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Airborne Students to Make First Jump in Frederick

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FREDERICK Okla_ People from around the world came to Southwest Oklahoma to this year's Airborne Demonstration Team Jump School.

Twelve students gathered in Frederick last Friday and began jump school Saturday morning. The vintage World War II-era C-47 plane they learn to jump from drops them 1,500 feet at 120 miles per hour. The students will make their first jump Wednesday after passing a test.

The Frederick Army Airfield is where the students were training, and they said it looks just like it did during World War II. The students even sleep in the original barracks, which is all part of the experience at the jump school. 

"It's been pretty tough and easy at the same time, because I've been out here before and retained a lot of stuff," student Caitlin Harriott said. "Coming out here and applying it has been a great experience." 

Harriott is the third female to attend the jump school. Her dad brought her out after he attended, and that's when she knew she had to do it herself. She is ready for her first jump.

"I'm so stoked it's ridiculous," Harriott said. "I'm not nervous yet, but I will be when I'm in the plane. I'm really excited. I'm ready to do it." 

Peter Roberts came all the way from Melbourne, Australia because his dad was a paratrooper during World War II.

"I wanted the first-hand experience of what it would've been like for him to jump from these aircrafts and what these soldiers would've gone through," Roberts said.

He said jumping out of a plane is a great way to honor his father, and meeting new people and the training have been his favorite parts of the experience so far. 

"I've surprised myself at this age that I've been able to keep up with it," Roberts said. "I'm the only one that seems to be enjoying it." 

Parachute landing falls are what the students call the technique they use to properly land in order to prevent injury to themselves. The students must complete five jumps to earn their wings. They will get their wings this Saturday after their final jump.

The public is invited to join them at open hangar day starting at dawn.

 

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