Skydiving Training Accident Leads to Death for Air Force Servicewoman

A servicewoman has died during a parachute jump at a Royal Air Force (RAF) site in Britain, according to reports.

Per the BBC, the servicewoman died after being involved in a free-fall parachute jump on Friday at RAF Weston-on-the-Green, in Oxfordshire.

An air force spokesman told The Oxford Mail: “We can confirm that a service person has died at RAF Weston-on-the-Green. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues at this time.

“The incident is being investigated and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

It is unclear whether the servicewoman died due to a malfunction or for any other reason and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) did not provide information about the cause of death.

No further details about the servicewoman, including her age, have been released by the MoD.

The British Parachuting Association is understood to be carrying out an investigation into the death, according to The Daily Mail.

In its report, The Daily Mail cites unconfirmed reports the servicewoman was in her early 30s and had jumped alongside tandem jumpers—where a novice is connected to an instructor via a harness.

Newsweek has contacted officials at RAF Weston-on-the-Green and the British Parachuting Association for comment.

RAF Weston-on-the-Green is used as a drop zone for freefall parachute training for members of the U.K. military.

Pilots also make use of the site in order to practice low flying, which is essential for personnel on demanding operations.

It is one of the few remaining bases in the U.K. that still has original buildings that existed before the formation of the RAF.

Fatalities and accidents at parachute jump sites are extremely rare in the U.K., with the British Skydiving Association said the “all-time tandem fatality rate since 1990 is about 0.12 per 100,000 jumps (one in 800,000).”

It added for novices the fatality rate “may be about three-four per 100,000 jumps (one in 28,000).

When incidents involving cases of near-death and injury do occur in the U.K., they are widely covered by media outlets.

In April 2015, an investigation was launched after Victoria Cilliers survived a near-fatal 4,000-foot jump from an airplane above Wiltshire.

The British Parachuting Association investigated the incident and found the experienced parachutist’s equipment had been sabotaged.

A later police investigation pointed to her husband Emile Cilliers as being the suspect behind the sabotage.

In 2018, a jury found British Army Sergeant Cilliers guilty of the attempted murder of his wife by tampering with her parachute.

He was later sentenced to serve at least 18 years behind bars.

Original Article: Air Force Servicewoman Dies After Skydiving Training Accident (msn.com)

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