Derby

Experienced skydiver died after 'misjudgement' on jump

Aiden Chaffe Image copyright PA
Image caption Aiden Chaffe, a father of two young children, had completed about 1,400 jumps

An experienced skydiver who died performing a high-risk manoeuvre made one fatal "fractional error of judgement", a coroner has concluded.

Aiden Chaffe, who had completed about 1,400 jumps in his life, died on a jump in Langar, Nottinghamshire, last year.

His mother Karen Turner said his decision to perform a landing known as swooping "will plague me for the rest of my life".

Assistant coroner James Hargan ruled his death was an accident.

Image caption Mr Chaffe's mother Karen Turner said she saw the joy her son got out of the sport

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard Mr Chaffe, from Shardlow in Derbyshire, was trying to make a high-performance landing known as swooping on 22 October, 2018.

The 31-year-old father-of-two - who began skydiving alongside his father from when he was aged 16 and was training towards a qualification in canopy piloting - had jumped with two other parachutists from about 6,000ft.

His canopy deployed correctly, but he made an "error of judgment" as he executed a manoeuvre starting at between 700ft and 1,000ft.

Tony Butler, chief executive of the British Parachute Association, who investigated the tragedy, said Mr Chaffe was "a very sensible skydiver" who was performing "the most dangerous form" of the sport.

"Performing high-performance landings, if you make an error of judgment even by a second or two, it can result in a catastrophic landing," he said.

"There are skydivers with thousands of jumps, that have won world championships in this kind of thing and they've been killed or injured because it's a split-second judgment in that last portion of time."

Image copyright Bryn Chaffe
Image caption Aiden Chaffe's father, Bryn, said that "devastated" was an "absolute understatement" to describe what the family was going through

Mr Chaffe's mother, Karen Turner, said she was "satisfied" with the outcome of the inquest.

"Being a mum our main focus in life is to get our children through life and the last sport I would have ever wanted him to take up would have been parachuting," she said.

"But I saw the joy and the way it made Aiden feel, and he died doing what he loved.

"Knowing Aiden and the person he was, I just don't understand why he did what he did, and that will plague me for the rest of my life."

Image copyright PA
Image caption A GoFundMe page raised more than £19,000 to help Mr Chaffe's children and partner after his death

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