Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Fatality *2 - Guam - 14 August 2004

 

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Premier cpoxon  (D 11665)
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Aug 10, 2004, 2:52 AM
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Fatality *2 - Guam - 14 August 2004 Can't Post

From http://www.kuam.com/news/10513.aspx

Quote:
KUAM News has confirmed two people died after their parachute failed to open this morning. According to eyewitnesses KUAM News spoke to on the scene, the skydivers were seen spiraling downward and landed in the jungle area before the Lopez Color TV Repair along Farfan Street in Mangilao.

The two victims are believed to be a male instructor of Tandem Skydive Guam and a female tourist. Witnesses from the Department of Agriculture say they saw two people doing a tandem skydive. They heard a flapping noise coming from the sky and noticed that their parachute did not open.

The bodies have not been removed from the scene. Agents from the Guam Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division along with officials from the Guam Fire Department are looking into the matter.

Tandem Skydive Guam is reserving comment at this time. KUAM was told they are working to identify next of kin of both of the deceased.

According to statistics on the United States Parachute Association's Web site, 33 people died from skydiving accidents in 2002. In 2003, that total declined to 25 fatalities.

BSBD.


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Jan 17, 2012, 5:11 AM)


littlestranger  (C 34765)

Aug 10, 2004, 6:36 AM
Post #2 of 131 (21248 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.kuam.com/news/10527.aspx

update:

Skydiving is an adventure for thrill-seekers worldwide. According to MSNBC, there is only one fatality for every 97,000 skydive jumps. On island, only one company gives daredevils the opportunity to take the leap. A tandem jump is when an experienced instructor is strapped to your back and only one parachute is used for the jump. Tandem Skydive Guam provides jumps from three different drop zones, the highest being 14,000 feet in the air.

While there have been no reports of skydive deaths on Guam in recent years, today the company and police have launched independent investigations to determine how one skydive jump went tragically wrong and resulted in the loss of two lives.

An exciting adventure for one Japanese tourist and a routine job for an experienced skydiver ended in tragedy this afternoon. Mangilao residents are used to watching skydivers floating in the air, landing at Eagle's Field along Route 10, but what they saw today was unbelievable.

Greg Mendiola explained, "I was standing and I was just looking up and all I saw was a twirl and I heard Lillian Taijeron said, 'The parachute didn't open'. The parachute didn't open and I ran into the office and called 911." We were moving some floaters. All I heard was a flapping of the parachute; I looked up and yelled out, 'Holy !' and that's all we saw. After that we came over and checked it out.

Mendiola, Taijeron and other Department of Agriculture employees rushed to find the two skydivers who fell from the sky. They found the two lifeless in the jungle area behind Lopez Apartments on Farfan Street.

That's where Mangilao resident Jackie San Nicolas sat and watched the two jumpers fall right before her eyes. She recalled, "We were mowing the lawn, doing some yard work. I noticed a chute coming straight down. It did not open. It was twirling in the sky with the wind and it dropped real quick. I ran over to see if they were okay."

San Nicolas ran across the street wanting to help, but with the sight of two mangled bodies and blood, she knew there wasn't much more she could do but call 911. "I think they were gone already. I kept saying, 'Hello, hello are you okay?', and there was no response. It looked pretty bad," she said. She described the conditions of the people by saying, "Their bodies were twisted on some rope and stuff. They looked all bent up and hurt. I don't even think they made it. I prayed to God that they were okay, but I don't think I could have done something to help them."

Conservation officers were the first to arrive on the scene, followed by a caravan of SWAT officers, rescue personnel, medics, and police officers. The jungle area behind the Lopez Apartments had to be chopped down as rescue officials pulled the two bodies out. Guam Police Department spokesperson Officer Art Paulino says police are conducting investigations into the two deaths. Additionally, he says Criminal Investigation Section agents are trying to determine if the casualties were accidental or if foul play may have been involved.

Medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola stopped by for a preliminary review of the two individuals to determine the exact cause of death. Dr. Espinola told KUAM News he could not determine that from the scene today, however he will be conducting an autopsy on Wednesday morning.

