Grandfather tags along for Worthing teen’s first skydive

Worthing teenager Sam Hyde was terrified when the moment finally came to take a dive from 10,000ft, after months of waiting.

But he had his grandfather there for support, after the 80-year-old became a last-minute addition to the skydive planeload.

Sam, 19, of Adversane Road, was given the experience as a birthday present from his parents and grandfather Graham Forshaw, former leader of West Sussex County Council and a member of Blind Veterans UK, joined them for the trip to Old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury.

Sam, who is due start his degree at Essex University in September, had tried three times to complete his first sky dive but bad weather meant each of these attempts had been cancelled.

Graham, of Parklands Avenue, Goring, had, however, managed a skydive last autumn, raising money for St Barnabas House hospice.

This time, the weather was fine all the way and Graham said the blue skies and buzz of the aircraft proved too much for him, so when Sam took the slow walk to the waiting plane, he tagged along.

“I asked the Go Skydive people if they could find a space for me on the plane and they agreed,” said Graham.

“So, we both kitted up together, went through the pre-jump drill, strapped on our parachutes and clambered aboard.

“Soaring high over the Salisbury countryside, we soon reached 10,000ft. We shuffled down the plane to the open door and waited for our jump buddy to do the final adjustments.

“Sitting on the edge with his feet dangling in space, Sam admitted he was terrified but there was no turning back. Launched into space, he sky-dived at 125mph from 10,000ft to 5,000ft.

“The sudden jerk as his parachute opened was a shock but then the slow descent to the distant field allowed time to practise twists and turns.”

Safely landed, Sam was able to watch Graham slide in for a perfect landing.

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