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Found 118 results

  1. A jump ship at Perris airport was involved in a collision with a fuel truck on Wednesday 24 May 2017. According to official reports, the plane was in the process of landing when it hit the fuel truck, causing damage to the front and the wing of the plane. The aircraft then spun out of control, stopping just short of one of the building structures. Despite a hard collision with the truck, and extensive damage to the plane, there was no fuel leakage from the truck after the incident. Only minor injuries were reported by one of the two individuals on board, both of whom declined any medical treatment at the scene. The situation could have been different had the fuel tanker leaked, or had the plane been going any faster. The 1976 de Havilland “Twin Otter” DHC-6 suffered severe damage to both the right wing and the nose of the aircraft. It wasn't immediately clear whether the aircraft was being rented by the dropzone or whether it is owned by Perris. After the series of plane crashes in the past 2 years, this incident will go down as a best case scenario, with no fatalities or severe injuries. The information as to exactly what happened to cause the plane to collide with the tanker wasn't immediately published, and would likely warrant an investigation prior to any public information being released.
  2. The Neurology Neurosurgical Department of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, under the guidance of Patrick Weldon MD, is conducting an investigation into Injuries Sustained from Hard Openings and is actively researching any skydivers who may have been injured from a hard opening. The chief investigating physician in this study is Dr Patrick Weldon, an avid skydiver, videographer, and WFFC Load Organizer. The purpose of this study is to identify the type, extent, and duration of injuries sustained from hard openings as well as long term effects of these injuries with emphasis on recovery, prognosis, and ability to return to skydiving. Skydiver cooperation is essential to identify common factors from these injuries, and your participation will lead to better understanding of the dynamics involved in parachute openings. Results of this study could lead to improvement in parachute designs. Participants will be under no obligation to travel. Research will be initiated by telephone interviews by a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon. If participant agrees, a physician will review their medical chart and diagnostic procedures (ie. Xrays, CT, MRI etc.) Information on any and all injuries sustained from a hard-opening parachute, minor to severe, is desired. Please note that this is a medical research study only. Physicians and others involved will not in anyway cooperate with any litigation or litiganous activity. Any attempt to use this information for any lawsuit-based purpose will be denied. For more information, or to participate, please contact Dr Patrick Weldon, Department of Neurology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, at (601) 984-5500, fax (601) 984-5503, or via email: Patrick@Flyingthecamera.com This study will follow all applicable HIPA rules and regulations regarding medical research and patient confidentiality.
  3. admin

    Plane Crash Kills 5 in Kauai

    Just a week after the plane crash at Parachute Center near Lodi which resulted in a Cessna 208 upside down in a vineyard, another crash has occurred. This time however, with tragic results. A Cessna 182H jumpship from Skydive Kauai in Hanapepe (Hawaii) crashed early on Sunday morning shortly after take-off. All five individuals on board the aircraft died, with four being pronounced dead on the scene while another was taken to hospital, though was also later pronounced deceased. On board were two instructors, two tandem passengers and the pilot. At the time of publication most of the names of those involved had not been released to the public, with the exception of Enzo Amitrano, one of the two instructors on board. A witness to the incident claims that the aircraft had left the runway when shortly afterwards problems with the engine were experienced. The pilot is then said to have attempted to bring the plane back towards the runway when flames began to come out of the engine as it descended rapidly. There are some conflicts in media reports as to whether the fire began during the descent or only after impact, regardless the aircraft did catch alight and firefighters had extinguished the fire withnin an hour of the incident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot involved was not familiar with the aircraft involved. Though it is not yet clear what role this may have played in the incident. Our thoughts go out to the loved ones of those involved. Discussions about this crash can be had in the incidents forum.
  4. admin

