Hartlepool forces veteran returns to the skies for exhilarating skydive

Wally Stewart doing the tandem skydive that was a present for his 76th birthday.
Wally Stewart doing the tandem skydive that was a present for his 76th birthday.

Hartlepool forces veteran Wally Stewart returned to the sky for the when he undertook a 10,000 feet skydive.

He was given the daring experience as a present for his 76th birthday by his daughters.

Wally Stewart aged 27 in No 2 Squadron RAF Regiment.

Wally Stewart aged 27 in No 2 Squadron RAF Regiment.

Wally is used to jumping out of aeroplanes having served with the parachute-trained Field Squadron of the RAF Regiment between 1967 and 1970.

But he said it was a very different experience. During his service days Wally would jump attached to a static line which automatically opens the parachute.

And it was from a height of around only 800 feet.

Wally, who is a volunteer with the Heugh Battery Museum, said: “It had always been an ambition of mine to do a skydive.

Wally Stewart at the Heugh Battery Museum where he volunteers.

Wally Stewart at the Heugh Battery Museum where he volunteers.

“When I was in the RAF regiment I had to throw myself out of an aircraft on a line of blokes.

“This was rather more cold blooded although I enjoyed doing it.

“I did it in tandem with an expert from the parachute centre. It came to a point where I shuffled to the door and I was looking down from 10,000 feet which was fabulous.

“We were freefalling for about four or five thousand feet and that was exhilarating.

“The views were terrific.”

Following close behind was Wally’s granddaughter Rebecca Black, aged 26.

They both safely touched down after doing the jump from Peterlee Parachute Centre, at Shotton Airfield.

Wally, who lives at Seaton Carew, took the opportunity to raise money for Hartlepool Rotary Club, of which he is a member.

He has raised just over £500 so far and donations are still welcome.

“I have to say how generous the people of Hartlepool have been,” added Wally.

Anybody who still wishes to donate can do so through the Rotary Club of Hartlepool or the Heugh Battery Museum.