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Former President George H.W. Bush parachute jumps for 90th birthday celebration

George H.W. Bush skydiving in 2004
George H.W. Bush skydiving in 2004
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush chose to celebrate his 90th birthday by doing a tandem parachute jump on Thursday, according to Yahoo! News on Thursday. Bush took the jump after having vowed to do so five years ago, even though he is no longer capable of using his legs. The Bush parachute jump occurred near his summer home in the coastal region of Maine.

The helicopter used for the celebratory jump picked Bush up just outside of Walker’s Point which is the Bush summer home. Reportedly, family members took him from his wheelchair to the helicopter as they sang “Happy Birthday” before the helicopter took off with Bush in it. Sometime later, the former president was seen floating to the ground with a red, white, and blue parachute. The gentle landing took place near St. Ann’s Church where friends and family members were gathered to greet him.

Once landed, Bush was greeted by his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who gave him a kiss. His son George gave him a hug. Hundreds of people gathered along the coastline to see the Bush parachute jump.

Bush jumped from a helicopter at 6,000 feet in the air. He was harnessed to Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliot who is a retired member of the Golden Knights which is the Army’s parachute team in the Kennebunkport area. Elliot is the same man who guided the 41st president to a landing five years ago when Bush turned 85 and made a parachute jump then as well. Bush officially announced Thursday’s jump with a Twitter tweet at 7:16 a.m. which said, “It’s a wonderful day in Maine – in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump,” according to ABC News.

Back in time, the first time the former president took a jump from an airplane was during World War II. That jump occurred when his plane was shot down. That incident happened over the Pacific Ocean. Since then, he marked his 75th, 80th, and 85th birthdays by taking to skydiving.