Saturday July 18 was the return to skydiving post Covid-19 and the first day of the season at Skydiving London (London Parachute School).
As well as a good number of tandem students, where the office team had to learn the ‘new normal’ method of operating under the new procedures, we also welcomed ten of our club jumpers back to the DZ.

To jump at LPS going forward you have to email and request a SLOT for the day for multiple jumps. Consideration will be given to anyone who hasn’t jumped this season and whether or not you buy beer, so that it’s a bit fairer and everyone gets a chance to get their knees in the breeze, and drink beer afterwards. Among the first ten jumpers of the year was our John Willis who notched up his 100th jump on the front of a Tandem Instructor who was getting current again. Well done John! His outfit choice was a horrendous sight and we are all REALLY glad he kept his clothes on. Normally people are encouraged to strip off, but John was strangely quite safe!

It was great also to see Niki Parasyri who we all know just used the plane ride for 15 minutes of peace and quiet having now got three kids with little baby Artemis just turning one! Her dad, Terence Hughes who is based at Netheravon with the military jump team there, was left holding the baby, but he had also just had a few weeks in Elsinore so it seemed fair. Terence, who is in The Royal Irish Regiment, spent most of the lockdown working in Wales with the ambulance service – well done Terence and thank you for your service. Whilst Terence was doing that Niki also managed to crack through and pass her quantum physics exams – just three more left and she will have her degree – keep going Niki. She joined skydiving Grandude Michel Hughes (Terence’s dad) in the air for his 300th jump! Are you all keeping up with this? It IS a family dropzone after all!!

We are lucky enough to have Paul Floyd at the helm as Chief Instructor this year. He’s certainly got his work cut out and we are all glad that we have his qualified, direct and honest approach to guiding us all in safely jumping during this pandemic. After the first couple of lifts getting used to how it would all work, he rounded us (the team) all up and requested that we could try to be less rubbish (or some word like that). But we got there in the end so be on standby if you visit us to jump, with things to be a little fluid until we settle, and make yourself aware of changes as we get to grips with the new normal. Cheers Paul for a good start with everyone safely down and some happy tandem students at the airfield at last! One of the students landed, just looked at us all and said “There are NO WORDS for how awesome skydiving is”. We all agree!

Also under the heading of AWESOME during the lockdown are the club jumpers, Instructors and friends of the DZ who all pitched in on a crowdfunding page and raised £1,405 for Martin to inject some cash into the DZ during lockdown in what must have been an incredibly stressful time for all DZ owners. Martin wishes to express his heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who donated. Thank you so much.

Annie Lewis

ACHIEVEMENTS: B LICENCE Tom Levin JUMP NUMBERS 100 John Willis 300 Michel Hughes

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Photo: Club Jumpers on 1st day of the new season by Annie Lewis