    Jump Plane Crashes Near Lodi

    A Cessna 208 was left upside down in a field just off Jahant Road, near Lodi Airport on Thursday 12 May when the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing. While it is unclear what caused the emergency landing and no official statement on the cause has been given -- the following was posted on the Dropzone.com forums. "One of my friends was on this load. Apparently they opened the door at 1000 feet and smelled fuel, everyone sat down and clipped in, then the engine failed and the plane landed upside down after clipping a nearby SUV. This is just what I heard, not confirmed" The owner of the dropzone had told the media that while they still weren't certain of the exact reasons behind the failure, he could confirm that the propeller had stopped spinning, forcing the landing. The plane was being operated by Parachute Center and there were eighteen individuals on board at the time of the crash. Thanks to the effect use of restraints in the plane, despite the fact that it was lying upside down, all eighteen passengers walked away from the incident without injuries. However, it was not only the passengers aboard the Cessna that found themselves subject to the situation. While making the emergency landing the plane just clipped the tail of an SUV with two individuals inside. Thankfully it was merely a small nick to the vehicle and both the driver and passenger of the vehicle walked away with nothing more than a bit of shock. Showing that nothing can keep a dedicated jumper out of the sky, several of the passengers aboard the crashed plane returned to the dropzone to continue jumping, just moments after the crash. Discussions on this incident are currently taking place in the Plane Crash - Lodi 12 May 2016 thread. Update: 16 may 2016 Footage has now been released from inside the aircraft which can be viewed below:
  5. Despite having occurred late last year, a recently uploaded Youtube video showing an extremely close encounter between a tandem instructor, passenger and the jumpship they just exited from, has gone viral. The 4 minute long video (including editing) was shot in October 2014 and shows a tandem instructor, from what has been determined as a Thailand based skydiving operation at an estimated 13 000 feet (a typical exit altitude for tandem jumps). Twelve seconds after the TI and passenger exit the plane, the plane comes into view of the camera and can be seen diving quickly in their direction. The camera speed is then slowed down and shows the plane moving closer, with one frame showing the bridle and drogue of the TI wrapped around the wing of the plane. It appears as though the drogue bridle was cut when it wrapped over the wing and can be seen waving behind the TI in some of the frames. He then deploys the reserve shortly afterwards. The passenger appears for the most part, unaware of exactly how close the pair came to death during the incident, with the video later cutting to text on screen suggesting that the TI had just explained what had happened, while they were under canopy. There has been quite a bit of conversation around just how this happened, whether it was purely pilot negligence - or whether perhaps a close fly-by is something that is pre-arranged with the TI and pilot, in order to give the passengers a more thrilling experience. While there is no clear evidence to lead one to make such a damning assumption, several individuals have noted the TI's apparent eagerness to get the passenger to look in the direction of the descending aircraft, even before it has entered the frame of the video. Others are calling the TI a hero for the professional way in which he handled the incident, staying calm and getting both himself and the tandem passenger safely on the ground. Regardless of the details behind the incident, it's clear that those involved are lucky to still be alive. A discussion about the event is currently taking place in the forums in an incidents thread.
  6. The British skydiver Clare Barnes died when her parachute failed because it was not packed properly, an interim report into the accident claimed today. The Australian Parachute Federation (APF), which has been investigating the incident, blamed poor gear maintenance and incorrect packing of the parachutes for the 24-year-old’s death. Miss Barnes, the daughter of newsreader Carol Barnes and Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane, was killed when attempting her 200th jump with her boyfriend and seven other members of a skydiving club near Melbourne on Sunday. Graeme Windsor, the APF’s national safety and operations manager, said the chain of events that led to her death started with the incorrect packing of the pilot chute, which is used to drag the main parachute from its pack. He told PA News: "Because the pilot chute was not packed properly it did not produce enough drag." The report said: "When Clare activated her main parachute release at the correct altitude, she experienced a high-speed malfunction. It appears that Clare then followed correct emergency procedures by pulling the main parachute release system, followed by the reserve ripcord. Unfortunately, the main parachute did not release as it should have, and the reserve parachute became entangled with it, preventing either parachute from opening correctly." Miss Barnes had taken part in a nine-way formation with the other jumpers but after she broke off, her parachutes failed and she fell. The report went on to list several technical factors which contributed to her death in Barwon Heads, north west of Melbourne. "The pilot chute that drags the main parachute from its pack had not been packed correctly, and was unable to develop fully," it said. The federation also blamed the failure on the fact that parts of the kit Miss Barnes was using was not compatible with the rest of her equipment. "The main parachute could not escape from its deployment bag because some suspension line stowage bands were too large to allow the bag to open under the reduced pilot chute drag conditions," the report said. Mr Windsor explained: "One of the rubber bands was too big so the bag would not open and let the parachute out." The report said the main parachute release mechanism did not work because it contained "non-standard fittings". Mr Windsor said the release mechanism "was not the standard one for the harness she had on". He said the major factors in the tragedy were "poor gear maintenance and packing". Miss Barnes was an experienced skydiver and a licensed parachute packer. "There is no indication at this stage that she did not pack the gear herself," Mr Windsor said. The APF said all factors contributing to the accident had been illustrated in the past. "The combination of all these factors at the one time has led to a tragic loss of one of our experienced members," the organisation said. Renewed advice stressing sound maintenance of equipment will be given out as a result of the accident, the APF said. A final report will wait for the findings of the coroner’s inquest. Yesterday, Miss Barnes’s parents arrived in Australia to make preparations for the funeral, which was expected to take place in Melbourne on Friday morning local time. Fatality Database Entry Forum Discussion Times online
  7. MOSS POINT - An award-winning skydiver was killed New Year's Eve night attempting a high-speed stunt landing. Michael "Scotty" Agent, a Gulfport resident and six-year employee of Gold Coast Skydivers in Moss Point, was attempting a "high performance" parachute landing when a low turn went wrong and he hit the ground at high speed, officials said. Agent, 34, suffered severe head trauma and was rushed from a landing site at Trent Lott International Airport to Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, where he died just after 10 p.m. "Everybody is just walking around awestruck," Mike Igo, owner of Gold Coast Skydivers, said of the mood at the office Thursday morning. "We haven't even flown today." Igo said many skydivers enjoy jumping at night, particularly on a night like New Year's Eve. "It is pretty out there with the fireworks and all," he said. Injuries from stunt landings are becoming more frequent in the world of skydiving as more sophisticated gear is developed and avid practitioners work to develop more daring maneuvers, Igo said. "It's just speed," he said. "People are pushing the limits." Agent's gear was functioning properly. Agent was no amateur. A bronze medal winner in landing accuracy at last year's Skydiving Nationals, Agent served as videographer for Gold Coast Skydivers for several years. Gold Coast Skydivers provides skydiving trips and training. "He was a very capable canopy pilot, but the difference between a very awesome high-speed landing and doing what he did is a matter of seconds or a few feet," Igo said. Moss Point police responded to the emergency call at 9:22 p.m. The cause of death listed by the coroner was "massive head trauma." Igo said that of the 3 million jumps made last year, only 28 fatalities were reported. "Statistically, it's a very safe sport. But when you see accidents happen that could have been prevented, that's when it's time to talk about it."
  8. A Pacific Aerospace Corporation 750XL, the first passenger-carrying aircraft designed and built in New Zealand, has crashed at sea while being delivered to its American buyer. Early reports said the plane may have experienced mechanical problems. The pilot, Kelvin Stark, 58, of Tauranga, died in the controlled crash, which was observed by an airborne US Coast Guard crew that had guided him through the emergency landing. Mr Stark was delivering the aircraft, one of the first sold by Hamilton-based Pacific Aerospace Corporation (PAC), to Utility Aircraft Corporation, a Woodland, California-based company that converts planes for skydiving and acts as PAC's distributor in the Americas. According to wire reports, the crash took place about 310 miles (496 km) from land at Monterey, California, when Mr Stark was forced to attempt an emergency water landing because he had run out of fuel. The attempt took place during daylight, at around 9 am local time, and appeared to go smoothly, according to Coast Guard Lt Geoff Borree, who was part of the rescue team that observed the crash and had been waiting to drop Mr Stark a raft. His landing "wasn't violent at all," Lt Borree said. "He obviously had some good piloting skills." But Mr Stark did not emerge and the Coast Guard then called in parajumpers, an Air Force plane and a nearby commercial vessel to assist in a deep sea rescue. The jumpers arrived about three hours later and found Mr Stark in the submerged cockpit of his overturned plane, according to the Associated Press, citing Veronica Bandrowsky, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. Rough seas made it impossible to immediately retrieve Mr Stark from the plane and Lt Boree said it was not clear whether Mr Stark had been knocked unconscious on impact or become trapped in the plane after the landing, which had caused the aircraft to flip onto its top. Mr Stark's brother-in-law, Mike Fletcher, told the New Zealand Herald that the plane was either low on fuel or developed a fuel-transfer problem involving one of the fuel tanks inside the plane. The plane should have been carrying enough fuel for 17 hours of flight but Mr Stark reported he was low on fuel after only 11 hours in the air. According to the AP, he had only 45 minutes of fuel left when the Coast Guard team caught up with him at 10,000 feet. Ray Ferrell, one of Utility Aircraft's owners, told the AP that the loss of the aircraft was disheartening, "but it's no comparison to the loss of Kelvin. He was talented man." In August, the first plane off the 750XL's Hamilton production line was purchased by Taupo's Great Lake Skydive Center. PAC says it has firm orders or sales for 18 of the PAC750XL aircraft, which was specially designed for the rapidly growing skydiving market and can carry 17 passengers, but which can also function in a variety of other contexts. It said before the crash that it had received options for another 260 of the new aircraft. The company says that in addition to being the first aircraft designed and built in New Zealand, it is also the first new aircraft built in the last 25 years specifically to target the burgeoning adventure parachuting market. The aircraft can take 17 fully kitted skydivers to 3600 metres in 12 minutes and can cruise at 160 knots for up to five hours with a full passenger load. In October, Mr Stark flew a prototype of the plane to the United States for testing by the FAA. That flight took four days and the plane was fitted out with additional fuel tanks for the trip. The company says the flight took refueling stops at Pago Pago, American Samoa, (a 10.5 hour flight from Hamilton), Christmas Island, part of the Kiribati Group (9.5hr from Pago Pago), Hilo, Hawaii (after 7.5 hrs flying from Christmas Island) and finally reaching Davis Airfield (California) after a mammoth 16 hr flight. Total flight time was 43.5hrs, over four days. The plane crashed while duplicating the last leg of that run, between Hawaii and Davis Airfield. The plane is not yet certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, which will join with the National Transportation Safety Board in the investigation into the crash. The plane and Mr Stark's body are in water judged too deep for recovery. The doomed single-engine turbo-prop, priced at $US994,000 ($1.7 million NZD), was the third off the PAC production line, according to The San Franscisco Chronicle.
  9. Six Germans have been killed when two small aircraft collided in clear skies over the southern German state of Bavaria, police said. The crash involved a one-man glider and a Cessna plane with a pilot and four passengers who were planning to do tandem parachute jumps, a police spokesman said. The wreckage of the two aircraft landed in a corn field just outside the rural town of Lechsend, near Donauwoerth north of Munich. The Cessna was burning on the ground and extinguished by firefighters. "All we know at this point is that the two aircraft crashed into each other in mid-air," police spokesman Josef Bauer said. "The wreckage landed in a field just outside of the town. Luckily no one on the ground was hurt." The collision occurred shortly after 12:00 GMT. The victims, five men and one woman, were aged between 21 and 52. The plane was carrying four passengers, including the one woman, who were planning to do parachute jumps. Both aircraft, which were completely destroyed on impact with the ground, had taken off from nearby air fields. "We don't know at what altitude the accident happened," Mr Bauer said when asked about a local television news report saying the crash happened at an altitude of 1,200 metres. He said the skies were clear and visibility was unlimited on a warm summer afternoon. A Reuters photographer at the scene said wreckage was strewn several hundred metres across the field. Police said criminal investigators were at the scene and trying to determine the cause of the crash.
