TAYLORVILLE (JG-TC) -- An area pilot and skydiver was killed in a skydiving accident at approximately 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Taylorville Municipal Airport. 

Giles Henderson, 74, of Charleston and a woman had jumped out of a plane at the time of the incident. Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile said when Henderson opened his parachute after he jumped, it got entangled with the other skydiver.

The two were able to break free from one another, however, Henderson was not able to recover to land successfully, Hile said. The woman was able to land and received non-life-threatening injuries.  

The Taylorville Police Department, Taylorville Fire Department and Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating the incident. 

According to the JG-TC archives, Henderson performed in airshows for more than 20 years until the 1990s, and he switched to skydiving performances about six years ago.

According to an August 2016 feature on the retired Eastern Illinois University chemistry professor, Henderson had even walked onto a plane's wing and then parachuted off during his act at the Coles County Airshow. 



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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