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Found 207 results

  1. Lodi, May 27 - The San Joaquin County Sheriff's office reports that an Oakland man died Saturday after jumping with a group of parachutists, possibly from a mid-air emergency that might have started on the ground. "It appears that the decedent suffered some sort of a medical emergency during the jump which incapacitated him, disallowing him to properly and safely complete the landing," said spokesman Joe Herrera of the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department. An autopsy will be needed to determine the cause of death. The man has been identified as 52-year-old Daniel Paul Skarry, of Oakland. He was discovered by occupants of a home after he landed in the back yard, crashing down with his parachute between some trees on the property. Other jumpers made no mention of noticing anything unusual at the start, according to subsequent interviews with deputies. "The parachutist had been jumping for at least 15 years. He was one of 22 jumpers who had left Lodi Airport to jump in formation. The initial jump went fine and the decedent joined a group held together at the wrist," said Herrera. According to one of the jumpers holding the man's wrist, Skarry's grip became weaker, then gave way. They had started from an altitude of 15,000 feet. The group watched helplessly as Skarry got below them and seemed not to move, except where pushed by the wind, Herrera said. When he reached the 1,000-foot level, the parachute's automatic activation device switched itself on. He fell to the ground amid trees in a residential yard, Herrera said. The occupants of the house called for help. Skarry was taken by helicopter to the hospital at UC Davis, but was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m. after medics unsuccessfully performed CPR, Herrera said. The Federal Aviation Administration will be notified of the incident, and the coroner's report may be conducted in Sacramento County, Herrera said. Skarry may have already had hypertension and diabetes, Herrera said.
  2. A 35-year old Pretoria man died in Eugene Marais Hospital last night (13 May), hours after plunging several hundred metres to the ground in a parachuting accident at the Wonderboom airport late yesterday afternoon. Mark Farrell was the second man to die in a parachuting accident at the airport in the past month. Police spokesman, Superintendent Morné van Wyk, said Farrell had plunged to the ground when his parachute apparently became entangled at about 5:30pm. A hospital spokesman said Mr Farrell sustained serious injuries to his head, face and chest. He died at 7:25pm, almost two hours after the accident. Van Wyk said an inquest would be held to determine exactly what had gone wrong.
  3. Army officials are investigating why a jumpmaster's reserve parachute activated inside an airplane Tuesday night causing him to be sucked out of the aircraft.Sgt. Yusefiman Wright was released from FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst on Friday, a spokesman said. Wright was being treated for fractured ribs and a cut on the chin, U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials said. The 28-year-old soldier from New Bern is assigned to the 528th Special Operations Support Battalion. "He is doing real well," said Barbara Ashley, a USASOC spokeswoman. "He said he has received a lot of support from his family and his friends in the unit and the Special Operations Support Command." The accident happened about 8 p.m. aboard a C-130 Hercules cargo plane flying over Moore County, officials said. "He was ejected from the aircraft due to the activation of his reserve parachute inside the aircraft during an airborne operation," said Sgt. 1st Class Pamela Smith, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations command. Wright's main parachute opened during his fall, officials said. The battalion is reviewing safety procedures in airborne operations and the proper handling of reserve parachutes in aircraft, Smith said. "Being a jumpmaster is dangerous," Smith said. "The command regrets that this type of accident happened." Wright is declining interviews, Smith said.
  4. admin

    Skydiver breaks leg

    A skydiver was in Perth Royal Infirmary last night after badly breaking a leg while at Strathallan airfield in Perthshire. It is believed the man, who has not yet been named, landed awkwardly at the end of an otherwise uneventful 2,000ft dive. The latest accident comes less than a month after Craig Paton fell hundreds of feet when his jump went wrong. He suffered serious internal injuries. Mr Paton, from Kilmarnock, was badly hurt because the canopy of his parachute failed to open and he hit the ground at over 40 miles per hour. He has since been discharged from hospital.
