Wellington octogenarian plans to celebrate birthday skydiving
With an 80th Birthday celebration on the horizon, Sue Pilling isn't looking forward to just blowing out the candles on a cake while surrounded by family and friends. Instead, she's looking to celebrate the occasion in a much different way.
About 10,000 feet in the air, to be exact.
Pilling is planning to celebrate her 80th Birthday by skydiving in Moab on July 4. While the activity may seem unusual for someone her age, Pilling said she's been looking forward to this for quite some time.
"It's been on my bucket list for awhile," she said.
Pilling, a Wellington resident, said she has crossed off other activities on her bucket list including riding in a hot air balloon, flying in an ultralight plane, deep sea fishing and more.
While the thought of looking out the door of an airplane at 10,000 feet may be a little unsettling for some, Pilling is preparing to have a birthday she won't forget anytime soon.
"I'm not afraid of heights," she said. "This should be a big thrill for me and my family."
She won't be jumping alone. Her son, Tom Pilling, will be joining her for the special occasion.
"He has told me before that he's wanted to go skydiving, so I told him to come along," Pilling said.
At least one family member is a little apprehensive about the idea.
"The thought of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is kind of odd" said Leon Pilling, Sue's husband of 60 years. "Hopefully it will be one of the biggest thrills of her life, other than meeting her husband, of course. But I'll be holding my breath for the whole time until she's safely on the ground."
Born in Peekskill, N.Y., on July 4, 1933, Sue Pilling later met Leon and the two settled in Wellington, where the couple has resided for the last 60 years, she said. The couple has eight children, 24 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren, many of whom will be watching together as Sue looks to cross off another adventure in life.
"I've got no fear about going skydiving," she said. "It will be one of the biggest challenges of my life."