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Entries in Skydiving (12)

Friday
Oct142011

Did Sex Stunt Distract Pilot? FAA Investigating

Hemera/Thinkstock(BAKERSFIELD, Calif.) -- Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating a videotaped, mid-air sex stunt performed by two skydivers in California.

Skydiving instructor Alex Torres got himself fired from Bakersfield-based Skydive Taft, after his boss David Chrouch heard about the midair coupling with his receptionist Hope Howell.

Torres and Howell are seen on the video having sex in a plane before jumping out of the aircraft in a tandem diving rig and continuing the act in the air. Video of the stunt -- set to Katy Perry's sexually-charged "E.T." -- was posted to Torres' blog, but taken down Monday.

The FAA is concerned that the pre-jump sex may have created an unsafe situation. FAA spokesman Ian McGregor says that they are investigating “whether the activity could have distracted the pilot or resulted in the pilot being jostled and bumped.”

McGregor wouldn’t speculate on the case, but no charges have been filed.

“Every case is different and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any possible outcome in this situation,” he said. Howell might be allowed to keep her job, Chrouch tells WGET-TV.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct102011

Skydiving Celebration Turns Into Horror for Woman, 75

Ablestock/Thinkstock(MESQUITE, Nev.) -- A veteran skydiving instructor and his 75-year-old student, who was jumping for her first time, plunged to their deaths in Mesquite, Nev., on Sunday.

Instructor James Fonnesbeck was pronounced dead at the scene, while Claudette Porter, 75, was taken to Mesa View Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Brad Jessey, the owner of Skydive Mesquite, where the pair was jumping, told ABC News that Fonnesbeck was a seasoned professional who had completed 11,000 jumps and had appeared as a skydiving Elvis Presley in the 1992 movie Honeymoon in Vegas.

Jessey, who watched Fonnesbeck and Porter make the jump, said he could tell something was wrong immediately. “I called 911 right away,” he said. “He was a really, really good skydiver. I don’t understand what happened.”

Other witnesses at the scene said it appeared the duo had suffered an equipment malfunction, Mesquite Police said.

According to the United States Parachute Association, there has been one fatality for every 141,509 skydives over the past five years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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