Monday 13 April 2009

Mad dogs and Englishmen

George Moyse, a 97-year-old RAF veteran, undertook a freefall parachute jump onto Netheravon airfield last weekend to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Believed to be a UK record for the oldest man to tandem-jump, George, from Bournemouth, leapt out of a Cessna 208 Caravan (Cargomaster) aircraft from 10,000 feet into the blue skies above Wiltshire accompanied by his 43-year-old grandson, Edward Brewer who was jumping on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association. The jump took place on Saturday, 4 April 2009.

Afterwards, George who served in the RAF's No 1 Armoured Car Company during the Second World War in the Middle East, said of his jump:

"It was lovely, I really enjoyed it; I wasn't frightened at all."

George who turned 98 on Wednesday got the idea for the parachute jump after seeing and advertisement in his local paper:

"I thought that would be a good idea, I'll have a go at that."

His grandson Ed hadn't thought George would be cleared fit by a doctor when he came up with the idea:

"I told him if your doctor is mad enough to sign a certificate to say you can jump then I'll do it with you," he said.
"At the time I thought I was on a safe bet. And then he rang me and said, 'my doctor's just given me permission to jump!' So I've ended up doing it with him."

George's freefall descent to earth was clocked at just over 120mph and there to meet him on the ground were members of his family including his great-grandson who were delighted with his achievement. Also there to greet him was Flight Lieutenant Anthony Hutchinson from No1 Squadron, RAF Regiment who presented George with a large framed print of "The battle of Al Waki market", which was a recent notable combat action in Iraq by No1 Squadron, which during the Second World War was then George's unit, No1 Armoured Car Company.

George Moyse and his grandson, Edward Brewer are raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and The RAF Association (RAFA).