HUNDREDS of skydivers took up the thrill of plunging from a Royal Australian Air Force jet over the Somerset region at the weekend.
The RAAF joined civilian community organisations to conduct the series of skydiving missions to showcase opportunities for women in aviation while also raising more than $22,000 for Legacy, which supports families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service
On Saturday, the C-17A Globemaster delivered about 200 skydivers to the Skydive Ramblers Toogoolawah Drop Zone, with skydivers donating money to Legacy for the opportunity to participate in the jump.
Group Captain Adam Williams, Officer Commanding for the RAAF's No. 86 Wing, said the events were a joint effort by the defence force and the Australian Parachuting Federation.
"It's rare for members of the public to have an opportunity like these skydiving events, which have capitalised on the C-17A's impressive airlift capability,” Group Captain Williams said.
"The aircrew involved with these events love the opportunity to showcase their aircraft to a new crowd, with this experience being very similar to the routine training that they would ordinarily conduct for military jumpers.
"The C-17A is a very recognisable sight within south Queensland, but the nature of our work means we rarely get to engage with our wider communities like this. This is our second year partnering with the skydiving community to support Legacy with a C-17A event and it's allowed us to raise money in support of its charity work.”
Earlier in the week, a C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft delivered about 100 skydivers to RAAF Base Amberley in support of the Women in Adventure Sport initiative.
"Supporting the Women in Adventure Sports program has allowed us to showcase the opportunities available to women in aviation,” Group Captain Williams said.
The air force operates a fleet of eight C-17A Globemasters from RAAF Base Amberley in Brisbane's west. With a payload of up to 70 tonnes, the C-17A is capable of flying strategic missions across continents as well as tactical airlift missions to airdrop cargo and paratroops.
In the past year, the C-17A has flown airdrop missions to Antarctica, delivered aid relief to Vanuatu and sustained deployed forces in the Middle East.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.