Man’s first skydive almost ends in disaster as his parachute fails to open

A man, jumping out of a plane for charity, began plummeting to the ground at 150mph as his parachute failed to open.

Dramatic video footage caught Dave Pagett as he jumped from 13,000ft, and then the terrifying wait for his chute to open.

The instructor, who was strapped to Dave’s back, was so calm he casually told the IT expert: “Hang on dude, we’re going for another ride”.

Despite the first chute failing, which happens in around one in every 4,000 jumps, Dave safely landed after the back up was deployed and he even said he’d like to do it again.

He was doing a charity skydive for his 50th birthday at Hinton Airfield, Northants., on Saturday, October 10, when the drama unfolded.

Dave, from Bromsgrove, Worcs., decided to take part in the skydive after the Manchester Marathon was cancelled.

The IT expert, who is married but has no children, said: “I think it was my destiny to do the jump.

“The marathon was meant to be in April, then October.

“People had already sponsored me for the marathon and I really wanted to raise money for the charity, then I was told about the dive and I thought ‘why not? We’ll see what happens.’

“Everything was going well – we did one briefing and talked about the release chute which goes off in an emergency if the first one doesn’t.

“They said we’ll hear three bangs if that happens.

“I was first because they said I was the heaviest and it was my birthday.

“We went up in a small white plane to 13,000ft and jumped out.

“You are free falling at 150mph for 45 seconds and you are getting spun a lot as someone was taking pictures and videos.

“It was really, really brilliant and I’d definitely do it again. It feels like you are floating, it’s amazing.

“We released the chute and I was aware I hadn’t gone from the horizontal to vertical position which happens when the chute pulls you back.

“We weren’t slowing down going through the clouds at 150mph.

“I turned to Keith the instructor, who I was attached to, and he said ‘hang on dude, we’re going for another ride’.

“I was thinking ‘oh dear, sh*t’ but I didn’t panic. I was just thinking we had a problem and then the parachute alarm went off.

“It went ‘beep, beep, beep’ and Keith said ‘you are going for another ride’.

“We heard two bangs go off coming from the shoot while we were falling face down towards the floor.

“I looked over to the left and saw the first parachute flying off into the distance into the thermals. It was a weird sight.

“Then the second chute went off, pulled us back up and we came down pretty quickly.

“They had to stop the plane taking off for a few hours to search for the parachute.

“People were joking saying I was being greedy for using two parachutes. Apparently it only happens every 4,000 jumps and it was my first one.

“There was lots of banter and that helped with it. It’s meant to be lucky to get to activate the release chute.

“The first bang was the first chute being released which didn’t open, the second was the release chute opening.

“I’d definitely do it again next year. At least I know what to expect if the first chute doesn’t open.”

Dave’s adrenaline-fuelled jump managed to raise more than £1,000 for the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust.