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Charity skydiver saved by emergency parachute after first failed to open

Left hanging:
Dave Pagett and
his instructor
float down
with a back-up
parachute PICTURES: SWNS

A CHARITY skydiver left free-falling from 13,000ft when his parachute failed to open was saved by his second chute.

First-time jumper Dave Pagett said his first reaction was ‘oh dear, s***’ as they plummeted towards earth at 150mph.

But, after landing safely, the IT expert is keen to do it again — without a repeat of the one-in-4,000 jump mishap.

Dave decided to mark his 50th birthday with the fundraising dive after the Manchester Marathon was called off.

Freefall: Dave and his instructor

He flew from Hinton Airfield, Northamptonshire on October 10 and was the first to leap out ‘because I was the heaviest and it was my birthday’.

Dave, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, said: ‘You are free falling at 150mph for 45 seconds and you are getting spun a lot as someone was taking pictures.

‘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.

‘I turned to Keith the instructor, who I was attached to, and he said, “Hang on dude, we’re going for another ride”. I thought “oh dear, s***” but didn’t panic.’

Married Dave said an alarm went off and he saw the first chute go flying off.

Then moments later the second chute activated and they landed safely.

After raising more than £1,000 for the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust with his adrenaline-fuelled jump, Dave said he has not been put off skydiving.

‘It feels like you are floating — it’s amazing,’ he said. ‘I’d definitely do it again next year. At least I know what to expect if the first chute doesn’t open.’