A skydiving instructor was killed after his parachute malfunctioned during a jump. According to CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV the instructor was critically injured after his parachute failed to open during a tandem jump with a customer on Saturday. He died one day later.
The instructor’s name has not been released. The accident happened around noon on Saturday in Waller County, northwest of Houston.
The first parachute failed to open, so the diver cut it off, the second parachute opened, but only partially, a nearby witness told KHOU.
A nearby man told KPRC he spotted the pair struggling with their parachutes in the air.
“He let off his primary and then the secondary chute like opened halfway up so he didn’t fall like a straight fall, he was like 50 percent chute, like a corkscrew,” witness Alex Arias recalled.
The instructor’s company said the male instructor and female client were airlifted to a trauma center. On Sunday, the instructor died. The student was reported to have sustained severe but non-life-threatening injuries.
The witness said that one of the skydivers was conscious when they landed, and the other was not. According to reports, the female student was alert and calling for help.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified. The company has stopped jumps while the incident is under investigation.
Skydive Houston said Tandem skydiving accidents are “extremely rare.” According to the United States Parachute Association, the company cited one student fatality per 500,000 jumps in the last ten years.
“Skydive Houston, along with the greater skydiving community at large, is deeply saddened by the loss of our tandem instructor and friend,” the company said in a statement. “Our sincerest condolences are extended to his friends and family. We continue to pray for a full recovery for the injured tandem student.”
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