Yesterday, with a heavy heart, we broke the news of Jonathan Tagle’s passing. Jonathan was a guy with a whole lot of fire and passion in his heart and seemingly never-ending love for all things skydiving and canopy piloting. His easy smile and ample energy radiated from him in every direction. JT worked hard and played even harder, top-notch canopy pilot, accomplished freeflyer, done his stint as a videoguy in 4-way (gold medal, world champion style) and most recently one of the main players in pioneering XRW.
The PD Factory Team has just released additional information on Jonathan’s accident in Eidfjord, Norway on their Facebook page. They warn that it is full disclosure, so if you would rather be left without the details, do not read on.
It’s with great sadness that we give you the facts surrounding the accident yesterday – please know that this is full disclosure and may be uncomfortable to read.
Jonathan had been jumping all morning with members of the Fazza Sky team on this one particular run in the Eidfjord region in Norway. In the afternoon he was alternating runs with JC and Bobo then with the Fazza Sky Team – this was Jonathan’s seventh run of the day on the same run.
He was flying aggressively and confidently in terrain where there is no margin for error. His canopy hit a tree in a very narrow deep part of the gorge, causing him to strike the side of the gorge wall and fall into the river below. The river swept him downstream and over several waterfalls until he got stuck at the bottom of one of them.
JC and Bobo were ground support for the run. On seeing the accident JC rode the helicopter up to where Jonathan was. JC tried to retrieve Jonathan from the water – he was heavily entangled in lines and material and face down. JC managed to cut away his canopy but could see that Jonathan was already gone. The canopy was still wrapped around Jonathan and it started to reinflate, pulling both of them down the river towards the next waterfall. JC had to let him go and Jonathan came to rest in the next pool, where the Medivac team eventually retrieved him.
Once the Coroner here is ready to release him, Jonathan will be flown back to his family in California.
We want to thank you for all your expressions of love and support for Jonathan’s family and the team over the last 24 hours. We are spread far and wide right now and reading all the messages from our skydiving family helps more than you can imagine. There will be a place to share good stories and fond memories of JT with each other on the PD Factory Team page shortly.
Rest in peace Jonathan, we already miss you.