Ninety-four-year-old Patrick Allen is somewhat of a veteran when it comes to skydiving.
The Gabriola Island resident took his second leap from 15,000 feet on Sunday above Qualicum Beach, a Father’s Day present from his children. His first dive was four years ago in Arizona.
“I want to do it on my 100th birthday, too,” Allen said Monday.
Allen said this “wonderful present” from his children, Caroline Hobbs of 100 Mile House and Richard Allen was a little different than the last dive over Mesa, Arizona.
“It was more beautiful country to see than Mesa — there it was just sand,” said Allen. “On Sunday, I could even see Gabriola. It was exhilarating. It’s just an awesome feeling just to floating through the air.”
The first time he jumped, he said he was a little anxious when the door of the plane opened. Not this time. He was asked what he thought about seconds before he lept from the plane on Sunday.
“Let’s go baby, the sky is waiting for me,” said Allen. “Then we were free falling for about 35 seconds and then, luckily, the parachute opened. It was just absolutely gorgeous.”
Allen jumped in tandem with a member of the team from Skydive Vancouver Island (SVI), Dennis Harker. The SVI team seemed to get a kick out of Allen.
“He’s the oldest person we’ve taken so far and it was a nice way to cap off Father’s Day,” said SVI owner Gord Gauvin. “He’s a real character, absolutely hilarious.”
Beside Allen and Harker in the air was Allen’s grandson, Michael Hobbs of Langford. Allen said he knew his first jump in Arizona wasn’t going to be his last.
“It was on my bucket list to do it again,” he said.