WJTV News Channel 12 - Skydiving expert talks about Fort Bragg parachute tragedy

Skydiving expert talks about Fort Bragg parachute tragedy

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Skydiving coach Michael Trevillian straps into his parachute backpack. He says it weight nearly 30 pounds. Skydiving coach Michael Trevillian straps into his parachute backpack. He says it weight nearly 30 pounds.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Skydiving coach Michael Trevillian says, for him, the risks of jumping out a plane at high altitudes are worth the thrill. Statistically, he says, accidents and deaths are rare.

"Every time you jump out of the plane you have to make that decision: is it worth it?" Trevillian said. "There's a lot of anxiety going up in the plane because you're about to do something you know could be fatal."

But a fatality is exactly what happened during a routine training exercise at Fort Bragg. The XVIII Airborne Corps said an Army staff sergeant died when he jumped from a plane on post. The soldier's parachute malfunctioned. 

The Army is not yet releasing the name of the soldier who died until the family is notified or when exactly the accident happened.

Trevillian said modern parachutes are packed with technology. Newer models come with a main parachute and a reserve parachute connected to a computer system that will automatically deploy it in the event the main parachute fails to deploy.

"Obviously that's one of the biggest concerns about skydiving is it's inherently a very risky sport," Trevillian said. "So we always carry two parachutes with us."

Trevillian does his jumps for sport. The Army staff sergeant who died at Fort Bragg on Monday did it out service to his country. The gravity of that death is not lost on Trevillian, a skydiver with six years of experience.

"It's rare," he said, "and my heart goes out to the family and everyone who's related to the man who died today."

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