Skydiver's death to be investigated

2012-04-29 14:12

Johannesburg - A man died in a parachuting accident at a skydiving club in Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, the Parachute Association of SA said on Sunday.

Roelof Hattingh, 39, did a solo skydive on Saturday afternoon and came down two kilometres from the landing area, Pasa's national safety and training officer Mark Bellingan said in a statement.

"He was observed under parachute flying over and away from the landing area in a downwind direction. No attempt to change the direction of the flight path was observed," said Bellingan.

Hattingh's parachute had opened and was fully functional. When Hattingh was found on the scene he had no vital signs. He sustained injuries during his landing, but the exact cause of death was not known yet.

  • bernpm - 2012-04-29 14:51

    in flight heart attack????

      Alfred - 2012-04-29 17:09

      Thought the same thing. Obviously it's just speculation but assuming Mr Hattingh was experienced a fully deployed chute flying downwind and away from the landing area may suggest that he wasn't conscious when it deployed. Really sad but I guess there are a few adrenalin junkies who might say that it's the best way to go.

      bernpm - 2012-04-29 21:51

      Have some para's in my family. Did my first tandem jump two years ago at age 72. Scary at first but fun later and proud to have done it. The guys I have seen at work are meticulous in folding their own chutes. Sad event.

      Johann - 2012-04-30 09:31

      If it was indeed a heart attack, this news reel headline is grossly undermining faith in the safety of the sport. The sensationalism is unneeded and unasked for. Shoddy reporting at it's best. Then also... if you have to have a heart attack and it is your time to go, I can think of no better place than under canopy, said with utmost respect.

      Johann - 2012-04-30 09:40

      @Alfred - My 1st question after reading the shoddy journalism piece was, was he under a reserve or main? "Hattingh's parachute had opened and was fully functional."... does not give enough details. Did he deploy his main? Or did the Cypres kick his reserve out?

  • Ivan - 2012-04-29 16:14

    Why is it that one hears of so many accidents at that parachuting venue?

      Morne - 2012-04-29 18:51

      I think you are hearing more than what there is. Blue skies Roelof

      bernpm - 2012-04-29 21:52

      ...cause car accidents have become so boring :-)

      1amAlan - 2012-04-30 17:06

      You hear much more than I do and I've been doing this for 4 years.

  • Johann - 2012-04-29 20:04

    Blue Skies mate.

  • Richard - 2012-04-30 08:41

    I hate parachutes. Many years ago I was a prosecutor and was responsible for prosecuting an instructor who forgot to clip his student onto the static line and off course she went straight down.

      Johann - 2012-04-30 09:27

      "Many years ago" is the key here. I am willing to bet it was more than 20 odd years ago when the sport was nigh on just about unregulated. The chances of that happening today is minuscule to the point of almost touching impossible.

      1amAlan - 2012-04-30 17:05

      Difference between static line a freefall. Try it, you may actually enjoy it.

  • Gareth - 2012-04-30 12:30

    Blue Skies Roelof Hattingh

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