  10. You just landed after throwing a double gainer from a cliff in Moab. Adrenaline surges through your system as you think of the amazing visuals you just saw. As you gather up your canopy, you pause to watch the next jumper exit. After a short delay, he tosses his pilot chute and the canopy deploys offheading. He takes evasive measures but the strikes the wall repeatedly. After finally getting the canopy turned away from the cliff, he lands hard on the talus and tumbles to a stop thirty feet below and doesn't move… Now the real adrenaline kicks in. What do you do? Download this Article Introduction The scenario above is a severe one, but all too possible. In the hazardous environment we know as BASE jumping, we often place ourselves in situations which may result in our injury or death. Due to the inherent risk involved with this activity, every time we jump there is a possibility that something will go wrong. Fortunately, the most common BASE injuries are relatively minor and having a basic knowledge of first aid can help dramatically. With immediate care you can reduce the lasting effects of many injuries, and the time it takes to recover. Another goal is to improve the comfort level of the injured. The scene of an accident is not the place to be thinking about learning lifesaving skills. Preparing yourself ahead of time will make you a more confident jumper and knowing your partners have the same skills will go a long way if you yourself happen to be the one needing help. For the purposes of this paper, I have tried to explain thing in layman's terms wherever possible and assume that you have taken a basic CPR course. (Call the American Red Cross or go to www.redcross.org.) 3 Assessment This is where you size up the situation and the extent of the jumpers injuries. This is a process you will use for serious injuries. Your basic assessment should take about one minute. Not slow enough to waste valuable time, but not so fast that you miss important signs. Your minute will be divided into two phases: the Primary survey or ABC' s (15 seconds), and the Secondary survey (45 seconds). Primary: Establishing the severity of the situation. Make the scene as safe as possible. Move anything that may be a risk to you or the injured and get hysterical people out of the area. Send someone for help. Airway. Make the jumper has an airway. If they can talk to you, they have an airway. If not, check yourself. Use the head tilt/chin lift or a jaw thrust. (These techniques can be learned in a basic CPR course.) Breathing. Are they breathing? Put your ear to their mouth/nose area and look for the chest to rise and fall. If no breathing, revert to your CPR training. Circulation. Do they have a pulse? If not, start CPR. Is there profuse bleeding? Deformity. Are there obvious injuries? Expose. Weather conditions permitting, remove the clothes of the jumper (cut preferably) and cover with blankets as needed. Hypothermia is a possibility now and you need to be aware that the jumper may go into shock. Secondary: Eyes, ears, nose, and mouth: a.Eyes; in sunlight, cover the eyes then uncover them and see if the pupils react. At night use a light to check. b.Ears; is there any fluid coming out? Don't try to stop drainage. c.Nose; any bleeding? d.Mouth; look for blood or broken teeth. Teeth can be a choking hazard so remove loose, broken pieces. Neck: Can you see any obvious deformities? Chest: Can you see any section of the chest that moves opposite the rest when the patient breathes? (Broken ribs) Is there any tenderness? Abdomen: Is there any tenderness or does the abdomen seem more rigid than normal? (Internal bleeding) Are they trying to keep you from touching them? Pelvis: Any tenderness? Can you feel bones rubbing or grinding? Someone with a broken pelvis will sometimes feel like they're, "falling apart." Arms: Do you see any obvious fractures? Can you feel any bones grinding? Can you feel a pulse in the wrist? Check circulation by pressing on the fingernails and seeing how fast they get red underneath. Try this on yourself for a comparison. Can they feel you touching their hands? Can they move their arms? Have them squeeze both of your hands at the same time and feel if one side is weak. Legs: Do you see any obvious fractures? Can you feel bones grinding? Can you feel a pulse behind the ankle? (Check behind the big ball on the inside of the ankle.) Check the nail beds. Can they feel your touch? Can they wiggle their toes? By now, you should have an overall impression of how severe the jumpers' injuries might be. Now you can plan the best course of action for the rescue efforts. Redo this assessment every 3-5 minutes until EMS personnel take over. Be sure to report these findings to EMS personnel as it will provide useful information to them. For a quick set of field vital signs: Check the pulse and count beats per minute. Approximate blood pressure can be obtained without a stethoscope or BP cuff. A cool trick: If you can feel a wrist pulse, the systolic pressure is about 80. If you can feel a pulse on the inside of the arm where the bicep and tricep meet, it's about 70. If you can only feel it in the neck, it's about 60. Check breaths per minute. This may not mean much to you but if you can provide EMS workers with a sheet of vital signs detailing every five minutes in the past half hour, it can increase your friends' odds of surviving. This is because it shows the "trend" of vital signs and can give valuable clues about the condition of the jumper. Shock Shock can have several different causes but the likely causes in our situations would be trauma to the nervous system, or loss of blood. Shock occurs when tissues and vital organs are not getting enough oxygen from the bloodstream. Symptoms of shock include: Pale, cool, clammy skin Restlessness Nausea/vomiting Rapid breathing Drop in blood pressure The first step in treating shock is to stop blood loss. Then, cover the jumper with a blanket. As long as injuries don't prevent you from doing so, elevate the feet about 8-10 inches over the heart. They may get thirsty but try not to give anything to eat or drink. If there may be a long delay until help arrives, you can give small amounts of water at room temperature. Even if a jumper doesn't display symptoms of shock, treat for shock anyway. They might not be in shock yet. Bleeding There are three types of bleeding: capillary, veinous, and arterial. Capillary bleeding is the oozing blood you see when you skin your knee. It is minor and not life threatening. Veinous bleeding is blood from a vein. It is dark red and flows out of the wound. Arterial bleeding is pretty obvious since there will usually be an arc of bright red blood spurting out of the body. Arteries carry lots of blood and arterial blood loss can be immediately life threatening. Stop the bleeding: Apply pressure directly over the wound. If you have a clean dressing, use it. If you don't have something sterile, use what you have. A shirt or towel will work. If the wound gets dirty, we can treat it with antibiotics later. If direct pressure fails to stop the bleeding, combine direct pressure with elevating the wound over the heart. If the bleeding still hasn't stopped, apply direct pressure to a pressure point. There are eleven pressure points on each side of the body. If all else has failed, use a tourniquet. The decision to use a tourniquet is a serious one. This will completely stop the blood supply to the extremity involved and may result in that limb being amputated. Use it in a life or death situation. To apply a tourniquet: a.Wrap a band around the limb. Preferably, use something flat and at least one finger wide. A strap from a stashbag will work. b.Tie it in a knot around the limb. c.Lay a stick or similar object directly on the knot and tie another knot over it. d.Twist the stick to tighten the band. Twist it until the bleeding stops. e.Tie the stick in position. Record what time you applied the tourniquet and once it's on, DO NOT remove it. Femur Fractures The femur is the long bone between your hip and knee. Alongside your femur, lies the femoral artery. The femoral is one of the largest arteries in your body and cutting it can result in bleeding to death very rapidly. For this reason, proper attention to femur fractures is extremely important. Fortunately, the femur is a serious chunk of bone so it takes a lot of force to fracture it. If you suspect that the jumper has a femur fracture, you must not let them attempt to walk on it! After the thigh is injured, the muscles will spasm. If the femur isn't there to support the muscle, the sharp bone ends can cut muscle tissue, nerves, and the femoral artery. The way to prevent this is to apply traction in the long axis of the bone. The easiest method of applying traction is to use a traction splint. (The Kendrick traction splint™ is a very BASE friendly item to have. It costs about $100 and folds into a pouch that will fit inside a hip pouch or cargo pocket. If you were sitting there with a femur fracture I could offer you one for a couple thousand dollars and you'd accept.) To apply traction, pull straight on the ankle. Imagine trying to stretch the leg and make it longer. You will need to keep constant traction until an actual traction splint is available. It is very important that you never let up the tension or else serious damage may result. If the shoe comes off, the resulting rebound will be excruciating and bad things will happen. For this reason, remove the shoe on the broken leg. The jumper won't be walking anyway. Splinting Splinting is not really a science. When a bone breaks, the ends are usually very sharp. When these sharp edges move around, you can damage muscle tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. In order to prevent this, you splint the affected bone to immobilize it. Sometimes, you use whatever is available. There are two classifications of fractures, closed fractures and open fractures. Closed fractures include any fracture where the bone does not break the skin. In such instances, proper treatment includes immobilizing the fracture and seeking medical attention. Open fractures occur when a bone breaks through the skin. Signs of a fracture include: A bone end sticking out of the body, A grinding feeling at the site of the suspected fracture, Deformity of the limb, Loss of ability to move the limb, Loss of pulse or sensation, Muscle spasms. Your first step in treating a possible fracture is to stop and take a deep breath. Few fractures are life threatening unless they are mishandled. If there's no apparent life threatening injury, the best approach is a slow methodical one. Cut away clothing from the area and control any bleeding. If you find an open fracture, treat it like any other wound. Generally, you don't want to attempt to straighten out a broken limb. Don't try to realign the bones yourself. There are exceptions to this. If the limb has no pulse or is losing color, you may need to reduce the angle of the fracture to restore circulation. If you need to transport the jumper over rough terrain, a limb sticking out to the side will make things difficult. In these situations, not splinting would be more dangerous. IF YOU DECIDE TO ADJUST A FRACTURE, keep in mind that the sharp end can do major damage to the surrounding tissues so limit movement as much as possible. Also, have someone hold the jumpers arms so you don't catch a right hook. The goal in splinting is to immobilize the bone that is broken. You should try to immobilize the joint above and below the fracture. Find something to use as a splint. Most sites where we jump are in wooded areas so there is usually a variety of sticks and branches to choose from. If possible, pad the splinting materials with a towel or shirt to take up the space between the limb and the splint. This will also improve the comfort of the jumper. Use your imagination and you can usually come up with a splint for most fractures. Forearms can be fractured when you try to catch yourself during a less-than-graceful landing. Fractured forearms should be splinted with a natural curl of the fingers. Place a roll of gauze, or something similar in the palm of the hand. This will go a long way to improve comfort. If you suspect fractured ribs, you can pad the chest and gently wrap it. Placing the arm on the affected side into a sling helps. Try so calm the jumper and have them sit down until help arrives. Limit movement since a fractured rib can puncture a lung. If you suspect a skull fracture, DO NOT place pressure on the head. Monitor level of consciousness and do not give morphine! Joint injuries Damaging joints is a constant threat to BASE jumpers. Ankles are the most frequently injured joints skydiving, BASE jumping, and most sports. There's a saying that goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This applies to us because it is pretty easy to reduce the number of ankle injuries. Wearing an ankle brace is an easy and effective measure to prevent hurting your ankles in a sketchy landing. They're available at any sporting goods store. A simple low-grade sprain can keep you grounded for a weekend. A serious sprain can keep you from jumping for a year or longer. If you break a bone, it will usually heal stronger than it was before you fractured it. Ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues may never completely recover from injuries. Ask anyone who's been jumping for a few years. If a jumper injures a joint in the field to the point that it will not bear bodyweight, you should treat it as a fracture until an x-ray can prove otherwise. Splint it and proceed to the nearest hospital for evaluation. All Sprains can be treated with the acronym, R.I.C.E. Rest: stay off the affected joint and give it time to heal. Ice: apply ice, cold packs or frozen vegetables to the joint. Peas work well because they will conform to the shape of the joint. Just don't eat them after several freeze/thaw cycles. Compress: wrap the joint firmly but not too tight. An ACE wrap can is ideal. If your fingers or toes turn purple, it's too tight. If you squeeze your nail-beds, the color should return immediately. If not, re-wrap more loosely. Elevate: Kick back and have a cold one. Try to keep the injured joint at about heart level. This regimen can be supplemented by taking Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naprosyn). Follow dosing directions on the package. Both are anti-inflammatories and will help with the pain. If this treatment isn't working, it might be a good time to see a doctor. Summary This paper is by no means, a complete set of first aid information for the BASE jumper. In addition to reading this paper, I highly recommend enrolling in a CPR class, a basic first aid course, and an EMT Basic course. Most junior colleges offer an EMT course and CPR is usually included. These classes will show you how to approach an injury and decide on the most appropriate course of action. First aid is a skill-set we hope to never need. The harsh reality of our sport is that there will be more injuries, and there will be more fatalities. Hopefully someday BASE jumpers will stop being injured and killed. Until that day comes, we all need to know what to do when accidents happen. ---Dexterbase Download this article
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    Murder inquiry into skydiving death

