Vernon author takes pandemic-delayed skydive to celebrate eight decades

Senior skydives at 82

A Vernon author jumped out of "a perfectly good aircraft" to celebrate his 80th birthday.

James Osborne belatedly marked the milestone on Sunday, even though he's now 82.

The jump had originally been planned for 2020, but had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Osborne, author of the Amazon bestseller The Ultimate Threat, said he made the parachute jump "to celebrate the privilege of having enjoyed our amazing planet for eight decades. Not all that many people are that fortunate."

Osborne did a tandem jump with Skydive Okanagan on Tronson Road, freefalling from 10,000 feet and then parachuting the final 5,000 feet.

The descent took about 40 seconds.

"My first jump was 12 years ago to celebrate my 70th birthday," says Osborne. "And after this one, the next time I jump out of a perfectly good airplane will be to celebrate my 90th birthday. It’s probably a little early to make a reservation just yet, and I suppose that applies to the jump after that, for my 100th birthday.

"Don't be surprised if that skydive becomes a segment in my next novel," he joked.

The Vernon author's debut novel, The Ultimate Threat, made it onto Amazon's bestseller list twice – the first time at No. 1 and again in second place, between reprints of two books by Tom Clancy.

Osborne's other books include The Maidstone Conspiracy, the first of a suspense trilogy, and winner of a Best Suspense Novel award from McGrath House Agency in London, U.K. A collection of his short stories called Encounters – Tales of Living, Loving & Laughter also won first place in an international competition sponsored by The Critique Group.

His most recent novel, The Plot to Assassinate Secret Shepherd, is the second book in the trilogy.

It was described by New York book editor and publisher, Lois W. Stern, as "a magnificent story of love and hope prevailing in a world under siege."

The final book in the trilogy is expected to be released sometime next year.

Osborne says parts of the plots in his novels were inspired by his own experiences as an investigative journalist, army officer, college teacher, vice-president of a Fortune 500 company, business owner, and parent.

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