BASE jumper Shane McConkey was killed earlieryesterday in a ski-BASE accident in the Italian Dolomites. McConkey experienced problems in the air after launching off a cliff with the expectation of deploying his parachute canopy and then gliding down to the ground
"He did a double backflip off the jump and he has these releasable bindings so they come off in the air and then he flies off in his wing suit," filmmaker Scott Gaffney, a longtime close friend of McConkey's, told ESPN Action Sports in an interview this afternoon via phone.
"But one ski did not come off. And when that happens the drag on the skis causes you to flip over, so the skis go over your head. So he was struggling with the one ski. Then he also got into a bad spin. So he may have never even pulled his pilot chute. And that's coming from JT Holmes, who Shane was with in Italy and who reviewed the footage of the accident. So the combination of the ski, the spin and the pilot chute, apparently. Because you can't throw the pilot chute like that; if you throw it while you're upside down and it wraps around the ski, you're done."