East Bay News

Skydiving company investigated after elderly woman nearly dies

Friday, May 25, 2012

A skydiving outfit in San Joaquin County is getting inundated with calls about a video of a woman who nearly slips out of her parachute harness. The incident happened sometime last year, but has just been posted on the Internet and has quickly going viral.

The clip shows the woman excited about the jump that was part of her 80th birthday celebration, but as her turn arrives, she is reluctant and clearly nervous about the jump. She appears to change her mind, clinging to the door frame, but her tandem partner manages to get the two of them out of the plane.

One chute deploys, but it is clear something is very wrong. You can see the woman slipping through the straps of her harness, barely hanging on as the two of them plummet towards the ground at 125 miles per hour.

Both of them are struggling. The cameraman taking pictures for posterity tries to help. The video shows the two of them landing, shaken up, but OK. This happened at The Parachute Center in Acampo, near Lodi.

ABC7 News spoke to the company about this video. They said, "This incident happened a year ago. No one got hurt. No one got injured. The equipment worked as advertised."

One expert who studied the video says it looks like the woman's harness was not properly adjusted -- something that very rarely happens. In the meantime, an FAA safety inspector visited the parachute center on Friday. An unofficial investigation is underway.

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