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The ultimate dive

He grinned from ear to ear all the way down from 13,000 feet - even posing for a thumbs-up picture at 120mph.

Richard Austin, Wyberton's action man councillor, aged a sprightly 80, declared his first skydive never gave him a moment's doubt and he "loved every minute of it".

"It was a wonderful experience. The most exciting part was when we went into freefall for 50 second reaching 120mph."

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The only way is... down. At 120mph from 13,000 feet. Cllr Richard Austin (80) gives a cheerful thumbs-up as he plummets to Earth with his tandem skydive leader, Dave.

Richard made his tandem jump to celebrate his birthday - it was a present from his wife, Cllr Alison Austin - and to raise money for a cause dear to his heart, Boston Woods Trust.

"I've wanted to do it all my life," he said. "When the chute opened we came down gently. I was given the control ropes and steered the parachute. The controls were quite sensitive."

Richard had a clear sky, after waiting for around four hours for early-morning mist to clear, and was sharing Langar airfield in Nottinghamshire with a huge team of 50 skydivers who were making plans to break the record for a joined-hands skydive.

There were five other pairs of tandem skydivers in Richard's plane. He hopes to raise around £1,500 for the Boston Woods Trust. He is very grateful for everyone's support.

You can still sponsor Richard by phoning him on 01205 368351, emailing him at rwa@richardaustin.co.uk going online and making payment from your bank account to the Boston Woods Trust using the reference Sky Dive, account number 00216407, sort code 30-91-04 or by cheque made payable to Boston Woods Trust and sent to Richard Austin, Sky Dive, Cherry Tree Cottage, Low Road, Wyberton, Boston, PE21 7AP. Please write Sky Dive on the back of your cheque.

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Safely back on terra firma. Cllr Austin and his skydive partner, Dave.