The Sat­ur­day a fort­night ago was spe­cial. We had just moved into our new apart­ment for two days, work­men were still fix­ing up stuff here and there, and I scooted off to Sen­tosa because iFly was doing a never-before (and likely never again) sched­ule of real tan­dem sky­dives over the island, and I had been invited to jump out of a heli­copter as the pas­sen­ger of a tan­dem instruc­tor with 6,000 jumps under his belt.

It was the most exhil­a­rat­ing expe­ri­ence any­one could pos­si­bly have over Sen­tosa or over Sin­ga­pore for that mat­ter. I mean, who gets to take a break from unpack­ing boxes of house­hold effects by jump­ing out of a heli­copter from 10,000 feet? For that, I have to thank Lawrence Koh of iFly for plan­ning and con­vinc­ing what must’ve been 20 odd gov­ern­ment agen­cies like the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity, NEA, STB, MDA (make sure Miyagi doesn’t say “fuck­ing chee­bye” when he jumps or else we will have to cen­sor him) to allow for such an his­toric event.

Mr Ash­ley Smith, my tan­dem instruc­tor from Dar­win, was a great pair-up for keep­ing me relaxed and not over­loaded with repet­i­tive instruc­tions. For 45 sec­onds of freefall and the ensu­ing dun­no­how­many min­utes of para­chut­ing down to Palawan Beach I had the best view of Sin­ga­pore and the Riau Islands. Land­ing on Palawan also meant I could strip off my gear and run to the carpark to rush home to unpack some more before Naomi got too upset at my lit­tle ‘chute break.

Heli­copter, or fixed wing air­craft jumps for that mat­ter are hard to come by in Sin­ga­pore, unless you’re an air­borne trooper in the Army. Even then you’re look­ing at jump­ing over­seas. So for a frac­tion of the price and time, you can still expe­ri­ence the thrill of fly­ing at iFly’s world’s biggest ver­ti­cal wind tun­nel at Sen­tosa. I did it once last year, and strongly rec­om­mend every­one give it a go. You may like it enough to make it a reg­u­lar sport and com­pete like the fly­ers did at the World Cham­pi­onships last fortnight.

"Once you're ready to let go of the helicopter, we can jump, mate!"

Once you’re ready to let go of the heli­copter, we can jump, mate!”

Stepping out

Step­ping out

Hello sky!

Hello sky!

That's the helicopter above us

That’s the heli­copter above us

Tried to scream but no sound came out

Tried to scream but no sound came out

And this is how I looked AFTER I composed myself

And this is how I looked AFTER I com­posed myself

Best facelift treatment ever!

Best facelift treat­ment in Sin­ga­pore ever!

...and some say Batam

…and some say Batam

There's no ERP here. Thumbs up!

There’s no ERP here. Thumbs up!

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