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There are no tall buildings in Kentucky

A 33-year-old Kentucky man, lured to Manhattan by its skyscrapers, parachuted from a downtown office building last night and landed on the sixth-floor rooftop of an adjacent building, police said.
Donald Mathis of Louisville was arrested at the scene, 310 Greenwich St., and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing. He was not injured.
"Police said he came to New York for the stunt because "there are no tall buildings in Kentucky."

By admin, in News,

Canadian skydiver dies in Florida jump

DELAND, Fla. (CP-AP) - An experienced Canadian skydiver died after making a tricky high-speed turn too close to the ground, crashing into the pavement at a popular Florida skydiving centre. Stephane Drapeau, 30, from Beloeil, Que., was making a routine jump until he made the high-speed turn at an extremely low altitude as he approached the landing area at Skydive DeLand near the municipal airport.
Drapeau had about 4,700 jumps before Friday's accident.
DeLand Police Lieut. John Bradley said Drapeau slammed into a strip of pavement at a high speed causing massive injuries.
''He was wearing a helmet, but at times they can go as fast as 80 mph (130 km/h) when they make that turn,'' Bradley told the Canadian Press.
''His chute deployed properly ... His canopy probably collapsed or when he made the turn he was so close he just impaled the ground.''
Though the case is being treated as an accident, it has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bradley added.
If performed correctly, the manoeuvre brings skydivers in at a high rate of speed but allows for a horizontal glide about one metre off the ground, usually resulting in a soft landing, said Skydive DeLand General Manager Mike Johnston.
''He misjudged his landing,'' he said, also noting that Drapeau appeared to have made the manoeuvre too close to the ground.
A pair of paramedics joined a skydiving doctor in treating Drapeau at the scene. He was flown by helicopter to Halifax Medical Center in nearby Daytona Beach, where he later died, police said.
Just an hour-and-a-half before the fatal fall, a 42-year-old sky diver from Holland suffered a broken ankle after making a hard landing at Skydive DeLand, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported Saturday.
Johnston said Drapeau was a frequent visitor to the popular DeLand skydiving spot, making the trip from Canada almost every winter. Although he didn't teach there, he was accredited to do so and worked for a parachute centre in Quebec, the Journal reported.
Drapeau became the second person to die at Skydive DeLand in four months. Chantal Bonitto, a 31-year-old New Yorker, died Dec. 27 when her parachute failed.
In April 1999, Beatrice Vanderpol, a 55-year-old French woman, also fell to her death because her parachute failed.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa said Canadian officials are looking into the accident.
''We're in contact with our consulate in Miami and we are trying to find out more,'' Patrick Riel said.
Drapeau's family has been notified and are being offered consular assistance, he said.

By admin, in News,

BASE Jumper Tangled in Treetops Falls 40 Feet

An Ohio man BASE jumping from West Virginia's New River Gorge Bridge early Saturday morning missed his landing spot and got tangled in some trees before releasing himself from his harness and falling some 40 feet.
According to a report today by the National Park Service, 33-year-old Shannon Murphy, of Wadsworth, launched into the darkness at 1:40 A.M. The sky was overcast and the gorge was full of fog, making it nearly impossible for him to see his landing zone.
After friends John Maggio, 37, and Andrew Pulton, 20, placed a 911 call, rescuers including a team of rangers, county police, fire and EMS personnel got to Murphy, who was semi-conscious and suffering from a severe head injury and a fractured arm, 45 minutes later. He was stabilized and taken to a local hospital before being transferred to a trauma center in Charleston, West Virginia.
The NPS report stated that alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the accident.
Murphy will be charged with illegal aerial moves; Maggio has been charged with aiding and abetting. An investigation is underway.
Four men caught BASE jumping off the Virginia's New River Gorge Bridge in December were fined $600 a piece after pleading guilty to aerial delivery in a magistrate's court. Tourists visiting the Fayette Station area of the New River Gorge National River snapped photos of two of the four jumpers in mid-air and dialed 911 as the group was still free falling towards the gorge floor. Rangers and several law enforcement agents were dispatched to the scene and, aided by vehicle-descriptions given by the tourists in a second 911 call , - apprehended the men.
BASE jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge is illegal except for one day of the year, when the annual Bridge Day is held. The 2001 Bridge Day is scheduled for October 20.

