A man who died in a parachute accident at Tauranga Airport on Saturday is believed to have been a skydiving instructor.
Emergency services were called to the airport on Kittyhawk Way at 10.33am after reports that a person had crashed in a parachute.
St John Ambulance took the man to Tauranga Hospital but he died on the way.
A witness said on the NZ Herald Facebook page that the man was a skydiving instructor . His parachute appeared to have got "tangled up".
A Skydive Tauranga employee told Radio NZ that the man was "a competitive sports skydiver".
"For us, the most important thing is to make sure that his family is good and then all of the people in our groundcrew here are supported," the employee said.
"So we've just suspended operations for the next few days while we all make sure everyone is supported."
The employee said the company was assisting the police and the Civil Aviation Authority. WorkSafe has also been notified.
Skydive Tauranga has promised a public statement on Monday.
NZ Parachute Federation vice-chairwoman Lisa Chambers said the witnesses were probably referring to a "line twist".
"Line twists can occur easily through poor body positioning when you are opening your parachute, which you can normally correct yourself. It's not usually fatal," she said.
"They don't happen very often for the amount of times you do skydiving."
She said fatal skydiving accidents were rare.
"It's not as dangerous as people think, so this sounds like something has gone horribly wrong for whatever reason, and it could be human error."
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