Tandem Skydive Guam officials would not comment on-camera today about the incident. They are conducting an investigation though and notifying the next of kin of the two individuals. Their investigation would include trying to determine why the skydivers went off course and didn't land at Eagle Field, and instead, landed a mile down the street.

KUAM News contacted Tandem Skydive Guam legal counsel Attorney David Ledger, who said the company's owner is scheduled to arrive on Guam on Thursday or Friday from Australia. Ledger says a full investigation is underway that is independent of the police. The company's attorney confirms the tandem skydive operations will be closed for the remainder of the week. Operations are tentatively scheduled to resume next Monday.

He confirms that a male instructor passed away today, as well as a female Japanese tourist.

Blue Skies


linestretch  (D 21060)

Aug 10, 2004, 8:53 AM
Post #3 of 131 (21028 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

this is brutal. Does anyone have the name of the instructor? Please PM me if so. I worked there over the winter, and am close to the staff.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 10, 2004, 11:41 AM
Post #4 of 131 (20821 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Additional detail (not much) from the Pacific Daily News http://www.guampdn.com/...calnews/1017359.html


mattsplat  (D 34263)

Aug 10, 2004, 12:58 PM
Post #5 of 131 (20711 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Was this a uspa DZ?


linestretch  (D 21060)

Aug 10, 2004, 1:55 PM
Post #6 of 131 (20618 views)
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Re: [mattsplat] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

it's not a DZ. It's a tandem facility, that's ALL they do. No fun jumpers are allowed there unless you are staff. I'm sure that answers your question.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 10, 2004, 2:47 PM
Post #7 of 131 (20533 views)
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Re: [linestretch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
it's not a DZ. It's a tandem facility, that's ALL they do. No fun jumpers are allowed there unless you are staff. I'm sure that answers your question.

What kind of rigs do they use? Do they follow the FAR's and/or BSR's? Is it generally a safe and reasonable drop zone?


linestretch  (D 21060)

Aug 10, 2004, 3:43 PM
Post #8 of 131 (20460 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

I left in april of this year, and they were using Sigma's. All in pretty good condition. As good as any rig with about 2,000 jumps on it. All the mains were icarus 300's or 330's, and were very well taken care of. BSR's and FAR's were followed for the most part, just like any other DZ. The rigs were repacked every 120 days. For the most part, all the staff was highly experienced. The only sketchy part of jumping there were the winds which were generally only an issue in the winter. That and landing out. They cater to mostly japanese tourist which is nice because they are all about 100lbs. But most TI's know it's the small ones that can cause the most problems. And they use handcam which can be quite a distraction.


bobjoy9  (F 480)

Aug 11, 2004, 3:24 AM
Post #9 of 131 (20134 views)
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Re: [linestretch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

When shit goes down,,,, handy cam is not an issue.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 11, 2004, 3:52 AM
Post #10 of 131 (20115 views)
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Re: [bobjoy9] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When shit goes down,,,, handy cam is not an issue.

That's a bold statement from somebody who has never posted here before, just registered today, and hasn't bothered to provide any detail in profile. Providing a bit of background about yourself will strengthen your arguments.

The television station has a new story avaialble at http://www.kuam.com/news/10539.aspx that confirms the instructor was wearing a handicam. It also notes that the FAA is now involved, and that the police have the equipment.

Quote:
Autopsies were conducted on two people who died in a skydiving tragedy. Chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola determined a skydive instructor and a female Japanese tourist died from numerous injuries sustained in the accident. Espinola said the two bodies were so mangled that he could not specify the exact cause of death.

He did note both sustained numerous fractures. A skydive instructor from Tandem Skydive Guam and a tourist took a jump on Tuesday morning. Eyewitnesses said the two were seen falling from the sky, as their parachute failed to open. They crashed into the jungle area behind Lopez Apartments on Farfan Street in Mangilao. Tandem Skydive attorney David Ledger says the company is still conducting its own investigation into the matter.

