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Old 12-05-2017, 02:19 AM   #1
Lotahp1
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Default Giles Henderson RIP

I just saw Giles son announce that his Dad...Giles Henderson was killed in a skydiving accident.

I didn’t know him or even ever get to meet him but grew up hearing of him and watching YouTube videos.

A real sad day for obviously his family and friends but seems to me the aviation world really lost a great one.

RIP Giles...


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Old 12-05-2017, 03:17 AM   #2
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I was looking at his Cassutt this year at OSH. Very sad news.


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Old 12-05-2017, 04:41 AM   #3
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Default Giles

Terrible news. I first met Giles at an aerobatic contest around 1976. He was probably had the highest number of Sportsman wins in the history of IAC.
He got the Cassutt from the late great Pete Meyers and turned it into one of the nicest Cassutt's ever.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:53 AM   #4
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We spent most of our time at the Nationals with Giles...a true gentleman and sportsman.
This hit me hard, he and i are about the same age and i told him i wore a parachute to suit the IAC but i would not use it.
He did beat the Doctors, hospital, and nursing home.
i look forward to meeting him again hearing another great story.
Attached are some photos and a 3200 mile cross country he sent to me.
Giles1020170848a.jpg   Giles 1020170838b.jpg  
File Type: pdf Giles 3200 Mile Cassutt Flight-1.pdf (1.31 MB, 162 views)
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:01 PM   #5
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After a number of e-mail exchanges over the years, I got to meet Giles in person at Nationals. A great aviator and a great person. I hope to have that level of enthusiasm at that age.

Best of luck,

Wes
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:19 PM   #6
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I was fortunate enough to be a Sportsman competitor when Giles was flying the Cub. This is very sad news.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:59 PM   #7
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Watching Giles fly the Cub from a Judges standpoint was pure pleasure. He was so smooth. Great guy! He lived life to the fullest.

JST
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:21 PM   #8
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He will definitely be missed. Giles was at most of the contests that I've been to. Great guy. Lots of good stories.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:32 PM   #9
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When Giles henderson was inducted into the IAC Hall of Fame, they made the video that you can see at
http://www.eaavideo.org/detail/video...F1973974915001

Best of luck,

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:58 PM   #10
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Had the great please of sharing numerous skydives with Giles and always looked to him as a most kind, generous and skilled aviation mentor. A true champion of life who will remain always in memories. Thoughts and prayers for Giles family.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:22 AM   #11
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Nice story on the pdf Dennis.

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:24 AM   #12
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From a jump site, written by Gary Peek, a well known S&TA (Safety position).

It is with great sadness that I am reporting on the fatality of Giles Henderson, a friend to many of us, and a great man.

He was a long time aerobatic airplane competitor, A&P, jump pilot, and retired college physics professor. For all of his aviation knowledge and skill, he was an incredibly modest, friendly, and helpful man. If you search the web for his name you can find a fair amount about him. Pictures of him are linked below.


Giles was 74 years old, in good shape, had about 10 years in the sport, and most of his 490 jumps were in recent years because he flew the jump planes more in the earlier years. He was very current and jumped often this last summer.

The accident was Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, at 3PM and was at Mid America Sport Parachute Club (Skydive Taylorville) in Taylorville, IL at the Municipal Airport (TAZ).

The skydive was a 5 way formation skydive from a Cessna 206. The other jumpers consisted of 3 very experienced jumpers, and the other jumper involved in the accident (Jumper 2) was recently licensed and had about 35-40 jumps.

Giles was wearing weight, as he often did because he fell slower than many jumpers, except on this jump he went low and was low much of the skydive, possibly because Jumper 2 may have gotten nervous and stiff, and fell slower than she usually did. Being low was a situation that Giles did not often experience.

Formation breakoff was at 4500 feet. One of the jumpers on the load said that he briefly saw Giles moving/tracking toward the other jumpers at breakoff rather than away from them, so it seems that he got confused about direction. Giles was known to have difficulty seeing behind him because of a stiff neck, not uncommon for someone his age. He was also known to prefer opening a bit higher than many skydivers. These things combined could have caused this accident.

