90-year-old Maine man skydives for first time

July 16, 2012 - 8:39 PM

Nonagenarian Skydiver

In this Sunday, July 15, 2012 photo, 90-year-old Lester Slate, right, of Exeter, Maine, sits on the ground after his first skydiving jump made in tandem with instructor Matt Riendeau, left, at Central Maine Skydiving in Pittsfield, Maine. (AP Photo/Bangor Daily News, Kevin Bennett) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT

PITTSFIELD, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who learned how to use a parachute as a Navy pilot during World War II has finally made his first jump — at age 90.

Lester Slate of Exeter jumped out of a plane for the first time on Sunday at Pittsfield Airport. He was guided to the ground by a tandem jumper and accompanied by another skydiver trailing a U.S. flag.

The jump was a 90th birthday present to himself. More than 50 family and friends watched.

Slate tells the Bangor Daily News (http://bit.ly/Myr0gb ) he was inspired by former president George H.W. Bush, who jumped from an airplane on his 85th birthday in 2009.

Slate says he had such a good time he wants to do it again — on his 95th or 100th birthday.

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Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com