In order to raise funds for IMOG a bunch of intrepid members decided to organise a sponsored sky-dive. Sean, Natasha, Mike and Liz (see photo) decide to step out of a plane at 12,000 feet, and bravely fall to earth, praying that their parachutes would not fail them. Read an account of what happened on this trip by Liz Gibson.
To view the video of the sky dive click here or on the photo.
Looking at the curtains along the side wall of the hall at the Community Centre it is easy to see why money needs to be raised to replace them and if this can be done in an exciting way then I for one, am all for it - and so it was that we set out for Norfolk on Thursday, 30 August with some trepidation but with great excitement to do a sponsored parachute jump.
We drove in convoy to Attleborough, just short of Norwich, to a small airfield, for about 12.30, meeting lots of traffic accidents on the way, where Mike Stokes, Sean Lifley, Natasha Aldridge (Mike's fiiend) and myself checked in and were given a very quick description of what would happen. There were about 25 of us jumping in all and unfortunately our group of 4 was split up over the 3rd and 4th (last) jump of the day, so we had time to grab some lunch before Mike and Natasha had to get their jump suits on and very attractive hats and goggles and they were up, up and away.
The plane ride took about 20 minutes to get to 12,000 feet (2.5 miles up) and we could not see them until they appeared through the cloud with their parachutes open. Allen took lots of photos as they came down and lots on the ground. We had thought we'd hear Mike screaming all the way down but he loved it and a big wave confirmed just that. With both Mike and Natasha safely on the ground it was time for Sean and me to get our gear on while the plane refueled. We met our jump buddies who had already done about 6 that day. Mine was called Andy and he was fab. I was soooo excited that when I asked Andy whether he was, he laughed and told me he had done over 70,000 jumps to date (boy did I ever feel in safe hands).
So it was off to the plane where we sat in between each others legs so that we could be clipped onto our buddies suits (the back of ours to the front of theirs). The 20 minutes passed very quickly with lots of good natured banter and then the door of the plane went up and we were up above the clouds and you could feel the drop in temperature. Andy and I were the second ones out (no time to even think about changing your mind) and we were out of the plane and free falling for 45 seconds, which was just amazing.
As the parachute opened my stomach lurched up into my mouth and I realized that we were through the clouds and there below us was the countryside laid out and looking beautiful and everything was deadly quiet after the rushing wind in your ears - WOW. Andy gave me the controls straight away and I couldn't believe how heavy they were to pull on to steer. Gradually we came down to the ground seeing everything get bigger and seeing our crowd of well wishers, Allen & Sophie, Monica, Lynne, NU & Helen, Jacqui, Alex & Tom & of course Michael. Natasha was now racing home to Grays as she had tickets to see 'The Sound of Music' which she made by the skin of her teeth. We made a perfect standing landing and that was that. Andy unclipped me, made sure I was OK and said he'd see me when I was ready and left me with my friends.
Wow what a buzz. Sean had come out of the plane last and had really enjoyed his jump too so we slowly made our way back to the hanger to takeoff our jump suits and collect our certificates. We said our goodbyes to the great team at Norfolk and then Jacqui surprised us with champagne and heroes before we set off for the drive back to Ingatestone. All in all a fabulous experience and a great day had by all. I was very lucky that Allen bought me a DVD and photograph CD of the whole experience for my birthday which will be added to the IMOG website in the near future.
We would like to thank all those people who kindly sponsored us, all those people who are still sponsoring us, even after the event, and all our friends who came along and gave us such encouragement on the day. I know that every time I look at the new curtains I will remember a great day out and a fabulous adventure.
There is always some thing going on at IMOG.