Skydiver dies in parachute malfunction during competition

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A veteran skydiver was killed over the weekend when his parachute failed to open during a competition in Western Australia, according to reports.

Dimitri Didenko, 30, died around 1:30 p.m. local time Sunday during the Virtual Australian Skydiving championships, 7 News reported.

He was competing solo in the wingsuit category, an elite variation of skydiving in which a person flies in the air using a special jumpsuit, according to the report.

His parachute didn’t open properly, causing the fatal mishap, the outlet reported, citing police.

About 20 people, including friends, witnessed the accident in the coastal town of Jurien Bay, about 137 miles north of Perth, and desperately tried to save his life, to no avail, WAtoday reported.

Didenko, who was born in Russia and lived in Italy, had participated in record-setting skydives and competitions around the globe, the outlet reported.

He had completed more than 6,000 jumps, according to 7 News.

Friends on social media called Didenko “the greatest adventure companion,” the outlet reported.

“I don’t know how the heavens go, but I do know that Dimitri’s spirit will continue to live on, in the people that truly knew and loved him,” one friend wrote. “Forever a part of our family.”

While the Australian championships are normally held at one location, this time they took place at seven different spots around the country — including Jurien Bay — because of COVID border closures.

Each jump was recorded and fed back a GPS device called a flight sight, which is used for judging purposes, according to the report.

The device, a black box on a skydiver’s helmet, now serves a major rule in the probe of Didenko’s death.

Police, as well as the Australian Parachute Federation, are handling the investigation.

Experienced skydiver Dimitri Didenko was killed during competition in Western Australia.
Experienced skydiver Dimitri Didenko was killed during competition in Western Australia.
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