A British soldier survived a 15,000-footfall after he crashed through the roof of a California home on July 6 during the High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jump as his parachute failed to fully open during the training exercise with US troops. The parachuter’s identity has not been disclosed and the British embassy hasn’t revealed the British soldier’s unit or with which US troops he was training with. It is known that the exercise was being conducted from Camp Roberts, a California National Guard Base, the National Guard spokesperson told Military.com.
As the parachute failed to deploy, it sent him into a downward spiral over the skies of Via Celo, Atascadero, about 322 kilometres north of Los Angeles, followed by a crash through the roof of an uninhabited home and landing into its kitchen. Thankfully, no one was home at the time of the crash and the neighbours called 911 and rushed to help after seeing him crash into the home leaving a huge hole on the tiled roof.
Images of the accident were shared on Twitter by US Army WTF! Moments on July 10 with a caption reading- Airborne.
Netizens filled the comment section and jumped at the opportunity to make jokes out of the situation. Official Facebook page of the Atascadero Police department, which responded to the accident shared details about the soldier’s health. It was shared that he was conscious but stunned with pain and suffered no serious injuries which were treated by Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services and he was taken to a hospital.
A British Embassy spokesperson told a news outlet he is recovering well now. They further added that the UK military always attempts to minimise the damage caused by such accidents and expressed their gratefulness for the local residents and their support.
HALO jumps typically involve exiting an aircraft from an altitude up to 35,000 feet but not opening the parachute until one is at or below 6,000 feet states the US military 2014 Military Freefall Operations field manual.