Skydiving Safety

Fatal Skydive in Sydney Leaves Many Unanswered Questions

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Last Saturday, Adrian Lloyd, 60, and Mario Low Ke Wei, 29, died in a skydiving accident during a tandem jump near Wilton, southwest of Sydney, Australia.

The police are currently assessing video footage of the jump to determine what could have gone wrong.

Lloyd was Low’s skydiving instructor. They took off from the Sydney Skydivers center, where they intended to land, though they ended up crashing into a lot half a mile away.

According to the company website, “Sydney Skydivers is the largest learn to skydive full service skydive training center in the southern hemisphere. We run the standard 9 stage AFF learn to skydive course and international A license courses starting every week. The first three jumps, stages 1-3, are with two instructors.”

Sydney Skydivers Operations Manager Russell Brown said the accident was a first for a student tandem skydive. The company has been in business for 40 years.

“Our safety standards and operational procedures are to the highest standards for all skydives,” he said. ‘But particularly with tandem jumps, there is a very high level of safety from gear and equipment checks, staff licensing and training, as well as operational procedures.’

Authorities believe the jump met standard regulations and was “not especially challenging.”

“So far we have not seen any reason to think that there is anything untoward or any regulations broken,” said Brad Turner, an Australian Parachute Federation spokesperson.

The police are working with the skydiving company, as well as safety officers from the parachute federation to clarify the causes of the fatal mishap.

“We are a lot closer (to determining the causes of the accident). At the moment, we’re trying to get as many witness statements as we can; we’re reviewing footage and investigating the equipment over the coming days,” Turner said. “We’re looking into all possibilities, whether it’s equipment failure or perhaps human error.”

Low’s sister, Angeline, has been devastated by her brother’s untimely death and the family is desperately looking for answers.

“Always thought tandem jump is safe. We need a closure to this,” she said. “What happened?”

Low, who was from Singapore, was an avid deep-sea fisherman and had moved to Sydney in June to begin a new work assignment.

Lloyd had roughly 10,000 skydives under his belt, as well as 30 years of experience. The jump was not a challenge for the veteran skydiver.

“Our sympathies go out to the families and friends of both men as well as those in our skydiving community,” Sydney Skydivers said. “We are doing our best to ensure any support is provided to our staff, skydivers and those involved at the scene itself.”

All skydives were cancelled last Sunday in honor of the two men.

Catalina Granados, a Colombian tourist, had booked a jump for the same day.

”They didn’t tell us when it happened, they made us wait around three hours and they told us what happened when we were back in Sydney,” Granados said. “After we changed our clothes, all the instructors were called to go somewhere else, but we didn’t know anything.”

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