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Investigation Into Wanaka Parachute Fatality

Investigation Into Wanaka Parachute Fatality

The CAA is investigating the fatal accident at Wanaka on Thursday afternoon where a contract skydiver, Mr Antonino Arillotta died on impact when his parachutes did not open.

At least two CAA Safety Investigators will be in Wanaka conducting interviews, liaising with Police and local authorities. It is expected this will take two days. TAIC (Transport Accident Investigation Commission) will not be investigating this incident.

The investigators will then bring all gear associated with the accident back to Wellington for detailed examination and testing. This will include all parachute gear and related equipment and the camera used by Mr Arillotta.

The operator who employed Mr Arillotta, Skydive Lake Wanaka, is certificated by the CAA under the new Part 115 Adventure Aviation rule. The operator is considered to be a very professional company.

We understand that Skydive lake Wanaka has voluntarily suspended its operations. This is not required by the CAA however it is a respectful action and also allows staff and locals time to come to terms with what has happened.

This is the first adventure aviation fatality in New Zealand since the new CAA rule came into effect in November last year.

The investigation into the cause of the accident is not being conducted to apportion blame; the CAA is interested in finding reasons for the accident so that lessons from this unfortunate incident can be applied to help prevent a repeat in the future.

ends

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