Kimbe Flag Jump by Patrick Dunne (Team Organiser/Cameraman)
Team National Skydive Displays flew into Kimbe on 16 November 2017, just in time for the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 PNG National Games. We were there to participate in that ceremony, skydiving out of a PNG Defence Force CASA aircraft with a 2500sqft PNG flag attached to our organiser, Cameron Cooper.
We were first invited to PNG by Lamana Hotel in 2015 to put on a skydive display for the 40th year anniversary of independence celebrations. The skydive display was a huge success and was met by a very excited and surprised crowd.
When Lamana Hotel invited us again, for the PNG Games opening ceremony, we were very pleased to take part.
Our team consisted of 3 members, Cameron Cooper (Flag Jumper), Melanie Warrillow (Team Organiser) and me (the author). After a relaxed evening in the Lamana Hotel, Port Moresby we made our way to Jackson’s Airport the next morning to meet with our pilots at the PNG Air Transport Wing hanger for an early take-off for Hoskins, near Kimbe.
After landing at Hoskins airport we made our way, by road, to San Remo Stadium in Kimbe to inspect the venue for the opening ceremony. There we assessed the weather conditions and landing site. All was well and we were ready to put on a show.
Leading up to the jump we were very impressed by the opening ceremony and the many teams that travelled all across PNG to represent their respective Provinces. The pride and joy of every team members’ face was amazing to see. I was personally impressed by the cultural drum and dance of the different provinces, all wearing traditional dress.
As sunset approached, the PNGDF flew over the stadium with Cameron jumping out the back of the aircraft. The PNG flag opened and flew above a loud and excited crowd before safely touching down into the stadium. The atmosphere was amazing and seeing the smiles and joy on everyone’s face brought us great joy too.
After taking some photos with a very excited crowd, we made our way back to our accommodation to celebrate another successful skydive display in PNG and watched the amazing fireworks display put on by Lamana Fireworks.
It was an honour to be invited to put on a show for the people of Kimbe, West New Britain and Papua New Guinea. We were very impressed by the hospitality and warmth of the local people and the pride displayed by each team as they were introduced to the crowd.
We would like to thank Lamana Hotel and Lamana Fireworks for inviting us to be a part of their display shows. A big thanks to the PNGDF Air Transport Wing and the pilots and crew who looked after us. Finally, a big warm thanks to Melanie Warrillow who organised our team, educated us on PNG customs and traditions, and truly looked after us the entire time.
A short video of our experience of the PNG Games Opening Ceremony can be found at the link below:-
National Skydive Displays are an Australian & Asian based team of highly experienced skydivers with over 17 years experience in competitive skydiving and the skydiving industry. Our team have represented Australia in various disciplines of skydiving at national and international levels and have conducted international displays in China, Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia-wide.