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Skydiver Falls to Death in Maine

March 12, 1989

LEBANON, Maine (AP) _ A skydiver who jumped out of an airplane with three fellow parachutists fell to his death in an accident being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, officials said.

The body of Robert Sweet, 43, of Salem, N.H., was found in woods in this southwestern Maine town near the New Hampshire border a couple of hours after Saturday’s jump, said Warden Mark Warren of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

″As far as we can determine now, it appears as if the chute didn’t open properly,″ Warren said. FAA Regional Duty Officer Claudio Gualco said Sunday from Burlington, Mass., that the cause had not been determined.

Sweet and three fellow members of the Lebanon Skydivers took off from their private airstrip here around noon in a Cessna 182, Warren said. The others landed safely.

An eight-member search team from the York County Sheriff’s Department and 80 volunteers combed the woods for more than two hours before finding the body at 3:45 p.m.

FAA investigators planned to try to interview the other three skydivers on Monday, Gualco said.

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