Pilatus Porter crash at Moorsele in Belgium

    MOORSELE - A Pilatus Porter crashed on Sunday afternoon Mach 12, 2000 at a military airport at Moorsele in Belgium. All eleven people on board which included ten skydivers and the pilot were injured of which three critical. Shortly after take-off the plane reached an altitude of thirty meters before crashing to the ground and landing on it's belly. The cause of the accident is still unknown. Several people witnessed the incident and rushed to the scene to assist the victims.
    The fire-brigade erected a tent at the scene to treat the injured and curious bystanders were kept at a distance.
    Frans Deruytter from Brugge was one of the many witnesses: "I come here regularly on Sunday afternoons and always fly with them. Today was an exception as I took an earlier flight to tend to some other obligations I had. When I think that I could have been sitting in the crashed plane myself..."
    Dieter Derez, a fourteen year old from Heule was one of the passengers. According to is mother Dieter has been waiting for five mounts to make a tandem jump. Due to the good weather on Sunday his wish was to come true. "Of course I was watching the plane as they took off. Suddenly it plunged to the ground. I never want to live through something like that again, the uncertainty." Except for pain in his head and back, Dieter is fine.
    Another witness, Freddy Vandecappelle from Izegem said: "When I saw it plunge to the ground, I feared for the worst." An inspection team was on its way to inspect the wreckage to try an determine the cause of the accident. The airport controller Roland Nuytten says he doubts that it was pilot error. "Eric Vits is one of five full-time professional pilots and has a lot of experience."

    By labrys, in News,

    Accident Report - Chris Gauge

    On Wednesday, February 9th 2000, Chris Gauge had a fatal accident at TRAIN IN SPAIN, Aerodromo Sierra Morena , E-23710 Bailen.
    Exiting the DZ Twin Otter from 4000 m at aprx. 17:50 hour to perform a solo skysurf training jump Chris Gauge failed to open either main or reserve parachute of his own Tear Drop Parachute equipment and died on impact.
    His exit was observed by other skydivers and reported to be normal. He was waving up towards the following group. Just before impact he was seen from the ground flat spinning at high speed while his fallrate appeared slow and the noise was similar to that of a helicopter.
    His parachute was equipped with a CYPRES automatic opening device, However the Cypres did not activate the reserve parachute.
    I suspect that Chris Gauge went unconcious during his jump, possibly due to his fast spinning, and therefore was unable to determine opening altitude and to deploy his parachute. Furtheron I suspect that his fallrate was abnormally slow due to his fast spinning, he was jumping his normal surfboard which has a length of approx. 1,60 m. That could be the reason that the Cypres did not fire.
    Chris Gauge:

    32 years old, British Citizenship, member of the British Parachute association, 3100 jumps, known as an expert on the surfboard, British National Champion 1999 skysurf, World Meet 1999 skysurf 8th place.
    Jan Wildgruber

    DZ Operator

    By admin, in News,

    German video man dies at Eloy Arizona

    A videographer from Germany died on Monday February 28, 2000 at Eloy Arizona. Early reports suggest that the incident happened because of a Spectra suspension line snagging under the grommet on the main loop retainer on a Javelin rig. The main loop retainer was attached to the reserve divider wall. Reports suggest that his reserve was deployed into the trailing mess resulting in a main-reserve entanglement.
    Although the modes of malfunction was different this scenario is similar the incident on Saturday January 8, 2000 when James Martin a competitor in the Rumbleseat Meet at Perris Valley outside Los Angeles died during the first round of competition. James Martin spun in under a main-reserve entanglement after a suspension line snagged on the top main flap grommet. He was jumping a Reflex rig. This incident prompted Fliteline Systems to issue a Product Service Bulletin (PSB #FSI-SB-1004) for all Reflex containers.
    Relative Workshop has issued a PSB (#20000302) for all Relative Workshop Vector I & II Harness/Container Systems that have a closing loop retainer that incorporates a grommet on a Type 12 webbing extension, attached to the reserve/main container divider wall. The changes involve removing the closing loop tab permanently from the reserve wall and using the bottom flap grommet for a closing loop attachment point with an added modification.
    A similar incident occurred a few years ago in Australia and it is apparent that line hang ups have been happening more often than most people realize.

    No further details are available at this time.

