6ABC Action News obtained actual footage of the that left two people hospitalized.
The incident happened at Perkiomen Valley Airport on Sunday, May 13, when two divers – a Keystone Skydive Center instructor and a client jumping in tandem – landed on the runway rather than their designated landing zones. According to reports, the divers were taken up by a strong updraft and landed hard on the concrete runway.
According to Skippack Fire Chief Haydn Marriott, one of the injured persons was Medevaced from the scene and the other was taken by ground to an area trauma center. According to published reports, the instructor sustained a serious lower back injury while the first-time jumper from Montgomeryville suffered cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. The airport's runway was briefly shut down as emergency crews worked at the scene.
Keystone Skydive Center co-owner Marc Nadeau described the incident to Action News:
"...all of a sudden, the updraft stopped and the wind came from the side. It folded the parachute underneath and put the parachute into a spin. We landed hard on our side into the grass and were dragged into the runway. At that time the instructor was able to jettison, cut away, the main parachute to keep themselves from being dragged any further."
Nadeau told Action News it was one of the most unusual things he had ever seen.
"I've never seen anything like that before, since I started jumping in 1973," he told Action News. "My wife, she's been jumping since 1989, she's never seen it."