Texas teen in 3,500-foot skydiving spiral had working parachute: FAA


By Jana J. Pruet

DALLAS (Reuters) - The parachute of a Texas teenager who went into a 3,500-foot (1,000-metre) spiral before hitting the ground appeared to be in good working order, according to a Federal Aviation Administration report obtained on Tuesday.

Makenzie Wethington, who went skydiving in January in Oklahoma to celebrate her 16th birthday, survived the fall but suffered injuries that included a broken pelvis, broken vertebrae and broken ribs.

The FAA report said it had a senior rigger inspect the parachute, who found it to be functioning properly.

FAA investigators found nothing that warranted opening an enforcement case against the Oklahoma skydiving company, Pegasus Air Sports Center, for safety violations.

The company's owner, Robert Swainson, told the FAA the teen did not respond to instructions sent to her by radio during her descent to stop the spin, the report said.

The teenager has told media she may have blacked out during the parachute jump.

(Reporting by Jana J. Pruet; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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