A double fatality occurred at Perris Valley Skydiving last Friday, on April 1st when Pat McGowan and Chris Stasky, both very experienced jumpers and instructors, collided under canopy. The collision took place too low to allow them to separate and recover in time for landing – estimated at 300-400 feet. Both jumpers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigation is still underway, but at present time there are no hard facts pointing to the exact causes of this incident.
Patrick McGowan and David Stasky were both respected and experienced instructors and were working at a training camp with the Canadian military.
This incident has sent ripples through the skydiving community and initiated many discussions around bonfires and in online forums about canopy safety and what can be done to prevent this type of incident from happening. Unfortunately there are no simple solutions, but we are glad to see the level of awareness increase.
Stasky was single, but Pat McGowan leaves behind a wife – Blue McGowan – and 2 young children, Rose and James.
Perris Valley Skydiving has set up a fund to benefit Pat’s family and children and we encourage those of you that are able to to donate to the McGowan family fund.
We send our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of both Pat and Chris. We join thousands of skydivers from all over the world in remembering Pat as an incredibly talented skydiver and a gifted instructor and coach.