Well, this isn’t the kind of start to the season that we’d expected. But, although it’s kind of rubbish, there are still some great things happening!
Chris Sears is running video chat meetings to keep jumpers refreshed via Zoom.

Chris is the AFF coordinator at Sibson and is hosting AFF refresh sessions on the weekends. In addition, B Licence briefings and other informative video chats are taking place regularly too, covering various subjects from cameraflying to aircraft safety.

Chris is working with Yolande Lee from Sibson’s sister DZ Beccles, together helping to keep students and experienced jumpers from both dropzones more mentally current. Other Instructors are also providing invaluable input with the likes of Stu Albon, Vic and Becs Bradley and Nick Davison joining in.

They are covering all kinds of subjects including spotting and canopy handling. These informal video sessions are friendly, entertaining and most importantly, helping skydivers stay current… in their minds at least, so we aren’t completely out of touch when we do return to the skies.

Guests in recent sessions have included Sibson pilot and DZO Grant Richards talking about aircraft safety and the climb to altitude. Sibson Chief Instructor Chris McCann has also joined in with some sessions to answer questions and talk about DZ safety.

If you want to refresh, learn or just join and watch these video sessions, keep your eyes on the ‘Sibson Skydivers’ Facebook group for video chat links or get in touch with Chris Sears for more info.

For something a little different, if you like history (or just amazing skydiving stuff), you could check out the ‘History of Peterborough Parachute Centre / Skydive Sibson’ group on Facebook. The club has been going for decades and this group features some fantastic shots and great stories from past years.

There are also some interesting historical records on the British Skydiving Archives website, including old Mags converted to digital format. You can read an article about Dick Gays, a Sibson Instructor who designed and built his own canopies back in the early ‘80s, with photos of him jumping them at the DZ. And these weren’t regular parachutes, they included the Olympic Rings and a giant polo mint! Check it out: britishskydiving.org/people-in-the-sport/dick-gays
Whatever you are up to, please follow official guidelines as much as possible and stay safe. Being skydivers, we are all experienced in risk assessment to a certain level. Consider all the dangers of infection, just like you’d consider dangers in the sky, think about how your actions could impact others and make wise choices to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Big thanks to all DZ staff working to keep things ticking over… and also a massive thank you to all the key workers in the skydiving community!

Russ Horne

Find out more about Sibson: https://www.ukparachuting.co.uk

Photo: One of Dick Gays’ canopy inventions, built for the Wally Gubbins movies