An instructor and a novice were killed in a 10,000ft free fall over Langar airfield near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, yesterday. It is believed that their tandem parachute failed to open after they jumped from an aircraft above the Vale of Belvoir.
The instructor, with experience of 1,000 parachute jumps, and his student were killed when they hit the ground. The rest of the team landed safely.
The airfield is the base of the British Parachute School, and 2,500 novices jump there each year. John Hitchen, a national parachute coach who witnessed the accident from the airfield control tower, said: 'It is the first time there has been a fatal accident using the tandem parachute equipment.'
The police and the British Parachute Association have launched inquiries into the incident. The men were not being named until relatives had been informed.