My recent visit to the motherland gave me the opportunity for yet another skydiving session, I joined my instructor and mentor Aleš Debeljak from the Paranoia skydiving school.
All went well and on the third jump of the second day just as I exited the Cessna 206 I apparently managed to hook my rig on the side of the door which resulted in a nasty tear in my container on the reserve parachute flap. I am suspecting poor stitching but will have to send the whole thing to Florida to be fixed.
Here are photos of the my sad-looking Aerodyne Icon Sport container:
As usual some of the media outlets are taking a completely wrong ignorant spin on this genuine and sad tragedy.
Slovenia lost a great pilot Viktor Bečan (a.k.a. “Som“). My sincere condolences go to his family. My hopes for a quick recovery go to the surviving co-pilot Savo Medved
Photo on left featuring the “Som” made by Lubi in Novo mesto (Prečna) in June 2007.
Slovenia lost a legend among skydiving planes the “Fata” – Antonov 2 from the Paranoia Skydiving school (part of the ŠOLT organization) that fulfilled the dreams of many skydivers in becoming the vessel for them to do their first skydive jumps. It is also the plane even us experienced skydivers loved to use.
Aleš Debeljak (a.k.a. “Debeli”) and his friends were the sole machinery behind the Paranoia skydiving school and my heart goes to them. Aleš is a to good a chap for this to have happened to and everybody that knows him will agree with me 200%. His most important moto in skydiving was “Safety first” and he would never put anyone on a plane, let alone allow him/her to jump out of it unless he wasn’t completely certain about their safety. I have been a skydiver since April 2005 and I am proud to be one, and I hope this accident won’t become a stepping stone for an old fashioned witch hunt that some media companies, apparently, still like to have.
I must sadly inform you that the Antonov-2 airplane (we lovingly called “Fata”) from which I learned how to skydive and did many jumps, the most recent ones in September 2007, crashed in the mountains near Trbovlje at about 1pm local time.
Photo taken by Daniel Zavratnik in Bovec in August 2007. Viktor Bečan a.k.a. “Som” is the chap on the left in a green t-shirt. In the middle is one of our lovely fellow skydivers and on the right is the legend of Slovene skydiving who runs, in my opinion, the best skydiving school in Slovenia – Aleš Debeljak a.k.a. “Debeli”.
Even sader is the fact that at this very moment the pilot is feared dead, the co-pilot survived, but apparently with severe burns. There were no skydivers on board. I know Ales, who runs it, was planning on sending it to Hungary for servicing. He was also going to re-fit its outer skin. She meant a lot for Slovene skydiving and will be very missed. I will try to find out what has happened to the pilots…
The news channels have confirmed that the pilot Viktor Bečan (a.k.a “Som”) lost his life in the crash. He will be missed and I would like to express condolances to his family and friends.
I also am sorry for Aleš Debeljak who runs the Paranoia skydiving school and managed the “Fata” AN-2 airplane almost by himself.
I was angry, but not so surprised to hear some of the more moronic interviews on 24ur.com regarding the supposed unairworthiness of the AN-2. This airplane is definately one of the most safest civilian planes we have even though it looks like your Russian 3rd grade rubbish bin from the inside. It is extremely stable and can land on a penny. It is flight characteristics are great at low speed flights. In many respects it was the best plane to start my first skydiving jumps from and anyone who flew her knew that as a fact.
I am proud to have made 35 out of my 91 jumps from this airplane.
Fellow skydivers’ websites reporting on the incident:
- Peter Lamut (Jeti) (website unavailable, checked Sep 2018)
- Black Betty
- Matej Golob (website unavailable, checked Sep 2018)
UPDATE 3! on 7-May-2010
A final report from the Slovene Civil Aviation Authority has been issued. Read it here HA-MKK_11_01_2008_SLO (Slovenian) and here HA-MKK_11_01_2008_ANG (English).
UPDATE 4! on 5-Sep-2018
Removed some of the dead links and added the PDF reports about the incident as they were linked to the Slovenian GOV website in charge of aeroplane accidents.
This is not a news story about a lady who was given a gift voucher to do a tandem jump. No, no, this actualy my mother Nataša Hacin, who is, by the way, also a grandmother, who bought herself a skydiving course here, in Slovenia, and actually finished it the next year when she passed the skydiving exam and became a proper licensed skydiver.
This is no small matter even for the school itself, the school is called Paranoia and is part of the Šolt organization and is ran by Mr. Aleš Debeljak.
My mother started the course in the Autumn of 2005 and gradually got better and better at skydiving. She even caught the attention of the biggest Slovene Sunday newspaper Nedelo who published an article about her. The picture seen in the linked webpage was taken at a boogie (boogie = sort of a skydiving event) at Slovenj Gradec where the conditions were very demanding as there were quite strong turbulent winds at the dropzone.
May she have many great and safe jumps.