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News

    Tragedy Ends Skydive Effort

    Man dies, another injured after collision
    DAYTON TOWNSHIP -- The death of a Missoula, Mont., skydiver and the serious injury of another Sunday ended Skydive Chicago's attempt to break the world record for the number of skydivers in a free-fall formation.
    Paul L. Adams, 54, died during a mid-air collision with Kenneth Reed, 22, of Holts Summit, Mo., during an 10:30 a.m. jump, the 22nd jump record attempt.
    Reed was taken to Community Hospital of Ottawa, and was later airlifted to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, where he remains in critical condition this morning.
    Sunday was the last day for the skydivers to break the record -- they had been attempting since Aug. 13, and had scheduled 24 jumps.
    The accident is being investigated by the La Salle County Sheriff's Department and the La Salle County Coroner's Office.
    "Unfortunately, on this jump, people from two different waves somehow crossed," said Roger Nelson, Skydive Chicago program director and jump participant. "We've had no problem on the other jumps."
    The decision was made after the accident to stop the world record attempt.
    The skydivers began to open their parachutes at about 7,500 feet, according to Nelson. Chutes are opened in "waves," meaning skydivers from the outer, middle, and inner rings of the flower-shaped formation open at different times and altitudes to avoid collisions.
    Adams opened his parachute first, and immediately struck Reed, Nelson said. Reed's parachute opened, and their passengers floated to the ground. Both divers were equipped with devices to automatically open the parachutes at a preset altitude.
    Adams was reported missing shortly after the jump. Each skydiver is required to check in immediately with a captain after landing to maintain accountability in the record attempt. The collision was spotted by another diver, who reported it to a ground medic.
    Adams' body was located by a spotter plane carrying Nelson, who jumped from the plane and landed near Adams' body in a cornfield off the runway.
    Nelson began yelling during the descent that he found Adams, said Sheriff Thomas Templeton. Nelson separated from his parachute and ran toward Adams. Adams was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:24 p.m., said La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard. An autopsy is scheduled for later today. Bernard did not know if Adams was killed in the collision, but said at a minimum he was knocked unconscious.
    Reed was located before Adams. He was found in a soybean field about 350 yards west of East 19th Road, Templeton said.
    The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident, Nelson said, and examine the equipment used by the skydivers. Nelson said that the equipment Adams used is in perfect working condition, and that the accident wasn't anybody's fault.
    The death marks the seventh since Skydive Chicago moved to its present location in 1993.
    ...................
    Victim `had passion for skydiving'
    Paul Adams planned to take Amber Taylor and her roommate -- who rented the basement of his Missoula, Mont., home -- skydiving with him when he returned from the world-record attempt in Ottawa.
    "He talked about (skydiving) a lot. He was always trying to get us to go," Taylor said. When they agreed, "he was all excited to take us when he got back."
    She learned Sunday he had been killed in an accident that morning, and it looks like she and her roommate won't be making that jump for a while.
    "It's not because of the accident, really," Taylor said. "It's because he's not here. He was an amazing guy. He treated us awesome."
    Adams, 54, had given Taylor a $70 watch when she graduated from the University of Montana this spring, and he bought his tenants a new refrigerator for their apartment, she said.
    Before he left for Illinois, he was in the yard, excitedly showing the women a diagram of the formation planned for the world-record attempt. He told them he was a little nervous, Taylor said. Adams' ex-wife, Brenda Elvey of Missoula, said skydiving was a natural part of life while they were married, and the two have maintained a friendly relationship since their 1992 divorce. They have two adult children, Beth and Steven.
    Elvey estimated Adams had been skydiving for more than 30 years. When the couple would move to a new town, the first thing he would do is search out the nearest place to skydive, she said.
    "He really loved it. He had a sense of adventure. He had a passion for skydiving, and that probably grew the more he did it.
    "He had had a couple small injuries before, broken bones in his foot and different things like that, but that never seemed to bother him or set him back, or make him not want to do it. He really enjoyed a lot of things -- scuba diving, hunting -- but skydiving was his biggest passion.
    "I think he was very responsible; he wasn't foolhardy. I think he was very much safety first," she said.
    "I think he was a Christian man. He liked skydiving, traveling and he enjoyed his kids."
    Mick Fauske, who worked with Adams at Montana Rail Link, said Adams was "thrilled" to be asked to join the record attempt, and proud he was one of the oldest people participating.
    The two men hunted together, but Adams had never persuaded Fauske to jump.
    "I'm not much of a heights person, but he enjoyed it," Fauske said. " (He liked) the thrill of it, the idea of flying. I know it was his favorite sport."
    Adams had been a railroad engineer for more than 30 years -- for Burlington Northern and Union Pacific before Montana Rail Link formed in 1987 -- and both Elvey and Fauske praised his railroading abilities.
    Elvey said, "I know he could run an engine by how the seat felt. He was a good engineer."
    "He was a really good guy," Fauske said. "He took care of his family. He was a good railroader; he was a good skydiver."
    "He'll be missed," Taylor said. "We're all still in shock here."
    © The Daily Times
    http://www.ottawadailytimes.com/odtnews/news4.htm

