It’s a whirlwind of emotions jumping out of a plane and free falling above the South Okanagan.
The Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, the SkyHawks returned to Penticton for Peach Fest, and ahead of the event invited Global News to jump with them.
I have never been a fan of heights but jumped at the opportunity to take a leap of faith with the military.
I was paired with SkyHawks demonstrator and tandem master, Sgt. Antoine Collette. He has over 1,800 jumps under his belt, the highest number on the team.
“It’s a really nice job, jumping out of planes for the army. It’s a good gig and it’s just a feeling you can’t get elsewhere,” said Collette.
We started our morning by suiting up – me in a red jumpsuit before Collette secured the harness. He then went over the few steps I needed to do while freefalling.
“It’s really fun and honestly I tell the people who go with me just to breathe and enjoy the view,” said Collette.
All suited up and ready to go we climbed into the back of the massive Hercules aircraft and took off.
The plane climbed to an altitude of 11,500 feet (3,500 metres) in the air, the ramp then lowered, and we walked off the plane and into the sky.
“It went super well. You look a little stressed in the aircraft for sure. But once we jumped out you did really well, it went super well, and it was fun,” said Collette once we landed.
My dive was nothing compared to the performances that the SkyHawks will be putting on at Peach Fest.
Their shows begin on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. and although my first skydiving experience was amazing, I am more than happy to watch them perform from the ground.