[cifnmedia] Plane Crash in Taylorville Illinois

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 05:29:26 -0700 (PDT)

Parachutist dies in plane crash near Taylorville

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TAYLORVILLE - A parachutist was killed Sunday afternoon when his parachute apparently deployed early, sending a single engine plane spiraling into a field near Taylorville from a height of 10,000 feet.

Five other people on board, including the pilot, managed to parachute to the ground safely from the twisting, plunging aircraft. Taylorville Fire Department says the pilot was injured, but not severely, in the tragedy that happened around 2:30 p.m.

Taylorville police said the 1967 Cessna 206 plane was being used by members of the Mid-America Sport Parachute Club, based at Taylorville Airport. In a statement, city Police Chief Gregory Brotherton said the plane experienced "mechanical problems" and "one of the jumpers was unable to clear the plane prior to its crash" and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

It was understood the dead man was from Springfield, but his identity had not been released Sunday evening. No member of Mid-America was available to comment.

Taylorville Fire Department Captain Mike Crews said he heard the problem on the plane started with a premature deployment of a parachute. "The chute was apparently wrapped around part of the aircraft flight controls, causing the pilot to lose control of the plane and the plane to go into a nosedive," said Crews.

"Everyone, with the exception of the person who was tangled, was able to jump free."

The plane crashed in a bean field just east of the airport. No one was injured on the ground and no other damage was caused as a result of the impact, said Crews. He said the plane did not burn, and his crews were there promptly - arriving as the parachutists were still landing.

"They were pretty shaken up," added Crews.

Sid Rotz, a retired Decatur sports announcer, is familiar with Mid-America and trusts them totally. He let the club take him up for a first-time parachute jump from a height of 12,000 feet in August to celebrate his 85th birthday. "Their equipment is licensed and inspected by the government and their instructors are very experienced," said Rotz.

"They've all had hundreds of jumps, and I mean that, hundreds. My jump with them was such a great thrill and I would jump again with them in a minute."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating Sunday's accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Lead writer Tony Reid can be reached at treid@;herald-review.com or 421-7977.

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network


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