RALEIGH, N.C. — An expert parachutist fell to his death when he jumped from a plane, apparently without realizing that he wasn't wearing a parachute, officials said today.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the death Saturday of Ivan Lester McGuire to see if pilot Mark Luman had checked to see if McGuire was wearing a parachute.
McGuire, 35, was carrying video equipment to film a student and an instructor from the Franklin County Sports Parachute Center when he jumped to his death from an altitude of 10,500 feet.
Investigators have ruled out suicide and say McGuire, who had made more than 800 jumps, may have made his fatal mistake because he was tired or preoccupied with filming.
"We haven't gotten all the facts yet. But there is a regulation, No. 105, that states that the pilot must check--well, no one may jump unless the pilot checks the parachutes," FAA inspector Walter Rigsbee said.
The video equipment McGuire was carrying may have been mistaken for a parachute, he said.