Kennebunkport, ME, United States (4E) – Former President George H. W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving in tandem in Maine on Thursday.
The 41st president, who can no longer walk due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, jumped strapped to Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott, a retired member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team, jumped from a helicopter around 11 a.m. and both landed on the lawn at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport.
The parachute jump fulfilled Bush’s promise on his 85th birthday in 2009, the last time he parachuted, to skydive on his 90th birthday. He also celebrated his 75th and 80th birthday by parachuting and in all made eight skydives since the first made during World War II.
Bush’s sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, were among family members and friends who witnessed the skydive.
The former naval aviator said he can still do more skydives.
“I got one more left in me. It’ll be fun,” he told granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.
Bush’s skydiving tradition was triggered by his promise to correctly parachute after his first attempt, while escaping a burning plane, cause him to hit the tail of the aircraft.