I’m currently a part-time staff member on the Earn and Learn Scheme, run by Skydive Hibaldstow until July when I will start working full-time aftermy final exams. I first started skydiving in September of 2016; through the AFF system, I managed to achieve my ‘A’ license in just under 3 weeks, quickly followed by my FS1 a few months later.
Before skydiving, I always had a passion for aviation and the concept of flight in general. Then I discovered the world of Skydiving and quickly completed my AFF ground school. I was not able to jump on the planned day due to weather but thanks to the great staff at Hibaldstow I managed to do a tandem and therefore still get to jump in some way. That was it, I was hooked and I just needed to jump again.
Personally, doing the tandem first was a great idea as I really got the inital feeling for what would happen on my AFF Level 1 and consequently, my AFF level 1 went quite well. I managed to complete my whole AFF course without having to do any repeats and without any issues.
I initially progressed quite quickly for the time of year that I started as winter was quickly approaching. After my AFF and a few solos, I started the coaching jumps to get my FS1. All but one or two coaching jumps went very well and I achieved my FS1 by just 32 jumps! From there, I started flying with booties and had some time in the tunnel to improve my flying and I’m now on 57 jumps. So far, the biggest formation I have flown in is a 7 way.
From the very beginning, I noticed that the strongest part of the sport is the social scene between skydivers and from here I managed to hear about the Earn and Learn scheme and how I could potentially be a part of it. After learning more about the Earn and Learn Scheme from the staff, I decided that it was right for me and I needed a place on it. At first, I managed to get myself a small weekend job just driving buses, opening up and shutting down and starting. I do think that this proved how much I wanted the job and it strengthened my position on the applications as i had experience working on a dropzone. Finally, it was time to apply.
It did take some effort trying to convince my parents as I would be doing the Earn And Learn Scheme and giving up my place at Leeds College of Music. At first, they were quite hesitant. However, after some time they realised that I wouldn’t get this opportunity again so they agreed and let my apply for the job to work here full time for the next three years of my life. Luckily, I was successful in the Earn and Learn application process and I am currently working part-time (weekends) until June 23rd when I will be able to work full time and live in Hibaldstow after completing my GCSE exams.
Here I am now, with 57 jumps, FS1, JM1, CH1, CH2, and my B license. It is an understatement to say that I am looking forward to the next few years of my skydiving life and hopefully at the end of it all i will be able to put a student through their AFF, static line and ripcord and see them progress just as the instructors here have done with me. As well as throwing in a few tandems here and there. In my opinion, Skydiving is one of the best sports out there. From the community to the experiences that community shares, all of it’s positive. I would love to be able to introduce new people to the sport just as the staff at Skydive Hibaldstow did with me.