Ex-president skydives on 90th birthday

Former President George H.W. Bush prepares to land on the lawn at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Former President George H.W. Bush prepares to land on the lawn at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine.

WASHINGTON: Former US president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by carrying out his eighth parachute jump.

“It’s a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump,” tweeted the elder Bush, who has seemed frail in recent public appearances, and is often seen in a wheelchair.

The 41st commander-in-chief parachuted out of a helicopter near his family home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Television footage showed the aircraft hovering over the target of the skydive, the jump and then the former president on the ground a short time later, with a swarm of people assisting him.

“41 doing ‘great, exhilarated’ following his skydive and a ‘hot’ landing,” his spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter after the jump.

The tandem jump was Bush’s eighth, with the first on September 2, 1944 — when he was shot down over the Pacific island Chi Chi Jima as a pilot in World War II.

He recalled that experience in an NBC interview with his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager aired Thursday, acknowledging it actually made him want to jump again — and do it right.

“I pulled the rip cord too early, hit the tail of the plane with my head, just a glancing blow,” he said.

“And that, I decided that later on, well I want to do it right. And so that did spark my interest in making another jump — this time getting it correct.”





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