By admin, in News,

Police parachutist injured in test jump

TAIPING: A police parachutist suffered a bad fall from a 1,500m jump after his parachute strings became entangled mid way before the landing.
Safaruddin Mohd Ariffin, 36, who suffered head and neck injuries, was rushed to the Taiping Hospital in the 10.45am incident at the old airport in Tekah here yesterday.
A member of Special Task Force formerly known as Vat 69--an elite police commando unit based in Ulu Kinta near Ipoh--Safaruddin was among 25 members in a parachuting test at the old airport over the last three days.
Safaruddin was transferred to the Ipoh Hospital where his condition is reported to be stable.
The father of three children from Teluk Intan had made 18 jumps in the past.
It is learnt he had safely jumped out of a light aircraft at a height of about 1,500m but his parachute strings became entangled mid way before he landed.

Seven others who jumped with him landed safely.

By admin, in News,

Passenger's aerial exit was no joke

AIR traffic controllers thought the pilot who asked permission "to come overhead at 1,500 feet and throw one of our passengers out" was joking. They watched, amused, as "a bundle" fell out and disappeared near hangars at Coventry airport. Only when they saw fire and rescue crews rushing across the airfield 20 minutes later did they realise that what they had seen was not a joke.
The "bundle" dropped from the aircraft was Dave Clements, 45, a mechanic, of Dunkeswell, Devon, one of the crew of the 1944 Douglas DC3 which had been dropping poppy petals over a war memorial on Remembrance Day last year. Mr Clements had not, however, been thrown out. He had attempted a parachute jump.
"His exit through the rear door was uneventful but before he cleared the aircraft he struck part of it, breaking his left arm," said an Air Accident Investigations Branch report on the incident, published yesterday. Mr Clements's descent became "violently unstable" as he struggled to open his parachute. He also failed to release the reserve chute.
At 200 feet the main parachute opened partially but could not save him from landing on his back on the hangar, suffering broken ribs and internal injuries. The report said the control tower had asked the pilot what had happened and was told a parachutist had jumped.
It added: "Because the bundle seen leaving the aircraft had appeared small the controllers continued to believe that they were the victims of a practical joke." The AAIB report recommended modifications to the aircraft to prevent similar accidents occurring.

By admin, in News,

The Mile-Hi Skydiving Center lands a fine

LONGMONT — The Mile-Hi Skydiving Center has landed in legal trouble.
The business was fined $500 and ordered to pay $138 in court costs Monday after the company's attorney entered a guilty plea to a third-degree trespassing charge, a misdemeanor.
The plea avoids a trial scheduled to begin today.
In August, the company's president Jeffrey Sands, 37, landed his helicopter on a farm to retrieve a cut-away parachute that fell on to the property at 7457 St. Vrain Road, according to a sheriff's report.
A drop zone staff member got out of the helicopter and told a woman who rents horses on adjacent property that he was retrieving the drop zone's parachute. William Jones, 70, whose wife owns the farm, called the Boulder County Sheriff's Office to file a trespassing complaint.
Jones said Monday all he really wanted was a letter from the district attorney or sheriff's office telling Sands to stay off the property.
"A lot of the neighbors have had problems with the skydivers," Jones said. "In the past he (Sands) has had no respect about going on to people's property."
Jones said he was unsure if Sands received a letter but that "he was told if he comes on the property again, it will cost him some more money."
Deputy District Attorney Ken Kupfner said he specifically requested that the misdemeanor charge name Sands' business in hopes that Sands and his employees will be more accountable for their future actions.
Sands said he does his best to be sensitive to the community. To avoid problems, he said his company — operated out of Vance Brand Airport since 1995 — stopped using detachable rip cords in 1998. The company airplane flies double the 800-foot requirement and reduces the propeller's rpm when flying low to avoid noise complaints.
He said the company policy is for a land crew to seek permission from property owners before retrieving items that inadvertently fall on private lands.
"I want to be a good neighbor," Sands said.
He called the August incident of landing a helicopter on private property "a fluke situation" because the woman the staff member got into an argument with had complained about noise before and threatened to steal and damage the next parachute she found.
He also said that he thought he landed on Boulder County open space land and did not intentionally land on Jones' private property.