Giles deployed and Jumper 2 struck Giles' canopy near the center of the canopy. Her body somehow tore off the pilot chute and bridle from his canopy. The pilot chute bridle went between her legs and was "friction-welded" to her jumpsuit, and stayed with her until removed after her entire canopy descent. She did not have broken bones, but her shoulder and hand were both injured. She said she had a concussion (no unconciousness). She worked her way through the pain in her hand and landed normally. She does not remember striking Giles' body but remembers his canopy's lines around her neck temporarily, and then being thrown free.

It would seem that she actually did collide with Giles in some manner due to the damage later found on the rig. It would also seem that the collision caused Giles to lose consciousness temporarily or otherwise incapacitate or confuse him, because he seemed to not take any action for a long time into his canopy descent, until he was very low. One of the experienced jumpers on the load said that he saw an early portion of Giles' canopy descent and it looked like both Gile's arms and legs were limp and being thrown about.

I was in the hangar, and other experienced jumpers watched some of the freefall and saw Giles' canopy open, but no one mentioned seeing a collision. After a while they started saying things about "cutaway about to happen". Then they started saying things like "come on, man, cutaway", etc. I came out of the hangar and started watching a canopy that was unstable, descending rapidly and swinging him from side to side, consistent with canopy damage.

At a low altitude (unknown, but seemed like about 500-600 feet), I saw the reserve pilot chute, but it entangled with the main, with no reserve visible. The reserve ripcord handle was found about 50 feet away, consistent with Giles pulling it at that altitude. Perhaps he thought or knew that he was too low to release the main at that point. The rest of the descent looked like Giles was conscious and working on the situation.

He landed on the ramp near the next hangar over from the skydiving operation hangar. He may have landed somewhat on his side and he came to rest face-down. We got to him about 30 seconds later and realized the severity of the fall. Emergency personnel were called and arrived in about 5 minutes, but he most likely passed away before they arrived.

When we initially looked at the gear we found the reserve pilot chute bridle severely tangled with the main, and none of the reserve canopy was out of the bag. We found 6-7 lines severed and the right main riser released. The loop that the cutaway cable goes through was severed, which likely happened during the collision. There were also friction burns on the canopy and some tears to the fabric. All of this would be consistent with how the canopy acted during descent.

His gear was a Vector2 in very good condition, no RSL, PD Spectre at a low wingloading, Vigil Quatro AAD set to "Pro", Protec helmet.

When we inspected the gear further after the coroner's photographer had taken pictures and allowed us to move things, we found the AAD displaying "Pro" and the loop uncut. The cutaway handle was in place and would have been easy to find.

The S&TA went to the coroner's inquest/meeting Monday the 4th and further inspected the gear. The top skin of the main was torn from the center of the center cell back to the tail. As many as 10 lines were severed. The AAD cutter was not fired.

My final conclusion to this accident is that we must be absolutely sure that the airspace above us is clear when we deploy. It seems that Giles thought that it was, but it was not. Sometimes we may need to go beyond what we normally do to insure this, as in, tracking farther (and perhaps taking it lower) than we normally do, or even doing a barrel roll while tracking. We may need to do this if something unusual happens, like if we go low.

We also should recognize that in some cases it may be much safer to sacrifice altitude at pull time for airspace that we know is clear, even if it is an altitude lower than the recommended (or required) altitude.

Investigating this fatality has given me a renewed respect for Bryan Burke, who has written numerous reports like this one for incidents at Skydive Arizona. Every person on Giles' load that I talked to had at least some small piece of information that helped determine what happened. I went into a lot of detail because I was already writing the report for USPA and decided to include most of the information here where we can learn from it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:54 AM   #13
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Ron,
Thanks for the detailed description by Gary, you may have saved someones life.
This is the kind of info you will only see on a forum like this where it counts.
CHARLESTON, IL – Dr. Giles Lee Henderson, age 74 of Charleston and formerly of Montana, passed away in a skydiving accident in Taylorville, Illinois on Saturday, December 2, 2017. A reception for family and friends will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8, 2017 at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. Memorial Services honoring and celebrating his life will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, 2017


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How can you not be romantic about biplanes.
If your Father is poor it's fate, if your Father-in-law is poor it's stupidity
Wilbur Wright said he "did not have time for both a wife and an airplane."
Which is the better portion -- bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?
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