Skydiver killed in fall: The skydiver who was killed while "trying to fly close to the ground at maximum speed for a long period of time" was coming in too low from his fall and as a result impacted the ground prematurely. “Kenneth Ryan Bernek hit a pedestrian while trying to fly close to the ground at maximum speed. He was remembered by Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club's manager as a great friend and an expert diver,” reported the New York Daily News on Oct 13, 2013.
On Saturday evening, the plane carrying 34-year-old skydiver Kenneth Ryan Bernek and other skydivers, took off from an airport in Michigan. Kenneth Ryan Bernek, who was considered to be an expert skydiver with about 1,800 dives under his belt, and who had performed other skydiving stunts before, hopped out of the plane at 5,000 feet in order to work on a dangerous skydiving technique called "high performance canopy flight" - or swooping.
During a high performance canopy flight or swooping, a skydiver tries to fly close to the ground with maximum speed for a long distance before landing.
According to Randy Allison, the manager of Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club in Ray Township, where the fatal dive occurred, skydiver Kenneth Ryan Bernek was killed in the fall because the dive that he executed was a little too low.
The woman who was hit by Kenneth Ryan Bernek when he was killed in his fall just outside the landing zone was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Unlike skydiver Kenneth Ryan Bernek, the other skydivers in the plane jumped from 14,000 feet above ground for standard jumps.
Jumping out of the plane at 5,000 feet, as Kenneth Ryan Bernek did, is an extremely dangerous technique for any stuntman since the skydiver falls at a high speed towards the ground.
This was not the first time that skydiver Kenneth Ryan Bernek had done a low-flying stunt. On August 11, one of his friends commented under a Facebook profile picture showing a low-flying stunt. “'U look a little low... Bernek's answer was: 'That explains the hands on the brake toggles... ha'.”