Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Horror at airfield as skydiver, 44, falls to his death

Published 24/08/2009

A skydiver who plunged to his death at an airfield where a fellow enthusiast died in mysterious circumstances more than six years ago has been identified as a 44-year-old man.

Humberside Police have not named the victim but said he came from Essex.

He died after falling at Hibaldstow Airfield, north Lincolnshire, on Saturday afternoon. It is the same site where Stephen Hilder plunged to his death in July 2003.

The 20-year-old died at the airfield after both his main and reserve parachutes had been sabotaged during a skydiving competition.

Humberside Police said Saturday's death was not being treated as suspicious at this stage. Officers appealed for anyone who witnessed the jump or may have seen the man pack his parachute before his jump to come forward.

The incident happened at around 4.42pm.

A police spokesman added: “A man was fatally injured following a parachute jump. Officers are now in attendance at the airfield and an investigation is under way.

“However it is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”

Humberside Police launched a murder investigation into the death of Mr Hilder before concluding that he had probably cut the straps himself.

North Lincolnshire coroner Stewart Atkinson said there was no evidence Mr Hilder had been murdered, nor proof that he intended to take his own life, and he recorded an open verdict.

The inquest heard that Mr Hilder had debts of more than £17,000 and thought that he had failed his military exams and that a relationship was coming to an end.

The inquest heard he may have tried to make his death look like murder.

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