Only Skydivers Know Why the Birds Sing

By Catriona Borman and Gus Cameron 

Graham Field

During the month of July, Mashonaland Skydivers was fortunate enough to host the well known and respected South African SkyDiving Legend and Drop Zone Chief Instructor Graham Field.  Graham runs and manages SkyDiversity, the Tandem SkyDiving and Student Training operation based at SkyDive Rustenburg / Rustenburg SkyDiving Club in South Africa.  

Graham and his company AerialFX are perhaps best known for the high profile public parachuting displays which he is licensed by the Parachute Association of South Africa (PASA) to perform at high profile events both nationally and internationally. Over the years, 

Graham has represented a large number of top international brands as well as representing South Africa internationally at Competition and Display levels. He has also taken part in numerous World Records, World Firsts, stunts and movies that involve skydiving, parachuting and aerial activities. Graham was recently featured on cable television news channel CNN for performing the world’s first ‘Triple Inverted Aircraft Skydive’ at the prestigious Al Ain Airshow in Abu Dhabi.

Catriona Borman with Ken Purse

Located at Charles Prince Airport, the go to place for Mashonaland Skydivers, they held one of its regular action packed weekends for adventure seeking students and professionals alike. Mr Ken Purse diligently took first-timers through extensive training and preparation before they were allowed to suit up and do several runs through what they had learnt.  He also conscientiously ensured that jumpers with only a few jumps were given time to go through previous training to ensure nothing had been forgotten. The tension was palpable and you could feel their levels of both trepidation and excitement.  

Gus and Blake Cameroon

Mr Angus Cameron, also known as “Gus” organised the whole weekend and worked closely with Graham showing him the ins and outs of how Mashonaland Skydivers operated and the equipment used. Gus also introduced Graham to the active team both on and behind the scenes with the interest of getting Zimbabwe Skydiving back onto the international map through building relations such as with the Parachute Association of South Africa. 

Graham took this opportunity to get fully involved by not only helping to rig up jumpers, but also to dispatch them personally from the aircraft, a Cessna 206 provided by CATS, a reputable aircraft charter company in Zimbabwe. They were able to accommodate four jumpers at a time and were expertly flown by Reginald Muchemwa. We couldn’t have asked for better weather as blue skies were plentiful.

Not only is Graham Field a bit of a celebrity, but he is also a noted top class Tandem Skydiver. He managed to facilitate several tandem jumps over the weekend to thrill seekers who were far from disappointed, especially with a birds-eye view to the backdrop of an unforgettable Harare sunset.  Mashonaland Skydivers is very fortunate to have had him make the visit. Graham can add one more record to his list of achievements as he also took Blake Cameron, just turned eight years old, for a tandem skydive.  Blake may possibly be the youngest skydiver in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Airforce was also invited to participate in the weekend and arrived in their spectacular CASA that was available for experienced jumpers to use and for regular members of the armed forces to display their skills. The Airforce team were incredibly enthusiastic despite it being their weekend off. They even brought their ambulance, ground crew, and braai and made a real effort to boost the event.

If you have a sense of adventure and would like to participate in a life changing experience or what could easily become a regular exhilarating sport, please contact Angus Cameron on gustavzw@gmail.com for more details. 

Photographs by Catriona Borman

Originally published in the 103rd Issue of Ndeipi Magazine

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