For most people, the idea of a skydive is a scary prospect, but not for Patricia Baker who decided to celebrate her 90th birthday by jumping out of a plane.
Baker, who has 10 grandchildren, described the 15,000ft skydive as “awesome” and even completed the experience in challenging conditions which blew her half a mile off course.
She said that despite the typically hair-raising feeling most people get when taking part in a skydive she “wasn’t too worried” because she does 50 sit-ups a day.
Her main motivation for taking part was to raise money for two charities close to her heart.
“It felt awesome, a little bit scary but absolutely awesome.
“I was a bit nervous when I was sitting with my legs off the plane but then we were off.
“It was an incredible experience to fly through the air like that.
“I did have a bit of a shock when the parachute went off because it jerked me back, so I am a little bit sore now - I'll be fine tomorrow though,” Baker said shortly after landing.
Baker, whose husband died in 2016, got the idea of skydiving after speaking to a friend who had a bucket list. It encouraged the former factory worker to create her own version of the list.
“I realised I didn't have one so thought I better think of something to do to celebrate my birthday.
“I've always quite liked the idea of skydiving so I thought, ‘let's do that then’.
“I had been on a hot air balloon before and paragliding many years ago but never anything quite like this,” Baker said.
Baker’s doctor wouldn’t sign off her skydive because of her age, so she also had to undergo a medical test at the dive centre.
She also had to wait longer than expected to do the dive because the COVID-19 lockdown meant that she couldn’t take part in July, when originally planned.
Her daughter, Carole, described watching her mum descend from the plane as “nerve-wracking”.
She said: “It was really breezy so I was a bit concerned about that. She actually landed half a mile horizontally from where she jumped because she was blown across.
“I was definitely happy when she landed safely. I'm really proud of her for doing it, at her age it's quite an achievement.
“Funnily enough when she told me she wanted to do it I wasn't even that surprised. My mum is very fit and outgoing, she's amazing.”