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Skydiver firm accused.

THE sky diving firm with which TV news reader Carol Barnes'daughter was jumping when she died has been charged with breaching safety rules.

Clare Barnes plunged 14,000ft to her death when her parachute failed to open as she made her 200thjump near Melbourne in south-eastern Australia last month.

The allegations facing Skydive City do not relate to Miss Barnes'death,but instead follow a lengthy investigation into the company by the country's aviation watchdog.

Owner Luke McWilliam faces 21 charges filed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the bulk of the charges, filed under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988, related to dropping parachutists through clouds.

One charge also relates to having unauthorised equipment on board an aircraft. Mr McWilliam, whose company is based at Barwon Heads,near Geelong,Victoria,is due to appear before Geelong Magistrates on May 14.

He told a local newspaper he welcomed the chance to defend his business operations in court.

The Australian Parachute Federation (APF), which has been investigating the incident,blamed poor gear maintenance and incorrect packing of the parachutes for Miss Barnes's death However, theAPF report suggested that Miss Barnes was likely to have packed the equipment herself.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2004
Words:200
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