SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego County Medical Examiner identified a skydiver killed by a parachute malfunction as 30-year-old Andrei Penz.
Penz died Friday afternoon during a jump at Skydive San Diego in Jamul.
“He loved skydiving. He loved the skydiving family. He loved adventure and he loved life," said Buzz Fink, owner of Skydive San Diego. According to Fink, Penz spent five years as an instructor and was one of the best.
“Every time he took someone up – it was like it was his first time. He was just excited about it and shared the excitement with them," said Fink.
Penz averaged more than 1,500 jumps a year, according to Fink.
Penz was jumping on his own Friday and breaking-in a new chute when disaster struck as he tried to land, Fink said.
“When he did his turn – it collapsed underneath him, half the canopy did – which made him fall out of the sky just above 100 feet," said Fink.
An on-staff EMT reached Penz in a matter of seconds, but the skydiver died at the scene.
Skydive San Diego was back open Saturday. Fink said it's what their good friend would've wanted.
“Any time there’s a fatality in the sport – it’s hard on the skydivers. But it’s even harder when it’s one of your family members, especially such a good guy like Andrei.”