A small plane crashed into Lake Taupo yesterday. It was crammed full of tandem skydivers, eg, about half a dozen instructors with their pupils plus, of course, the pilot. All twelve people managed to skydive out before the plane crashed into the lake.
Some years' ago, I tandem skydived over Taupo. I read the pamphlet at 11.30 am and by midday I'd done the jump, so I didn't really have time to get worried about the jump itself.
However, once I got into the small ramshackle plane I worried like mad. I would almost swear the interior looked as if it was held together with string and sticky tape. I would liken it to an old car that kids had found on a dump and were trying to restore. The inside of the plane had been taken out and everything appeared dirty and rusty. Both the pilot and my tandem master were wearing parachutes as we took off and gained height for the jump., I did not have a parachute.
All I could think of was: "Dear God, let me parachute out of this plane before it gives up the ghost. Please-please-please..." I was scared this ancient old jalopy of a plane would crash before I'd got attached to a parachute. It wasn't until the plane was over the drop space that the tandem master gestured for me to crawl over to him at the door, and be joined up. I was so grateful/happy/thrilled to jump out of that darn plane! Who would have thought that?
A couple of years' ago, I went para-sailing over Lake Taupo, which was fanastic. I was really high up in the air under a large parachute and being pulled by a speed boat. Every now and then, I was swooped down low and my toes hit the water. What enjoyment.
I had a few days in Taupo last month. It's a totally beautiful place. Sorry about photo quality, I was peering into the sun. I love swimming at the below (main) beach.
below: Mt Ruapehu in background