06/12/2014 11:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

George H.W. Bush Jumped Out Of A Helicopter Today

Former president George H.W. Bush took to the skies Thursday to celebrate his 90th birthday, skydiving near the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine:

"It's vintage George Bush," Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said. "It's that passion for life. It's wanting to set a goal, wanting to achieve it. I'm sure part of it is sending a message to others that even in your retirement years you can still find challenges."

McGrath said the former president was "great" and "exhilarated" after the landing.

Bush sat down with his granddaughter, NBC's Jenna Bush Hager, prior to the big jump. During the interview, he described the first time he jumped from a plane -- when his plane was shot down over the Pacific in 1944, forcing the then-Navy fighter pilot to parachute into the open water.

"When I was coming down in the parachute, I was scared, and I was scared when I was in the water swimming, getting away from the Japanese island. I was scared," he said. "I pulled the ripcord too early and hit the tail of the plane with my head, just (taking a) glancing blow. I've decided that later on, well, I want to do it right. And so that did spark my interest in making another jump, (and) this time getting it correct."

He's now skydived a total of eight times, including on his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays.

Bush and Bush Hager posed for a photo before his jump:

George W. Bush and Barbara Bush were also there to watch:

More photos of Bush 41's jump:







George H.W. Bush's Sock Styles