Tweed skydiver killed

By SAMANTHA HEALY

A 52-YEAR-OLD Murwillumbah man was killed in a skydiving accident at Tyagarah, north of Byron Bay, on Saturday.

The man, whose name had not been released late yesterday, died at Tyagarah airfield about 11.30am on Saturday after jumping solo from an aircraft at 14,000 feet.

A spokeswoman from Byron Bay Skydive said the man was a "very experienced skydiver" and licensed parachutist.

However, she could not reveal any further details about the man's identity because his name is yet to be released by police.

She said the accident was being investigated by the Australian Parachute Federation which has launched an independent inquiry.

Police from the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are also investigating the incident and have sent the man's parachute to Sydney for further testing.

"The man was one of 16 divers participating in a recreational skydive," Tweed Police Inspector Darren Steele said yesterday.

"He exited from the plane at 14,000 feet and his primary parachute failed to open.

"He performed a cutaway (released the failed chute) but his reserve chute failed to deploy.

"He then hit the ground adjacent to the airfield, suffering extensive injuries."

Paramedics were called to the accident scene but the man had been killed on impact.

A number of witnesses to the fatal dive have been spoken to by police and a post-mortem will be conducted in the next few days.



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