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Did they or didn't they???

Published on August 24th 2005.


Did they or didn't they???

On Saturday our mad and slightly insane Man Con "extreme sports" team Kelly Ormesher, Tim Mullett, Lindsay Cessford and Georgina Hague. plus 4 very special honouree members who were Nigel, Lisa, Andrew and Mark made their way over to Cockerham near Preston for their intensive six hour static line parachute jump training course for the intension of jumping out of a perfectly good plane at 3500 feet.

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

The Man Con Extreme Sports team ready for action!

When we arrived we were all very excited until we saw one person on crutches and then another with a leg in plaster, not a great advert for jumping out of a plane! But that wasn't the end of the danger as we all witnessed a Spanker whilst we were training (For those of you who aren't in the know a spanker is a very bad landing!) and the poor bloke ended up with a broken arm. As you can imagine the nerves were a little frayed but we had a fantastic day as our extreme sports writer Tim 'danger' Mullett will explain...

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

"Firstly nobody bottled it, not even George (who'd have thought it).
We spent the whole day on Saturday training with an instructor called Jim who having completed almost 3000 jumps himself was more than qualified to teach us how not to die. Although he did have the uncanny knack of putting us at ease and scared us half to death in the same sentence with phrases like 'parachuting is one of the safest sports you can do, shortly before telling us 'I've seen 5 very close friends die in this sport' and 'if your first chute doesn't open you have 33 seconds to save your own life' (said whilst teaching us the 'look, locate, peel, pull, punch, arch' method of deploying the emergency parachute.)

"The training was very thorough although at times it was like some sort of group 'primal scream' therapy session with us all lying on our stomachs assuming the freefall position shouting 'one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, check canopy', designed I assume to keep us calm and focused on the job in hand.

"The jump itself was incredible, although we did have to wait until Sunday morning to do it due to adverse weather conditions which meant yet another sleepless night.

"On the journey up to jump in the plane everyone seemed very calm although Lisa did look like she was going to cry at one point. It was only when Jim opened the plane at 3500ft that it really hit home what we were about to do. Leaving a plane for the first time at high altitude isn't a natural thing to do so the controlled count turned into a mixture of numbers and expletives until the chute opened successfully and you could relax, enjoy the view and aim for the target. According to our instructor Kelly 'potty mouth' Ormesher currently holds the expletive record (possibly a world record) for the number of unrepeatable words screamed in 5 seconds, impressive!

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

"Like I said everyone jumped, nobody bottled it. We all like to think our jumps were text book graceful arching leaps and for most of us this could be true. Unfortunately the only physical record of grace under pressure was a short film taken by another instructor 'for training purposes' of Lindsay Cessford pirouetting through the sky and Nigel Cann (Ringspun) doing his running man impression which played backwards looks like he ran screaming 'in' to the plane, I am assured by the editor that this will make download of the day if we can track down the footage. Watch this space!"

Tim Mullett
Click here to learn more about the Black Knight Parachute Centre

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

Kelly "Potty Mouth" Ormesher

So what were everyone else's thoughts about the jump?

"Well what can I say what a buzz, after doing a number of bungee and a wing walk (or wing seat as so entitled by Nigel) nothing can top the buzz of actually jumping out of a plane, and the sheer relief when you realise you have a perfect canopy and the fact that you can easily reach your brakes or steering equipment, I have to say I felt totally safe, relaxed and it is actually very easy, and I was gagging to do another one as soon as I landed, of which I will be doing in a couple of weeks, this is a must do in, so get your ass in gear and get it booked, we're all there again on 3rd if anyone fancies joining the crazy members of the Manchester Confidential risking their lives again, this time just for the hell of it."

Lindsay Cessford

"Absolutely amazing!! We arrived on Saturday enthusiastic and nervous. We all gathered into our tutorial room to have 'you might die' drilled into our brains. With the lovely 'die' word mentioned, we spent the next 15 minutes s***ing (there goes potty mouth again!) ourselves. The tutorial got better, we heard the death rate had been nonexistent in the last seven years (due to new regulations and better equipment) and we were told it was as safe as we made it. We spent the rest of the day enthusiastic shouting our phrases …1000, 2000, 3000, check canopy! The day was a great group bonding exercise. The weather was great, and we all had a laugh. The only unfortunate part was we couldn't jump on the day due to the wind getting up. However, we arrived bright and early Sunday morning, the wind had gone and we were all in luck. We jumped, it was ace, and we're all going back in two weeks to do more….!!!!"

Kelly Ormesher

"Prior to boarding the plane my nerves were a little frayed, as the plane ascended my nerves were almost shot, when the door opened It all boiled down to 'will I make it', managed to forget everything I learned and threw myself out of the plane - IDIOT! Did make it and thoroughly enjoyed it!"

Nigel "Nerves of Steel" Cann

"Words can not explain how much I enjoyed myself! I must admit I was thinking about bottling the jump but there was no way I was going to give Tim Mullett the satisfaction of watching me not jump! Before I got on the plane I was feeling physically sick as I had not ever felt that nervous in my life but as soon as the plane took off I felt a strange wave of calm come over me and then time just flashed past me and all of a sudden I was leaping out of a plane yelling 1000, 2000! I never actually counted the full six seconds; I was just overjoyed once I saw my canopy fully deployed! The next six minutes literally were a blur, flying through the air and just watching the ground below me was very surreal. As soon as I landed (flat on my face not on my feet) I wanted to do it all over again."

Georgina Hague

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

Tim- Aren't you meant to be checking your canopy?

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

Lindsay and Nigel - ready for more!

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

1000, 2000, 3000 Check canopy!

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

Andrew models his lovely boiler suit and fetching pink goggles!

Manchester Confidential Parachute Jump

George - before the nerves set in.

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