An unidentified Mason man died on Sunday morning after failing to open his parachute in time. Reportedly, the 47-year-old sky jumper was participating at a parachuting event held at Ohio’s Middletown Airport.
The jumper died due to the impact of touching the ground after falling from sky, officials said. The incident occurred around half mile from the airport approximately 11 a.m.. He is reported to be a highly experienced professional with about 100 jumps.
Owner of skydiving firm Start Skydiving John Hart said it is very unfortunate. He said despite the diver being highly experienced, “ultimately some mistakes were made”, that led to the mishap, adding probably he forgot to open at the right time, leading to the tragedy.
The parachutist has had a record of more than 95 jumps under his belt but forgot to release his parachute at the mandatory 3,500 ft limit, added Hart.
‘This wasn’t because of a problem. Maybe he lost altitude awareness. He did use his reserve chute but it deployed too late,” Hart was quoted as saying to Journal-News.
“It’s unfortunate but is was completely avoidable. This was not a reflection of a safety problem but a reflection on not making good decisions,” said Hart.
The Federal Aviation Association have started an investigating on the incident. Aviation officials are currently probing reasons behind the death, like the parachute’s packing, the pilot’s training details and aircraft’s certification etc, the officials said.
About 24 lives were lost due to sky jumping in 2013, according to figures of US Parachute Association, it suggests a fatality rate of only 8 out of 1 million jumps. Fatality has decreased about 25 % between 2000 and 2013, added the report, saying that sky jumping is relatively becomes less dangerous over the years.
The corresponding annual figures were 26 during the 2000s and a high casualty of 42, in 1970’s , which got reduced to 22 since 2010, added the report.