The skydive, which took place at Lindtorp airfield, had dramatic consequences when the 45-year-old skydiver’s foot became caught in a cable, leaving him dangling under the aircraft at a height of 2,500 metres.
“As soon as his instructor, who jumped before him, was able to get radio contact with the pilot and people on the ground, a rescue operation was started,” duty officer Jens Claumarch of Mid and West Jutland Police told news agency Ritzau.
“At that point, the aircraft was down to a height of around 500 metres, but went up to around a kilometre in case he came loose and needed to use his parachute,” Claumarch continued.
The aircraft then circled to burn fuel while followed by a helicopter ambulance followed until the skydiver signalled with a thumbs up that he was ready to land, Claumarch said.
The skydiver hung under the aircraft for almost an hour before the pilot was able to land safely, reports Jyllands-Posten.
Pilot Leif Johannsen, who has 37 years’ flying experience, told the newspaper that he was not aware of the entangled skydiver until he was contacted by ground control.
“It was a nightmare scenario that I have seen others experience before. A scenario in which there is no rulebook on how the problem should be solved. It only went well because we worked together. People on the ground and me in the air with a calm skydiver waiting for us to help him,” Johannsen told TV Midtvest.
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Mid and West Jutland Police called Johannsen a hero after the skydiver survived the landing and is reported to be in good condition under the circumstances, reports Jyllands-Posten.
Johansen coordinated landing with people on the ground, who put out foam on landing areas so the 45-year-old’s impact would be softened as the aeroplane landed at the lowest possible speed.
The man was dragged around 200 metres along the airfield’s grass before the aircraft came to a halt, according to Ritzau’s report.
“On the way down I was thinking whether I was about to kill a man. What will happen? There was only one method left, and that was to try and land with him,” Johannsen told TV Midtvest.
Claumarch told Ritzau that the 45-year-old skydiver had escaped with no more than “a groin strain and graze.”
“There’s not much need for him to play the lottery this week. He’s used up all his luck,” the duty officer added.