Pa. skydiving accident caught on camera

May 15, 2012 (COLLEGEVILLE, Pa.)

The accident happened over the weekend at the Keystone Skydive Center at the Perkiomen Valley Airport in Collegeville.

One of the people involved was a woman from Montgomeryville, who said skydiving was an item on her bucket list.

"It was a beautiful day, the winds were well within the limits," said Marc Nadeau of the Keystone Skydive Center.

So the woman, whose family asked that we conceal her identity, headed out for a tandem jump with her instructor, 38-year-old Chad Galbraith.

It was a textbook dive - until they were about 30 feet from landing.

Ground video of the jump shows a strong updraft stopped the parachute in its tracks. Then, the two were blown back up another 40 feet.

"Then, all of a sudden, the updraft stopped and the wind came from the side. It folded the parachute underneath and put the parachute into a spin. We landed hard on our side into the grass and were dragged into the runway. At that time the instructor was able to jettison, cut away, the main parachute to keep themselves from being dragged any further," said Nadeau.

Galbraith sustained a serious lower back injury while the first-time jumper from Montgomeryville suffered cracked ribs and a collapsed lung.

After watching the video countless times since Sunday, Nadeau says it is probably the most unusual thing he has ever seen.

"I've never seen anything like that before, since I started jumping in 1973," he said. "My wife, she's been jumping since 1989, she's never seen it."

Galbraith underwent a second surgery on Tuesday morning. While both victims remain hospitalized, both are expected to fully recover.

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