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[Updated: August 5, 2000] Page 1 - For more safety issues see Page 2
|Blue skies and safe landings !|
|Fatality in Norway|
Female skydiver Kine Mjelde Winum (18) died Saturday night, July 22, while skydiving at the National Center for skydiving at Østre Æra in the city of Åmot in Hedmark County. The skydiver, who was reported missing at midnight, was a participant at a boogie at the center.
Shortly after her missing was being reported a search was started where 30-40 people participated. One of the center's planes was sent up at dusk Sunday morning to search for the missing person. A parachute on the ground was discovered from the plane. The search crew found the missing person dead by the parachute. The cause of the accident is still unknown. Skydives were ongoing in the area until about 10pm Saturday night.
Incidentally, the jump plane used for the search crash-landed upon return. The crew is ok.
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|Jump Plane Pilot Killed In Crash|
Mark Wheeler, 46, owner of Williston Skydivers, Inc., in Florida, and a noted Williston, NC, pilot and skydiver was killed Monday, July 31, when the Twin Otter he was piloting crashed in a NC state park next to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The passengers, Johann VanAfwegen, an AFF/tandem instructor, rigger, and international 4-way team member, suffered a broken arm, Charis Baleson, 18, a jumper visiting the states, suffered minor injuries.
The plane, which was owned by Chicagoland Skydiving, was bound from Chicago, and was on its way to Louisburg in Franklin County to have its engines overhauled. Mark's De Havilland DHC-6, a twin engine prop, contacted the airport tower for landing clearance and was lost from radar about 12:40 a.m. Monday, airport spokesman Mike Blanton said. Rescuers had to walk about 200 yards along a hiking trail which was off a bike and horse trail deep in Umstead State Park. A ranger located the plane nearly three hours later. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were on the way to the crash site from Miami.
Mark Wheeler was a full time pilot for the summer at Chicagoland Skydiving in Hinckley. Chicagoland Skydiving has set up the "Mark Wheeler Memorial Fund". Flowers and cards may be sent to his home dropzone, Williston Skydivers, in Florida. However, if anyone would like to donate money (in lieu of flowers), please make checks payable to the "Mark Wheeler Memorial Fund" and send to: Chicagoland Skydiving, PO Box 758, Hinckley IL 60520.
See also the article about Mark Wheeler from NSL's Kurt Gaebel at our NSL page.
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|First Time Jumper Died|
On July 31, a 24 year old static line student visiting from Ireland died on the Dutch island of Texel. On his first jump ever, he exited unstable, and ended up spinning with his foot tangled in the lines. Reportedly, the student may have cutaway at a low altitude, insufficient for reserve inflation. No further information is available.
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|Fatality in Bolivia|
Marcelo Cortez Delgadillo, a native of Cochabamba, Bolivia, single, and the owner of Atom Importers, died on July 24 in a soccer field at the Tahuichi Aguilera stadium. Marcelo jumped from a small plane at 10,000 feet, and his body impacted at a speed of 250 kph. Three others with whom he did some acrobatics jumped with him. The tragedy was a result of Marcelo's main parachute not opening properly. Apparently, neither did his reserve because it entangled with the main. It is not known why Marcelo did not cut away.
Marcelo was an accredited instructor in the Bolivian Sport Parachuting Federation. He had 12 years of experience, and more than 700 jumps.
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|BASE Jumpers Died In Fatal Plane Crash|
On July 18, well known BASE jumper Earl Redfern, 43 years old, and fellow jumper, Clint Ford, 22, were killed in a plane crash approximately three miles north of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Reportedly, on the fateful afternoon, Redfern and Ford headed out to look for potential BASE sites. They took off without a flight plan. At the time of their departure local temperatures were in the rage of 105 to 108 degrees.
Although an intensive search was conducted immediately by local pilots, the Civil Air Patrol, the Utah Highway Patrol, and ground search crews, the plane was not located until July 23 when the crash site was found in Mineral Canyon, 15 miles southwest of the airport. Apparently, the aircraft suffered a clipped wing from hitting the edge of the canyon wall and then fell to the base of the Windgate formation where it burned beyond recognition. Earl Redfern headed a group of BASE jumpers who had jumped in the same general area of the fatality last December.
For more safety issues see Page 2