He may not have the physical prowess he once possessed as a US Navy pilot or a baseball player for Yale University, but former US president George H.W. Bush still intends to go where eagles soar by jumping out of a plane for his 90th birthday (today).

The former leader of the free world is unable to use his legs and relies upon a wheelchair for mobility, but that has not deterred him from honouring a vow he made five years ago.

Today he took to Twitter and told followers: "It's a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump."

A helicopter provided the transport from which Bush Snr made an aided parachute jump – his eighth in total. Spokesman Jim McGrath called the stunt "vintage George Bush".

"It's that passion for life," said McGrath. "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."

AP reported that Bush's first parachute jump was a baptism of fire, when his plane was shot down over the Pacific ocean during the Second World War. But that experience failed to dampen his passion for falling from great heights.

Parkinson's disease robbed former Secret Services officer Bush Snr of the use of his legs.

Friend Ken Raynor said: "He's lost his mobility, but he hasn't lost his heart. He's still the genuine person that we've come to cherish."

George H W Bush (circled) during a previous skydive
George H W Bush (circled) during a previous skydive Getty