2 Killed in Colorado Skydiving Accident

A skydiving instructor and his student died Saturday after a fall while doing a tandem jump over Vance Brand Municipal Airport, airport manager Tim Barth said.

The men were among other pairs on tandem jumps Saturday afternoon with Mile-Hi Skydiving Center, which is based at the airport, Barth said.

The owner of Mile-Hi Skydiving Center did not return phone messages seeking comment. Employees declined to comment. A police dispatcher referred questions to Barth.

"Everything was normal. The parachute was fine," said Barth, who went to the scene after the accident. Barth said that about 100 feet from the ground, the instructor made a turn to land, with the wind behind him. About 50 feet from the ground, he made another turn but was going too fast and was too steep, Barth said.

"They hit the ground from about 50 feet in the air," Barth said.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating.

Barth said the instructor, who was from Commerce City, was in his 50s. He said the first-time jumper strapped to the instructor was from Arvada and was in his late 20s.

The skydiving center's Web site says it has been operating at its same site in Longmont for 11 years.

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