  5. A member of the Navy's elite "Leap Frogs" skydiving team was recovering in a hospital Wednesday from injuries he suffered when a jump from 12,000 feet went awry near the U.S.-Mexico border. Malfunctioning chutes forced USN Senior Chief Kelly Hickman, 44, into a hard landing east of Brown Field airport in Otay Mesa during a routine jump Tuesday, according to 10News. It was the second such accident at the military drop site in as many weeks. Medics, who found the 25-year Navy man conscious and alert in a grassy field, stabilized him before loading him onto a medical-transport helicopter, Cmdr. Jeff Alderson of U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command said. The Coronado-based ordnance disposal technician was admitted to Scripps Mercy Hospital for treatment of a broken leg, several fractured ribs and back injuries, Alderson said. He was listed in stable condition early Wednesday. The commander said that Hickman's main chute only partially deployed and tangled with his reserve canopy several thousand feet above ground. The accident occurred 14 days after a similar mishap befell two other Leap Frogs as they practiced a tandem jump in the same general area. The men were connected by a leash in midair for a stunt called a "corkscrew" and were unable to unhook from each other in time to make safe landings, officials said. They both had to be hospitalized following the April 24 accident, one with head trauma and the other with broken ribs, Alderson said. They were discharged after several days and have been on light duty since.
  6. A STUDENT who survived a 4,000ft fall after her parachute failed to open during a skydiving holiday in America was recovering from her injuries at her father's home in Gloucestershire last night. Lynda Harding, 20, a chemistry student at Hull University, spent a week in intensive care in California with broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken nose, muscular back injuries and concussion. On a visit to the Lake Elsinore centre near Los Angeles with friends from university, she tried to use her reserve parachute when her main canopy apparently jammed.The reserve chute carried her for a short distance but it became caught in the main canopy, which had not disconnected, and she hurtled towards the ground. Her father, Philip, 41, a violin maker, who flew to America to accompany his daughter home, said: "She is very lucky. She jumped at 4,000 feet, her parachute failed to open and she hit the ground probably at about 70 to 80 mph." Mr Harding, a widower, of Newent, added: "The odds of this happening must be a million to one." Experts believe some drag caused by the flapping, tangled parachutes must have slowed her descent. Miss Harding, who is expected to make a full recovery, said she could not recall what happened after she left the plane. "The only thing I remember is waking up in hospital." She was unconscious for four days. "I am totally amazed I am still alive." She fell on to grassy scrubland but may have escaped serious injury because she fell sideways instead of on her feet or bottom. Her father said it had been his daughter's ninth jump. He said: "She was very keen on parachuting but she is in two minds now."
  7. A SKYDIVER was killed and 11 others forced to jump for their lives in a tragedy more than 4000m above central Victoria yesterday. Simon Moline, 31, of Malvern, was sucked from the plane when his parachute opened while he was standing inside the rear door. His parachute snagged on the Cessna's tail, ripping it from the fuselage and sending the plane into a death spin over Nagambie. Brave pilot Barry Dawson fought to steady the stricken craft long enough for the 10 remaining skydivers on board to bail out before he escaped moments before impact. "I had no control. I just yelled at them to `Get out, get out'. I actually gave a `Mayday, mayday, mayday'," he said last night. One of the distressed survivors, instructor Kim Foster, said the pilot was screaming at the others to jump. "The plane started baulking all over the sky, and the pilot's yelling `Get out of the plane'," Ms Foster said. Another survivor, Paul Murphy, said jumpers used their instincts to escape. "I think self-preservation comes into it a lot," he said. A shaken Mr Murphy said Mr Dawson's actions saved lives. "I am not a pilot, but visibility and control of the plane would have been very limited due to the tail missing," he said. The single-engine Cessna Caravan crashed in a ball of flame at the Nagambie Skydiving Club air strip at Bailieston East about 1.15pm. Mr Moline, still alive, hit the ground near the plane's wreckage. Ambulance officers rushed to save him but he died of massive injuries soon after. "The weight of the person has actually pulled the back end off the plane," Sgt Rick Van De Parerd, of Benalla, said. Last night, Mr Moline's devastated family was trying to understand the tragedy. "I have all my other children here and we are grieving together," his father, John, said. The skydivers were practising for team competition at the time of the accident. Mr Moline was an experienced skydiver with about 2000 jumps in his log and was taking part in his eighth jump of the day. The plane had taken off about 1pm and was flying over the Goulburn Valley Highway. Shocked local Ron Sidebottom watched the fiery aftermath from the verandah of his Kettles Rd home just 300m away. "Out on the verandah I saw flames and smoke off in the paddocks. Then I heard woof, woof, woof and I looked up and saw the plane tail coming down through the sky," he said. "There were parachutists on either side, about three or four of them just floating down through