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Man Survives Accidental Fall from Plane

August 27, 1990

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) _ A skydiver whose parachute inadvertently opened inside a plane was forced to leap only 800 feet off the ground, but survived after landing in a clump of trees.

Timothy Bradbrooke, 28, of Haverford, was listed in guarded condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital, apparently suffering from back injuries.

The plane had just taken off from Hazleton Airport on Sunday when his parachute caught on the door, opened and was sucked outside.

″He had to jump out. Otherwise he would have been pulled through the wall of the airplane,″ said James Lindner, an airport serviceman who witnessed the fall.

Drag from the partially opened main chute helped break Bradbrooke’s fall and may have saved his life, said Ron Kellner, who was with Bradbrooke on the plane.

″When I saw his parachute leaving the aircraft, I yelled for him to get out,″ Kellner said. ″You have no choice. When that parachute opens, you’re going.″

Skydivers typically prefer jumps from 5,000 to 10,000 feet, Lindner said.