Pilot Leaves Controls To Rescue Tangled SkyDiver

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A British soldier and jump instructor participating in a parachute competition in Germany got hung up on the landing gear of his jump aircraft, reportedly a Britten-Norman Islander, and was rescued by the only person left on the aircraft -- its pilot. The aircraft was 3,000 feet above the Joint Service Parachute Centre at Bad Lippspringe when five soldiers successfully departed the aircraft. The sixth, the instructor, suffered a partially deployed chute that caught his rigging on the aircraft's gear. The aircraft's civilian pilot became aware of the situation and left his seat, cutting snagged lines until the parachutist fell free of his aircraft and deployed his reserve. The pilot's excursion left him out of the cockpit for approximately 30 seconds, according to initial reports. Claiming he was only doing his job, the pilot has so far asked to remain anonymous. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told the Daily Mail, "The pilot showed significant bravery and skill. We are unaware of a rescue like this happening before."

Initial reports did not indicate the type of aircraft involved in the incident.