the air along with the back half of the plane." Mr Dawson said he could scarcely believe he was alive. "I felt a sudden jolt from the rear of the aircraft. At the same time the aircraft started to spin out of control," he said. "I thought of dying right there, and then thought of my girlfriend and new baby daughter. "I couldn't bear the prospect of leaving them alone and never seeing them again. I just did whatever I had to to get out." Mr Dawson managed to rip open a jammed roller door which had shut tight on the nightmare ride down and jumped out at 180m. "We were about halfway down when I started getting out and the G-forces had shut the roller door. "I thought about riding it in, just for a split second but then I thought about my new baby daughter and my girlfriend. "I saw them alone if I died and decided not to. "If I was a second later getting out I would be dead. "My feet hit the ground and I just couldn't believe it." His emergency parachute opened just in time to get him clear of the fireball which erupted when the plane crashed. Mr Dawson said he was being thrown around inside the plane as he tried to reach the door. His helmet and one boot were ripped off as he was buffeted by debris and pieces of equipment being hurled around inside. He was the first of the survivors to reach the ground. "When I landed I was devastated to hear a parachutist had died," he said. Paul Murray, of the Australian Parachute Federation, praised Mr Dawson's efforts. "I think it's a very, very heroic task he's done to get out. It would have been a hard job to get out that door," Mr Murray said. "The sport does have its risks, but the people doing the sport do understand that these risks are there and they accept those risks." Two Australian Transport Safe ty Bureau investigators were on their way to the scene late last night. A coroner, police and the parachute federation were also investigating. One experienced skydiver said last night that in normal circumstances the parachutist would have about 55 seconds of free-fall before opening the chute. "It's very easy for the pins that hold the parachutes to be knocked while still in the plane," he said. "It would then start to inflate too soon, be sucked out, be wrapped around the tail and there would be little you could do about it." Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association president Bill Hamilton said the pilot would have known almost instantly the plane was in trouble when the parachutist crashed into the tail. "The weight of the body would upset the whole balance of the aircraft," Mr Hamilton said. The death is the first parachuting death in Australia this year. Two divers died last year, while one was killed in 1999. The parachute federation has more than 3000 registered jumpers.
  8. A NOVICE skydiver who fell 3,200ft after his parachute failed to open properly is back at home and expected to make a full recovery. Craig Paton, 26, was being cared for by his family in Kilmarnock last night, less than three weeks after cheating death when he hit the ground at more than 40mph. Mr Paton took the place of a friend at the last minute to make his first skydive jump from Strathallan airfield, near Auchterarder in Perthshire, on 8 April. His descent took a quarter of the normal four minutes after his main parachute malfunctioned. Mr Paton's fall was cushioned by landing on a grass embankment, missing a concrete road yards away that would have meant certain death. He escaped without a single broken bone, and tried to walk to an ambulance after remaining conscious after hitting the ground. Last night, Mr Paton's girlfriend, Diane Giels, 21, said she was delighted that he was back home after being discharged from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Monday. She said: "He is getting there, and a full recovery is guaranteed. He is able to walk about, but has not talked about his experience." Mr Paton was initially treated in intensive care for internal bleeding before being transferred to another ward in the hospital during his two-week stay. His terrifying jump from a Cessna light aircraft had followed several hours of skydive training at the airfield. He fell past two others in the group who had jumped before him after a static line that should have opened his parachute automatically failed to work. Just a few hundred feet from the ground, he tried to open his back-up parachute, but it became entangled in the first parachute. Mr Paton runs a newsagent and milk delivery business with his father, John, 52, in Kilmarnock. However, It is not known when he will be able to return to work. His father said after the accident that it was a miracle he had survived. He said: "Quite honestly, he shouldn't really be here. 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 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. "After he landed, Craig was wanting to sit up and walk out of the field. He had to be restrained because he wanted to get up and walk over to the ambulance." Mr Paton was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee for emergency treatment before being transferred to Edinburgh. His father added: "Craig does weights and runs a lot and the doctors said that is one of the factors which has saved him. "He didn't smoke so his lungs are in great condition and he was always jogging or riding his mountain bike." An investigation into the accident has been launched by the British Parachute Association. Kieran Brady, owner of Skydive Strathallan, who piloted the plane involved, said the parachute that had malfunctioned had been used on numerous previous occasions and that such problems were very rare.
  9. Two U.S. Navy parachutists were injured Tuesday when a training jump went awry, sending them crashing to the ground in a field near the U.S.-Mexico border. The SEAL team members' hard landings occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. near Otay Mesa and Alta roads, east of Brown Field airport, a Heartland Fire Department dispatcher said. The members of the Navy's elite Leap Frogs skydiving unit reportedly got tangled in each other's equipment while taking part in an exercise at the Trident Jump Center in Otay Mesa. The parachutists were performing what is known as a corkscrew maneuver. They began the jump at 12,000 feet. As they parachuted toward earth the team members were connected to one another. The problem came when they were unable to disconnect. After the landing, medics worked to stabilize the patients for about half-hour before loading them into ambulances. The parachutists were transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, the dispatcher said. The two patients suffered abdomen bruises and back pains. They were both listed in stable condition and were expected to fully recover. About The Leap Frogs The U.S. Navy Parachute Team is a fifteen-man team comprised entirely of U.S. Navy SEALs -- Sea, Air, and Land commandos. Each member comes to the team for a three-year tour from one of the two Naval Special Warfare Groups located on the east and west coasts. On completion of the tour, members return to operational SEAL Teams.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 linesFrom: Flyincamra (flyincamra@aol.com) 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 tanglesBy 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 cameraThe 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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".
  16. An inquest in Cardiff has heard how a Welsh Guardsman plummeted to his death when he lost control of his parachute over a Spanish holiday resort. A verdict of accidental death was recorded on 30-year-old Carl Henly who was on a New Year skydiving holiday on the Costa Brava when a formation jump went wrong. Mr Henly, an experienced parachutist with more than 150 jumps under his belt, was seen to break away from a formation of parachutists who jumped from a plane at 2,000 feet. Skydiving expert Kieron Brady told how the soldier lost control after flying away from the landing area in an "unsafe manoeuvre." Mr Brady, vice-chairman of the British Parachute Association, said that halfway through the descent Mr Henly flew away towards the town of Empuriabrava near the French border. He told the inquest: "The handling of the parachute as it descended closer to the ground was radical and erratic. It was a manoeuvre inconsistent with safe practice." Skydiving holidays The inquest heard that the parachute spiralled into the ground and Mr Henly died instantly from multiple injuries including a torn major artery. Mr Henly, of Rhiwbina, Cardiff, was based at army barracks in Aldershot at the time of the tragedy. The soldier - who had won a General Service Medal for service in Ulster - spent his holidays skydiving all over the world. After the hearing, his sister Amanda Culver said: "It would have been typical of him to break away and go sightseeing over the town. "Apparently it was common practice with divers at the flying school. Carl was a larger than life character - he loved parachuting, it was his life." During his army service, Mr Henly had visited Belize, Kenya, America and Canada on exercises. He had recently returned to the Welsh Guards following an attachment with the School of Infantry at Warminster in Wiltshire.
  17. Monday, 2nd April 2001, an experienced belgian jumper died while BASE-jumping in Switzerland. During a 3-way with another belgian and a french jumper, he impacted the wall probably during opening sequence. Aperently, he was back-tracking and might lost awareness of altitude. The Air-Glacier-Doctor reached him 15 min. later by helicopter, but the jumper was dead already. This fatal accident and the helicopter-rescue (Sunday 1st of April) within 2 days are too much for this little valley. TV-Channels and Newspapers are strongly covering those events and legal BASE-jumping in Switzerland is in danger. In accordance with the local organisations, we are asking everybody NOT TO BASE-JUMP IN THE BERNER OBERLAND (area Interlaken & Meiringen) UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH APRIL !!! To all foreign jumpers who had plans to come (on easter f.ex.), please cancel your trip to Switzerland. (please spread the word) This is a serious issue, we need the help of the whole BASE-community to keep the area legal. If we don't follow this suspension of jumping, we might have a Yosemite-Situation here as well... the Swiss BASE Association Source: Blinc Magazine - The Base Board
