SC man dies in skydiving accident after parachute malfunction - | WBTV Charlotte

SC man dies in skydiving accident after parachute malfunction


A 65-year-old man has died after officials say his parachute malfunctioned during a skydiving accident on Sunday.

According to Skydive Carolina, an experienced skydiver "succumbed to injuries sustained while making a routine skydive." The incident happened at approximately 3 p.m.

WBTV has learned that 65-year-old Wolfgang "Pete" Langehans, from Columbia, was parachuting when the parachute malfunctioned or didn't open. He had jumped from 14,000 feet.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Criminal Justice Academy confirms Langehans worked for several state agencies in South Carolina dating back to the 80's including the Department of Public Safety and Probation Parole and Pardon Services. 

His last position with the state was as the Associate Deputy Director for the SC Criminal Justice Academy from 2000-2003 when he retired.

Skydive Carolina officials say Langehans was "highly experienced having amassed in excess of 5,500 jumps over the course of 30-plus years in the sport."

WBTV has learned that Langehans was a videographer with Skydive Carolina, but officials there say he was not working as a videographer during his fatal fall.

"It's a very tragic loss for me," said Skydive Carolina owner Danny Smith.

Smith says Langehans was his best friend and had actually made several jumps on Sunday before the fatal jump.

"We had a great day together yesterday from the time he arrived at the skydive center until the accident happened, so I'm still in shock," he said.

He says what he'll miss the most about his best friend is his infectious personality.

"He was very friendly. He had a smile on his face all the time. To my knowledge he didn't have any enemies," said Smith.

"It's an unfortunate and sad day for all of us here for our Skydive Carolina family and of course his immediately family, but I know Pete. He would want us to continue on spreading the love of skydiving to anyone you can because it's an incredible sport," he continued.

Officials say the accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An autopsy is planned for Monday.

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