    By admin, in News,

    Base Jumpers to Honor Lives of Fallen Comrades

    BASE jumpers plan to congregate at Mineral Canyon near Moab in November to "celebrate the lives" of two colleagues who died July 18 when their single-engine airplane crashed while scouting jump sites near the head of the canyon.
    Clint Ford, 22, of Brush, Colo., and Earl Redfern, 43, of Moab, were killed instantly when the wing of Ford's Grumman AA-5 Traveler apparently clipped the edge of the canyon wall and the plane crashed into a rock talus slope and burned. The pair had left the Moab airport on the afternoon of July 18, when temperatures were recorded between 105 and 108 degrees, did not file a flight plan and triggered a five-day aerial search by the Civil Air Patrol, local pilots, the Utah Highway Patrol and Grand County Sheriff.
    The crash site was 15 miles southwest of the airport and two miles outside the northern boundary of Canyonlands National Park. Redfern was an internationally known BASE jumper who was the first to successfully jump off several pinnacles and cliffs in the Moab area. He also was an experienced commercial pilot who flew air taxi service regularly in the canyons, where summer heat and unpredictable wind currents create hazardous flying conditions. Clint Ford had recently obtained his pilot's license; authorities were unable to determine who was piloting the plane.
    News of the two men's deaths was posted on a popular BASE jumping Web site (www.baselogic.com) and was greeted with expressions of condolences from around the world.

    "Thanks to Earl for opening up many new sites in Moab for the sport of BASE jumping's future," wrote Susan Eddy. "He left a legacy for us to follow. Remember, be cautious always and have fun."
    Added another BASE jumper: "Let's take time to reflect on the good times we had with our fallen brothers. Fly high, Clint. On headings, Earl. We will miss you both."

    Enthusiasts plan to gather Nov. 4 in Mineral Canyon to honor the men with an impromptu celebration of BASE jumping. Since Mineral Canyon is located on BLM land, the activity is legal. In nearby Canyonlands National Park, BASE jumping is banned.
    "We don't have a lot of BASE jumping going on in the park simply because there's hundreds of miles of cliffs on BLM land that have roads on the top and roads on the bottom, which allows them to do several jumps in a short time," said Steve Swanke, Canyonlands district ranger in Moab. "The park does not have that kind of road access. So you find in season, there are thousands of BASE jumps happening on a weekly basis on the BLM lands here."
    © 2000 The Salt Lake Tribune

    By admin, in News,

    Fatalities in Illinois, California and Italy

    Skydive Chicago - Ottawa, Illinois US
    Day 8, Jump #22. This jump showed promise, but did not build completely. During break off, there was an in-air collision between two skydivers. This resulted in the injury of one and the tragic fatality of the other. In light of this incident and the obvious solemn mood of all the participants, we are ending the record camp. Pending notification of the family members, identities of the two skydivers are not currently being released.
    Parachute Center in Lodi, California
    Saturday evening Nicole Sadek-Cadiz was killed in a skydiving accident at the Parachute Center in Lodi, CA. She was doing a sunset load freefly jump with friends. According to a skydiver on the jump with her, there was a freeze frame of video which showed her on climb out with her chest strap dangling. At approximately 7000 feet a panning video showed a few frames of her in a head down with the rig peeling off her shoulders. She apparently struggled with the rig for a few thousand feet. At around normal deployment altitude the main was somehow deployed, and she was seen was seen falling back to earth away from the main. At first thought to be a cutaway, it was soon clear that the main was flying almost completely inflated, in slow spirals with the rig suspended beneath it.
    ~ Jan Davis: from rec.skydiving:
    Ravenna, Italy
    The Italian freeflyer Mauro "Mago" Tannino died in Ravenna,Italy during a camera jump with a student on August,12. Early reports suggests that he failed to jettison a partially deployed main chute and pulled the reserve which resulted a main-reserve entaglement. No further information is available at this time.

    By admin, in News,

    Navy SEAL dies in Parachuting Accident

    LAKE ELSINORE -- A Navy SEAL from Chula Vista practicing a freefall sky diving technique died during a training exercise Wednesday when his chute appeared to malfunction.
    Michael Bearden, 27, apparently died upon impact after falling into the Lake Elsinore flood plain in Riverside County, less than a mile from Skylark Airport.
    He was practicing accelerated freefall techniques at a civilian sky diving area, according to Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Alderson.
    The Navy Special Warfare Command is investigating. Riverside County coroners are treating his death as an accident.
    The unit was working on earning the necessary freefall qualifications to be a SEAL, Alderson said.
    A witness told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that it appeared Bearden's main chute had become tangled with a secondary chute.
    Steven Stetzel, who lives in a nearby housing tract, told the Press-Enterprise that he immediately called 911 after seeing the man plummet to earth. He rushed to the airport to report what had happened.
    Another SEAL from the group training with Bearden landed less than a minute after and tried to perform CPR, but investigators say the man almost certainly died on impact.

    The Riverside County Sheriff's/Coroner's Office is treating his death as accidental.
    Bearden is the third person to die in a skydiving accident in Lake Elsinore in the past four years, according to the Press-Enterprise.
    One of those deaths occurred after a skydiver got caught in one of the many "dust devils," columns of swirling wind and dust, that appear on the flood plain throughout the summer.
    The Corondao-based SEAL Team Five would continue its sky diving training, authorities said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

    By admin, in News,

    Excerpts from the Navy SEAL Fatality Report

    Harness Container was a Telesis 2, Main was a Navigator 280, Reserve a PD253R
    Training background:
    Deceased was trained by a highly experienced USPA AFF and military instructor. The training was a military exercise done strictly in accordance with USPA guidelines. Deceased had made 5 prior jumps, with good to excellent performance on all jumps, with the exception of a tendency to dip right side low on deployment. This was his second jump of the day. His training records reflected corrective training on body position at pull time.
    Description of incident:
    The AFF Level 6 jump went as planned, with excellent performance by the deceased. He waved and pulled at 4500' as planned. His body position at pull time was right side low due to knee dropped. Deployment appeared to progress normally to the jumpmaster. The jumpmaster did not see full canopy deployment. Deceased was next seen at approximately 2500' with a main/reserve entanglement. He was seen trying to clear the entanglement until impact.
    Post jump inspection found that the cutaway handle and reserve ripcords had been pulled. The kink in the reserve ripcord cable caused by RSL activation eliminated the possibility that the deceased had pulled the handles in the wrong order. The reserve bridle was found entangled with the right main line group. The main canopy was twisted in such a way that it appeared to have hung up on the left (RSL) side.
    Final inspection of the equipment revealed that the slider bumper on the right rear riser may have snagged the reserve static line, causing the dual deployment. Pulling the cutaway handle may have taken away this jumper's only chance of survival.
    To put the jump in the most likely order of events:
    Deceased deployed right side low.


    Right rear riser slider bumper snagged RSL during deployment.
    Main deployed normally.
    Reserve partially deployed.
    Deceased saw main and reserve out, with malfunctioning reserve.
    Deceased pulled cutaway handle and reserve ripcord.
    The resulting entanglement was not surviveable. This sequence of events is considered the most likely scenario based on the available information. It should be noted that in this, as is the case of all fatality reports, the person with the most information is unfortunately, unable to provide his or her input.
    Conclusions:
    It must be stressed that the pull priorities of :


    Pull
    Pull at the correct altitude
    Pull at the correct altitude with stability still apply. Stability at pull time great improves the probability of one good fully functional parachute. Sacrificing altitude for stability still is not a viable alternative. Even in an unstable body position at deployment time, the chances of a good parachute are very high.
    A review of different 2 canopies out scenarios, and practicing procedures in a suspended harness, or even a conversation with a very knowledgeable Instructor to review your current philosophy on different 2 canopies out scenarios may be enough to save your life.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydog Skydiving Club News Alert - Moving to Texas

    Please pass this on The Skydog Skydiving "Dog-House" is no longer located solely in Washington State. Should you wish to get membership or chapter cards- bumper stickers- t-shirts or sweats or wish to find out what is going on with skydog contact Mr. Richard Hutchinson (skydog#0037) in Houston Texas skydog@ix.netcom.com
    Hutch can also be found in tent#4 at Quincey this year as an organizer if you're going ...Woof!
    Hutch has been a great skydog from the beginning and his friends in the lone star state seem to embody the spirit of camaraderie that "is" skydog.
    Skydog will continue to be a group USPA member for many years to come and as such has (as you may know) moved it local affiliation to Olympic Skydiving Association located both in Port Townsend and Sequim. You can reach OSA through Lynn Beckhorn skydogpack@waypt.com
    The website http://www.skydog-skydiving.com should be back up running soon...
    Skydog #0003

