Skydivers leap from C-17s for charity

Women in Adventure Sports program jump from a C-17A aircraft above RAAF Base Amberley


More than $30,000 has been raised for Legacy Australia during two impressive skydiving displays, allowing the public to witness the Air Force’s airlift capability and to support women in aviation.

One C-17A global airlifter delivered 200 skydivers to Skydive Ramblers Toogoolawah Drop Zone, with skydivers donating to Legacy for the opportunity to participate in the jump.

Similarly, the C-17 delivered 100 skydivers to RAAF Base Amberley in support of the Women in Adventure Sport initiative. While this sky dive was not conditional on a donation, most of the women contributed,significantly improving on the $11,000 donated last year.

Officer Commanding 86 Wing, Group Captain Adam Williams, said the support of Defence families provided by Legacy allows both himself and his colleagues to work particularly in conflict zones, confident that Legacy will be there to support their families in times of need.

“I think for me personally and all my guys and girls, Legacy made that promise in World War 1 and they’ve been really good at keeping it to look after families if the worst should happen and we don’t make it home,” Group Captain Williams said.

“Right now, that’s pretty relevant for 86 Wing in particular who spend a lot of their time somewhere else in the world whether it’s doing humanitarian aid in Fiji and Nepal, or indeed going into Iraq or Afghanistan – it’s not the safest job in the world.

“It’s much easier to go and do it with confidence and pride knowing that your family are going to be taken care of.”

The Air Force operates a fleet of eight C-17A Globemasters from RAAF Base Amberley. With a payload of up to 70 tonnes, the C-17A is capable of flying both strategic missions across continents, as well as tactical airlift missions to airdrop cargo and paratroops.

In the past 12 months, the C-17A has flown airdrop missions to Antarctica, delivered aid relief to Vanuatu, and sustained deployed forces in the Middle East Region.

“It’s rare for members of the public to have an opportunity like these skydiving events, which have capitalised on the C-17A’s impressive airlift capability,” Group Captain Williams said.

“The guys and girls who fly it [the C-17A] are really proud of the aeroplane and they should be really proud of how well they operate it.

“The idea of just randomly going past a drop zone that they don’t generally operate to and throwing a couple hundred skydivers out is a testament to their proficiency and professionalism.”