Christopher Swales Wiki
Christopher Swales Biography
Who was Christopher Swales?
Thrill seeker Christopher Swales, 55, also partnered with a military instructor who his bosses said had “panicked” and executed an “aggressive left turn” in midair that triggered the crash.
Self-employed carpenter Mr. Swales, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had received the first jump from him as a 30th anniversary gift from his wife Deborah from him, then 53, while they were on vacation in the United States in September 2019.
The investigation heard the chief jumpmaster of the United States Air Force, Matthew McGonagle, tell police that everything was normal when he and Swales left the Cessna plane in tandem.
But when he realized they were going to land before the landing zone, he turned left.
The parachute appeared to open normally, but then collapsed and the pair went into free fall.
Both men fell to the ground where Mr. McGonagle injured his side and Mr. Swales sustained multiple injuries.
He was certified dead at the scene despite frantic attempts to resuscitate him, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the coroner was told.
Police were called out when father-of-two Mr Swales
Police were called as Mr. Swales, a father of two, was dying at the Grand Canyon National Park airport.
Five people were aboard the six-seater Cessna when it left the airport shortly after 9:30 a.m., as ground winds blew up to 27 mph, 2 mph more than would be allowed for a British jump.
McGonagle, 34, one of the two tandem jumpers on board said there was “a bit of chaos” about the seating arrangements.
McGonagle, a veteran of 1,500+ drops, told police from his hospital bed: “ The only thing that was unique was that the wind was somewhat higher than normal, but that in itself was not unusual as that I had the experience of strong winds. ” .
He continued in his police statement that he and Chris were the first to leave the Cessna 20 minutes later.
“ He explained that they got out of the plane, fell freely for a short period of time, at which point he opened his parachute, ” said a report from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
The father of two, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, died when he made landfall when something went wrong. His instructor survived with a broken leg.
The trip had been authorized by Paragon Skydiving, whose 38-year-old owner Jason Thuema witnessed the accident from the ground.
The report says that Thuema withdrew the red parachute and his boat from the scene because he was “obstructing the emergency services.”
He was “confiscated” the same morning in the main storage room at Paragon headquarters on the instructions of a detective.
The investigation heard that Sergeant Jason Lurkins examined the parachute on September 13 at Flagstaff Police Headquarters along with US Air Force Technical Sergeant Joshua Keyes and a USAF Sergeant Major.
Detective Sergeant Lurkins said: ‘We then suspended the ramp from one of the garage doors to allow TSgt Keyes to inspect the interior side of each cell on the ramp.
‘During the inspection, I noticed numerous patches sewn into the fabric at the top of the duct. The majority, for all, of these patches were found to be on the top fabric towards the front of the ramp.
“ Near these patches I observed, and TSgt Keyes pointed out, some defects / holes in the ramp material that appeared to have been noticed by the rigger and circled with a pen to track the movement, or continuous tearing, of the material. ”
But Mr. Thuema, 38, said in a statement to the investigation that he did not observe any problems with the team in decline.
He added that Mr. McGonagle “must have panicked” and “made an aggressive left turn” upon realizing they were going to get close to the landing area.
He added: ‘I saw the parachute fall. They hit the ground at high speed. Matthew worked in the Air Force full time as a jump teacher before coming to work on the weekends at Paragon. Matthew must have panicked.
The police report added: “Jason then stated that the subjects missed the landing zone for approximately 100 yards and hit the ground at high speed,” the report added.
Jason described the landing as a loud ‘boom’ and a cloud of dust. ‘
Causes of death
“The parachute did not recover from that maneuver, which caused a free fall.”
His conclusion was that “considering the odds this was an accident.”
Mr. Swales’s widow and family attended the hearing and issued a statement at the end of the proceedings.
They said: ‘The investigation was to establish the facts of Chris’s death.
He “He had a very full life. He was full of fun and love. He was full of spirit and fun times. This is how we will remember it.
They declined to comment further after the hearing.
The company said at the time: ‘The ramp was working 100% correctly. The parachute was three weeks old.
‘The ramp never collapsed. The team was kept in accordance with the regulations. ‘
The US police closed the case and concluded that the death was an accident. According to British Skydiving, jumping in Britain is normally not allowed above gusts of 40 mph.
Christopher Swales Quick and Facts
Christopher Swales received the jump as a 30th anniversary gift from his wife Deborah
He was joined by military instructor Matthew McGonagle in the tandem jump.
But he realized they weren’t reaching the landing area and turned left.
The parachute seemed to open but then collapsed and they went into free fall.
Swales, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was pronounced dead at the scene