    By admin, in News,

    Search for missing BASE jumper comes up empty

    HANSEN -- His friends warned him not to jump. It was too dark. The wind wasn't right. The water was too high.
    But 29-year-old Roger Butler, an experienced BASE jumper who once parachuted from the Stratosphere hotel tower in Las Vegas, apparently died Sunday after jumping from the Hansen Bridge and disappearing in the water.
    "All of them tried to talk him out of it, but he had to do it," said Cpl. Daron Brown of the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office. "The guy was experienced, but he made a bad choice."
    With the help of a brand-new underwater camera, search and rescue teams from Jerome and Twin Falls counties continued searching the frigid Snake River Monday for signs of Butler and his parachute, but the search was called off as sundown neared. Water flow at the Minidoka Dam was stopped late Monday to lower the water level and aid searchers when they continue this morning.
    The counties don't know the cost of the search.
    Butler, who had made more than 600 BASE jumps, spent Sunday with three friends parachuting from the Perrine Bridge, a popular spot for BASE jumpers because it is legal to jump there. BASE stands for building, antenna, span and earth.
    In October 1999, this same group had parachuted with a woman the day before she broke her back in a jumping accident at the Perrine Bridge, said Nancy Howell, spokeswoman for the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office.
    The group was headed back to Ogden, Utah, Sunday before stopping at the Hansen Bridge, where jumping also is legal. With his friends videotaping, Butler jumped from the west side of the bridge and glided toward the water without a hitch, but he ran into trouble after hitting the river, Howell said.
    It wasn't immediately clear what happened, but shortly after landing in the water Butler and his chute disappeared below the surface. Neither has been seen since, she said.
    Butler was not wearing a life jacket, and he was jumping into a highly inaccessible area of the Snake River Canyon, Brown said.
    "BASE jumping is like whitewater rafting," he said. "It's a self-saving sport. You can't expect to jump off a bridge and have someone come and save you."
    Butler's taste for daring jumps was passed down from his father, a parachuter for 30 years, said Paul Butler, an uncle who drove to Twin Falls after the accident.
    Roger Butler watched his father nearly die in a 1998 parachuting accident that almost cost the older Butler his leg. But a year later father and son were parachuting together again during a Fourth of July celebration, Paul Butler said.
    "He just loved to do this," Paul Butler said of his nephew. "He loved to fly."

    By admin, in News,

    Byron Skydive Victim Identified As Pleasant Hill Man

    Byron -- The victim of a weekend sky-diving accident near Byron Airport has been identified as Ole Jakob Husa, a resident of Pleasant Hill.
    Husa was apparently killed after his foot became entangled in a line as he struggled to get his main parachute to open. He was declared dead at the scene. Still, the cause of death has not been determined, according to a spokesman from the Contra Costa coroner's office.
    The 24-year-old, who had performed more than 200 jumps during his two years of sky-diving experience, made his last dive from a 14-passenger King Air airplane operated by the Bay Area Skydiving Co., at the Byron Airport.
    The sky diver packed his own parachute and was using his personal equipment when the accident happened shortly before 5 p.m., according to Mike Tjaarde, manager of the Bay Area Skydiving Co.
    Tjaarde said Saturday's accident was the first fatal sky dive at the airport since 1995 and the first for the Bay Area Skydiving Co. in eight years.
    An investigation into the accident is continuing. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will also look into Husa's death.

    By admin, in News,

    UK Army Sergeant Killed in Parachuting Accident

    A British Army sergeant was killed during a parachuting accident today, the Ministry of Defence said. Sgt Stefan Robert, 30, a member of the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, was killed while jumping from an RAF Hercules at 3,000ft over Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire. He was married man with a young daughter and based at Didcot, Oxfordshire, the MoD confirmed tonight.
    An investigation is under way and a board of inquiry is to be set up by the Army. An MoD spokesman said that the accident was caused by a parachute malfunction, but could not elaborate further on the cause of the tragedy. The jump was part of a military training exercise.
    His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Cooper, said:
    "Sergeant Robert was highly respected and throughout his career has displayed much promise. It is a tremendous shock that his young and valuable life has been taken so prematurely. He will be greatly missed by all of his regiment, his friends, but most importantly his family."
    Sgt Robert joined the Army in 1990 and had been a member of the bomb disposal team for the past three years. He had recently completed a tour of Kosovo. Paramedics called to the scene of the accident attempted to treat the soldier, but he is believed to have died at the scene.

    By admin, in News,

    Two US Skyding Fatalities start off the New Year

    On Saturday January 8, a competitor in the Rumbleseat Meet at Perris Valley outside Los Angeles died during the first round of competition. James Martin spun in under a main-reserve entanglement. Three teams withdrew from the meet before the second round. The competition has not been cancelled and is still happening. Jim Wallace is assisting with the investigation. No further details available at this time.
    In a second incident a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department says a skydiver died near the Byron Airport today when his foot apparently became tangled in a line when he released his main parachute. Sgt. Alan Johnson say the dive about 4:45 p.m. started OK but the 24-year-old man was unable to free himself from the line. He says determination of the cause of death will be made by the coroner.
    The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will also investigate the accident. A spokesman for the airport says the skydiver was in a Bay Area Skydiving plane that had taken off from the airport. He said the jump occurred about a quarter of a mile north of the airport. He said the last fatality in a skydive there was in 1995. A spokesman for Bay Area Skydiving was unavailable for comment.

    By admin, in News,