    The death of a skydiver whose parachute failed to open over an airfield in North Lincolnshire is now being treated as murder. Stephen Hilder, who was 20, fell 13,000 feet to his death while he was taking part in a jump, at Hilbaldstow Airfield, on Friday. Detective Superintendent Colin Andrews, who is leading the investigation, said parts of Mr Hilder's kit had been tampered with, so neither his main parachute nor his reserve could open. He said "It is an absolute fact that both parachutes were deliberately tampered with and on the basis of that we have to strongly suspect that murder was the motive." Cords cut Mr Hilder, an officer cadet who had completed more than 200 parachute jumps, was found dead in a cornfield. His family, from Hereford, paid tribute to a "wonderful son and brother." Humberside Police carried out forensic tests on the parachute pack used by Mr Hilder and say the cord which deployed the main chute and the strapping to the reserve chute had been cut. DS Andrews said: "We are entirely satisfied that Stephen's parachute was deliberately tampered with and what we need to find out is who did that and for what reason." He said Mr Hilder was an experienced skydiver who was safety conscious. Video footage "It is a tragic waste of a young man with a bright and promising future and it is a particularly horrendous way to die," he said. The parachute equipment had been checked on Wednesday - the day the jump had originally been due to take place - and "stored in good working order". Mr Andrews said the parachute was kept in a store that was locked overnight but was left open in the day. Police say a fancy dress party was held at Hiblestow Airfield on the evening of 3 July which was attended by a number of people, including Mr Hilder. Many of the people who attended took video footage and photographs of the party and police are appealing for them to get in contact. They are also examining video footage of the actual fall which was filmed by people at the site. Mr Hilder was one of eight people who took part in the jump but no one else was injured. 'Wonderful son' The airfield has re-started parachute jumping and security has been reviewed. Meanwhile, a skydiving expert said it would be relatively easy to sabotage a parachute jump. Dave Hickling, chief instructor with the British Parachute School based at Langar Airfield near Nottingham, said: "You don't need a lot of knowledge to cut things. "Once you have been on a basic parachute course and you have seen how the parachute deploys, you would have enough knowledge." In a statement Mr Hilder's family said: "He was a wonderful son and brother, whose place in his very close-knit family will never be filled." skydiving had "quickly become a total passion" for him after he took it up at Bristol University, they said. He continued skydiving when he transferred to the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, last year, where he helped revitalise the college's skydiving club. Multiple injuries "He made over 200 jumps in the UK, France and South Africa, including freefall and formation diving and his absolute love for the sport never faded," they said. Mr Hilder was born in Hereford and went to school there before studying for his A-levels at Welbeck College. The statement continued: "Throughout his time with the Army he kept his love of theatre and music. "He was a talented percussionist and amateur actor, who loved reading and listening to rock music. "Steve had a tremendous sense of humour and made friends wherever he went." A post mortem found Mr Hilder died of multiple injuries.
  12. OTTAWA, Ill. -- Skydiving center owner Roger Nelson, whose Skydive Chicago had been criticized for a high number of fatalities in recent years, has died in a parachute accident. Nelson, 48, was parachuting Saturday with Todd Fey, 43, of Fargo, N.D., when Fey bumped into into Nelson's parachute, causing it to collapse, investigators said. Nelson then fell about 50 feet, said Sgt. Gregory Jacobson of the LaSalle County Sheriff's police. The sheriff's Office said Nelson was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria and pronounced dead early Saturday evening. Fey was being treated at Ottawa Community Hospital, where a hospital spokeswoman would not disclose his condition early Sunday. Nelson's death was the 14th at Skydive Chicago since the facility opened in 1993. It is one of the nation's largest skydiving operations with about 75,000 jumps a year. "Skydiving is a very unforgiving sport if something goes wrong," said LaSalle County Coroner Jody Bernard. "That could happen to anyone, even if they had a lot of experience. Obviously I've been out there a number of times, and I have not seen any blatant disregard for safety." Nonetheless, 11 of the deaths at Skydive Chicago, including Nelson's, have occurred in the past five years, making its fatality rate in some recent years as much as eight times the national average, which the U.S. Parachute Association estimates as 1 in 111,000 jumps. Those numbers spurred LaSalle County State's Attorney Joe Hettel to investigate Skydive Chicago in 2001, but he concluded there was nothing he could do. "If someone wants to jump out of an airplane, there's not much we can do about it," Hettel said last year. Nelson said at the time of Hettel's investigation that the ten jumpers who had died since 1998 were all using their own parachutes and "pushing the envelope" in their behavior. Nelson said reckless skydivers, not Skydive Chicago or its instructors, that led to the accidents. "I'm doing everything I can," he said. "This whole place is careful, to where we're not tolerating any unsafe behavior." Nelson was captain of the U.S. Olympic skydiving team in 1982, and served as a director of the U.S. Parachute Association. On June 16 there was a memorial skydiving jump and service for Nelson who's family members have said they plan to keep SkyDive Chicago open.
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    Skydiving plane crash kills four

