‘I Love it. I love it,’ cries 80-year-old skydiver

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By John Keast

Elaine Busby saw paratroopers training 70 years ago and she decided then she wanted to jump out of a plane.

On Sunday, she did, screaming: “I love it. I love it. It’s lovely.”

Mrs Busby, 81 next month, was cheered by her friends as she touched down at Ashburton airfield in a tandem jump with Skydiving Kiwis instructor Brian Martin.

He has sky-dived 3500 times: it was Mrs Busby’s first jump – but it will not be her last.

“I’m going to do it again when I am 85,” she said.

She reckons she might slipm in a glider flight between.

Husband David and her friends from the Red Cross shop in Ashburton watched as she climbed into her jump suit and was told what would happen when they reached 9000 feet – the jump height.

Mrs Busby took it in her stride, saying she had wanted to do a bungy jump on her 76th birthday but was talked out of it by her husband and nephew.

“I said then that I was going to jump out of a plane at 80.”

Before taking off with an Irishman also going for a tandem jump, Mrs Busby said she wasn’t nervous.

And she said she was going to sing: Come Fly With Me.

Fifteen minutes after take-off, Mrs Busby and Mr Martin landed right in the target zone, and as soon as she was unbuckled Mrs Busby said: “It was wonderful. I’m going to do it again.”

She said the jump was well worth the wait.

“It was such a wonderful feeling. I just want to encourage women of my age to be adventurous. I was just floating on air.”

Mrs Busby has a recording of her jump and is putting her pennies away now for her next adventure.