CHESTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Longtime skydivers are speaking out after a fatal accident at Skydive Carolina in Chester County, almost exactly one year apart from another death at the same facility.

According to Skydive Carolina, a 35-year-old man died Saturday after witnesses saw him attempt to make a turn at a low altitude at the beginning of his landing sequence. They say his parachute was not level for a safe and controlled landing.

According to our records and the company’s website, Skydive Carolina has had around nine fatalities in their 36 years of business. Almost all of those happened in the past decade.

The United States Parachute Association says most fatalities happen to experienced skydivers, rather than tandem jumpers. In fact, Skydive Carolina says the victim of Saturday’s incident had more than 1,000 jumps under his belt.

The USPA says over the last 10 years, the tandem fatality rate was about one in 500,000 jumps. For USPA members in 2021, the rate was 1.4 in 500,000. That’s the lowest fatality rate on record.

“As people get more experienced, they tend to jump smaller parachutes and try newer things,” said Skydiving Coach Greg Windmiller.

Windmiller says he has jumped out of a plane around 17,000 times over 30 years, and it never gets easier hearing about a fatality.

“It doesn’t matter who it is or what the circumstances are. Anytime anybody in the skydiving community loses their life, it actually hurts the entire community,” said Windmiller. “People live their life, that are skydivers, and they live it to the fullest. And sometimes, they live it to the end. But no matter what, we love doing what we do, and we do what we love.”

Skydive Carolina released a statement regarding Saturday’s incident. They said, in part, “Skydiving is a close-knit sport with a strong sense of camaraderie. Losing a member of our community affects everyone and we mourn the loss of a friend and fellow jumper.”

Skydive Carolina says they’re working with local authorities to investigate the cause of the hard landing.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the victim.