Guinness Tandem Skydive World Record
Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, the worst injured soldier to survive in Afghanistan, was part of a record attempt to perform the highest number of Tandem Skydives in one day. Organised by the Pilgrim Bandits charity, in conjunction with the Army Parachute Association, Ben helped beat the record by jumping twice at Netheravon dropzone in Wiltshire on.
Demolishing the previous record of 161, Ben teamed up with Jump4Heroes, The Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team, to perform the 200th jump. He was strapped to Jump4Heroes Team Leader Major Alastair Macartney, who also made his 7,000th jump on the same skydive. They freefalled from 15,000 feet with team member Warrant Officer Spencer Hogg diving out with the Olympic Torch that Ben carried earlier this year. Warrant Officer Hogg then passed the torch to Ben in freefall as the new World Record was set.
After landing Ben Parkinson said, "It was amazing to be part of this new World Record and to support Pilgrim Bandits charity. Skydiving is awesome and I challenge everyone out there to give it a go!".
Warrant Officer Spencer Hogg added: "It was an amazing honour to skydive with Ben's Olympic Torch and hand it to him in freefall while my team mate Major Alastair Macartney controlled the skydive as the tandem instructor. Ben performed flawlessly and is a real natural in the air".
Lucy Aldridge, the mother of the youngest soldier to die in Afghanistan, Rifleman William Aldridge, also jumped with Jump4Heroes Team Leader Major Macartney. On landing the team presented Lucy with a commemorative plaque of the memorial to her son in Sangin, Afghanistan. The plaque contained pictures taken by Major Macartney during a special trip he made to visit the memorial, while he was serving in Helmand Province last year. Lucy, who was praised by Governor Mangal during the Transition Ceremony in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, last year, was undertaking her third tandem skydive in memory of her fallen son.