Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skydiving tragedy in Spain

I was saddened to read of the crash of a Pilatus PC-6 aircraft in Spain yesterday, killing the pilot and a skydiver. A further nine skydivers managed to jump to safety as the plane went down.

Nine skydivers leapt to safety from a stricken aircraft above central Spain before it plummeted to earth with the loss of two lives, Spanish media say.

The pilot and another skydiver were killed when the plane, which had taken off from Lillo in the province of Toledo, came down after losing a wing.

Four of the parachutists were injured, two of them seriously.

It was not immediately known why the wing came off. The skydivers were said to include several non-Spaniards.

The plane crashed shortly before 1600 (1400 GMT) on Friday, about 3km ( two miles) outside Lillo airfield, the Spanish news agency Efe reports.

The injured skydivers, all four of them Spanish, were taken to La Mancha Centro hospital in Alcazar de San Juan, it says.

One man, 23, suffered a back injury and another, 52, is being treated for a neck injury.

The other two had light injuries while the other five jumpers were unhurt.

The plane, a Pilatus PC-6 used for skydiving practice, burst into flames on impact.

According to El Mundo newspaper, it appears the skydiver who died had been sitting in the co-pilot's seat, and had been unable to jump.

The skydivers were apparently filming an advertisement for Channel Four, a British television station at the time. I'm sure they were following on the latest Honda advertisement aired in that country, showing skydivers forming the letters of the car-maker's name. The skydivers and aircraft were probably the same as those used for that previous effort. It was shown 'live' (i.e. as it happened, not pre-recorded) on Channel Four on the previous day, May 29th.

May those who died rest in peace. It's sad that advertising can lead to such tragedies.


1 comment:

KD5NRH said...

I've often wondered if the reason pilots wear parachutes when carrying skydivers is not so much that it's any more dangerous than any other flight, but that it would just suck to be the only guy not equipped to step outside if something goes wrong.