  18. DECATUR, Texas (AP) - Rob Franklin's skydiving dreams are on hold for now. Instead of making his maiden jump Saturday, Franklin, 32, ended up with a broken foot, concussion, gashes in his head and lip and a sore back when the skydiving school's plane went down in a field north of Fort Worth with 22 aboard. At least five others also were injured, one seriously. Franklin, a firefighter in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, said he heard pilot Tom Bishop utter an expletive before he looked out the window and saw trees and grass fast approaching. "I was looking straight at the ground and that's all I really remember," Franklin said Sunday from his hospital bed in Fort Worth. "The next thing I remember is waking up laying on the ground. They told me I walked away from the plane, but I don't remember that." Franklin, William Rhodes, 28, and Glenn Hodgson, 31, were all in fair condition Sunday at Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, while Tim Trudeau, 45, was in serious condition, said Laura Van Hoosier, a hospital spokeswoman. "They all have orthopedic-type injuries," she said. Two victims whose names were not released were in good condition at John Peter Smith Hospital, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. A 34-year-old man was being treated for neck injuries and a 33-year-old man was being treated for leg injuries. Bishop, 58, said the takeoff was normal until the plane, a 1956 DeHavilland single-engine Otter, reached about 300 feet. He said a wing was caught by a "dust devil," a whirlwind that normally travels along the ground like a small tornado and becomes visible because of the dust it sucks into the air. "Eyewitness reports said they saw the dust devil," Bishop said Sunday. "We hit one about two weeks ago that shook us up pretty bad. It's very strange at this time of year to have those things." The plane skidded into a grove of trees and its left wing snapped off. Bishop said Skydive Texas, the school owned by him and his wife, Jean, planned to fly Sunday. Skydive Texas is based at Bishop Airport, a private airfield east of Decatur, about 40 miles north of Fort Worth. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said Sunday an investigation into the cause of the crash was continuing. Franklin, who was preparing to jump while strapped to an instructor, said he had always wanted to skydive, but isn't sure if he'll try it again. "It's something I've always wanted to do and I got the opportunity, so I took it," Franklin said. "It wasn't a fun day."
  19. Popular and well known skydiver Jan Davis died at Lodi in California on Saturday March 31, 2001. Jan was filming a tandem when the accident happened. The tandem master saw her with a spinning malfunction and subsequent cutaway. He reported a 'pilot chute in tow' to impact. Early reports indicate that the reserve bridal had snagged under her front mounted still camera. She apparently worked on the problem all the way in. She had pulled all her handles. The freebag was out. Some reserve lines snagged the ring sight, and the freebag locking stows were still stowed. No further information available at this time. Note: Another skydiver also called Jan Davis died last year doing a BASE jump in Yosemite National Park. Source: rec.skydiving
  20. DECATUR, Texas (AP) - A single-engine plane carrying 21 skydivers and a pilot flew into turbulence and crashed shortly after takeoff from an airfield east of Decatur on Saturday, injuring five people but killing no one, the pilot and a Department of Public Safety official said. Pilot Tom Bishop, 58, said the takeoff was normal until the 1956 Dehavilland reached about 300 feet. He said a wing was caught by a "dust devil," a whirlwind that normally travels along the ground like a small tornado and becomes visible because of the dust it sucks into the air. "It just got under my left wing and rolled the plane to the right. I counter-acted with the rudder and aileron in the opposite direction, but there wasn't enough altitude to recover," said Bishop. The pilot said he had flown for 45 years - 30 for Delta Air Lines. Bishop said he planned to climb to 14,000 feet, the altitude from which the skydivers would jump. One of the skydivers was in the cockpit with him and was unconscious after impact, Bishop said. "We got everyone else out. I didn't know what was wrong with him, just that he wasn't breathing, and I began giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Then I noticed his seat belt seemed to be cutting off his air, and when I released that, he immediately took a breath," said Bishop, who suffered a broken rib. Bishop and his wife, Jean, own Skydive Texas which is based at Bishop Airport, a private airfield east of Decatur, about 40 miles north of Fort Worth. She was not aboard the plane. "It was traumatic. But I was expecting to see a lot worse," said Danny Timmons, a jumpmaster who was in the hangar at the private field from which the plane took off. Timmons said he heard the crash at about 12:30 p.m. and ran three-quarters of a mile through mud, losing both shoes, to find most of the skydivers already out of the plane. Timmons said if anyone had been flying but Bishop, who flew competition aerobatics for 10 years, "I believe there would be dead people. He brought it down in the safest manner he could." Timmons said most of those on the plane were experienced skydivers who jump each weekend. He said injuries were mostly broken legs and ribs. Texas DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said the injured were taken to hospitals by helicopter. One person was listed in serious condition, three were stable and one was fair, she said. "My heart just fell," said Renee Thrasher, a Bishop family friend who drove to the crash site. "They're wonderful family friends. Jean has been there when I've needed anything. The whole family has." Marty Deiss, who lives less than a mile from the field, said she had seen many skydiving trips taking off and landing. "I would have no problem flying with them," she said.
