Saturday, 16 May 2009

Tales from the Academy – parachutes and a bicycle

The day of the first parachute jump approaches and the cadets are apprehensive. They have dropped from great heights in a safe environment and mastered the technique of landing without breaking their legs. The theory is in place, the drills completed and they are soon to experience a real parachute descent. They feel excited, sick, frightened. Suppose the parachute doesn't open? Suppose they forget correct landing procedure? Suppose they had opted to acquire a different skill? Too late! No backing out now. Can't lose face, even though they might lose breakfast.

Their Sergeant Major is accompanying them and he will jump first. That will give them confidence. What's this? A bicycle? The aircraft reaches the dropping zone and the Sergeant Major is preparing to jump. Calmly he mounts his bicycle and rides out of the aircraft. The cadets follow eagerly, all trepidation forgotten in their quest to see what happens next.

What a way to inspire young people!

Though the preceding details are correct certain facts may have been omitted in the interests of protecting the innocent!!

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