Frank Kancso, a Staten Island resident, died Monday after a freak skydiving accident in Pennsylvania. The 35-year-old man was an avid skydiver and had done the freefall thousands of times before. Authorities are still trying to understand what happened during his last jump.
At 2:30 p.m. Monday, Kancso was found unresponsive in the landing zone at Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center in East Stroudsburg, near the Poconos in Pennsylvania. His body was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officials have not determined his cause of death, and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
The skydiving enthusiast had done the daring jump thousands of times before with no issues, though in his last jump, Frank Kancso hit the ground hard, despite successfully opening his parachute. Authorities aren’t clear if the chute failed to open at the appropriate height, or if there were other reasons for Kancso’s heavy landing. Initial reports claim Kancso died from a series of traumatic injuries, though details are scarce.
A similar incident in April claimed the life of another avid skydiver at the same facility. Edward Harney, a 74-year-old man from Paramus, New Jersey, died at Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center after he was separated from his opened parachute. Harney was attempting a 14,000-foot jump with three other skydivers during the accident, and it’s still unclear how he was detached from his chute.
The two deaths at Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center have raised eyebrows about the facility’s safety precautions, and the Federal Aviation Administration, State Police Criminal Investigation Unit of Stroudsburg, and the Monroe County DA’s Office are looking into the incident.
Frank Kancso’s Facebook profile says he is a videographer and coach at Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center, as well as a former tandem instructor at the facility. He worked at Ironworkers Local 40 until his untimely passing.
His mother, Gina Kancso, posted on his profile after his death, updating his friends and family. “Hi all, this is Gina Kancso, Frank’s mom,” she posted on his account. “It touches my heart to hear all the wonderful things you have to say about my son.”
She continued, saying that “me, my husband, Frank Kancso Jr., my daughter, Heather Brianna, and my son, Eric Kancso, will forever have a piece of our hearts missing that can never be healed. