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An RAF instructor has sadly lost her life under devastating circumstances, as her parachute malfunctioned during a 12,000 ft freefall jump, resulting in her falling to her death.
In September 2021, Sergeant Rachel Fisk, 32, was a well-respected instructor with years of experience, when she took a group of parachutists out on an adventure training exercise.
After filming her students, she hurtled towards the ground at 120mph, capturing it all on camera.
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According to the Daily Mail, a senior RAF source said: 'It was a freak accident, an absolute tragedy. I hate to think what Rachel's last thoughts were."
Following the disaster, a full investigation took place, which revealed why her jump was unsuccessful.
The incident occurred when Rachel was conducting a team exercise with catering staff from RAF Marham, Norfolk, at RAF Weston-on-the-Green Airfield near Bicester.
Rachel had completed three freefalls, while recording tandem falls in which experts are tied to novices, when things went wrong on her fourth jump.
The Defense Safety Authority Service claim that the final jump started without incident. Rachel had filmed a tandem pair until they hit around 5000 ft, and their parachute shot upwards.
Rachel continued to fall, passing through a thin layer of cloud, where she was 'displaying a small amount of body movement'.
A mere 0.034 seconds before her passing, her helmet camera turned upwards, showing exactly what went wrong — her reverse pilot chute had become entangled and thus could not deploy correctly.
An in-depth report found that Rachel's parachute failed due to air turbulence produced by the position of her body during the fall. In addition, investigators discovered that her jump-suit, which was not RAF issued, was fitted with wings that could have played a part in the tragedy.
In a statement, her parents said: "It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of our dear daughter, Rachel. She lived her life with joy and thoughtfulness for others and loved the career she had chosen. Rachel will be missed by so many."
The RAF added: "Our thoughts remain with Sgt Fisk's family. The inquiry into this tragic accident is now complete, and we will carefully consider the recommendations and take necessary actions."
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