One giant leap for Legacy
THE airdrop talents of No. 36 Squadron have raised more than $30,000 for Legacy, and drawn attention for women in aviation.
On November 2, a C-17A from 36SQN carried 83 female skydivers for the Women in Adventure Sports initiative, making two drops to RAAF Base Amberley.
Two days later, a C-17A delivered about 200 skydivers to Toogoolawah drop zone, northwest of Ipswich.
Officer Commanding No. 86 Wing GPCAPT Adam Williams said skydivers donated money to Legacy for the opportunity to participate in the jump.
"This is our second year partnering with the skydiving community to support Legacy with a C-17A event,” GPCAPT Williams said.
"It's allowed us to bring attention to the work conducted by this organisation, and raise money in support of its charity work.”
The Legacy jump on November 4 also provided an opportunity for five Legacy youths to make a rare jump from a C-17A.
Legacy youth ambassador Brianna Anderson lost her father in 2014, and said the jump offered an insight into his experiences.
"One of my dad's favourite things to do when he was in the Special Air Service was parachuting,” she said. "I felt nervous and excited, and absolutely thrilled to be able to jump out of a C-17A.
"The exhilaration and rush I felt was phenomenal, and I can now see why my dad loved jumping out of 'perfectly good aeroplanes'.”
For an ultimate 'bucket list' item, Ms Anderson said she couldn't contain her excitement when she was chosen as one of five Legacy Brisbane youth leaders to participate in the event.
"I am so grateful for this oncein-a-lifetime experience and I would like to say 'thank you' to the RAAF, GPCAPT Adam Williams, Legacy Brisbane, Ipswich Legacy, Ramblers Skydivers and to everyone else who made this incredible day possible,” Ms Anderson said.
GPCAPT Williams said supporting the Women in Adventure Sports program had allowed "us to showcase the opportunities available to women in aviation, whether that be with a career or through their pastime”.
Women make up about half of all first-time skydivers, but on average only about 14% of those take it up as a sport.
The Australian Parachuting Federation is seeking to shift this imbalance, as parachuting is one of the few sports where men and women are able to compete on equal footing.