Skydiver falls to his death

2011-07-31 14:20

Johannesburg - An "experienced" Johannesburg skydiver fell to his death at the Carletonville Skydiving Club on Sunday morning, the Parachute Association of SA said.

Jarrod Folscher, 27, died at the scene after failed attempts to resuscitate him, the association's national safety and training officer Mark Bellingan said.

He had completed over 350 jumps.

"Folscher, an experienced skydiver and jumpmaster, had despatched a student and then proceeded to exit the aircraft for the purpose of executing a high-speed swoop landing.

"He qualified as a jumpmaster in August 2009. A jumpmaster briefs students and despatches them from a plane.

"From initial witness accounts, his parachute was fully functional, but his approach turn was initiated too low and instead of swooping he impacted the ground at high speed."

The association would conduct a full investigation.

  • Shaun - 2011-07-31 14:36

    Jarrod. You will be missed buddy. See you on the other side. Blue Skies.

      biskit - 2011-08-01 08:08

      He went out with a Bang! I would prefer to go this way

      PunkBuster - 2011-08-01 09:48

      Atleast it happened while he was doing something he loved to do. RIP bud...

  • Anastasia - 2011-07-31 14:43

    Carltonville seems to be jinxed. Murdoch, Eric (Tonto), and one or two others. Now Jarrod. Wierd.

  • e - 2011-07-31 15:01

    very very sad!

  • BOFFINBOB - 2011-07-31 15:45

    Dangerous sport. He wont be the last unfortunately.

      FFS - 2011-07-31 16:53

      Clearly anything but a boffin. Getting up in the morning is dangerous. He will not be the last. You are correct on that count. Skydiving has inherent risk that, if managed properly, yields a safe outcome. Skydiving injuries and deaths are mostly the result of human error, in particular, mostly misjudgment. None of us are immune to that, regardless of what we are doing. RIP.

  • Rinnewien - 2011-07-31 16:46

    very sad

  • Rinnewien - 2011-07-31 16:48

    So sad! Such a young life!

  • GhengisKhan - 2011-07-31 17:50

    Thou shall not hookturn.................

  • Antonio da Cruz - 2011-07-31 18:11

    It ain't called an extreme sport for nothing. He died doing what he enjoyed, how many of us are gonna be able to do that.

      LeDuke - 2011-07-31 18:26

      absolutely, a sport thats puts a smile on your face for a month but sadly misjudgement by even experienced duvies is common saw an old timer break both his knees in a swoop landing just the other day i have 49 jumps under the belt an luckely only had to do a cut away once still too scared to try a swoop near the ground.

  • dragon - 2011-07-31 19:36

    RIP Jarrod

  • Alexia - 2011-07-31 19:43

    So sad...feel so sorry for his loved ones

  • Heks - 2011-07-31 19:46

    NEVER over estimate anything life especially sky diving

  • Sean - 2011-07-31 20:10

    I recall that Eric 'Tonto' Shephanson died doing the same stunt

  • THX1148 - 2011-07-31 20:14

    so he didn't "faal to his death". He misjudged his approach and hit the ground with his parachute open and working.

  • InDogWeThrus - 2011-07-31 20:28

    lets all stay on the same page here... U jump out of an aeroplane at whatever feet/metres, then you mourn when someones dies? Sorry, but i just don't get it.

      Grant - 2011-07-31 20:57

      And I suppose you get your life satisfaction by shopping for shoes! Life is to be lived, not simply existed.

      Pickle - 2011-07-31 21:04

      The interent has turned you into a cold hearted human being. Yes it's dangerous but a loss of life is sad non the less. show some respect for the dead and the heartbroken family that is left behind.

      Goose - 2011-07-31 21:55

      @InDogWeThrus, No you don't get it. I'll try to explain it so its easier to understand. Yes, skydiving and all other extreme sports are dangerous, but we don't do these things with the intention of dying or getting hurt. Obviously, every time we jump we understand and accept the risks and the consequences of failure. Skydiving is a highly regulated sport, and all participants train hard not only to perform more competently and safely, but also to develop their skills in their chosen disciplines, such as canopy piloting, which is what this particular skydiver was practicing when he unfortunately made an error of judgement that cost him his life. It is always sad to see any athlete fall prey to fatal error while training, regardless of how dangerous the sport may be. We don't do this with the intention of dying. We do it in fact, to feel more alive. Those who shelter them selves from risk, will never truly understand what it means to be alive. Keep in mind, according to statistics, you are more likely to be killed driving your vehicle than skydiving. Does this mean that we should not mourn when some one is killed on the road simply because it was their choice to operate a dangerous machine on dangerous roads? So yes, we choose to jump out of airplanes, ...and we mourn those who lose their lives doing it. We do this to celebrate life.

