Frank Webb, an 86 year-old resident of Saanich, B.C., celebrated his birthday in style — by jumping out of an airplane and freefalling towards Earth at 200 km/h.

Webb told CBC Radio's On the Island host Gregor Craigie that he was ecstatic after his first skydive.

"I was like a kid with a new toy. It was an excellent flight," he said.

Webb said skydiving had been on his bucket list ever since he almost did it while he was stationed as an army soldier in Egypt in the 1950s.

He put it off for many years — until he came across a recent newspaper article about a Vancouver Island dragon-boat team that learned to tandem skydive in Qualicum Beach, B.C.

The oldest participant was 73 years old.

'I thoroughly enjoyed it'

Webb said he was very impressed with the team at Skydive Vancouver Island, who made sure he understood all the procedures of the dive.

"This was very professional and I wasn't frightened a bit. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it," he said.

Webb said he will definitely skydive again, at least to show his fiancée, who couldn't make his dive because she was at a family reunion in the U.S.

"I said to my girl, 'Darling, I'm going to take you up there, you will watch me do it again,'" said Webb.

"She was so impressed when I was able to phone her after I jumped."

When asked if he has a new hobby, Webb said he does.

"I'm going to take it further in the future, because I intend to live a long while."


To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled: 86-year-old skydiver