Parachutist plummets: Emergency chute saves man from certain death

2009-06-17 00:00

A PARACHUTIST had a lucky escape yesterday when his main parachute failed to open, forcing him to rely on his emergency ’chute to land safely.

It is believed the parachutist is a policeman from the SAPS task force who was training at Oribi Airport yesterday morning.

Callers to The Witness repor­ted seeing a parachute drop from the sky and feared that a parachutist had plummeted to his death.

A reader said he was driving along when he saw people stopped at the side of the road, looking up at the sky.

“I looked up and saw the parachutist spinning in a spiral as he was coming down. I realised he wouldn’t recover, so I stopped to see if I could help.”

He said the man seemed fine after he had landed and was talking to people around him.

“He said he was okay and that it was his last day of training.”

The parachutist landed in a yard in Washington Road.

Vernon Kloppers, chief instructor at Skydive Centre, Pietermaritzburg, told The Witness that the man cut away his main parachute when it failed to open. “But he deployed his reserve parachute and landed safely. He did everything properly …” He said the discarded parachute landed in Oribi Village.

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