Taking a leap of faith

Reporter Katelyn Booth puts her trust in instructor Dave |Cicciarelli.
Reporter Katelyn Booth puts her trust in instructor Dave |Cicciarelli.

Well I did by jumping out of a plane 14,000ft above Rockingham last month, with a skydiving instructor who I had met just an hour before my stunt.

While I do not consider myself an adrenalin junkie, I jumped (excuse the pun) at the chance to skydive with one of the best instructors Australia has to offer.

Dave Cicciarelli, the team’s resident American, has been jumping for 25 years, racking up 17,980 jumps over that time.

I arrived at the Naval Memorial Park along Kwinana Beach Road extremely excited.

All I could think about was the reality that I would soon be freefalling from a plane at speeds of up to 200km/h and experiencing this extreme sport that attracts dozens of people to the local hotspot each day.

Before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to my colleagues and was seated on a bus destined for Jandakot airport.

Once off the runway, I was overwhelmed by the picturesque views of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Penguin Island, Cockburn Sound, Garden Island and Rottnest Island.

I had assumed I would be exiting with legs over the edge of the plane and slowly rolling out. However, when you dive with the best, expect to push your adrenalin levels to the limit.

I was asked to step out onto a ledge, just under the plane’s wing, and with enough room for only one foot. It was when Dave began to count down from three I realised there was no turning back.

After freefalling for close to 60 seconds, I spent the next seven minutes floating under a canopy.

We made a perfect landing ” drifting along Rockingham beach, hovering over the soft sand until touch down.

It was then the reality of what I had just done sank in.

A mix of adrenalin jumping out of a plane 14,000ft in the air and sheer appreciation of having just witnessed our wonderful region in its full colour and glory.

The reporter was a guest of Skydive the Beach.