NewsMontana and Regional News


81-year-old man dies after Flathead County skydiving accident

The incident occurred at Skydive Lost Prairie
Skydiver killed Flathead County
Posted at 5:02 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 19:02:10-04

KALISPELL — An elderly man died in a skydiving accident in northwest Montana on Saturday.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said Gerald F. Fischer, 81, of Moorehead, Minnesota apparently died because of a problem with his parachute.

Emergency crews responded to Skydive Lost Prairie at around 12:45 p.m. on reports that a man had been involved in a skydiving accident.

Witness statements indicated Fischer started turning counter-clockwise after opening his parachute.

He was at about 4,000 feet and witnesses said he continued to turn counter-clockwise until he landed in a pasture.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Flathead County Sheriff's Office reported Fischer was an experienced skydiver with over 2,000 jumps.

Although the venue has been accident-free for the past few years, the Lost Prairie jump site has had a number of tragedies over the years.

A 27-year old Washington man died when his chute didn't open during a jump in 2011.

A Colorado man died the year before that when his chute became tangled with another jumper.

Five people died when a plane crashed on takeoff at Lost Prairie in 2007.