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56-year-old California man killed in Tennessee skydive

Sept. 23, 2013 at 8:23 PM   |   Comments

MEMPHIS, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A 56-year-old California man died Monday after possibly experiencing trouble with his parachute during a skydive in Tennessee, officials said.

The man was participating in a "Halo jump," or High Altitude, Low Opening, WMC-TV, Memphis, reported.

The Halo Jump group had a skydive from 28,000 feet scheduled between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time, the TV station reported.

The seven jumpers in that flight were listed on the group's calendar as C.J. Swinfield-Wells, Tandem Master, Alek Video, Anthony Ellerd, Randy Matthews, Tim Noggle and Paul Mayza.

The 56-year-old man was reported missing at 11:30 a.m. Kevin Holbrook, owner of Halo Jumper, said the man was qualified and licensed to perform the skydive.

"We understood he was going to do some acrobatics in free fall and that may have disoriented him and so what we are hoping is that he basically got under canopy and flew the wrong direction," Holbrook said, adding jumpers move away from each other during free-fall so no one was able to verify if the man's parachute had opened.

The man's body was found after a 6-hour search.

The sheriff's department said the operation was based out of the West Tennessee Skydiving facility.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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