Skydiver dies after mid-air collision near Jamul

JAMUL, Calif. - A skydiving trainer has died after a mid-air collision in the Jamul area.

The unidentified man had been reported missing at 4:10 p.m. while skydiving out of a facility on Otay Lakes Road, according to sheriff's Lt. Christine Robbins.

A sheriff's department helicopter crew spotted his body shortly before 5 p.m., Robbins said.

Buzz Fink, the owner of Skydive San Diego, told reporters the victim, who was in his 20s, was practicing a maneuver called tracking when he collided with his jump partner's knee or leg.

"He was unable to deploy his parachute, probably because he was incapacitated after he hit the other jumper," Fink said.

The other jumper involved in the collision was not injured and was able to land in the drop zone.

Fink said the surviving jumper had a Cybernetic Parachute Release System (CYPRES), a reserve parachute which monitors a skydiver’s speed and altitude and automatically deploys if it senses a problem.

However, the victim did not have a CYPRES, according to Fink, because he had sent it in for a maintenance issue sometime within the last couple weeks.

Fink said the victim was an experienced skydiver who had completed more than 1,000 jumps. A skydiver with more than 1,000 jumps is not required to have a CYPRES.

"If they have over 1,000 jumps, we let them make their own call,” Fink said. “If they're under 1,000 jumps, they're required by us to jump (with) it. It's not a requirement by the FAA, it's a local requirement.  Once you get over 1,000 jumps, it's their choice whether to jump (with) it or not."

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