Skip to main content

Minnesota man, 81, dies in skydiving accident in Montana

The experienced skydiver lost control after a "hard opening."
skydiving

Stock image

An 81-year-old Minnesota man died in a skydiving accident in Montana. 

The tragic incident happened around 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 at Skydive Lost Prarie near Marion, Montana, when Gerald F. Fischer, of Moorhead, jumped from a plane and fell to his death, according to the Flathead County Sheriff's Office. 

A press release from the sheriff's office says Fischer experienced a "hard opening" when he released his parachute, causing him to turn counter clockwise under the canopy at about 4,000 feet. Fischer continued to spin counter clockwise until he crashed into a pasture. 

Fischer, an experienced skydiver with more than 2,000 jumps under his belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to Westpoint Skydiving Adventures, a hard opening happens at the end of a free fall when jumpers deploy their parachute. It can result in injuries to the skydiver and cause equipment damage. 

Fischer's obituary states that he was born Dec. 25, 1937 in Moorhead, where he was raised and continued to live. He excelled in wrestling while attending Moorhead High School, his obituary adds. 

There were 13 skydiving fatalities out of approximately 3.3 million attempts in 2018, according to the United States Parachute Association

Next Up

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Growlers

Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

US Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium looking to hire 400 part-time workers

A hiring fair will be held for the positions.

Related

Granite Peak, Montana

Minnesota man dies climbing Montana's highest peak

The man fell to his death over the weekend.

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 4.20.23 PM

Bloomington twin brothers die in Montana crash

The 20-year-old brothers were on their way back from a road trip.

Minnesota man dies snowmobiling in Montana

The man was found face down in a creek.

snowmobile, snowmobiling

5 Minnesotans rescued during snowmobile trip in Montana

One of the riders went through ice on a lake.

Suspect dies after complaining of breathing troubles during arrest

The suspect died after losing consciousness during the arrest.

Man dies in hunting accident in southwest Minnesota

The 39-year-old was found dead in Nobles County.

Minnesota man dies while rappelling in Utah

The Delano man had a problem with his rope and fell to his death.