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Man dies after leap from plane, Schenectady man hits house in jump without parachute

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=694514&category=SCHENECTADY&BCCode=LOCAL&newsdate=6/9/2008

DUANESBURG -- A Schenectady man was killed after jumping without a parachute from a small sky diving plane Saturday afternoon over Duanesburg, State Police said.
Sloan Carafello, 29, of State Street, struck a house at 7951 Duanesburg Road just before 2 p.m., damaging the roof and splitting his body in two.


A tenant was inside at the time and called to inform the landlord, who does not live in the house. No one else was hurt. The landlord declined comment.

Bob Rawlins, the pilot and owner of the Duanesburg Skydiving Club, said he was flying the single-engine Cessna 182 with Carafello, an instructor, a student and a videographer.

Rawlins said the instructor, student and videographer dove, and as Rawlins began to close the plane's door, Carafello leaped out, holding a camera but no sky diving gear.

The plane was up about 10,000 feet, Rawlins said.

The videographer filmed as Carafello fell and Carafello took pictures of himself while falling through the air, according to Rawlins. Police have the video.

Upon landing, the videographer called out to bystanders, directing them to call 911, according to Kamil Wasilewski, 24, who was waiting his turn to sky dive. Wasilewski had taken his cousin to sky dive as a "best-man surprise." His cousin, who is to be married in two weeks, was the student in the plane with Carafello.

According to Wasilewski, his cousin wasn't aware of what had happened until he and the instructor touched ground.

Wasilewski said Carafello didn't appear particularly agitated before the flight but he was wearing a stained white T-shirt. When he walked by, "I got an air, a weird vibe, but I didn't think twice about it," Wasilewski said.

Rawlins said Carafello had called the office about a week ago inquiring about going up and said he wanted to take aerial photos for a school project.

The sky diving club regularly allows customers to fly in the plane as observers. They stay buckled into their seats and take pictures through the window or out the door, said Rawlins, who said Carafello's seat belt was fastened when the plane took off.

While customers seeking to jump are required to fill out paperwork and show identification, Carafello was not asked for his ID.

"Why would I ask for his ID?" asked Rawlins. "He wasn't sky diving. I'm not sure he put his real name on the paperwork when he signed in."

Rawlins noted the man listed "General Schwarzenegger" as his emergency contact.

Rawlins, who has been in the business for 37 years, said he has never seen anything like this before.

"People get hurt from time to time, we try to regulate and keep them safe," he said. "I just felt horror."

The incident comes almost exactly 10 years after a sky diving club member died after his parachute collapsed and he plummeted between 50 and 100 feet to the ground, police said. That victim, Terrance Bishop, 21, of Westerlo, was described as an experienced diver.


Added: Jun-9-2008 
By: lurendrei
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Tags: no, parachute, sky, dive
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