By admin, in News,

Woman goes skydiving for 85th birthday

Iona DiFilippi makes one of her dreams come true by jumping out of a plane 10,000 feet in the air.
Strapped to a ‘chute and sporting mechanic’s overalls — the skydiving suits were too big for her small frame — Iona DiFilippi said she had no fear as the plane ascended to 10,000 feet and she prepared to leap to the ground.
“The first micro-second after I tumbled out of the plane I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But after that it was wonderful,” she said Sunday from her Salem home.
DiFilippi has wanted to jump out of a plane for the past 60 years. She finally took the plunge Saturday to celebrate her 85th birthday.
Nose cold and wind rushing by, she said the 30 seconds of freefall was over too soon — a little like the years she was busy raising a family and didn’t have time to go leaping out of planes.
“The time just goes by so fast,” she said of the years she wanted to skydive but never got around to it. So a few years ago she decided her 85th birthday would be the day to become a daredevil.
Taking advantage of a sunny break in the rain and hail above Creswell, the skydiving crew jumped in the plane and made it all possible.
Because it was her first jump, DiFilippi was hooked to an instructor. After the pair leapt from the plane and DiFilippi got over her brief moment of fright, she said the world was beautiful as they glided toward it.
“It really is a wonderful sensation, floating down and seeing the horizon so far away,” she said.
Landing firmly and safely on her legs, DiFilippi said getting hurt wasn’t any more a concern than her age. In fact, she welcomes people of all ages and abilities to try it out.
“It isn’t just for healthy people. It’s something that people of all abilities can do.”
DiFilippi’s only complaint was of the brisk spring air at 10,000 feet.
“Next time I’m going to do it in the summer.”

By admin, in News,

Skydiver cheats death after jump goes wrong

A SKYDIVER was critically ill in hospital last night after falling more than 3,000 feet when his parachute failed to open properly. Craig Paton, 26, hit the ground at more than 40mph when his first ever skydive went tragically wrong.
After his main parachute malfunctioned, he fell to the ground in just 60 seconds, when a normal descent from 3,200ft should take four minutes.
Mr Paton landed on a lush grass embankment which cushioned his fall, missing a concrete road and certain death by only a few feet.
Although he suffered not a single broken bone, he remained in a drug-induced coma in intensive care at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary last night with internal bleeding in his chest.
Mr Paton's mother, Marion, and sister, Dawn, 21, were at his bedside last night where his condition was described as "serious but stable".
Speaking from his Kilmarnock home, his father, John, said last night: "Quite honestly he shouldn't really be here."
Mr Paton, who is single, joined work colleagues for the charity jump on Saturday when another man pulled out. After a day of training at Strathallan Airfield, near Auchterarder, he leapt from a Cessna light aircraft in a static line jump, a technique used for beginners.
Two people had already jumped out of the aircraft without problems as it circled over the Perthshire airfield.
But when he jumped out a few seconds later, the jumpmaster noticed immediately that there was a serious problem.
The parachute malfunction meant Mr Paton began falling so fast he overtook his friends, who were enjoying a controlled descent.
As he came within a few hundred feet of the ground, the stricken jumper tried to release the back-up parachute which would save his life. But it became entangled in the first parachute and the man was still travelling at 40 miles per hour when he ploughed into the ground.
The plane, flown by Skydive Strathallan owner Kieran Brady, immediately headed back to the runway to summon help.
Despite the massive impact, Mr Paton was conscious when rescuers reached him. Suffeirng severe chest injuries, he was rushed to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by the specialist trauma team. He was later transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Mr Paton's father, John, 52, who runs a newsagent and dairy business with his only son, told The Scotsman: "He only went up because someone had dropped out and he said he would go and do it for the fun. It was the first time he had ever done a jump."
He added: "The police have told us that he landed on the banking of a road which sits higher than a grass area and then slid or rolled down the banking.

"If he had hit the road he would not be here.
"They are keeping him doped up to make sure he does not move about too much while they try and find out what is causing the bleeding in his chest.
"Craig does weights and runs a lot and the doctors said that is one of the factors which has saved him."
Tayside Police and the British Parachute Association confirmed yesterday they are investigating the cause of the accident.
A police spokesman said: "We were called to Strathallan Airfield at 7.30pm because of an accident involving a parachutist.
"Inquiries are still ongoing into the incident, but it sounds asif he was pretty lucky to survive the fall."
Mr Brady, of Skydive Strathallan, said the parachute which malfunctioned had been used safely on numerous previous occasions. He added that such problems are "very rare".

By admin, in News,

Main Reserve Entanglement Injures Skydiver in Scotland

A TRAINEE skydiver was seriously ill in hospital last night after his parachute failed to open during a jump from 3,200ft. Craig Paton, 26, hit the ground at 40mph at Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross.
He was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee suffering from internal bleeding and back and chest injuries and was later transferred to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh where his condition was said to be critical but stable.
Mr Paton, who comes from Kilmarnock and is a member of the Skydiver Strathallan Club, was one of four people booked on a flight leaving Strathallan airfield on Saturday evening.
When his main parachute failed to open properly, Mr Paton tried to deploy his second parachute but it became entangled in the first. He managed to deploy it partially a few hundred feet before he hit the ground, which helped to lessen the impact.
His father said it was a "miracle" that his son was still alive. John Paton, 52, a milkman from Kilmarnock, said: "The doctors who saw him have said that he should not be there. He has suffered massive internal bleeding after bursting the vessels to his kidneys and lungs. He has a broken back and may have sprained his ankle.
"Of course, we are all praying to God for him, but I’m sure that he’ll pull through because he’s fit, active and above all, very stubborn.
"Believe me after this frightening experience he won’t be doing anything as dangerous as this again." Craig’s mother Marion, sister, Dawn, and girlfriend were at his bedside.
Kieran Brady, chairman of the skydiving club, described Mr Paton as a student parachutist who had paid £15 for his jump. He did not know if Mr Paton had completed a solo jump before but knew that he was not a fully qualified skydiver.
"It probably only took him about a minute before he landed in the airfield," Mr Brady said. "Normally it would be four minutes. He was conscious and talking, but he said he was in real pain. He just said, ‘Whatever do you think happened?’ He wanted to tell me, but I didn’t think we should discuss it at that point."
A spokesman for the British Parachute Association confirmed that the incident will be investigated. He said that parachute failures were rare.

By admin, in News,

Ring Sights and Suspension Lines

Included in this feature are three parts related to the death of Jan Davis at Lodi a week ago. The first part is a recent post by Jan Davis to rec.skydiving in response to the death of a fellow skydiver a while ago. Ironically the post deals with the risk risk of camera line snags, which seems to have been part of the tragic chain of events that led to her death. The second part is an article from a local newspaper regarding the Jan's accident and the third is an article about the ongoing FAA investigation.
Ring sights and suspension lines
From: Flyincamra ([email protected])

