Search Continues for Missing Parachutists

A photo of one of the Texas Air Rangers at the Friday jump.

A photo of one of the Texas Air Rangers at the Friday jump.

Golan County Search & Rescue and the Golan County Sheriff’s Office are continuing the search for two parachutists who are missing following a jump on Friday. The parachutists, Ellie Castle and David Wang, jumped with a local parachute enthusiasts group as part of the celebration of Pinebox Softball Daze, which began Friday evening. The group, the Texas Air Rangers, practices aerial maneuvers and pinpoint landing and often performs at air shows around the region.

Sherriff Butch Anderson has confirmed that all twelve members of the group, including Castle and Wang, were aboard the DeHavilland Twin Otter when it took off from Golon County Airport. Witnesses among the group report that Castle and Wang jumped at the same time as the others. Photographs taken from the ground show all twelve members linking arms to form a circular “star cluster” as they descended. Ten members of the Texas Air Rangers landed at the Pinebox Athletic Field as planned, but Castle and Wang failed to appear.

Although no official cause has been put forward and no bodies have been recovered, a member of the Texas Air Rangers stated on condition of anonymity that the two parachutists may have collided in midair, knocking them unconscious and they fell to the ground without opening their chutes. Another member of the team, also speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the dive became difficult after the group broke up, with violent air currents and unusual updrafts.

Texas Air Ranger president Adam Lang has released a statement thanking the Golon County Search & Rescue and Sheriff’s office for their continued efforts.

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