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USGrand Canyon skydiver dies in tandem jump. FAA investigates

12:47  11 september  2019
12:47  11 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The FAA is investigating a tandem skydiving jump near the Grand Canyon on Sunday in which one person died and a second jumper suffered a broken PHOENIX – A tourist from the United Kingdom was killed in a tandem skydiving jump near the Grand Canyon and the skydiver he jumped with

A BRITISH skydiver died in a horror plunge at the Grand Canyon national park in the US on Christopher Swales, 55, died in a horror skydiving accident after taking off from Grand Canyon Swales had purchased a package that included a tandem jump from Paragon Skydive, investigators

PHOENIX – A tourist from the United Kingdom was killed in a tandem skydiving jump near the Grand Canyon and the skydiver he jumped with seriously injured, authorities say.

Grand Canyon skydiver dies in tandem jump. FAA investigates© Bob Wick/BLM View of Grand Canyon-Parashant, Ariz. on April 9, 2014.

The pair had jumped while attached after taking off Sunday from Grand Canyon National Park Airport. The accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The man who died was identified as Christopher Swales, 55, from the United Kingdom, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said.

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' Tandem skydiving ' or ' tandem parachuting' refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing.

“The FAA ’s skydiving accident investigations typically look at whether the parachutes were properly packed by the appropriate people and, when it occurs during a tandem jump , whether the instructor had the required British Tourist, 55, Dies in Arizona Skydiving Crash Near the Grand Canyon .

Swales had purchased a skydiving package from Paragon Skydive, a company at the airport. The injured man was a skydiver who was jumping tandem with the man who died.

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According to Coconino County officials, the skydive was going as planned until the pair approached the landing area.

Difficulties caused the pair to free-fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in a "hard landing,'' the Sheriff's Office said.

The tourist was unconscious when paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at Flagstaff Medical Center, despite life-saving efforts at he scene, officials said. The Paragon employee suffered a broken leg

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His skydiving partner, who worked at a skydiving centre, survived the fall but suffered a broken leg and was taken to hospital for treatment. Coconino County Sheriff's Office, who named Mr Swales as the victim on Tuesday, said the skydivers had "encountered difficulties while approaching the landing

A man from the United Kingdom has died in a skydiving crash at a small Arizona airport near Grand Canyon National Park. Sheriff's officials said they got a call about two men injured after skydiving in tandem . The other man suffered a broken leg.

Ian Gregor, a spokesperson for the FAA, offered no additional details about the incident Tuesday.

"The FAA's skydiving accident investigations typically look at whether the parachutes were properly packed by the appropriate people and, when it occurs during a tandem jump, whether the instructor had the required experience and credentials," Gregor stated in an email.

The Grand Canyon National Park Airport is located in Tusayan, Arizona, approximately 15 minutes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Private and charter aircraft fly into the airport daily and a few air tour operators are based at the airport, including the area's only skydiving operation, Paragon Skydive. The company opened its doors in 2016.

The company did not respond to requests for comment Monday and Tuesday.

Follow Chelsea Curtis on Twitter: @curtis_chels

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Grand Canyon skydiver dies in tandem jump. FAA investigates

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