Subject: Ring sights and suspension lines

Newsgroups: rec.skydiving

Date: 2001-03-26 09:52:24 PST
After reading of the tragic death of a fellow camera flyer, it brought to mind my discomfort at seeing the newer small camera helmets. My helmet is a headhunter with a big squared off front for a still mount. My ring sight is mounted close in and is virtually covered up by my still platform.
The newer helmets, whether they be top or side mount, seem to have the ring sight by neccessity sticking way out from the helmet... long posts going every which way. This weekend I was on the plane with a new cameraflyer with just such a setup. He said as soon as he was sure where he wanted it set, he would have the posts on his ring sight cut down so no excess would stick out. Still.... the post from the helmet to the sight was very long..... It made me think of the way we tape the shoes of tandems that have hooks on them instead of eyelets for shoelaces, but yet we fly with huge hooks sticking out of our helmets.....
I don't know the configuration on the helmet the deceased was wearing, but that was the first question that came to my mind. You know... this really doesn't seem like a difficult design problem to me. It would seem possible to form the ring sight directly to the camera helmet and still incorporate a way to make the sight adjustable... thereby doing away with the posts that are sticking out there like a target in a violent malfunction.
Yesterday, after thousands of camera jumps, I had the new and unsettling experience of feeling my left riser hang up on the back portion of my top mount video camera. I don't know how or why as it was only momentary, but I felt it pulling up at the back of my helmet, pinning my head down so I couldn't look up to see what was happening. Just as I started think about reaching to unclip the helmet, the riser popped loose and let go. No biggy, nothing serious..... but it made me wonder if I could get out of that helmet fast enough if I needed to......
My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Richard Lancaster.
Jan Devil
Skydiver killed after chute tangles
By Andy Furillo

Bee Staff Writer

(Published April 1, 2001)
A skydiver was killed outside Lodi on Saturday when her reserve parachute got tangled in a camera mounted on her helmet, officials said. Janice Irene Davis, 49, from Hollister, died in a vineyard just west of Highway 99 near Jahant Road. She had made nearly 3,000 jumps before the accident.
The Hollister-area resident and other sky divers had jumped from a plane at about 9,000 feet, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department.
Bill Dause, the owner of the Parachute Center in Lodi, said Davis' main chute "failed to work" at the time of the 2:03 p.m. tragedy. He said she ejected the main chute and deployed the reserve.
Davis had been using the camera to videotape two other divers.
"Somewhere in the process of releasing the first and deploying the second, she inadvertently became a little unstable, causing the bridle of the reserve chute to become unactive," Dause said.
Dause said a similar fatality occurred recently in the eastern United States and "the camera definitely was the culprit."
He said the two deaths should prompt parachute enthusiasts to examine the practice of mounting cameras on their helmets.
He described Davis as "a very outgoing, very caring person."
Within hours of Davis' death, Dause was back up in the air with skydiving students.
"We didn't slow down at all," Dause said. "She wouldn't want us to stop."
FAA seeks clues from sky diver's video camera
The Record

(Published April 2, 2001)
ACAMPO -- Authorities said Sunday it will take more time to determine what happened in the final moments of parachutist Janice Irene Davis' life, because the video camera she was carrying broke on impact.
The Federal Aviation Administration this week will begin attempting to repair a videotape that was inside the shattered camera. It may show why the 49-year-old Hollister woman's main parachute failed to open during a Saturday afternoon dive at the Parachute Center in Acampo, San Joaquin County coroner's Deputy Tom Scott said.

Meanwhile, coroner's officials Sunday said Davis died on impact from injuries she sustained in the fall.
Davis landed in a vineyard about 300 yards south of Jahant Road, just west of Highway 99, shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday.
She was an experienced parachutist hired to videotape two other jumpers Saturday, those who knew her said.
Authorities believe Davis fell 13,000 feet to her death. Her main chute apparently failed to open correctly and her backup chute got caught on the video camera attached to her helmet, officials said.
Scott said the FAA has taken over the investigation.
"We know nobody pushed her out of the plane, we know nobody toyed with the chute," he said. "As far as our investigation is concerned, we don't go any farther than the toxicology reports."
Investigators from the FAA's Oakland Flight Standards District Office could not be contacted Sunday.

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