FREDERICK, OK (KSWO) -People from all over the world are converging on the Frederick Army Air Field for their annual winter jump school.
While in class, students are able to get hands-on experience learning about the ins and outs of parachuting from a World War II airplane. Students spend several days learning about the importance of safety before taking a written exam.
Normally, students work to master proper jump technique while actually getting several chances to jump from a plane before parachuting to the ground. However, while students got a chance to jump Wednesday, they were grounded Thursday and early Friday morning by high wind speeds.
They will have another opportunity to jump Saturday morning at Open Hangar Day.
For the first time since 1942, the Frederick hangar is hosting three C-47s. People traveled from all over the world to participate in the jump school, and live a little piece of history.
Scott Wilson, a former Army doctor, always dreamed of jumping out of a plane, but was never granted the opportunity until after he had left the service. Wilson began looking for an opportunity to jump and ultimately received some information about the school in Frederick, Oklahoma, and made the decision to travel from Frederick, Maryland.
"One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had sent in my deposit and here I am in jump school. So, that's kind of how it just kind of slowly snowballed until I arrived here and I'm sitting up in the barracks and going ‘Uh-oh, what have I gotten myself into now," Wilson said.
Wilson participated in the jump school during the July session, but needed to come back again to complete his fifth jump to earn his wings.
"You're so focused on doing everything properly, exiting the airplane properly, landing properly…I didn't have much time to think about it. And I'm walking back to the truck and it didn't really hit me until then that that was my fifth jump! So, the whole way back to the truck I had this big grin on my face like number five, number five,” Wilson said.
Wilson's wife, Lisa, is also participating in the jump school. Although, she took a little different route to get here. When she got here to support her husband, she saw how much fun everybody was having and decided she wanted to join in.
When Lisa Wilson left her home in Maryland, she never thought she'd be jumping out of planes this week. Now that she's done it, she says it’s been nothing like what she expected.
"Jumping was both really scary and it was absolutely amazing. I really, really enjoyed it and it's just been an incredible, incredible experience. I didn't think it was going to be fun at all. I just thought it was going to be one terrifying experience from start to end," Lisa Wilson said.
The way things worked out, the couple got to be on the same plane while Scott got his fifth jump and Lisa took her first.
"As the plane is going down the runway I thought, 'What have I done?' And then we’re in the air and I could see the ground down there and I went ‘ahhhhh,’” Lisa Wilson recalled.
“She's got this nervous, terrified, focused expression on her face and she goes to the door and out she goes and I'm going ‘Ahhhhh, I hope she's ok! There she goes! Is the life insurance paid up?’" Scott Wilson said jokingly.
Scott Wilson says even though she only has one jump under her belt, his wife is a natural.
"She's been so good at this, which is really ironic because she's never been in the military at all and all the jump staff from last summer keep coming up to me and going she's doing better than you," Scott Wilson said.
The air field will have Open Hangar Day Saturday and World War II veterans will be on hand to pin wings on the school's graduates.
The public is invited to come out and watch the students parachute from planes for free at the Frederick Army Air Field. Open Hangar Day starts at 8 a.m.
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