Marc Nadeau of the Keystone Skydive Center in Pennsylvania described the weather this past weekend as beautiful and well within the wind limits appropriate for skydiving. Still, the winds took a freakish turn when a woman, who was skydiving for the first time with an instructor, was only about 30 feet from the ground.
Instead of continuing to glide down, the wind changed and eventually debilitated their parachute from functioning properly. They were sent plummeting into the ground near Perkiomen Valley Airport in Collegeville.
The local ABC affiliate reports the woman, whose family asked she not be named, and the instructor with whom she was skydiving in tandem have serious injuries but are still expected to make a full recovery. According to reports, as they were descending, they were stopped by a strong updraft that shot them back up in the air where another wind twisted the parachute. Here's more from Nadeau about what happened:
"Then, all of a sudden, the updraft stopped and the wind came from the side. It folded the parachute underneath and put the parachute into a spin. We landed hard on our side into the grass and were dragged into the runway. At that time the instructor was able to jettison, cut away, the main parachute to keep themselves from being dragged any further," said Nadeau.
"I've never seen anything like that before, since I started jumping in 1973," he said. "My wife, she's been jumping since 1989, she's never seen it."
Like many who go skydiving for the first time, the woman opted to have video footage recorded. Instead of showing her adventuresome descent it shows a frightening display of what happened while she was in the air. Check it out in this ABC report:
The instructor, Chad Galbraith, injured his lower back and has already undergone two surgeries. The woman cracked some of her ribs and collapsed a lung.
[H/T Huffington Post]