Woman Parachutist Survives 80-Foot Fall at Reno Air Races

Associated Press

A woman whose parachute collapsed at 80 feet apparently escaped major injury Saturday at the 23rd annual Reno Air Races in another in a series of near-misses that have plagued the four-day event.

Spokeswoman Marlene Olsen said Tanya Stringham was “awake, alert and coherent” in a local hospital after the incident. Stringham is a member of the Stardusters, an all-woman parachute team that was performing for the large crowd attending the world’s largest air races.

The spokeswoman said the parachutist was “jarred, but that’s about it.”

Olsen said there was no explanation for why Stringham’s parachute collapsed.

The incident occurred after Friday’s near midair collision involving former astronaut Deke Slayton, who was visibly shaken but unharmed.


Slayton, 61, was in hot pursuit of the leader in his red Stinger during international Formula 1 midget competition when racer Lori Love suddenly moved in front, cutting Slayton off.

“She rolled to the right. We didn’t touch, but I had to pull back and turn. I’ve got too many gray hairs now,” said Slayton.