    JEANNETTE, Pa. June 16 — A Father's Day skydiving trip turned tragic when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing four of the five people aboard. Witnesses told authorities they heard the Cessna 205's engine sputter and cut out before the crash about 1:15 p.m. Sunday at Greensburg-Jeannette Regional Airport. The aircraft apparently clipped four trees when it crashed about 100 feet from the runway, said Ron Supancic, chief of the Claridge Volunteer Fire Department. The plane is registered to Charles E. Bryant, of Greensburg, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said. Bryant, 61, was among the dead, Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth A. Bacha said. The coroner's office did not immediately identify the pilot, a 52-year-old Pittsburgh man. The other victims were David Ray, 49, of Seward, and Terry Blanish, 52, of West Newton. "My world has fallen apart," said Marla Goodlin, 48, who was to marry Blanish next summer in Switzerland. Blanish had 15 years of skydiving experience and was approaching 2,000 jumps, she said. Blanish, the father of three children, planned to spend Father's Day skydiving before meeting Goodlin for a boating trip, Goodlin said. Bryant's son, Rodney, 37, said his father, who retired as a machinist about a year and a half ago, had 30 years of skydiving experience and had made more than 3,000 jumps. Charles Bryant had operated Chuck Bryant's Skydive Bouquet in Greensburg for about 10 years and had the plane for about the same amount of time, his son said. The plane, built in 1963 and designed for up to five passengers, had taken a skydiving flight earlier in the day and was on its second flight when it crashed, authorities said. "That airplane was one of the best-maintained jump planes in the sport," Rodney Bryant said. The pilot was experienced and had made skydiving flights with his father before, he said. An autopsy was to be performed on the pilot, as were toxicology tests required by the National Transportation Safety Board, he said. The lone survivor, who had apparently been thrown from the plane, was found 10 to 15 feet from the wreckage. The extent of his injuries was not known Sunday night. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator to the airport in Jeannette, about 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
  14. As many as 100 skydivers from across the country will gather in Longmont on Saturday for a commemorative jump and memorial service to honor a colleague who died in a plane crash over the weekend. "It's a special kind of memorial that skydivers do for one of their own," said Gary Sands, brother of Jeffrey Sands. Jeffrey Sands, president of the Mile-Hi Skydiving Center in Longmont, was a passenger in a Pitts S-2B stunt plane that went down in a hayfield northwest of the city on Saturday. The pilot, 57- year-old Thomas Bullington of Boulder, also was killed. Gary Sands of Golden said Monday that his brother was an adventurous free spirit who logged more than 4,000 jumps since 1984. He was one of 300 skydivers to set a world record with a simultaneous formation jump in December. "Jeff was a thrill-seeker," Gary Sands said. "He lived life at full throttle. He loved the adrenaline rush, but in spite of that he was known as the consummate perfectionist." Sands, 49, had to work hard to get his skydiving school off the ground, but his perseverance built it into one of the best, his brother said. He was a safe, able instructor who introduced many to the sport. Jeff Sands also was known for his annual landing at Folsom Field during the Bolder Boulder race. After much practice with weights and tests, he perfected a method of carrying a giant American flag in by parachute, his brother said. Sands is survived by his mother, two older brothers and a sister. He was not married and had no children. "He was married to skydiving and flying," Gary Sands said. "He went the way he would have wanted to go, doing something that he loved." ~ Special to The Denver Post
  15. A 28-year-old serviceman has died during a parachute jump at an airbase in Oxfordshire. The victim was taking part in a recreational jump with the RAF's Sports Parachuting Association at RAF Weston-on-the Green. Police and ambulance crews were called to the scene at around 1230 BST on Friday. The identity of the man and the cause of the accident have yet to be released. The incident was the second parachuting accident in the area this week. A man, aged about 60, died after suffering multiple injuries in a skydiving accident on Wednesday morning. It is thought his parachute failed to open when he made a jump at Northamptonshire's Hinton airfield near Brackley, near the Oxfordshire border. He was taken by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he later died. The British Parachute Association and Northamptonshire Police are investigating the incident.
  16. admin

