Thursday, October 26, 2006

Male, 23, sky diving

Report: (gramatical errors don't belong to Noelle)
I was advised of a down parachutist unknown of injuries near ABC Rd. Dispatch said that rescue and ambulance was en route.
I followed the rescue vehicle up ABC St to the end and we went throught a gate that had been opened to a gravel road. We followed the fire chief to the first road to the left and went down to that road to the end.
We then walked about another 700 feet down a brush hill to where the parachutist had fell. Teh parachutist was laying on his back near some oak trees and his reserve parachute was open laying on the ground above him. The parachutist was dead and his helmet was off.
You could see where the parachutist fell through an oak tree, hit the groud, then went about 10 feet downhill. There was a person there who was identified as Mr. Y who said that he watched him from the air strip. Mr. Y said he saw his parachute open all the way and then he saw him start to spin around like he was playing. He said Mr. X, from the parachute school, was talking to him on his radio and told him to stop playing around then all the sudden when he got at about 200 feet he cut his main chute loose and his reserve did not have time to open and I went to where he went down to check on him but he was dead.
I went about 500 feet northwest of where the parachutist went down and got his main parachute down from a tree. The medical examiner arrived and the deceased was taken to a funeral home until proper notification could be made. Detective X notified the police dept to notify relatives about the accident.

Statement from Mr. X:
He was on the ground watching them jump and was talking to them with a portable radio as a safety measure. He said that they left the airplane ok and Male's chute opened all the way, then he started turning around to the right in a slow turn like he was playing around.
He said I told him on the radio to stop plaing around and pull his left toggle to stop the spin but he just kept spinning around. He said that at about 300 feet from the ground he cut loose his main chute to activate his reserve but it didn't have time to open all the way and that's when he went down by the trees.
Mr.X said that he did not understand why Male would have cut his main chute loose, because there was no malfunction with it and if he would have rode it down he would have been ok. He said when Male went through the jump classes he did real good and understood everything. Mr. X gave me a copy of an agreement that David had signed and showed the training he went through before he made his jump.

I contacted the jump master who was in the airplane when Male jumped. I asked him what happened and he said when we were getting ready I kept asking them if they knew what to do and everyone said yes, so when we got to 4500 feet, I opened the door and Male made a good exit. He said I saw his chute open all the way then we closed the door and started to climb again. He said I didn't see him go down so I don't know what happened. He said when we would ask Male what he was supposed to do, he always said yes and would give us the right answer.

I talked to the pilot who was flying the Cesna 180 airplane. I asked him if he saw what happened and he said, all I saw was when he left the airplane then his canopy opened and he was spinning around, but I did not see him fall.

I contacted Mr Z who was on the ground watching when Male jumped and asked him what he saw. He said I saw his chute open all the way and then started turning around to the right in a slow turn like he was playing around. He said I heard Mr. X tell him to stop and he just kept turning around. He said all the sudden when he got to about 500 feet he cut his main chute loose and his reserve did not have time to open.

There was also another jumber that was there but had left before I got to the airport.

Noelle: I'm sure there are pages missing from this (unprofessional) report, namely the action taken or decision reached. I have to wonder if this young man truly had an accident or if it were an elaborate suicide. He had a large insurance policy, which may not have paid out for suicide. I'm left with more questions than answers and I wonder if the investigators at the time felt the same or if they were positive it was a stupid mistake which resulted in tragedy.

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