Skydiving with Skydive Express (York)
Great friend, client, and accountant Jonathan recently turned 30. As a surprise present his family chipped in and bought him a skydive with Skydive Express in York, Western Australia. Now, some people probably couldn’t think of anything worse than jumping from a perfectly good plane, but skydiving has been on Jonathan’s bucket-list for many years. So what better way to celebrate this milestone birthday.
The South-West and wheat-belt region outside Perth had been lashed with terrible weather all week, and things were looking pretty questionable as to whether the jump would go ahead. But, come the morning of the big day, the rain was holding off nicely (despite a heavy blanket of cloud still persisting), so it was all systems go.
York is a lovely little historic township about an hour and a half East of Perth CBD. Jessica, (Jonathan’s wife and fellow photographer), and I had initially planned to spend some time in town going for a photo-walk prior to heading out the jump site. However, the team at Skydive Express were running ahead of schedule and we ended up only getting to the location with little time to spare. Perhaps we’ll need to find another day for a photography trip to York.
When we arrived on site, Jonathan and his sister Rachel were suited up in their jumpsuits and going through final briefing prior to getting into their tandem harnesses. Both would be accompanied by their tandem instructor and a camera person on the big leap. You’ll see in the images below, but the camera people run a combination rig with both video and still (DSLR) cameras mounted onto a slimline helmet. I must say I was pretty impressed with the setup, and in particular the mouth-activated pressure switch for triggering the shutter of the still camera.
It seemed to take for ever for the plane to circle its way to the 14,000ft jump height. I’m not sure who was more nervous, Jonathan in the plane, or Jessica and the rest of the family on the ground. Suddenly we spotted a bunch of tiny specks tumble out of the plane and free-fall their way back towards the ground. I swear I heard an audible sigh of relief from Jessica when Jonathan and Rachel’s parachutes opened. Less than ten minutes later, everyone was safely back on the ground, sporting smiles from ear to ear and already planning the next jump.
Jonathan, it was so good see you so exhilarated and loving life. What a great way to celebrate your 30th. Thanks for having us along to witness the moment.