Minnesota Man Dies in Skydiving Accident at Lost Prairie

81-year-old was experienced skydiver with more than 2,000 jumps under his belt

By Justin Franz

An 81-year-old Minnesota man died skydiving near Marion on Aug. 10.

According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and the Marion Fire Department responded to Skydive Lost Prairie at 12:45 p.m. after receiving a report of an accident involving an elderly male.

The man, Gerald F. Fischer of Moorehead, Minnesota, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to witnesses, Fischer experienced a “hard opening” when he deployed his parachute and began to turn counter clockwise under an open canopy at about 4,000 feet in the air. Fischer continued to spin until he hit the ground. A hard opening occurs when a skydiver’s free fall comes to a violent stop and can be the result of improper body position.

Fischer was an experienced skydiver who had done more than 2,000 jumps in his life.

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