He adds Skydive officials are very anxious to get the parachute pack and equipment from the medical examiner and police.

KUAM News has confirmed that the Federal Aviation Administration is also conducting an inquiry into the deaths. Attorney Ledger says Skydive officials contacted the FAA immediately after yesterday's incident. He could not say the extent of the FAA's involvement in the investigation by police, but did add the company is hoping the equipment from the fallen skydivers will provide answers about the deaths. Additionally, he confirms the instructor who passed away was wearing a camera on his wrist during the time of the jump.

Tandem Skydive Guam officials have not seen that tape and believe police have the video equipment. The company and police have not released the identities of the two individuals.

Meanwhile, Tandem Skydive Guam's owner is expected to arrive on Guam in the next day or two from Australia, when he is expected to provide more information on Tuesday's fall.


bobjoy9  (F 480)

Aug 11, 2004, 4:00 AM
Post #11 of 131 (20105 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, it might have been a bold statement,but we will find out what happend very soon, like most incidents {somewhere along the line} human error plays a major factor.
I was doing my profile as i received your reply.
Just getting my way around this site.


(This post was edited by bobjoy9 on Aug 11, 2004, 4:44 AM)


linestretch  (D 21060)

Aug 11, 2004, 8:16 AM
Post #12 of 131 (19937 views)
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Re: [bobjoy9] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
When shit goes down,,,, handy cam is not an issue

So I take it you've done handy? And when you started, you weren't distracted by it at all? Your exits were pure honey? Come on dude, I really doubt that.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 11, 2004, 9:04 AM
Post #13 of 131 (19887 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

The latest from the Pacific daily News: http://www.guampdn.com/...calnews/1024242.html

Quote:
The Federal Aviation Administration is launching an investigation into the deaths of two people whose parachute apparently did not deploy correctly while skydiving Tuesday.

One clue might come from the parachute itself, which, an FAA official said, contains a very simple, black box-like device, similar to the ones used on airplanes, that contains some basic information about the dive.

The two, who were skydiving, were identified by the Guam Police Department as skydiving instructor Gose Campos, a 43-year-old Brazilian residing on Guam, and 22-year-old tourist Kanako Okado of Japan.

Okado apparently was on Guam with her mother, father and brother, and she and her father and brother had decided to go skydiving, said David Ledger, an attorney for Skydive Guam Inc.

He said the three were on the same skydiving flight and jumped together, and the father and brother both landed safely.

As for Campos, Ledger said he has a "significant other" who lives on Guam, but said he was not sure whether the two are married.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola conducted autopsies on the victims yesterday afternoon.

"The bodies, both of them, were mangled, meaning to say their entire bodies were damaged from head to toe," he said. "There is no bone that is not fractured."

Harnessed together

Campos and Okado were doing a tandem dive, harnessed together and to the same parachute, Ledger said.

Ledger said typically, the instructor packs the parachute on his own before the flight. The reserve parachute, which is rarely deployed, is packed by a "certified rigger," he said.

Witnesses at the scene on Tuesday said they had seen the parachute also falling to the ground, but Ledger said it is still unclear whether the parachute had deployed at all. He said that possibly, what the witnesses had seen was the "drogue parachute," which is a small chute in the shape of an upside-down pyramid that is manually deployed shortly after exiting the plane and acts as a brake as the participants fall.

It still remained unclear whether the chute had deployed or if what they had seen was the drogue parachute, Ledger said.

Skydive Guam Inc. is launching its own investigation into what happened, but more information will not be available until they look at the equipment, which still is in the hands of officials, he said.

Compliant operation

The parachute will first be studied by FAA officials in Honolulu, who will conduct an investigation into the cause of death, said FAA's Tim Cornelison, air traffic manager and local coordinator for Guam.

He said the parachute has an automatic activation device, which has a memory that provides very limited data, "almost like a black box in an airplane."

Though he said he is no expert in sky diving, the sport is relatively safe.

