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Mon, Jun 09, 2003

Skydiving World Mourns Legendary Figure

Roger Nelson Killed in Low-Altitude Canopy Collision

Roger Nelson, owner/operator of the ever-active Skydive Chicago dropzone, in Ottawa, Illinois, died in a skydiving accident Saturday, June 7th.

Nelson, 48, was a world champion skydiver, a Drop Zone owner, instructor and safety advocate. As a commercial/multi rated pilot with over 11,000 hours and a skydiver who logged 9000 jumps, Nelson's accident shocked the skydiving world -- an industry that doesn't shock easily.

Nelson was also the author of a number of highly utilized books on freefall skydiving technique, an organizer of numerous world freefall records and attempts, a national gold medallist and a USPA licensed freefall instructor.

Preliminary reports indicate that Nelson was involved in setting up for a landing, under a functioning canopy when a collision occurred between his canopy and that of a North Dakota jumper, Todd Fey. The 1430 accident occurred at a low altitude (described as 50 feet by most media sources), and resulted in Nelson's death. Nelson was transported to the Community Hospital of Ottawa, and shortly thereafter airlifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, where he was pronounced dead.

Fey (43), of Fargo, ND, suffered serious injuries, though they are termed "survivable" in limited reports received at press time.

**   Report created 6/10/2003   Record 4   **
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 30EA        Make/Model: DHC6      Description: DHC-6 TWIN OTTER (UV-18, CC-13
  Date: 06/07/2003     Time: 0000
  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: None
LOCATION
  City: OTTAWA   State: IL   Country: US
DESCRIPTION
  DURING PARACHUTE JUMPING, ONE JUMPER TOUCHED ANOTHER JUMPER'S PARACHUTE, RESULTING IN THE DEFLATION OF FIRST CHUTE, ONE JUMPER WAS FATALLY INJURIED, SECOND JUMPER WAS SERIOUSLY INJURIED, OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES ARE UNKNOWN, OTTAWA, IL
INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:  0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   Y
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   1     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:   Y
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
WEATHER: UNK
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Business      Phase: Unknown      Operation: Other
  Departed: UNK                         Dep Date:    Dep. Time:
  Destination: UNK                      Flt Plan: UNK          Wx Briefing: U
  Last Radio Cont: UNK
  Last Clearance: UNK
  FAA FSDO: WEST CHICAGO, IL  (GL03)              Entry date: 06/10/2003

FMI: www.skydivechicago.com

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