Skydiver Killed in Accident While Filming for Pepperell, Mass. Company - NECN
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Skydiver Killed in Accident While Filming for Pepperell, Mass. Company

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Skydiver Killed in Accident While Filming Jump for Company

    A 60-year-old man was killed Saturday in a skydiving accident in Pepperell, Massachusetts. At the time of the accident, the skydiver was taking video of a student and instructor in the air after they jumped from about 10,000 feet. Investigators believe something went wrong with the man's parachute.

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017)

    A skydiver was killed in an accident in Pepperell, Massachusetts around 3 p.m. on Saturday.

    The jump began like any other from a Twin Otter plane at the Pepperell Airport, but then investigators believe something went wrong with the 60-year-old's parachute.

    "We have a main parachute and we have a reserve parachute," said David Goldstein, lead instructor at Skydive Pepperell. "And we all train in how to deploy a reserve if something happens to the main.” 

    Skydive Pepperell, which operates the skydiving jumps, says the main parachute landed in a neighborhood nearby. The skydiver hit the ground on airport property, which tells experts that something went wrong with the first parachute, he disconnected from it, and was trying to use the reserve.

    “Bad things happen and we do our best to prepare for emergency procedures and train often," said Stephen Hoff, an experienced skydiver who came to Pepperell to skydive Saturday only to be greeted by the tragic news.

    "He was liked in this community," said Hoff, who knew the victim. "Just a fantastic person."

    Saturday was the last day of the skydiving season at Pepperell Airport.

    If a parachute does not fully function, a skydiver could hit the ground at up to 120 miles an hour.

    Skydive Pepperell says the skydiver killed Saturday, whose identity has not been released, was highly experienced and worked as an independent contractor filming jumps with the skydiving company.

    At the time of the accident, the man was taking video as instructors and students jumped from about 10,000 feet.

    “He was working with the tandem students as a videographer," Goldstein said. "He was taking video of the students.”

    The incident is under investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, the Pepperell Police department, Massachusetts State Police, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Foul play is not suspected at this point, according to the Middlesex DA.

    The last time a fatal accident took place at Skydive Pepperell was in 2014.