Dear Friends

Due to our perfect worldwide network, I recently had the honour to jump in Central China.

During a business trip to Beijing in January 2009 I was in the position to foster my parachute contacts in China. So I received an invitation to train and jump with the Parachute Training Centre in Hubei Province in beginning of August.

Before I flow into Wuhan (Capital of Hubei Province) I visited again Beijing and as well the province Sichuan. I spend some very enjoyable days over there and got a lot of new and interesting impressions of China.

Once arrived at the airport in Wuhan, I was welcomed and picked up by the principal of Parachute Training Centre. After 2,5h drive we approached the centre where all instructors and most of the students gave me a warm welcome.

I checked-in in the school’s own accommodation which was clean and well equipped. Afterwards I was called to have lunch with the board and great Chinese dishes were offered.

After lunch I was briefed in the safety procedure. Soon we rigged up and entered the aircraft Y-5 (which is the Chinese version of the well known Russian bi-plane AN-2, NATO Code Colt). Because the team was training for an accuracy competition the altitude was 1000m/ 3000ft only. After some minutes we climbed to the altitude of 1000m and the first 2 Chinese jumpers exited the aircraft. During the next turn I was first man in the door. I exited properly in float-exit-position and after 5seconds I opened my parachute TW-7. The weather was foggy but the run-ways were clearly to see and so I pointed the landing area easily. After some turns I landed safely on the Chinese ground and accomplished so my first jump in China. Unfortunately the weather become worse and I was not able to do more jumps. Anyway I did 1 jump in China and had a very good time. Some good talks to the board of the Training Centre we had during some really great dinners together. For sure I will return soon to do many more jumps in this great nation!

After my departure from Wuhan I spent a few days in the mega-city Shanghai. Also in Shanghai I enjoyed the great culture and friendly hospitality of China.

In 2010 we will return!

Airborne and blue skies!

Stefan Eicker

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