90-year-old ex-president makes parachute jump
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in coastal Maine, fulfilling a goal he made five years ago after a similar jump even though he can no longer use his legs.
The nation’s 41st president jumped from a helicopter at about 6,000 feet while harnessed to retired Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott, a former member of the Golden Knights, the Army’s parachute team. Elliott guided Bush to a safe landing on his 85th birthday.
“That’s what he wanted for his 90th birthday and that’s what he got,” Elliott said. “It’s a very good feeling to be involved and be able to turn back time.”
The helicopter picked up Bush outside his Kennebunkport home. His family transported him from his wheelchair to the chopper, singing “Happy Birthday” before it took off.
Bush floated to the ground under a red, white and blue parachute and landed on the lawn of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, where several hundred friends and family had gathered.