Antonia Burt’s Sky Dive!
I was genuinely anticipating waking up feeling really nervous on the day of the jump but l didn’t. I was absolutely fine! I kept expecting the nerves to kick in – when we arrived at the airfield, or when we went into training – but instead of being nervous l was excited.
We had about half an hour of training on body positions for launch, freefall and landing, then we were kitted up in jumpsuits and called for our flight.
It took about 25 minutes to climb to 15,000 feet during which time we were given more individual training and strapped to our instructors. Then they opened the door. I was second out and quite frankly l still couldn’t believe that l wasn’t scared! I couldn’t stop grinning as we slid to the door. There was no time to think – l was dangling out of the plane and it was legs back, head back, 3-2-1-GO! We launched into a freefall at 120mph for over a minute and the G-Force was incredible! It hurt my ears like crazy but l still couldn’t stop laughing with the exhilaration of the whole thing!
After about 70 seconds my instructor deployed the parachute and we were pulled up short with the force of it. Like slamming on brakes in mid-air! Suddenly it went quiet and when l screamed ‘Wooooooo!’ in excitement it sounded miles away because my ears hadn’t popped.
The instructor handed me control of the parachute for a minute and it took huge amounts of strength to steer it. He took the reigns back and we did all kinds of spinning tricks until he told me to bring up my knees for landing. I did worry about not having the strength to pull up my legs because we were still moving at speed but somehow l managed it and we made a completely smooth landing. The entire dive had been around six and a half minutes, according to friends and family who had timed it from when they saw the first speck leave the plane to when they landed.
My legs were complete jelly and l couldn’t stand up for what seemed like ages but was probably only a minute.
We were bussed back from the landing spot to the airfield and all our friends and family were there – l don’t think l’ve ever flung myself at my husband quite so hard! We were pumping with adrenaline and bouncing all over the place!
All in all, it was an incredible experience and l highly recommend it. I don’t think l’ll ever do it again but l’m so happy that l did it – and raised money for a worthy cause at the same time. My fundraising page is still open at www.justgiving.com/Antonia-Burt and all donations are welcome.
I’ve been exhausted and aching ever since but it was 100% worth it!
I’ve attached three photographs as well – please feel free to use them to encourage others!
All the best
Preparing for Launch
Freefalling at 120 miles per hour