Tue, May 02, 2006
Cuts Through Parachute Rigging
An unidentified British
man who deliberately cut through the rigging of his parachute and
fell to his death on his first skydiving jump this weekend. reports
indicate that he gave no sign that he was distressed enough to
commit suicide, according to his instructors.
The 27-year-old man was behaving normally right up to the moment
he leapt from the GAF Nomad aircraft (file photo of type, below)
Saturday afternoon over Norfolk, England.
According to witnesses, the man's static-lined parachute
deployed... but onlookers in the plane and on the ground could only
watch in horror as the man then removed his helmet -- equipped with
a built-in radio -- and began to cut at the parachute cords with
"If we had been unhappy with his mental state we would not have
allowed him to go up," UK Parachuting chief instructor Jason
Thompson told the Daily Mirror. "It appears to have been suicide --
he must have planned to kill himself in this way."
Thompson said the man paid for an introductory course at the
school, located at an ex-WWII airfield at Old Buckenham, on April
15. Weather precluded a jump on that day -- but the man returned to
the school Saturday for his first... and last... jump.
"People on the ground were aware of the situation as he was
doing it -- but there was nothing they could do," Thompson
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