      Goose - 2011-07-31 21:57

      @InDogWeThrus, If you don't get it yet, then may I challenge you to take the AFF first jump course. Not a tandem, but AFF level 1. You won't understand if you do a tandem. You need to feel what its like to save your self by your own will through training and competence. I promise that if you do this, you will appreciate life to a degree that you have never experienced before. You will understand why we jump out of airplanes, and you will understand why it is so sad on the very rare occasion when one of us does not survive. After you have tasted the sky at 200km/h, you will 'truly' understand the value of being alive. Just a thought!

      Grazy - 2011-07-31 22:33

      Goose First, condolances to all you guys who know the man and specialy to his family. I'm not a skydiver but would love it if I had the chance to do it. He put nobodys life in dannger but his own by practising the sport. He did not die by the bullet, blade or club of a criminal. He died under his own responsability and his alone. He died a good death.

      kidblack - 2011-07-31 23:15

      @goose : you inspire me.

      NZdreamer - 2011-08-01 03:32

      @INDOGWETHRUS.....Yes, just like we cross the road, board a plane, take a bus etc..... there is more chance of an accident happening regarding one of the above - NOW, DO YOU GET IT??? Too radical for words..... RIP Jarrod. Condolences to his family

  • kevin - 2011-07-31 20:55

    BSBD my buddy. Sorry but 350 jumps ia way too little experience for the manouver that was being attempted.

  • Pickle - 2011-07-31 21:01

    R.I.P Bro

  • Ruan - 2011-07-31 22:08

    Very sad news.. RIP Jarrod. May we rip holes in the sky together in the next life.

  • Mybra - 2011-07-31 22:35

    Those who've never jumped will never understand.

  • FFS - 2011-08-01 01:24

    It is probably pertinent for the public to know that 350 jumps is still considered pretty inexperienced in skydiving. Although he was a jump master, with only 350 jumps, he may have been pushing the envelope just a little too much trying to swoop. It Lso depends on what canopy (parachute) he was using. Some junior jumpers get away with jumping canopies that are simply too much for them to handle with their inexperience. I do not know Jarrod or what canopy he was jumping. I am not implying any of this was the case in his unfortunate death. Finally, although he was still relatively inexperienced, jump numbers alone are no guarantee of a successful outcome each time either. Skydiving is a fantastic sport, and safe enough that I have no problem encouraging others to participate. It can however be terribly unforgiving of error.

  • Jedi Leader - 2011-08-01 07:14

    If at first you don't succeed, then sky diving is not for you.

  • Marcia - 2011-08-01 07:38

    Such a terrible accident. My prayers are with his family and friends.

  • Sandy - 2011-08-01 07:55

    Was supposed to do my first tandem jump at the same place in 2 weeks time...

      Sasap - 2011-08-01 08:02

      I did a tandem there about 2 weeks ago and it was awesome. Something you have to do... dont let this put you off... yes its sad.. but will you never drive a car again because there was an accident on the highway? Live life to the max! And enjoy the tandem!

      stargazeraisling - 2011-08-01 09:26

      go for it Sandy ! It is the most awesome thing ever - and yes there are there are everyday..driving your think about it ! you will NOT regret it! I have done 14 solo jumps( i am still a student) and i love it more and more each time

      Sandy - 2011-08-01 13:43

      yeah - I still plan on doing it. Just hope my friends don't chicken out as I'm sure it'll be a great experience.

  • greg - 2011-08-01 08:14


  • Gazza - 2011-08-01 11:33

    Swooping should be banned.....Tonto Stephenson lost his life in the same manner, same place 4 years back......350 jumps is still pretty should not make high speed turns below 500ft period. What size canopy was he flying?

  • Blaster - 2011-08-06 17:21

    Always sad to hear when one of your Sky-Diving Buddies dies...however, we are always out there doing what we all love best .... He's was high speed hook turns and sometimes it just don't work out perfect .... some times you do it perfect....or once in a while you hurt yourself....but at some time you will take your altitude in vain & the earth shall arise and smite THEE....then it just depends on the speed...because it's the speed that kills've just joined that big formation in the sky ...Blue Skies Jarrod .... Old Sky-Diver at CPC ...Blaster D 217

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