Authorities were investigating the death of a skydiver who died after a jump in Perris – the sixth skydiving fatality at the popular Southern California locale in the past 15 months.
Firefighters were called to Perris Valley Skydiving Tuesday afternoon and unsuccessfully performed CPR on the man, the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper reported.
The facility’s manager, Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, told the newspaper that the man was a resident of Canada who has 2,000 jumps to his credit but rarely, if ever, jumped in Perris.
The man worked as a skydiving instructor at Skydive Hollister on California’s Central Coast, Brodsky-Chenfeld said. His name was not released.
Fontana resident Jack Nix told the newspaper he witnessed the accident. Nix said he was watching jumpers come in when he saw the man disappear behind a plane on the ground and hit in a cloud of dust.
The parachute was open and the skydiver was circling as he approached the ground, Nix said. But when he did not pull up or turn his body upright from parallel to the ground, Nix said he knew the skydiver was in trouble.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian McGregor said the air safety regulator only investigates such deaths to determine whether the parachute was packed properly by a certified packer.
Perris is regarded as one of the world’s foremost facilities and has more than 140,000 jumps per year, Brodsky-Chenfeld said, which is about 5 percent of the 3 million jumps nationally in the United States.
It has been particularly difficult year at the facility with five deaths in 2011. There have been 14 deaths at the Perris Valley Airport since 2000.
Jumpers continued to skydive Tuesday following the accident.
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