Goulburn skydiving accident: Sudden gust of wind kills instructor, critically injures teenager

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Skydivers fall towards America's Cup port before the Louis Vuitton Cup winners ceremony in Valencia, June 6, 2007. Team New Zealand completed a 5-0 whitewash of Italian syndicate Luna Rossa on Wednesday to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and earn the right to challenge Swiss defenders Alinghi for the 32nd America's Cup. Reuters/Victor Fraile

A sudden gust of wind during skydiving resulted in the death of a man and left a teenager seriously injured at the Goulburn airport on Saturday afternoon. According to the NSW Police the man, who was believed to an instructor, died on spot and the teenager had to be rushed to the Royal Randwick Hospital in a serious condition. The man has not yet been identified formally.

The 14-year-old was believed to be on his first skydiving experience when a sudden blow of wind hit them at about 20 metres from the ground and caused them to lose control and drop to the ground. Two other skydivers were also with them but they managed to avoid the accident.

Around 1:50 pm on Saturday, crews were called in. According to a 44-year old Skydiver instructor, who worked with the Adrenalin Skydive in Goulburn for eight years, the man who died the fall was “extremely experienced.”

Adrenaline Skydiving chief instructor Yaakov Bokay witnessed to the incident when the pair descended to the ground.

"It happened about 5 to 10 metres from the ground," Bokay said, according to Sydney Morning Herald. "Everything was perfect and a wind gust, a willy-willy, came up and collapsed the canopy and both dropped to the ground." He added that the man had met the boy the first time that day.

Bokay told the Fairfax Media that the instructors had assessed the weather conditions and the winds several times that day. According to him, the time when the accident took place the wind was blowing at only 12 knots while landing is possible even when the wind is blowing at 25 knots. 

"We have a limit of 25 knots, the jump was between 5-10 knots," he said. Investigations on the incident are still continuing.

 

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