Tragic: Texas Skydive Instructor Dies After Parachute Fails to Open
A Texas skydive instructor has died following a parachute failure during a tandem jump on Saturday, February 19th.
The skydiving instructor, who worked for Skydive Houston, was doing a tandem jump when the parachute failure happened. Witnesses told KPRC that "He let off his primary and then the secondary shoot like opened halfway up, so he didn't fall like a straight fall, he was like 50 percent shoot, like a corkscrew"
The accident happened in Waller County. Both the instructor and tandem student were airlifted to the hospital, where the instructor would later die for his injuries, The student survived, but has serious, non-life threating injuries.
The Federal Aviation Administration and local officials have launched an investigation into the accident. Skydive Houston did release a statement:
"Skydive Houston, along with the greater skydiving community at large, is deeply saddened by the loss of our tandem instructor and friend. Our sincerest condolences are extended to his friends and family. We continue to pray for a full recovery for the injured tandem student."
Skydive Houston has suspended operations pending results from the investigation.
Is Skydiving Safe?
The short answer is yes, but accidents do happen. FOX NEWS reports that, according to The United States Parachute Association (USPA), the skydiving fatality rate is 0.39 fatalities per 100,000 jumps. They state, "Tandem skydiving—where you’re attached to an experienced skydiving instructor for your jump—has an even better safety rate, with one student fatality per 500,000 jumps on average over the past 10 years."
Fox News posted this video with their report:
The USPA also noted that the majority of deaths "occur because the jumper—oftentimes an experienced skydiver who is pushing the limits— makes an error in judgment while landing a perfectly functioning parachute."
Skydiving does come with a risk. While certainly a tragedy, accidents can happen to even the most experienced of instructors.