Jonathan Bullar, 24, a Missouri resident, was killed Saturday evening after falling thousands of feet in an Illinois skydiving accident.
Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fatal accident, but at the moment, they believe the death was an accident caused by an apparent parachute malfunction.
The tragedy happened in Vandalia, Illinois. The skydiving company Bullar was using is called Archway Skydiving.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.
A couple years ago, the FAA released a study on the number of skydiving accidents around the country. In the 28 years from 1980 to 2008, there were about 200 deaths associated with a skydiving jump out of approximately 3 million total skydiving trips. Perhaps the most surprising fact revealed in the study was the vast majority of these deaths, 172 to be exact, were caused by airplane accidents on the way to the jump zone and not the actual act of jumping and deploying the parachute. Only 30 deaths resulted from parachute malfunction or skydiver error.
While the risks of jumping out of a plane are obvious, the statistics seem to indicate that it is a relatively safe sport so long as all proper safety procedures are followed, particularly those having to do with with plane maintenance and pilot procedures. Hopefully the cause of this most recent accident can be uncovered so that future fatalities and injuries can be prevented.