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Skydiver dies after hitting propeller of another plane

By adminon - Read 7080 times

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - A parachutist was killed instantly when she struck a plane's propeller while practicing a skydiving formation with 29 other jumpers. Michele Thibaudeau, 36, and eight other parachutists were in one airplane Sunday and the other 21 jumpers were on a second aircraft.

After jumping, Thibaudeau hit the propeller of the other aircraft and was killed on impact, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman John Clabes said.

Thibaudeau's boyfriend, who was last in line to jump from the plane, followed her body 14,000 feet to its impact in Fentress, according to Sky Dive San Marcos owner Phillip Chappell.

The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.

"I've never heard of anything like that before," Clabes said. "You hear about fatalities when people jump out of planes and their chutes don't open, but not this."

Thibaudeau, of Cartersville, Ga., had completed more than 850 jumps.

All the parachutists had completed a minimum of 400 jumps, double the number the U.S. Parachute Association uses to determine expert status, Chappell said.

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