  21. A four-way and videographer exited a twin otter from 13000 feet. The videographer filmed the 4 way and everything about the skydive was normal at break-off. The pre-arranged pull altitude for the videographer was 4000 feet. Members of the 4 way observed the videographer at 2500 feet with the main bag-locked. At the scene it was observed that the main suspension lines were wrapped around the eye piece of his camera helmet. The reserve pilot chute was entangled in the main and the last stow of the reserve was out. The reserve ripcord was pulled and not found at the scene. The cutaway release was found near the hand of the deceased. The deceased had repacked the main prior to the jump and the reserve had been repacked on February 21, 2001. While he was visiting from New Hampshire, he had made 55 jumps in the last month -- most of them had been camera jumps. He was very current and during the month he jumped at Carolina Sky Sports was observed to always follow very safe skydiving practices. Morten Berger Pedersen Manager Carolina Sky Sports Personal Information of Deceased Richard Lancaster USPA membership 143136 B21593 Total number of jumps 323
  22. A Jackson County judge on Thursday approved a $27.5 million settlement for families of the pilot and five sky divers killed in a Grain Valley plane crash. Engine manufacturer Teledyne Continental Motors of Mobile, Ala., is to divide the money equally among the six families. The company admitted no fault in the settlement. Circuit Judge J.D. Williamson approved the settlement after hearing from members of four families. Lawyers said it will become final soon after members of the other two families testify. The checks are to be paid by May 11. Lawyers said the $27.5 million was among the nation's largest pretrial settlements in the crash of a small plane. Plaintiff attorney Gary C. Robb said a separate contractual agreement with the company, involving engine overhaul manuals, was more important to his clients than the money. Teledyne pledged to revise the manuals. "From the beginning our clients wanted to remedy the engine problem," Robb said. "They have succeeded." The company denies any engine problem. Robb, who represented the four families at the Thursday hearing, said the March 21, 1998, crash happened because badly designed oil transfer tubes failed and starved the engine of oil. Smoke and flames billowed from the Cessna engine as the pilot tried to land at Grain Valley Airport. The plane clipped a tree, cart-wheeled to the ground and burst into flames. All aboard died. Robb said his review of the company records found 14 other cases of engine failure caused by such oil tube failures. The records only go back to the mid-1980s, though the company made engines with the faulty tubes from 1945 to 1995, Robb said. The engines went into small planes made by many different companies, Robb said."Who knows how many other engine failures and deaths resulted because of this," Robb said after the hearing. Robert W. Cotter, attorney for the company, disagreed with Robb. He said the oil tubes did not cause engine failures. He admitted no liability. Separate from the legal settlement, the four families received letters from Cotter Thursday. In them, the company pledged to change its printed and Web site overhaul manuals to tell mechanics and owners to inspect the oil transfer tubes. Cotter said he would not comment on letters that were separate from the settlement. Robb said the pledge is part of a legally binding contract. Members of the four families said they never would have agreed to the settlement without the letters. Judi Rudder of Oskaloosa, Kan., widow of sky diver Marion Rudder, said the families quickly agreed on two things - a required warning and an even split of any settlement."Our whole mission on this was to keep people safe," she said. "We knew together we could make a bigger difference, and we wanted to be fair." Brad Buckley of Independence, the son of sky diver Kenney Buckley, said he lost a father and did not want others to lose loved ones. Other members of the Greater Kansas City Skydiving Club who died were Eric Rueff, John Schuman and Julie Douglass. The pilot, David Snyder, also died in the crash. The Snyder and Douglass families are to appear at later hearings to finalize the settlement. Belinda Schuman of Lawrence, widow of John Schuman, said the families want to make it clear that a plane crash - not a skydiving accident - killed their loved ones. Her husband loved skydiving and had made 2,300 jumps, she said. "We got married on the anniversary day of his first jump; he said he'd always remember that date." Another defendant, Jewell Aircraft Inc. of Holly Springs, Miss., settled the case previously for $1 million, which also was equally divided among the six families. The company, which admitted no wrongdoing, did an engine overhaul on the Cessna 10 years ago. Robb said he probably would drop the case against several other defendants that include Whuffo III, the owner of the plane; Freeflight Aviation Inc., an aircraft maintenance company; and White Industries, a company that sold the engine. His investigation, Robb said, also answered the key question of why the sky divers did not jump out of the plane. When the pilot first radioed at 3,000 feet that he heard an engine noise, he called off the jump and started to land, Robb said, but by the time the engine burst into flames it was too low for anyone to jump. Judi Rudder said the question of why no one jumped had troubled her. "They just didn't know it was going to be that bad," she said. "They thought they could get down safely."