    3 Skydivers Injured Before NASCAR Race

    ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Three Army skydivers were injured Sunday when strong wind knocked them to the ground before a NASCAR race. A group of eight jumpers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute team from Fort Bragg came sailing into the track area, trailing red smoke as part of the pre-race activities for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. With wind up to 40 mph, one jumper was carried away from his targeted landing on the track and into the infield, where he appeared to bounce off the top of a tractor-trailer before landing on the ground, his chute caught on the antenna of a van. He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and was in good condition, a nursing administrator said. The hospital did not provide the soldier's name. Messages for spokesmen with the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg were not immediately returned. Another jumper sailed into the garage area and bounced off the top of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s hauler. He landed between race team trucks and a fence. That jumper, as well as a third who landed hard on the asphalt of the track, were taken to Womack Army Hospital in Fayetteville for treatment of minor injuries. The hospital did not immediately return calls. Track personnel did not immediately have their names or any other information about the injured soldiers. At least two jumpers nailed their landings on the front stretch of the race track. Another skydiver never made it to the track, landing outside the Turn 1 grandstands. ~ Associated Press
  17. Seven people, including the pilot, escaped with relatively minor injuries when a Britten-Norman BNA2 twin engine Islander belonging to Skydive Thailand crashed in a cassava field outside Pattaya Airport opposite the Phoenix Golf Club at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14. This Britten-Norman BNA2 (twin engine) Islander crashed shortly after takeoff in a cassava field outside Pattaya Airfield near Phoenix Golf Club. Seven people, including the pilot, escaped with minor injuries. Pol. Lt Col Somchai Yodsombat from the Banglamung police station reported that the plane was nearly broken in half, with one of the engines from the left side almost protruding into the cabin. Pieces of wreckage were scattered around the area with the front of the plane and cockpit crushed from the impact. The crash occurred in the Chatngaew area of Huay Yai District. The pilot and the passengers were taken to the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital by members of the local community. Pattaya resident Patrick van den Berghe, aka Flying Frog, wasn't flying on Tuesday when he was wheeled out of the hospital. Patrick was all smiles, however, as he escaped with minor injuries. The aircraft belonged to Skydive Thailand, which takes passengers for skydiving. The plane had an 8-seat capacity. At approximately 1 p.m. the plane took off from Pattaya Airport and had been airborne for 2 minutes. Flying in the area of Chatngaew, approximately 1.5 kilometers from the airport, the aircraft ran into difficulties and one of the engines cut out, causing the pilot to initiate a crash landing. Manote Sukjaroen, a resident in the Huay Yai area said that just prior to the crash they had heard the sound of the plane take off from the airport as per normal, as there are usually around 3 trips per day. This was to be the second run of the day, but approximately 2 minutes after takeoff they heard one of the engines cut out. Shortly after, a loud crash brought residents running out to investigate. Ms. Lorna Martin was banged up but otherwise ok after her scary ordeal. Reporters also visited the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, where the injured were taken for treatment. Fortunately the seven people, including the pilot escaped serious injury and only had relatively minor cut and bruises. The list of injured include the pilot, Asadawut Srirunsun, Patrick Van den Berghe (aka Flying Frog), Steve Bavington, Jukka Holtinen, Paul Moran, Paul Dinessen and Ms. Lorna Martin. All were treated for cuts and abrasions and released from hospital. At press time, the initial reports suggest engine failure; however, commercial aviation inspectors are investigating the cause of the crash. Police, aviation inspectors and the owners of the aircraft inspect the site of the crash. Luckily, all 7 on board, including the pilot, escaped with relatively minor injuries. Despite such incidents, flying is still much safer than driving on the road, particularly in Thailand.
  18. admin

    Shannon Embry

    At 5:30 pm on Monday, October 14th, Shannon Embry died while making a skydive. Shannon, 40 years of age, was an experienced skydiver from Tennessee. She was participating in the Women's World Record attempt, "Jump for the Cause", a breast cancer fundraiser. On an otherwise uneventful skydive, Shannon Embry suffered mortal injuries during or shortly after deployment of her main canopy. Shannon was an exemplary tracker, and it is possible that deployment of her main canopy while still in forward motion could have incapacitated her or perhaps even ended her life. While the main canopy was 100% undamaged, she made no attempt to release the brakes or stow the slider, and continued in a steady weight shift turn until impact. She had trained medical personnel (fellow skydivers) with her within seconds of landing, but could not be resuscitated. She was a mother, a mate, our sister in the sky, a lover, a skydiver, a woman and our friend. She will be missed. Jump for the Cause
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    C-182 Crash: A First Jump Story

