HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With her granddaughter and great-grandson in tow, 91-year-old Kay Inouye has tandem skydived for each birthday since she turned 88.
“First time she went we were like ‘oh my God’ and then each year we’re like, ‘alright grandma’s going skydiving,’” said granddaughter Elyse Inouye.
On Tuesday, she went tandem skydiving for the fourth time ― for her 91st birthday ― and ditched the walker that she came in with.
“My bucket list was 88. This Japanese lady told me it’s a good year. Go for it,” said Kay Inouye.
Inouye said before Tuesday’s skydive, she read her horoscope that said “the sky’s the limit” and “you can be an international celebrity.” That’s when she decided she would jump for the fourth time.
“It’s perfect. Everybody needs a hobby, right? On her birthday, she gets a free t-shirt and she loves the free t-shirt. She loves it,” said Tony Lee, Skydive Hawaii driver.
Before the jump, the adrenaline junkies with the Skydive Hawaii team gently guided Inouye to the plane with the utmost care.
“Wonderful, wonderful experience. You know when you sit on the front, when you sit by the window seat, you look outside and you wish you were there,” said Inouye, of her past jumps.
When the moment came for Inouye to jump again ― free-falling from 12,500 feet ― she did it without any fear. Instead, just joy about being able to let go.
On the ground, though, there was a fair amount of anxiety. They had to wait about 15 minutes until they saw Inouye’s red, white and blue parachute floating toward the ground.
“Oh just great, just great. Oahu is beautiful,” said Inouye, immediately after landing.
Skydive Hawaii instructor Ed White calls it a privilege to skydive with a nonagenarian.
“It was awesome. It reminded me of skydiving with with my mother,” he said.
For Inouye, it was a very happy birthday as she embraced her granddaughter, Elyse, and great-grandson, Austin, after she safely landed on the ground.
Will she do this again? Inouye says she’ll think about it.
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