  23. CONNERSVILLE, Ind. - Federal Aviation Administration officials are completing an investigation into the death of a Newport woman during an accidentSaturday at a skydiving school here. Charissa Marie Nicely, 24, was killed when her primary and reserve chutes failed to open as she was performing her first jump from 5,000 feet. She had made nine previous jumps from lower altitudes, said her husband, Vincent Turner. Connersville Detective Sgt. David Spencer said police conducted the initial investigation. "We turned the investigation over to the FAA office in Indianapolis," he said. Attempts to reach FAA investigators in Indianapolis on Monday were unsuccessful. Witnesses told police that Ms. Nicely's primary chute did not open at 3,000 feet, and that it appeared she made no attempt to pull the handle to release her back-up chute. Jumpmaster Lance White told police that Ms. Nicely was the first of four skydivers to jump from a plane and went into a spin while reaching for the parachute rip cord. She raised her arms to come out of the spin but went into another spin when she attempted to pull the cord again, Mr. White told police. The other three jumpers landed safely. The back-up chute is supposed to open automatically at 1,000 feet if it is not released manually, but it failed to do so. An employee at Jumpin' Indiana, the skydiving school, said Ms. Nicely's equipment had been checked before she went up for the dive. Ms. Nicely was a nurse with Fresenius Dialysis Clinic in Norwood and a recent graduate of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
  24. On Friday March 9th the 206 piloted by Nick Robson was totaled in a crash north of Air Capital Skydiving. Nick walked away with only a small cut on one hand and a bruized leg. Here are the details: After a normal climb to 11,000 feet AGL, 5 jumpers exited the 206 for an uneventful skydive. During the descent Nick heard a backfire and noticed extremely erratic readings on the manifold pressure guage. The engine quit and Nick prepared for a "dead stick" landing. He had plenty of altitude and was expecting to make the field. As Nick prepared to land, an unidentified aircraft crossed directly in front of the 206 forcing Nick to vector away to avoid a mid-air collision. Nick attempted to make radio contact with this aircraft and again set up for a landing. The unidentified aircraft then made an S-turn and crossed Nick's path again. Nick called out on his radio and informed the aircraft he was dead stick and requested clear air-space. The resulting delays from the intruding aircraft resulted in insufficient altitude to make the runway. The plane landed in an area just north of the airfield "heavily populated with trees" Causing severe damage to the aircraft. I want to take this opportunity to thank God for keeping Nick safe. And to thank Nick for sacrificing his aircraft to make room in the hangar for the Caravan. See You Soon At: Air Capital Skydiving Center Wichita, Kansas (316)776-1700
  25. A 24 year old female skydiver died at Jumpin' Indiana on Saturday 10 March 2001. She had just graduated nursing school, and was down to make a few jumps to celebrate. The accident happend during her 3rd ten second delay jump. She had 10 jumps in total and 5 free falls. The woman exited at 4,000 agl and was reported stable for 10 sec. She went for her main rip cord, but seemed to not be able to find it. She continued with this course of action until impact. There was, apparently, no attempt at her reserve ripcord until an instant before impact. She was wearing student gear. In this case a PISA Naro rig with a SkyMaster Main, Tempo Reserve, FXC AAD. One handle system. The FXC seems to have fired at impact or an instant before. It was turned on and calabrated to fire at 1000 agl. The FAA investigated. Their report states that all handles (rip cords) were visible, accessible, and easily extracted. They rule pilot (that is jumper) error. Source: rec.skydiving