Skydiver falls to his death

2010-07-17 00:00

THERE will be a dark cloud hanging over the Durban Airshow taking place today following the death yesterday of Warrant Officer Brian Slade, who was a member of the South African AirForce parachuting team.

Slade, who was believed to be in his fifties and was from Pretoria, died during a practice session for the airshow when his parachute failed to open and he plunged to his death, according to the spokesperson for the Durban Airshow, Ray de Vries.

He said, “I can confirm that a military man hit the ground when his parachute did not open. It happened during an exercise for the airshow.”

De Vries said the incident happened after 11 am and that Slade landed on the Durban Country Club golf course.

An official of the Durban Country Club golf course declined to comment on the matter when approached by Weekend Witness.

A spokesperson for the SA National Defence Force, Siphiwe Dlamini, confirmed that Warrant Officer Brian Slade was a member of the force.

“The minister has been informed of the incident and all protocol will be observed by the members of the defence force.”

Dlamini added, “We will await the outcome of the investigation of what was the cause of the tragedy.”

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