20 Cadets Take to the Skies Over Florida
“The newly formed RMC skydiving club had its first major event over the recent spring break. Twenty RMC cadets headed down to Zephyrhills, Florida for a week of skydiving fun! Sixteen of these cadets were doing their first jumps to get their solo licences while the other four were upgrading from their current classifications.
Our training for this trip started late the night of February 3rd at SkyVenture Montreal’s wind tunnel. All twenty cadets spent 20 min each in the wind tunnel learning all the critical movements that would be used in the weeks to come. The wind tunnel experience gave us a leg up on the course material because we had the chance to learn how to properly position ourselves in the air without having to think of the fast approaching ground. Once our wind tunnel training was complete, we were ready to start our long journey to Florida. We left RMC on the 17th of February to begin our long twenty-three hour drive to Skydive city. Once we arrived, each course had specific ground briefings so that we would be prepared to jump, many of us for the first time. First thing Monday morning the group was able to get started on their jumps. The first jump for the solo certificate requires two instructors to one student, which meant the first few jumps took a little longer to get through. Towards the end of the day, though, everyone had gotten a couple of jumps in. Over the next few days each member of the club got to improve their skydiving skills thanks to the help of our great instructors from the Nouvel Air skydiving school, who travelled down from their home location in Farnham, Québec, in order to train us. After the first couple of days most of the first time skydivers had gotten the chance to go solo for the first time! As well, the A licence students learned to jump in groups and 25191 OCdt (III) Stephanie Pouliot, club president, got to try some wing suit flying.
Wednesday and Thursday the winds were too strong and we were not able to jump all day as we had the first couple of days. Therefore, we took the opportunity to go visit some of Florida’s other attractions. One group went to a pistol range where they were able to fire various weapons, while others visited Cape Canaveral to see the Kennedy Space Center, as well as enjoy the beaches of Florida’s coast. Another group went to Busch Gardens where they enjoyed free entrance due to a military promotion that the park offers. After the bad weather blew over, everyone was happy to go back to skydiving in full force. On the Friday and Saturday of our trip everyone finished the last jumps required of their courses and a few members even bought some extra jumps.
This trip was a great success for the skydiving club. Not only did many of us acquire our first skydiving experiences, we also had great times camping at the drop zone, having campfires and chatting with skydivers from all over the world. This trip was made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of our club’s vice-president Andrew Birchall, as well as the tremendous monetary support from the RMC Unit Fund, who covered a portion of the overall costs for this trip. The Zephyrhills trip is one that the club hopes to make annually over spring break from now on. During our trip more than 3300 photos and 180 videos were taken; keep a lookout in the mess as many of these photos will be making their way there shortly.”
25193 OCdt (IV) Thomas Huet
Admin Officer RMC Skydiving Club
“This event could not have happened without the help of Christine Powers, for her guidance with all aspects of the club, and the Club President 25151 OCdt (IV) Stephanie Pouliot for founding the club and allowing me to run its first event. The RMC Unit Fundprovided $6,000 to support a portion of our trips expenses, and many others gave critical advice and helped shape this event. Most of all I would like to thank Nouvel Air and their staff who were still able to successfully train fifteen Solo and three A license skydivers. There were many opportunities where the staff from this company had the option to charge us extra for specific training; instead they performed this extra work free of charge. This generosity, combined with the high level of knowledge and professionalism that they have displayed made us excited to work with them again.
I am very happy that I have had the opportunity to gain valuable experience from running this $40,000 trip and I am looking forward to expanding and building upon it for next year
Where is our club headed to next?
We are currently planning tandem weekends for the post-exam period to allow all RMC students and staff the opportunity to experience skydiving.
We also have the distant goal of forming a 4-way competition free fall team and competing against Westpoint, Annapolis, USAFA and other school in international competitions.”
25997 OCdt (II) Andrew Birchall
Vice President RMC Skydiving Club
Event Organizer RMC Skydiving Club
“Skydiving is a unique sport that gathers people from different social spheres. It is always interesting to see what kind of people will want to become certified skydivers. From students, doctors, engineers, construction workers, office workers etc…we see them all.
I find it is always a pleasure to work with a group of young military people. Everything from fitness level, discipline and passion for adventure made your group cool to work with.
Despite the challenging weather that Mother Nature sent us, we made it all work. The cadets determination in learning and wanting to succeed was obvious and became a significant success factor. It was also nice to see how you guys work as team and support each other.
I certainly think that you now understand why birds sing and I would like to congratulate each of you for your achievements.”
President Nouvel Air
More photos of the action: