Durham Tees Valley Airport set to host public skydives after successful first drops

Darlington and Stockton Times: A rainbow appears over aircraft shortly before the first jump (photograph taken by chief pilot, Bill Tiplady) A rainbow appears over aircraft shortly before the first jump (photograph taken by chief pilot, Bill Tiplady)

DURHAM Tees Valley Airport is now accommodating people who would rather jump out of a plane than be a passenger on one.

A newly established skydiving group, Skydive St George, has carried out the first ever parachute jumps into the airport and plan to give the public the opportunity to do the same by early April.

The six-strong team jumped from their plane at 7,000 feet and descended in free-fall for about 20 seconds before safely landing in the newly established drop zone on the unoccupied south-side of the airfield.

The jump was particularly special for team member Mandy McGuinness as not only did she become the first ever female to skydive into DTVA, but it was also her 300th jump.

Club chief instructor George McGuinness said the occasion was special for the whole team.

He said: “We have been working towards this day for over two years now and everyone was quite emotional after landing.

“We cannot thank everyone at Durham Tees Valley Airport enough who has helped make this new venture a reality; the support we have received from the staff and other airfield users has been phenomenal.

“Many of them have already signed up for their first tandem skydives!”

Over the next month the staff at Skydive St George will carry out more drops over the airfield to ensure the process is as efficient and safe as possible, before opening to the public on April 5.

If anyone would like to know more about the club or book a skydive for themselves they can contact 01253-592002 or visit www.SkydiveStGeorge.co.uk

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