    All was going well last Saturday, September 28. It was a pretty day in Beaver Oaks, Oregon, and Skydive Inc. had put up about 12 loads. There had been no previous incidents, but we all know that things can change rapidly. And on that load, they did. Rick Liston, Craig Wilwers, John Allen, and Chris Lattig were planning on launching a casual 4-way from the private DZ's C-182. All had been jumping together for a while, and all were very familiar with the dz. The pilot, Travis Marshall, was known to be a competent pilot, and very interested in ferrying jumpers. Marshall had sat through many weekends watching first jump courses taught by Ralph Hatley, the S&TA; of the dz, and always wore a bail-out rig. All participants were comfortable, and ready to make this last jump of the day a fun and memorable one...and, to top it off, there was a birthday party being readied on the ground for Rick Liston. Reaching jumprun at an altitude of 10,500 feet, the jumpers knelt, moved forward, and arranged themselves at the door. The first jumper positioned himself, and Rick Liston moved to his position between the door and the strut with his back to the prop, sort of sitting on the strut with one foot on the step (the position is often referred to as the "crotch" position). The third jumper began moving into his position. No-one was dreaming, and yet, the nightmare was about to unfold. According to Hatley, that was when Liston noticed his D-bag on the floor between his legs. He tried to recover the bag, but the lines began unstowing, wrapping around the strut. The lines snaked over the front of the strut, and they were wrapping around the gear leg when Liston released his main canopy and fell away from the plane. As he cut away, the canopy escaped from the bag, and part of it caught on the step, with the rest catching and snarling on the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. One of the jumpers grabbed his hookknife, and tried to cut the canopy away from the plane, but lost his grip on the knife and it went out the door. Liston deployed his reserve uneventfully. The other jumpers all followed suit and left the disabled plane, and, as they still had plenty of altitude, did not use their reserves but opened their mains. They all landed uneventfully at the dz. But that's not the whole story. The rest of the story began when the jumpers left the plane, and the pilot was alone in a damaged and uncontrollable aircraft. Travis Marshall had successfully struggled to maintain control of the plane to allow the jumpers time to exit safely. But he had never jumped before, and he knew he had to do it this time. As the jumpers left the plane and deployed, Marshall began to lose what little control he had of the C-182. The plane inverted, and went into a flat spin, pinning Marshall to his seat. Unfazed, Marshall shut down the plane, and notified air traffic control that he had an emergency. He then activated the transponders, climbed out of the pilot's seat, and, while the plane was still upside down and spinning, somehow managed to climb out onto the wing of the plane. Holding on to the wing, he clearly heard Hatley screaming "ARCH!!" in his head. So, as Marshall let go of the wing, he did the only thing he could do...he arched. Hard. Upon leaving the plane at about 6,000 feet, Marshall fell a short distance, and then reached for the ripcord and deployed a round canopy. Trying desperately to remember how to manage the canopy ride, he was able to steer towards a clearing about a mile away from the dz. As he approached the ground, he got ready to plf as he had only watched people doing. But he must have seen enough of them, because he plf'ed, and stood up with nothing worse than a few bruises to show for his first jump. He gathered up his gear, and began the walk back to the dz. During his walk back, he met Hatley in the truck. As Marshall climbed in, Hatley recalls, Marshall's first comments were "that was a hard opening", and "man, I threw the ripcord away." Hatley laughs as he recounts this, glee and disbelief in his voice that those were the concerns Marshall had. "Can you imagine? That's what he was worried about. Losing the ripcord!". "Everyone was fine" states Hatley. "Every last one of them performed exactly as they had trained to do. I always tell my students and jumpers to identify the problem, react to the problem, and don't procrastinate. These men - well, that's exactly what they did. And they all walked away." When asked if there was anything wrong with the aircraft, per the Oregon State Police's press release, he emphatically rejected that idea. "Nothing wrong with the plane, nothing wrong with the parachute. The FAA has already cleared the rig Liston was wearing, and the plane was in fine working order. It got a parachute wrapped around the strut and the tail. That's enough to cause the crash! Everyone kept their heads and no one even got hurt. That's the important part. No one even got hurt." Hatley continued, "the jumpers had gear checks before getting on the plane, and Liston's pilot chute was still in it's pocket when he first saw the D-bag. The only thing we can figure is the pin got knocked loose somehow. C-182's are crowded with 4 jumpers and a pilot. The pin was checked, and it was fine. The rig was checked, and it was fine. All we can figure is it (the pin) got knocked loose somehow. Sometimes, stuff happens. This was one of those times". Hatley was gracious with his time, and thanked Dropzone.com for trying to get the story out to the jumpers. "While the mainstream media has been very good, and not sensationalizing this, it's also complicated for non-jumpers to understand how something like this can happen." Hatley concluded with this comment: "remember that when something happens, it happens fast. Identify, react, and don't procrastinate taking action to save yourself. And have safe jumps!"
  20. admin

    Two Killed in TV Tower Collapse

    HEMINGFORD, Neb. (AP) — A 1,965-foot-high TV tower collapsed, killing two workers who were trying to strengthen the structure, which had been taller than the Empire State Building. Three other workers were injured Tuesday, rescue officials said. The cause of the collapse was being investigated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Two of the workers were repairing the roof to a small transmission building at the base of the tower. The three others had been hired to strengthen the tower so it could be equipped for high-definition television transmission, according to the owner, Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises of Rapid City, S.D. "I happened to glance up and saw the tower toppling over. It looked like the center section kind of leaned out first and the top fell down", said Don Jespersen, a 46-year-old farmer who was working in his field about a half mile away. Jerry Dishong, station manager for ABC affiliate KDUH in Scottsbluff, said there was no apparent reason for the collapse, citing clear and calm weather. After the accident, the station could only be viewed by cable subscribers. Killed were Lawrence A. Sukalec, 59, of Valier, Ill., and Daniel E. Goff, 25, of Sesser, Ill. They were on the tower when it collapsed, according to the Box Butte County sheriff's office. Three other workers were taken to a hospital in Alliance. Two were treated and released and the third was listed in good condition. The tower, about 20 miles northwest of Alliance, had been the tallest structure in Nebraska and one of the world's highest. It was more than 500 feet taller than the Sears Tower in Chicago and 700 feet higher than the Empire State Building in New York City. In 1998, eight skydivers from Utah were arrested for trespassing after jumping from the top of the tower. They left a black flag at its top to show they had made it to what they deemed their "holy grail."
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    Skydiving Plane Crashes near Estacada

    Beaver Oaks, Oregon - A team of skydivers leaped from a crippled airplane Saturday, moments before it crashed into a stand of trees near Estacada. The four trick-parachute jumpers aboard and the pilot survived without injuries. Their small Cessna C-182 crumpled into trees near Highway 224 and burned before Estacada firefighters arrived. The plane was flying at 10,500 feet over the “drop zone” for the parachutists. Investigators believe the second jumper’s parachute opened early as he jumped, wrapping around the plane’s tail. The plane then began to drop as the pilot lost control. The jumper, Rick A. Liston, 46, of Clackamas, cut himself free and used his secondary parachute to escape. The other skydivers – Craig N. Wilwers, 50, of Portland; John C. Allen, 49, of Tillamook; and Chris I. Lattig, 42, of Tualatin – then bailed out. The pilot, Travis William Marshall, 23, of West Linn, followed. The plane crashed shortly before 7 p.m., about 200 feet from Highway 224. Nobody else was hurt. The plane belongs to an Eagle Creek man and had left a private airfield at Beaver Oaks. The Oregon State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. The state Department of Environmental Quality will oversee the cleanup of a small amount of fuel that spilled into a nearby pond.
  22. admin

