A man making his first parachute jump had a terrifying mid-air fright when his main chute failed to open.

Chris Swift, from Stockbridge, was taking part in a freefall tandem parachute jump in aid of charity when the main chute became entangled and didn't open correctly.

Luckily Chris was strapped to the back of a professional skydiver who cut the main canopy and release the emergency chute.

The pair then glided safely back to earth for a perfect landing.

It was also only Chris's second time in a plane.

He said: "We had just completed the first part of the freefall when the instructor opened the main chute and discovered it had become tangled.

"He then managed to cut the main chute and we started to freefall again before the spare chute was opened successfully.

"Not a lot was going through my mind at the time. I wasn't too worried because I knew the instructor I had with me was very competent."

But if Chris managed to stay calm, it was a different story on the ground where his mother, Sandra, watched in horror as the main canopy fell to earth - without her son attached.

"I nearly died when I saw the parachute fall to the ground without Chris. My heart was in my mouth when I did see him. I am just thankful it all turned out for the best."

The 21-year-old, from Vale Street, decided to do the death-defying jump with a friend, Mick Moran, who works with him at Anderton International in Bingley.

They travelled to the airfield near Thirsk, where they were briefed before boarding the plane that would take them to the drop zone, 10,000 feet above the Yorkshire countryside. It was then a matter of being strapped to an instructor before leaping out into the great wide yonder.

Chris said: "It was a brilliant experience, certainly something I would do again because the feeling you get on freefalls is just amazing." The two friends did the jump to raise money for the Marie Curie charity which funds work into cancer treatment.

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