"And this particular operation is an extremely compliant operation -- the people are extremely easy to work with and very responsive when we've worked with them on their operation here and in Saipan," he said. "I would say they are highly respected in their profession."

He said these are the first parachute-related deaths that he is aware of on Guam.

According to the U.S. Parachute Association's Web site, of more than two million jumps reported to their organization annually, there is typically between 25 and 44 fatalities a year -- a safety record that far exceeds that of automobiles.


superswooper  (D 19862)

Aug 12, 2004, 6:29 PM
Post #14 of 131 (19415 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

I new the instructor in this incident and I'm interested in finding out what actually happened. Has anybody heard or read anything new?


linestretch  (D 21060)

Aug 12, 2004, 8:39 PM
Post #15 of 131 (19348 views)
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Re: [superswooper] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

As far as I know, the Guam police dep are doing an investigation into the accident. Unfortunetly, I don't think there was a rigger in the area to actually look over the gear before it was removed, so that could really impact what they find. Considering someone not familiar with skydiving isn't gonna know a damn thing about the gear.....


luckysideburns  (D 28597)

Aug 13, 2004, 6:40 AM
Post #16 of 131 (19187 views)
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Re: [linestretch] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

maaan that really ticks me off about many of these incidents. The emergency crews nd officers will rip things and move them and grab things, pull handles etc after an incident has occurred.. and it makes it a real PITA to figure out what really happened. grr.. bad cop!


LukeOliver  (F 600)

Aug 16, 2004, 7:24 AM
Post #17 of 131 (18654 views)
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Re: [bobjoy9] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Maybe that should have read "HandCam /should not be/ an issue"...


In reply to:
When shit goes down,,,, handy cam is not an issue.


flypunk  (D License)

Aug 17, 2004, 2:40 PM
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Re: [LukeOliver] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone got anything further on if and why there was nothing out?


Villa

Aug 18, 2004, 7:56 PM
Post #19 of 131 (18029 views)
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Re: [flypunk] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

New to this group. I'm an Aussie with 3500 jumps. Mostly camera work on Saipan (skydive Saipan). Not tandem qualified. Like all of us I am sadened by this.. Very sad . Like "linestretch" has stated, I too would like to make the point that Both the Saipan and Guam TM operation are a very professional, highly qualified group of people. In my experience (over 3 years with them) gear safety was paramount and all tandem masters were extremely capable. They had a policy of not engaging newly qualified TMs for this reason..


hoym  (D 12622)

Aug 19, 2004, 7:45 AM
Post #20 of 131 (17888 views)
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Re: [Villa] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Villa,
I hope you will provide us with some more details when the information is available.
I do a lot of tandems and, like many others, would like to know how this happened and can be avoided.
I lived and jumped in Guam from '90 to '92. I did video only then and a friend of mine did the tandems. My friend (who still lives there though not jumping now) told me about this accident the day after it happened.
Very sorry to hear this news.
-mh.


flypunk  (D License)

Aug 19, 2004, 12:49 PM
Post #21 of 131 (17761 views)
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Re: [Villa] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there any more info that you could give us at this time?

Was the line stretch on the main or reserve? anything?


gemini  (D 24349)

Aug 19, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Re: [cpoxon] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fly free Jaca. My thoughts are with your daughter.


Villa

Aug 19, 2004, 4:43 PM
Post #23 of 131 (17680 views)
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Re: [flypunk] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

My reference to "linestretch" in my previous posting was the name given to one of the people involved in this discussion. See this thread 10th Aug. Nothing to do with the incident. All the info I have on this comes from this posting.


flypunk  (D License)

Aug 19, 2004, 9:36 PM
Post #24 of 131 (17608 views)
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Re: [Villa] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry read your post wrong. Hope more info comes along.


INSANEDADDY  (D 27625)

Aug 20, 2004, 6:44 AM
Post #25 of 131 (17517 views)
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Re: [flypunk] Tandem fatality in Guam? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jim, was this Jaca the TM who used to jump at Spaceland? Condolences to his friends and family. I did not know him personally but chatted with him a few times at the DZ. Fly free my friend.


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