Flying tailor

Franz Reichelt wearing his parachute suit
Franz Reichelt wearing his parachute suit

Franz Reichelt, a 33-year-old Austrian tailor and inventor living in Paris, died jumping from the first platform of the Eiffel Tower in a test of his experimental parachute-suit. Reichelt had designed the flight-suit that extended into a parachute as a way to save pilots that were forced to eject from their aircraft mid-flight when they couldn’t carry a traditional backpack-parachute with them. He had received permission from the Paris Police to conduct a trial-run of his suit on the Eiffel Tower using a dummy. Just before the test was to take place, Reichelt revealed that he would be making the jump instead, despite attempts by friends and spectators to dissuade him. When he made the jump his parachute failed to deploy and he fell 190 ft. to his death. The entire event, including Reichelt’s death, was captured by a cinematographer. This footage can now be found on the Internet, and is one of the earliest examples of an accidental death being caught on film.

Submission by Logan Agle. Thank you.

Skydiver filmed fall without parachute

An experienced parachutist Ivan Lester McGuire, 35, of Durham, North Carolina filmed his own two-mile death plunge after he fell from an airplane while carrying a video camera but apparently without realizing he had no parachute.