding to their bucket list, the club wing walking is up and running again for people up to 14 stone. Time to step outside your comfort zone and try new disciplines you may just realise you have been missing out on some fun. On the subject of fun jumps pencil in jelly dives, cupcake jumps, hoop dives, going for your SCSA award, naked skydives… OK I’m starting to get carried away now!

Andy Guest D2439

ACHIEVEMENTS: WS2 Neil Hooper JUMP NUMBERS 200 Janine Qasim, Aaron Thornton 600 Neil Hooper 1,000 Rob W Southwell

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Photo: Dan Guest and Jimmy McCarthy by Mikey Lovemore