At the age of 94, Norman Smith recently took to the skies during a tandem skydive at Tilstock Airfield, Whitchurch, in aid of Blind Veterans UK…

Norman took on the challenge as a tribute to his late wife, Audrey, who sadly passed away last year. Norman’s family have supported Blind Veterans UK for decades and he said it was only natural to take the plunge for a charity they both loved.

Norman, a Second World War veteran who served as a gunner engineer between 1942 and 1946, showed he had nerves of steel as he was strapped in and taken up to 10,000 feet to complete his tandem skydive. Having landed safely and the sense of exhilaration still running through him, Norman said:

“The Freefall Club were so thorough in setting up the dive that it gave me great confidence; I had no fear. The best part was actually leaving the plane – the sensation of free fall was wonderful and I felt I could fly! After the parachute opened the views were amazing – I could see for miles.”

Norman is no stranger to challenges as he proved when he obtained his light aircraft pilot’s licence at 60. He has also learned both gliding and micro-flight flying. To make sure both his 80th and 90th birthdays were ones to remember, Norman took to the skies by taking part in a balloon flight and a helicopter flight respectively.

Carole, Norman’s daughter, added: “All the family think he is absolutely amazing and we are extremely proud of him. The amount raised has far exceeded dad’s original £500 target and we are very grateful for the generous support people have given”.

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