    11 killed in Russian plane crash

    MOSCOW: A small plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport in a remote part of Siberia on Saturday September 14, killing 11 people on board, an official said. The AN-2 plane went down about 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the runway in the village of Shalinskoye, in the Krasnoyarsk region, about 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) east of Moscow, said Gennady Savelyev, a duty officer at the Siberian emergency situations department. The plane was carrying 11 skydivers and 3 crew members. Of those on board, 10 were found dead at the crash site, and one died in the hospital. Three more are listed in critical condition. Savelyev said a preliminary investigation points to engine failure as the cause of the crash.
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    Marijuana in skydiver's system

    A skydiving instructor who died in July while attempting to land on a pond at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa was seriously impaired by smoking marijuana within two hours of his death, according to a toxicology report released Wednesday. The report was made public an at inquest conducted by LaSalle County Coroner Jody Bernard into the death of Ronald Passmore Jr., 33, who died July 14 when he slammed chest first into the pond at the jump zone and died of a severed aorta. A coroner's jury declared the death accidental. Passmore's death was the sixth in a year at Skydive Chicago, a fatality rate eight times higher than the national average. He was the second instructor to die there this year and the second fatality since July 2001 in which drugs were found in the victim's system. The toxicology report, prepared by St. Louis University Hospital laboratory officials, showed Passmore's blood had a cannabis level about double that at which a person is considered impaired, according to laboratory director Dr. Christopher Long. "This (level in Passmore's blood) demonstrates relatively acute smoking within the last couple of hours before his death," said Long. This is serious impairment due to marijuana--cannabis--that would affect everything you could possibly use to skydive, particularly reaction time and depth perception." Efforts to reach Roger Nelson, operator of the Skydive Chicago, and Chris Needels, head of the U.S. Parachute Association, were unsuccessful. Needels was present at the jump zone for a USPA board of directors meeting on the day that Passmore and two other skydivers jumped from a plane with high-performance parachutes to perform a landing known as "pond swooping." The landing is a difficult maneuver in which a skydiver skims across the water, much like a water-skier, and then walks ashore. On that day, word had been passed that the three planned to swoop the tiny swimming pond at the dive zone and a small crowd had gathered. According to one observer, the first skydiver managed the maneuver successfully, but the second stalled into the water. Passmore was the final diver and as he came in, he made a sharp hook turn and pancaked onto the water, severing his aorta and causing numerous other internal injuries, according to the autopsy report. After Passmore's death, Nelson said he banned pond swooping at the jump zone. Passmore, a veteran of more than 1,300 jumps, had been living at the campground that is part of the Skydive Chicago compound and was working as an instructor for Nelson. Instructors are paid a fee, usually about $25, to accompany students who are taking up the sport. Skydive Chicago is one of the busiest drop zones in the Midwest with about 75,000 jumps a year. On May 18, John Faulkner, 28, also an instructor at the jump zone who was living at the campground, collided in the air with another jumper, rendering him unconscious. His backup chute failed despite being equipped with a device to open it automatically. No drugs or alcohol were detected in his system. On Oct. 18, 2001, Bruce Greig, of Jacksonville, Ill., died when his chute became entangled and he went into a spin. His emergency chute deployed too close to the ground and he died of chest injuries. A toxicology report was positive for cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy.
  24. WHITEWRIGHT -- Two sky divers killed when their parachutes became intertwined in a twilight jump over Northeast Texas were veteran jumpers with more than 200 jumps each to their credit, officials with their skydiving club said today. Brad Walk of Dallas and Jason Fitzsimmons of Richardson were killed when their parachutes became entangled about 6,000 feet above the ground in the accident Saturday, according to a statement issued by Skydive Dallas. The accident happened about 50 miles northeast of Dallas near the Fannin-Grayson county line. The two jumped from a Cessna Caravan at about 13,500 feet and their parachutes appeared to open normally at 11,000 feet, the club statement said. However, as they arranged their equipment, they drifted together and got their shrouds tangled at about 6,000 feet, the club said. Both apparently were killed on impact with the ground, officials said. The statement said neither sky diver appeared to use their reserve chutes. "They were really well-liked in the skydiving community. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and loved ones," said Joe Rekart, the general manager of the Whitewright-based club.
  25. OTTAWA, Ill. - Authorities were investigating a death involving an Illinois skydiving club Monday after a 33-year-old Indiana man was killed over the weekend in the sixth fatal accident at the club in a little more than a year. Ronald Passmore Jr. of Butler, Ind., was jumping with Skydive Chicago on Sunday afternoon when he tried to land in a pond but struck the water too hard, LaSalle County Coroner Jody Bernard said. Several people pulled Passmore from the water, and he was taken to Ottawa Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The accident happened near Ottawa, which is about 70 miles southwest of Chicago. "His parachute was fully deployed; it was just a matter of a hard landing," Bernard said. She said Passmore was an expert skydiver who had made frequent jumps with Skydive Chicago. An autopsy was to be performed Monday including toxicology tests that will determine if Passmore had drugs or alcohol in his system. Results from those tests will be available in four to six weeks, Bernard said. The LaSalle County Sheriff's Department was investigating the death, the sixth fatality at Skydive Chicago since July 9, 2001. The last one occurred May 18 when 28-year-old Skydive Chicago instructor John Faulkner plunged to his death after his parachute failed to open. Sheriff Tom Templeton said interviews would be conducted with witnesses and other participants in the dive, and the Federal Aviation Administration would check Passmore's equipment. He said investigations into other deaths at Skydive Chicago turned up no criminal activity and were all ruled accidents. "I guess it's the peril of the sport," Templeton said. "It's an inherently dangerous sport." LaSalle County State's Attorney Joe Hettel echoed Templeton, adding that he found the deaths "disconcerting." "This is literally happening right outside my window. I see people jumping all the time," he said. "It's frustrating to have these things happening. ... (But) absent some changes in law there's nothing that can be done by law enforcement." Bernard said she wasn't alarmed by the string of recent deaths. The club is one of the nation's largest skydiving operations, with about 75,000 jumps a year. "I think you have to put it into perspective," Bernard said. "The percentages are actually very low when you put it all together." Skydive Chicago owner Roger Nelson did not return calls for comment Monday. The sport's sanctioning body, the U.S. Parachute Association, normally inquires about deaths and can withdraw its sanction of clubs and schools. The group's executive director was returning from a board meeting held over the weekend at Skydive Chicago and was unavailable to comment Monday. ~ Associated Press Incidents Forum