Thursday, May 25, 2017

Skydiver Matthew Ciancio, 42, of June Lake, was killed Wednesday afternoon while using a wing suit during a jump near Lodi Parachute Center

Skydiver dies in accident near Lodi Parachute Center

By Cathy Locke

One person died Wednesday in a parachute accident near the Lodi Parachute Center in Acampo, according to the Woodbridge Fire District.

Steve Butler, chief of the fire district, said emergency medical crews responded about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday to a vineyard off Jahant Road.

Butler said he had no additional details on the incident. He said San Joaquin County sheriff’s investigators were at the scene, though there was no activity there early Wednesday evening.

Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said in an email that a skydiver who was using a wingsuit landed in a vineyard just north of Lodi Airport. The FAA will investigate the incident.

According to a wingsuit-flying website, a wingsuit is a specialized jumpsuit with two arm wings and a leg wing. A skydiver using a wingsuit deploys a parachute toward the end of a descent.

Three people died last year in accidents near the Lodi Parachute Center. One suffered a parachute malfunction in February 2016, while an instructor and student died during a tandem jump in August.

A tightly packed skydiving plane carrying 18 people also landed upside down in an Acampo vineyard last May, resulting in harrowing footage of the accident.

While there is no official count of fatalities, a review of news stories shows that at least 18 people have now died in Lodi-related parachute accidents since 1981.


LODI, Calif. (KCRA) —

A skydiver who died after jumping from a plan near the Lodi Airport was identified Thursday as a man from Mono County, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department.

Matthew Ciancio, 42, of June Lake, was killed Wednesday afternoon while using a wing suit during a jump, investigators said.

Ciancio landed in a vineyard just north of the airport on Jahant Road where the Lodi Parachute Center is located, the FAA said.

No details were released about what might have caused the crash landing.

Ciancio was doing a solo jump near the Lodi Parachute Center, which was at the center of two FAA investigations after three people died in 2016.

In February, a skydiver who was on a solo jump from the center was killed due to a parachute malfunction. Then in August, two men were killed during a tandem parachute jump.

Between 1999 and 2016, there have been 13 deaths connected to the parachute center.

The FAA is investigating the accident.

No other details were released.