Skydiver jumped, but failed to fall

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The Independent US

Andy Judy was used to falling out of aeroplanes. As an enthusiastic parachute jumper, it was what he did for fun most weekends. But dangling upside down by his bootstraps at 10,000 feet was a little too nerve-racking even for him.

Andy Judy was used to falling out of aeroplanes. As an enthusiastic parachute jumper, it was what he did for fun most weekends. But dangling upside down by his bootstraps at 10,000 feet was a little too nerve-racking even for him.

Yesterday, the amateur skydiver from Pennsylvania was amazed to be alive after a truly bizarre mid-air misadventure. Mr Judy's boot got caught on the step of the plane he was jumping out of and, instead of going into freefall with his three fellow jumpers, he found himself head down and swinging helplessly from the fuselage for more than half an hour.

When his efforts to free himself failed and the Cessna began to run out of fuel, the pilot reluctantly decided to land the plane in a grassy field and prayed Mr Judy would not be killed on impact. In the event, he slid to a halt on top of his parachute pack and escaped with no more than a few cuts and bruises. "When we got to him, he looked at us and said, 'My gosh, am I lucky'," said Don Bick, a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Skydiving Center in Dunbar, Pennsylvania.

Mr Judy's friends described how his jump became quickly interrupted by an abrupt yanking sensation. With his parachute undamaged, he knew he would be fine as long as he could pry his boot free. He even unzipped his suit and began undoing the fasteners on his boots. But that's easier said than done when you are flying upside down at 100mph, and Mr Judy couldn't get the leverage.

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