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DUNNELLON (CBSMiami/AP) — A freak accident cost a veteran parachutist his life.

Authorities in central Florida say a man with a group of people on a plane doing military-style parachuting has died after his reserve chute accidentally opened as he knelt near the cargo door, pulling him out.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the man was pronounced dead by paramedics after falling 1,200 feet to the ground Friday.

The sheriff’s office says witnesses told investigators that the man’s body hit the side of the plane, and it was unclear if his military-style parachute fully deployed.

He wasn’t immediately identified, pending notification of family.

The sheriff’s office says the man was a jumpmaster, someone who helps train others in military jumping techniques.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. Robert says:

    A jumpmaster on an aircraft in a military type environment is most likely not an instructor but is in charge of the jumpers from the time they receive sustainment to the time they exit the aircraft. military jumpmasters that are considered instructor are referred to as “Black Hats” at the DoD basic airborne school at Ft. Benning. It is considered a DoD because all branches attend the basic airborne school there…Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. HALO / HAHO is the free fall version now taught for the Army is now in Yuma AZ. When I went to HALO at the old school at Bragg, we spent most of our time waiting for weather to clear.

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