|The scene of a skydiving accident at the Beiseker Airport. One male was transported to Foothills hospital by Stars Air Ambulance, Aug. 11.(BRENDAN MILLER/Special to QMI Agency)
CALGARY - The family of a British soldier is rushing to Calgary after he survived plummeting 4,000 feet in a skydiving accident near Beiseker, just northeast of the city.
Ian Flanagan, owner of Alberta Skydivers Ltd., said his instructors were conducting the skydiving training for British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) at the time.
Flanagan said that one of his instructors radioed the soldier to execute a 360-degree turn and it turned into an out-of-control spin.
"One of my instructors radioed the soldier from the ground to execute a 360 turn but then it turned into three or four turns," Flanagan said. "He hit the ground hard from 4,000 feet when his chute opened.
"We're not really sure why the soldier lost control, because all he had to do was lift his arm and the turn would have stopped," he said.
Michelle Hauck, base public affairs officer for CFB Suffield, said: "A skydiving accident occurred near Beiseker while the soldier was on duty during organized military adventure training.
"The soldier is currently in the hospital in critical condition and there will be an investigation conducted to determine the exact cause of the incident," she said. "His name will not be released and his family has been contacted and is on their way to Canada."
This isn't the first time that a skydiving accident involving the British military has happened.
On Sept. 14, 2007, Kevin Mitchell, 23, with the 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland stationed at CFB Suffield, plunged to his death.