Body of Skydiving Instructor Located By Searchers
The body of a skydiver who fell during a tandem dive on Thursday was located late Friday afternoon.
Maine Warden Corporal John MacDonald says ground searchers located 41-year-old Brett Bickford's body just before 5:30 Thursday afternoon. A team comprised of four Game Wardens, a State Trooper, and two members of the Maine Association of Search and Rescue found his remains about 750 feet southwest of the Lebanon Airport runway. Bickford's body was found as the team was winding down its search for the day, because they were losing light.
Bickford, who was an instructor with Skydive New England, was involved in a tandem dive with a student when he somehow became disengaged and fell. Officials have estimated that he was approximately a mile in the air at the time. The student was able to land safely. Bickford was reportedly not wearing an emergency parachute.
MacDonald says the investigation into the incident will continue as officials work to determine what caused the accident. Bickford's family and the first responders wish to thank all those involved and who offered their support during this difficult recovery operation.