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Vol. 2 - October 1999 / English Edition The Magazine from Skydive World


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Blue skies and safe landings !
Protest Parachute Leap Ends In Death At Yosemite
October 22, 1999

A 60-year-old woman, wife of freefall photographer Tom Sanders, protesting restrictions on dangerous parachute jumping at Yosemite National Park plunged to her death from El Capitan peak Friday when her parachute failed to open, officials said.

Read more at:

Russian Magnate Falls to His Death
October 20, 1999

The chief of one of Russia's most prominent defense plants fell to his death after his parachute failed to open during a recreational jump.     Read more...

BASE Jumper Wants To Jump Again
October 18, 1999 - from ABC Newswire

Nanette Studebaker says she will jump again, even though she broke her back by leaping off the Perrine Bridge near Twin Falls. The 28-year-old BASE jumper is going to remain in a Boise hospital for the rest of this month while undergoing rehabilitation. Studebaker says she'd "be lost" if she had to stop skydiving or BASE jumping. Her small drag chute wrapped around her leg last Monday when she did a back flip off the 485-foot high bridge over the Snake River. Studebaker thinks she was falling at 90-miles an hour when her parachute finally opened just ten-feet above the water. Doctors say she'll make a full recovery.

Floyd County accident leaves skydiver dead
October 4, 1999

A Tennessee man plunged to his death Sunday during a sky diving outing in Rome now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the GBI.

He was part of a three-man group jumping from about 3,500 feet over Richard B. Russell Airport in Rome about 2:20 p.m., said Detective David Stewart of the Floyd County police.     Read more...

Us Paratrooper Killed In Kosovo Exercise
October 1, 1999

VITINA, Serbia (Reuters) - A U.S. paratrooper died Friday after his parachute failed to open in an exercise over Kosovo, a senior U.S. military officer said. The soldier's death overshadowed an operation which aimed to demonstrate the U.S. military's ability to deploy combat troops quickly and efficiently at short notice.     Read more...

It was murder!

The fatal accident of a female skydiver on May 30, 1999 in Münster, Germany, finally has been proven to be murder. A 30 year old skydiver from Düren, Germany was arrested at the end of June as the suspect. The accused perpetrator manupulated the gear of his victim in such a way that any skydive made with this faulty equipment would inevitably result in death.

Evidence indicates that the suspect packed the main canopy in such a way to cause an unavoidable malfunction. He then cut the reserve cable making a manual deployment of the reserve impossible, and also manipulated the pin in such a way that the Cypres could not fire the reserve (see disclaimer from Airtec). Allegedly, this is how the accident happened.

Thanks to the great work and research of a DFV-Investigator, the authorities did not assume just another skydive accident and thus extended their investigations, which in the end, resulted in the arrest of the culprit.

Airtec Press Release
The fatal accident of a skydiver in Münster, Germany

The accident caused some anxiety among skydivers because the media released the news that the "security system (CYPRES) was destroyed" and therefore could not open the reserve. We received numerous inquiries from skydivers who asked how it was possible to destroy a CYPRES without being noticed by the skydiver.

In this case the CYPRES was put out of action in the following way: The reserve container of the Atom gear was opened, the loop was pulled off the cutter and then led BESIDE the cutter through the eye of flap #1. After that, the reserve container was again closed.

If the Cypres had been manipulated in a different way it would have displayed an error message on self test, e.g. error 8997, if the cable which lead to the cutter had been cut. The loop leading through the cutter is one of the few things which Cypres does not recognize on self test.

Such a manipulation is invisible when performed on this gear and Cypres will run the self test without showing an error message. During the fatal skydive, the Cypres did fire the cutter but the container could not be opened because the loop could not be cut.

NTSB Identification: FTW99FA261
Accident occurred SEP-18-99 at BRYAN, TX
Aircraft: Cessna 182A, registration: N4803D
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 18, 1999, at 1859 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A single-engine airplane, N4803D, was destroyed during terrain impact and postimpact fire during takeoff from the Coulter Field Airport near Bryan, Texas. The airplane was registered to SMC Institute A Close Corporation of Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by Ags Over Texas of Bryan, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and four parachutists were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 parachute activity flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Witnesses reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge that the aircraft took off from runway 14. As the aircraft reached approximately 300-400 feet agl, it banked right, then nosed down and descended from view. One of the witnesses reported that it appeared that the aircraft made one complete turn before it descended from his view. Subsequently, black smoke was observed in the area where the airplane descended from view. Examination of the aircraft wreckage revealed that the cockpit and cabin area was destroyed by the postimpact fire. Control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces. The engine was removed and sent to the engine manufacturer's facility in Mobile, Alabama, for a detailed examination.


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