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Parachutist Perishes During Mass Free Fall

54 Year Old Veteran Skydiver's Chute Fails to Deploy.

(8/16/2004) A record-setting mass parachute jump by 103 skydivers representing 16 countries was cast into mourning when an Indonesian jumper lost his life in a post-record-setting celebratory jump on Wednesday, August 11, 2004.

54-year-old Theo P. Mandagi, one of Indonesia's most senior parachutists and a member of a legendary family of skydivers, perished when his main and auxiliary chutes failed to deploy. His body, still wearing the unopened chute, was discovered by villagers just south of Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport at sunset on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day Mandagi had successfully participated in a mass formation led by one of the world's leading skydiving instructors, Mr. B.J. Worth of the United States. A group of 103 jumped over Bali from a single Air Force C-130 aircraft at 18,000 feet to form a massive red and white propeller formation.

The deceased, Theo Mandagi, hails from a family with deep connections to the sport of skydiving in Indonesia. Both his wife and two daughters are active participants in the sport. Three skydiving brothers of Mandagi perished in the crash of a small plane outside Jakarta in 1986 during take off on a skydiving exhibition.