Andrew J. Campa
Los Angeles Times
A skydiver plummeted in Oceanside, Calif., on Friday afternoon after his parachute malfunctioned, caroming off the roof of a house before hitting the ground — and he still survived the fall, authorities said.
The unidentified man is believed to be in his 30s or 40s, according to the Oceanside Fire Department, which responded to a distress call shortly after 5 p.m. near Oceanside Municipal Airport.
Firefighters found the man lying on the ground between two homes in a residential area.
They treated him before he was loaded into a Carlsbad Fire Department ambulance and transported to the airport. He was then airlifted to a hospital.
According to Oceanside fire officials, the skydiver was recovering from serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The man was part of a group being escorted by trained staff from GoJump in Oceanside, a skydiving company that says it has completed nearly 150,000 skydives.
The hospitalized skydiver first encountered problems when his parachute only partially opened, said Oceanside Fire Battalion Chief Blake Dorse.
“The other skydivers who jumped with him witnessed the event,” Dorse said, “and saw that his chute did not properly open.”
The parachute did prevent a free fall, according to officials. The landing, however, was accelerated and uncontrolled.
As he fell, the man smacked into the roof of a two-story home before landing in an open space.
Dorse said that although it wasn’t uncommon for skydivers to miss their landing spots and descend into residential areas, Friday’s event was rare.
“This is the first time that I know that we’ve had a non-opening chute,” said Dorse, a 17-year-veteran, who noted the airport was a hot spot for skydiving.
GoJump has had at least two more incidents in Oceanside in less than a year that have resulted in serious injury.
According to the Coast News Group, a GoJump plane crash in June resulted in the death of a pilot in training and a serious injury to a seasoned flier. Two others were injured in a crash in February of last year.
GoJump did not respond to a call for comment.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
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