June 12, 2014 / 1:13 PM / 5 years ago

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush skydives for 90th birthday

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, stand during the national anthem prior to the University of Connecticut versus Butler University men's final NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game in Houston, Texas, April 4, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

BOWDOINHAM Maine (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush marked his 90th birthday by skydiving out of a helicopter above Kennebunkport, Maine, on Thursday, soaring under a red, white and blue parachute with a group of U.S. Army veterans.

“It’s a wonderful day in Maine - in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump,” said the 41st U.S. president, who first jumped from an aircraft almost 70 years ago when he was shot down over the Pacific Ocean during World War Two.

Live video showed Bush soaring over a wooded area of coastal Maine, where he has long maintained a home. After landing, a support team returned him to the wheelchair Bush uses to get around.

Bush, the father of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush, has been celebrating birthdays with occasional skydives for years and marked his 75th and 80th birthdays with jumps.

In 2009, when he jumped to mark his 85th birthday, his son then-President Bush said: “I think he’s a nut to jump.”

Skies in Maine were heavily overcast with little wind on Thursday.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Eric Beech

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