    By admin, in News,

    Rob Harris' Personal CYPRES to be Given Away to Lucky Skydiver

    Skysurfers, Skydivers, jumpers at all levels remember Rob Harris as the twice World Champion Skysurfer, as the first Extreme Games Skysurfing Champion, but most of all as The Humble Champion. Rob helped to bring the sport of skysurfing to the public eye in an exciting, fun, and classy style. He accomplished this through his creative talents, his disciplines, his passion for skysurfing, and most importantly through helping others while seeking his personal best. Rob became a role model in the sport he loved the most, inspiring many to do their first jump and some to go into competition. He was the Pied-Piper for many DZs. Now, in Rob's memory, TRHF is zealously asking all DZs and jumpers to help continue Passing the Torch of a Humble Champion.
    The Harris Family has donated Rob's AAD Cypres by AirTec to TRHF. The Foundation is now offering chances for the Cypres in hopes of generating funds for its charitable obligations in the year 2000.
    SSKI Inc. has donated the 4-year check plus batteries!! The drawing will be announced and held some time during the year. Your help is needed in distributing and/or posting entry form flyers at your DZ as soon as possible (Please make your own copies of the entry form flyer). This same information is on TRHF web site http://www.robharris.org/ as all tickets will be sold through the mail by the Foundation.All you have to do to help is:
    Make copies of the entry form flyer and distribute them or post them at your DZ in a place accessible to all students and jumpers.
    Encourage your students who plan to be future jumpers, and those jumpers who don't own an AAD to purchase a chance. Any PR generated at your DZ for this worthy cause will be most appreciated. The Board of Directors of TRHF and the Harris Family thank you in memory of Rob's passion for living, and hope to hear you say:
    "Yes, we'll help to continue Passing the Torch of a Humble Champion."
    Blue Skies Forever!
    You can download a PDF Enty Form here.

    THE ROB HARRIS FOUNDATION

    1217 Third Street

    Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    Phone: 310.379.1697, Fax: 310.374.1712

    Email: BlueSkies53@earthlink.net
    Website: http://www.robharris.org/
    TRHF is a non-profit organization (501C3)

    By admin, in News,

    Student Fatality in Israel

    (IsraelWire-7/3) A man who was learning skydiving in the SkyDive School on Friday was killed when his parachute failed to open during his second jump of the day. The 21-year-old student was killed after his main and secondary chutes failed to open during his second jump.
    Minister of Science, Culture & Sport Matan Vilnai has ordered an investigation. It was pointed out that the school has been operating for several years and never had an accident.

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    Stunt Hero's Death Causes Heart Break

    PRODUCTION work on the new BBC Northern Ireland television series Rebel Heart was halted while producer Malcolm Craddock and director John Strickland attended the funeral in Surrey of stuntman Terry Forrestal.
    The 52-year-old ex-soldier who served with the SAS in Northern Ireland, was killed on a base-jumping expedition in Norway. He broke his legs in a parachute leap from the 3,000 feet Kjerag Cliff in Lysefjord. After lying for several hours on a ridge undetected Forrestal is thought to have attempted a second jump from the ridge and died when his reserve 'chute failed to open.
    He was one of the leading stuntmen in the movie business and had just finished work in Dublin on Rebel Heart, a series about the 1916 Uprising. He had organised battle scenes and guerrilla ambushes in the Wicklow Hills.
    "Terry was really enthusiastic about this series," says producer Craddock. He made a fantastic contribution to Rebel Heart and when it is screened next year it will be his fitting epitaph."Forrestal was born in Chesterfield and wanted to be a doctor, but he joined the Territorial Army in 1975 and graduated to the SAS at Hereford and became a senior NCO in Northern Ireland.
    When he moved into the film world he quickly became established as one of the top stuntmen. He worked on films like Titanic, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and several of the James Bond series and in television he was involved in arranging scenes in Danger field, Eastenders and London's Burning.
    Forrestal,who was unmarried, was buried at Childrey near Wantage in Surrey. His freak death has sparked off a debate on the merits and safety of base-jumping.
    To see more of the Belfast Telegraph or, to subscribe, go to http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

    By admin, in News,

    Nude skydivers in New Zealand shop window

    Wellington (dpa) - Police were called when passers by complained a pornographic video was being shown in a shop window in the main street of New Plymouth, in New Zealand's North Island, a report said Friday. The Taranaki Skydiving Club was using the empty shop window as an advertising space, continuously running an eight-hour video on the exhilarating attractions of the aerial sport, the local Daily News reported.

    At one stage two women were shown skydiving completely nude, legs wide apart. One naked woman was then seen celebrating her dive by doing backflips across a field.

    Club members later claimed they knew nothing about the naked skydiving but the video tape had been removed. The Daily News reported they declined to say whether their advertising had led to a rise in new members.

    By admin, in News,

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