OMRO - We're learning more about the death of a skydiving instructor during a tandem jump.
It appears the wind played a role in Tuesday's jump which ended with an instructor's death.
The owner of Skydive Adventure in Omro, Bill Hasenfus said Thursday he tried to stop the jump when he saw a storm rolling in, but that didn't happen.
Strong winds pushed the skydiving team off course and into Lake Butte des Morts around 12:30 Tuesday.
The student was able to swim to shore, but the instructor, 55-year-old Paul Olsen, didn't make it. Officials say he drowned.
Jumping resumed at Skydive Adventure Thursday after the death of Olsen.
Skydive Adventure owner, Bill Hasenfus, says before the jump, he and Olsen discussed canceling it because of a coming storm.
"But it looked far enough away that well, I talked to Paul, I said what do you think Paul, and he said let's go for it. I said well if it looks bad, land," said Hasenfus.
Hasenfus says he watches the weather constantly and when he saw conditions take a turn for the worse, he radioed the pilot to abort the jump.
"The winds picked up real strong and sheets of rain it hit us, the wind sure hit us, and I radioed the airplane real quick, and said go over to Oshkosh," said Hasenfus.
When Hasenfus got to Oshkosh, he says only the pilot was on board the plane. No skydivers. The pilot said he didn't hear the transmission until after the tandem jumped.
"Paul made a decision. He had a bigger eye view of the storm than we did from the air. He made a decision and jumped. That was his decision," said Hasenfus.
The tandem jumpers were supposed to land near the Omro airport. Instead they landed in Lake Butte des Morts near the Leonard Point Road Boat Launch.
Hasenfus says he's spoken with the surviving jumper, a man who was visiting from Mexico.
"He said they landed in the water and they started swimming for shore. They disconnected, got out of the harness and started swimming for shore. Paul said just swim for shore, and they were swimming kind of together, and he got to a weed bed to stand up, and he looked around and Paul was gone," said Hasenfus.
Not only did Olsen have 5,000-plus jumps under his belt, Hasenfus says he was also an experienced swimmer and scuba diver.
"We just don't know why he never made it," said Hasenfus. "We feel really bad, he was like family you know - it's quite a loss."
"Out of everybody out here, he was the most experienced skydiver out here," said Gary Martzahl, tandem skydive instructor.
Olsen's co-workers say they're also saddened by Olsen's unexpected death.
"He was always upbeat, really liked working with the students. When we'd get done with the day we'd sit around and talk, watch movies, stuff like that, videos of the day," said Martzahl.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the death.
The FAA is looking into the packing of the chutes, flight procedures, the pilot's certification and training, and the aircraft's certification and maintenance.
FAA officials say it could be several weeks before their investigation concludes.
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