It looked like the good old British weather was going to ruin Laura Marie Gibson’s attempts to skydive in aid of ALERT for the second time recently.
Laura’s charity event had already been cancelled once when poor weather conditions meant that it wasn’t safe enough to jump. Now here she was again; ready and waiting...and waiting. That was until the September clouds began to break at around 1pm. Before she had time to get nervous, it was all systems go as the tandem jumpers were summoned for their 15 minute roll call. This meant that Laura was introduced to her instructor and given a jumpsuit and harness to wear. As she was the only tandem jumper (attached to a professional instructor) in a group of solo skydivers, Laura’s instructor explained that she would be taken up in a faster plane to a height of 15,000ft instead of her expected 10,000ft. This would necessitate a standing exit rather than the usual seated one. Naturally, Laura was quite nervous on the journey up to the required altitude. When it came to exiting the aeroplane, she was concentrating so hard on getting into the correct position that the next thing Laura knew, she was in freefall with the cameraman waving at her as he captured the moment for posterity!
‘The freefall was such an intense feeling and so noisy, it’s hard to put into words’, remembers Laura. ‘The best bit for me was when the parachute opened. It was so quiet and peaceful; almost spiritual, as there is nothing up there but you. No traffic sounds - just silence’.
Laura says she can’t wait to skydive again and is even considering undertaking an Accelerated Freefall course allowing her to jump solo.
If you would like to skydive in aid of ALERT, you can find out more details here.