94-year-old with awesome bucket list skydives over Israel

Walter Bingham is Israel's oldest working journalist and has appeared in two Harry Potter movies. Skydiving just seemed like the next logical thing to do.

Meet Walter Bingham.

Upon first glance, Bingham looks like a typical grandfather. Upon first glance, Bingham looks like a typical grandfather. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

In a couple of months, he'll be turning 95. He's Israel's oldest working journalist and he holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest radio talkshow host. He decided that in honor of his upcoming birthday he wanted to try skydiving for the first time.

Bignham (center) brought along his friend Jordan (left) who joined Walter on the skydive, and his son-in-law (right) who stayed on terra firma to take photos. Bignham (center) brought along his friend Jordan (left) who joined Walter on the skydive, and his son-in-law (right) who stayed on terra firma to take photos. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

He's lived a storied life. He was an ambulance driver during the invasion of Normandy. For his valor, he was awarded France's highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur. He's played Santa Claus at London’s famous Harrods department store and he appeared as a wizard in two of the Harry Potter films.

Bingham and his friend Jordan along with their tandem instructors. Bingham and his friend Jordan along with their tandem instructors. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

Bingham called up Israel Extreme, a travel company that specializes in off-the-beaten track tours. They offer everything from rappelling and caving to rafting and rock climbing tours of Israel. And, of course, skydiving.

Walter Bingham, now boarding. Walter Bingham, now boarding. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

This was Bingham's first skydive, although he has a pilot's license. "I'm a crazy guy," he said. "I once took an airplane from London to Israel and back again."

Asked before the jump if he was excited, the mild-mannered Bingham responded, 'So-so. I never get overly excited.' Asked before the jump if he was excited, the mild-mannered Bingham responded, 'So-so. I never get overly excited.' (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

And then ... he jumped.

'I wish I could get to that age and be like that,' said Moshe Meyers, who jumped alongside Bingham and took this photo. 'I wish I could get to that age and be like that,' said Moshe Meyers, who jumped alongside Bingham and took this photo. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

The jump originated from about 30,000 feet. The jump originated from about 30,000 feet. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

Bingham's jump gave him a scenic view of northern Israel and took him over a diverse landscape – including flying above the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, the Mt. Hermon ski resort and the dormant volcanoes of the Golan. Moshe Meyers, the founder of Israel Extreme, said the topography provides for a unique jump. "I've skydived all over the world. It's very unique to have such a diverse drop zone," he told From The Grapevine. "It's pretty crazy."

Bingham's flightpath took him along the Mediterranean coastline in northern Israel. Bingham's flightpath took him along the Mediterranean coastline in northern Israel. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

The tandem instructor had a camera attached to his wrist, which took this photo. The tandem instructor had a camera attached to his wrist, which took this photo. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

"We like to take families and ordinary people to places they thought they can only see on National Geographic," Meyers said. "We get to do that on a daily basis."

Bingham joins other nonagenarians like President George H.W. Bush who have gone skydiving to celebrate birthdays in their nineties. Bingham joins other nonagenarians like President George H.W. Bush who have gone skydiving to celebrate birthdays in their nineties. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

Bingham ended his jump in a field near the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. TripAdvisor ranked Israel Extreme as the #1 touring company in the "Outdoor Activities" category in the entire country.

The 94-year-old Bingham recently said: 'On a good day I feel like I’m 40, and on a bad day, like 50.' The 94-year-old Bingham recently said: 'On a good day I feel like I’m 40, and on a bad day, like 50.' (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

'Walter is quite a character,' said Moshe Meyers, who jumped with Bingham. 'Walter is quite a character,' said Moshe Meyers, who jumped with Bingham. (Photo: Courtesy Israel Extreme)

By completing his jump, Bingham is now the oldest Israeli on record to skydive. After taking off his gear, Bingham said he hoped to do it again on his 100th birthday. “Breaking records is my latest hobby!" he exclaimed.

Meyers told us that he's jumped with thousands of clients over the years, but that he doesn't remember 90 percent of them. "But there are those special clients that you remember for the rest of your life. One of them is definitely Walter. I'm not going to forget this jump forever."

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Travel

94-year-old with awesome bucket list skydives over Israel
Walter Bingham is Israel's oldest working journalist and has appeared in two Harry Potter movies. Skydiving just seemed like the next logical thing to do.