Gone West: Stephen O'Keefe | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 08.29.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.29.14 **
** Airborne 08.27.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.27.14 **
** Airborne 08.25.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.25.14 **

Mon, Jan 25, 2010

Gone West: Stephen O'Keefe

Unpredictable Winds Blamed In Skydiving Accident

Stephen O'Keefe, 70, died last week of internal injuries sustained after a hard skydive landing at Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (KZPH) on January 17.  The veteran parachutist's death is being blamed on an unexpected gust of wind as he approached the ground near Skydive City.

O'Keefe is described by friends and family as serving in the Marines Corps and the Army Special Forces before moving to the FBI.  He also spent 19 years as a prosecutor in the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office in Florida.

"He was an amazing guy. Very athletic for his age, and he was an avid skydiver," remarked Bruce Bartlett, Chief Assistant State Attorney. "Everyone's in shock."

O'Keefe is survived by his wife, Mary, and grown children Joseph and Katie.  They all remember him as a tough, loving, and spiritual man that always made time for his family.

"Most folks think their parents were superheroes," his son Joseph O'Keefe, 38, told the St. Petersburg Times. "I got to grow up with a real-life superhero."

Skydive City manager David "TK" Hayes was a friend and saw O'Keefe before he was taken from the airfield to the hospital. He told the paper O'Keefe was awake and alert when he was taken away, but Hayes could tell he was in pain.

"We've seen a lot of skydiving injuries," Hayes said. "I knew he was broken."

This is the first death for the facility in 2010.  Previous years have seen other experienced skydiver fatalities at KZPH. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) reported a 40-year low in skydiving fatalities for 2009, with 16 civilian fatalities out of nearly 3 million jumps. 

The USPA says the drop is due to safer equipment and better training.

FMI: www.SkydiveCity.com

Advertisement

More News

Annual Oshkosh 2014 'Best/Worst Of' Award Selection Invites YOUR Participation!

YOU Can Contribute To The Annual List Compiled By The Staff and Readership of the ANN and Aero-TV! E-I-C Note: We're going to start naming names and dropping details THIS week--- t>[...]

Airborne 08.29.14: Google Drone!, Cessna's 10,000th, Bearhawk LODA

Also: Big Boeing Order, Napa Tower Quaked, Landsberg Retires, Galileo Falters Breaking News! Google has unveiled an exciting new UAV project, called Project Wing, which has been un>[...]

Aero-TV: The Tecnam Juggernaut -- SeaSky, P2008, P2010, Trainers, and Astore!

An Impressive Line-Up Continues To Make A Solid Impact On Sport Aviation ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell seized the opportunity to talk with Phil Solomon, the CEO of Tecn>[...]

AD: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-17-04 PRODUCT: Certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (09.02.14)

FAA General Aviation Airports Report Beginning in 2010, the FAA began a national review of the general aviation airports resulting in two reports, General Aviation Airports: A Nati>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC