Body of skydiving instructor found after jump goes awry

Maine state troopers, forestry officials and game wardens found the body of a skydiving instructor who vanished during a tandem jump that went awry, the Portland Press Herald reported Friday.

Maine State Police troopers and four game wardens found the body of Brett Bickford, 41, of Rochester, New Hampshire, around 5:30 p.m. Friday, the newspaper reported.

Emergency personnel were called around 2 p.m. Thursday to the Skydive New England facility in Lebanon, where the instructor and his student took off from, according to Maine State Police officials.

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WGME in Portland reported that the student told troopers the pair did a tandem jump, meaning they were strapped together into a harness and using the same parachute. The student said Bickford became detached from the harness shortly after they jumped from the plane.

The student landed safely and began searching for Bickford but could not find him, the news station reported.

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Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, told the Portland Press Herald that the pair was about a mile in the air when the accident occurred. Bickford was not wearing a backup parachute.

"The fall was not survivable," McCausland told the Press Herald.


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