Fort Bragg death leads Army to suspend parachutes

AP News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2011 8:42 AM
Fort Bragg death leads Army to suspend parachutes

The Army has suspended the use of its new square parachutes because of problems found after a Fort Bragg soldier died during a training jump.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Wednesday that the T-11 parachutes initially were praised as safer. Tests had shown the new parachutes provide a slower, more stable descent than the traditional mushroom-shaped style.

Now Army investigators say Staff Sgt. Jamal Clay fell to his death last month because his T-11 parachute malfunctioned. Clay died during a training exercise at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

An internal Army memo says investigators found "potential packing, inspection, quality control and functionality problems" with the T-11 parachute system.

According to the memo, Secretary of the Army John McHugh ordered the suspension of the parachute's use until a safety investigation is completed.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com