Parachute jumps resume at Sibson Aerodrome

PARACHUTISTS were given the go-ahead to resume 13,000ft jumps at the Peterborough parachute centre where a 53-year-old skydiver died and another was seriously injured.

The British Parachute Association (BPA), which is investigating Saturday’s tragedy, said UK Parachuting, based at Sibson Aerodrome west of Peterborough, could now reopen.

Patrick Sandeman, from Putney in south-west London, died at the airfield following a mid-air entanglement with another unnamed man at 50ft (15m) at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

The second man was flown by air ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with spine and leg injuries.

The BPA visited the site on Saturday and Sunday and have instigated a board of inquiry to investigate the mid-air accident.

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Their report will be sent to the Civil Aviation Authority, the police and the coroner, as well as its own safety and training committee.

Tony Butler, the BPA’s technical officer, said parachuting had a good safety record, with an average of one or two fatal accidents a year out of about 250,000 jumps in the UK.

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According to their website, the UK Parachuting centre has been at Sibson Aerodrome since 1971.

The decision to reopen the centre comes a few days before World Heart Day skydive this weekend where charity parachutists will be jumping to raise money for Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

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