What It Takes To Be Part Of Prestigious Army Parachute Display Team


One of the Army's most prestigious Parachute Display teams is in Cyprus is preparing for the coming season.

The Tigers are made up of troops from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (PWRR) and have been jumping at Kingsfield near Dhekelia.

The team has been entertaining audiences across the UK and Europe but now they're in Cyprus for the next two weeks.

Captain Ian Wicks, Officer Commanding of the Tigers says they're looking for:

"fast explosive and exciting stuff."

When speaking about what is expected of the crew he explains the intensity of the skydive:

"They effectively head towards the earth at about 80mph."

He added: "From the free fall group you have guys with flags on so they will drop the weighted flag which is approximately six metres by three metres and has about a 25-pound weight at the end to enable to flag to fly in the correct formation."

The Tigers Army Parachute Display Team was formed in 1986 and soldiers volunteer to join.

There is a selection process, however, to see if they make the grade and whether they are good enough to join the Tigers.


Lance Corporal Daniel Hurst, is a candidate for the team and has been parachuting for many years.

He now believes he has the skillset to be chosen.

"I've now come to the team with a bit more knowledge - the selection process is assessing my accuracy, how well I do it, how well I jump with flags or weighted flags - they will take it from there and I will be assessed at the end of it."

The new candidates will have to learn new parachuting skills.

Pte Carl Hobbs says he struggled practising skydiving with a weighted flag strapped beneath him.

"The most difficult things I've done this week is the flag jumping and yesterday I messed up my setup a little bit which meant I had a downwinder,  which is along with the wind, so you're travelling a lot faster than you normally would."

"With the flag underneath me as well, it was a bit off-putting and I did take a bit of a tumble."

Simon Netwon prepares to skydive alongside the Tigers

Our reporter Simon Newton even had a chance to practice the jump for himself.

At 13,000 feet he exited the plane with Tandem Instructor, Staff Sergeant Simon Gearing, to follow the Tigers down.

After 45 seconds of freefalling, the parachute is deployed and he was part of the display.

The Tigers will perform dozens of displays throughout the summer, where they will show off their regiment, the army, the core virtues of soldiering, comradeship, bravery and skill from the skies. 

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