If you wait for Claire to be in one place long enough to write to you, you are in for a long wait, so here goes.
In October Andrew Applin (Michael’s half brother) , Claire Hurley (Michael’s cousin and godmother) and Ester Shamoon took to the skies in memory of Michael Andrews.
Fay Claire’s mum recounts the experience
We were lucky to have a clear find day on the 6th, so two care loads of friends and very anxious parents made an early start for Dunkerswell airfield in Devon.
Claire, Ester and Andrew went to get dressed up and instructed for their jump. Bob, my brother said, ‘2 miles, that’s not too bad, that’s just up to the shops and back at home,’
Sue and I tried to imagine ‘up to the shops and back stood on end,’ it just made us feel worse.
The plane was so small, it would only take two instructors, two jumpers, the pilot of course, and a cameraman. Everyone but the pilot, sitting on an old piece of carpet on the floor, and no door, just a piece of Perspex? to pull over the opening when they were high enough.
Claire and Ester went first. It took 20 minutes of circling to get to 10,000 ft, the plane looked so small, we heard its engine splutter and knew that was when the girls strapped to their instructors had to somersault out of the doorway.
We couldn’t see them at all until the parachutes opened at 5,000 ft the first 5,000 ft had been freefall. Once the parachutes opened I felt a bit better, and the landing was very gentle.
Poor sue had to go through it all again on hour later, when Andrew jumped. It was a long morning for us parents I can tell you. Those three enjoyed every minute of it, and would have gone straight back up.
I drove home, they were on such a high, no way was I going to let anyone of them loose on the motorway going home. (Never go above 60 and stay in the inside lane, that’s me I’d had enough excitement for one day.)
Now they are wondering how they can beat a freefall parachute jump for thrills, any ideas?
Fay Hurley (Claire’s mum)