Tags: skydiving | teacher | dies

Skydiving Teacher Dies, Student Injured; Equipment Malfunction Blamed

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 06:04 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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An experienced skydiving teacher died Sunday after something went wrong during a tandem jump near Lumberton, Miss.

James “Jimmie” Horak Jr., 56, had made more than 8,000 jumps, his wife, Debbie Horak, told MSN News. He was from Pensacola, Fla.

The student jumping with Horak was injured, and his name has not been released.

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The news site reported that three other skydivers jumped at the same time as Horak and his student, and they apparently told police that something seemed to be wrong with the equipment. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said there appeared to be a problem with lines entangling, but that it was much too early in the investigation to speculate on the cause.

The Federal Aviation Administration will look at whether there was a malfunction with the parachutes and whether they were properly packed, MSN said.

Horak and his student landed in a swamp and were found by the owner of a hunting lease for that area, MSN said. They had to carry Horak and the student out of the swamp. The student was taken to Forrest General Hospital, and the family has not authorized any statements about his condition.

WEAR-TV, a Pensacola television station, talked with other instructors at the EmeraldCoast Skydiving Center where Horak worked.

“He really emphasized the safety side of it,” John Chiasson told the station’s reporter. “He was about the fun side of it, too, but he would definitely make sure that everyone that he touched understood the rules and that they followed them.”

The station ran video of Horak jumping with his daughter on her wedding day. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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Related stories:

Skydiver Falls to Death: World Record-Holder Ken Oka Tangled in Parachute

2 Skydivers Die Together in Florida When Parachutes Fail to Open

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