Soldier recovering after skydiving accident in Alberta
Published Sunday, August 12, 2012 9:42PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 12, 2012 9:54PM EDT
A British soldier suffered a broken leg and jaw after a crash landing at an Alberta skydiving facility.
Jumping from nearly 4,000 feet on Saturday evening, the soldier picked up speed toward the end of his descent when he was supposed to be slowing down, according to staff at Alberta Skydive Ltd.
“I don’t know what he was thinking,” said owner Ian Flanagan, explaining that all of the soldier’s equipment was working properly.
Flanagan said when the solider was asked to do a single 360-degree turn he did a minimum of four, which caused him to drop faster.
An estimated 600 British soldiers skydive at the facility, located just north of Calgary, each year. Flanagan said skydiving is part of their training.
“The army sees adventure training as an opportunity to help prepare their soldiers for war. They want them to be in an activity that has a real and perceived risk component to it,” he said.
While training at Alberta Skydive Ltd. the soldiers attempt to complete six jumps in five days.
Staff at the skydiving centre said it’s emotionally difficult to witness a crash.
“The staff here have a close relationship with the students that come, and to see one of them hurt is like seeing one of your friends get hurt,” said Flanagan. “It’s very unsettling.”
The soldier is recovering at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.
Flanagan said it’s the second time this year that a student has suffered a broken leg.
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Kevin Fleming