Video Shows Elderly NorCal Woman’s Skydiving Close Call
LODI (CBS) — A YouTube video apparently showing an elderly Northern California woman being pushed out of a plane to skydive and then nearly coming out of her harness has gone viral. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Friday it is now investigating the incident.
The video shows a woman named Laverne, who said she had just turned 80 before the jump, which occurred a year ago.
The woman is shown grabbing onto the sides of the plane and apparently telling her instructor from The Parachute Center that she doesn’t want to go, before he grabs her hands off the plane and she tumbles out.
A videographer records the entire jump as the instructor struggles to get the woman in position so he can pull her chute in time to make a safe landing. People on the ground then rush out to make sure she’s okay.
The woman in the video, 81-year-old Laverne Everette, spoke to CBS 5 on Friday.
“I kind of froze I guess you would say, my knees had given out inside the plane,” said Everette.
“I fell, I had a rough landing,” she said.
Everette said she wanted to jump out of a plane for a decade.
“I just held on, you do what you got to do,” she said, recalling the jump. “Put yourself in my position, I think you’d be holding on too.”
Everette said she saw herself as lucky, being able to recently celebrate her 81st birthday.
The incident occurred May 2nd of last year, but apparently the video was recently posted. The FAA said it was e-mailed the video on Thursday.
“We received the e-mail of the video late yesterday. An FAA safety inspector visited The Parachute Center today,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in an e-mail to the CBS affiliate in Sacramento. “He spoke with the company owner and some employees about the incident in question. He plans to do additional interviews and examine records next week.”
The FAA has a history with company.
“We have proposed two civil penalties (fines) totaling about $900,000 against The Parachute Center for violations unrelated to the incident captured on video,” Gregor said. “We referred the cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office because we couldn’t reach a settlement with the company.”
A skydiver was also severely injured during a jump at the Parachute Center earlier this month.
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