Flying high for 40 years

Dave Pinkney with the Airvan
Dave Pinkney with the Airvan

A Bridlington pilot is to celebrate 40 years in the industry by marking a milestone anniversary in the skydiving sport.

Dave Pinkney has spent almost his entire jump piloting career at the Grindale dropzone, based at East Leys Farm just north of Bridlington.

In 1976 Dave made his first solo jump flight, and was only a stones throw from the dropzone where he flies from today. The Chief Pilot’s most memorable moments include flying with WW2 RAF ace James ‘Ginger’ Lacey, flying for the British Nationals on his home turf of Bridlington, and having a cameo roll in Coronation Street where actors Tina Hobley and Philip Middlemiss made their first solo skydive.

Dave said: “One of the biggest highlights has to be when we dropped the Royal Marines over Scarborough in 1982. The landing point was just in front of The Grand Hotel’s entrance, a tiny area which was surrounded by tall buildings. That was a challenge, but certainly wouldn’t be allowed these days.

“Jump flying requires hands on flying, and it’s this challenge that brought me to the sport.”

Today, Dave spends most of his weekends soaring over the Yorkshire Coast giving skydivers their adrenaline fix of jumping from 10,000 feet.

Alec Flint, co-director of Skydive GB said “We’re thrilled that we can celebrate this mammoth achievement with Dave. He has been at the foundation of the Bridlington skydive operations for as long as I can remember and his long-term dedication to jump flying is unrivalled.”

The club will Dave Pinkney’s achievement on Saturday April 9 from 7pm, at the clubhouse on East Leys Farm. All are welcome.