Rangers Ballpark Flagpole Catches Skydiver - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Rangers Ballpark Flagpole Catches Skydiver



    Rangers Ballpark Flagpole Catches Skydiver
    A member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team gets hung up on a flagpole during a jump into the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before the baseball game between the Rangers and the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. No one was reported injured in the minor mishap.

    Just a bit outside.

    Staff Sgt. John Ewald, a U.S. Army skydiver, was left dangling on a flagpole at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington after his parachute got entangled during a pregame jump Tuesday night.

    The Rangers said the jumper was uninjured after he unbuckled himself from the chute and dropped a few feet to a work platform on top of the scoreboard, the highest point of the stadium.

    Ewald could been seen walking away while his parachute whipped in the wind for several more minutes before being removed by stadium workers, who arrived quickly.

    Skydiving Hang-Up

    [DFW] Skydiving Hang-Up
    A U.S. Army skydiver's parachute gets entangled during a pregame jump at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010)

    "Because of his skills and training, he was able to get down off that pole and walked away with a big smile on his face," said Sgt. First Class Mike Elliot, Ewald's team leader.

    Ewald was among several members the U.S. Army Parachute Team known as the Golden Knights who jumped on the breezy night. The rest -- including Elliot -- landed on the field.

    "You can control a lot of things," Elliot said. "We have the best aircraft. We have some of the best professional skydivers in the world. And we have the best equipment. And we train -- train, train, train..."

    But they can't always predict Mother Nature or prepare for every possible wind gust.

    "It takes one small error and a mishap happens," Elliot said. "That's why we train as hard as we do, to mitigate things from going the wrong direction."

    And Ewald was back at it after Tuesday's mishap, jumping twice at a show Wednesday in Addison. He also plans to jump again Thursday.

    The Golden Knights formed in 1959. The two demonstration teams travel around the country to perform at air shows and special events to support Army recruiting.

    NBCDFW's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.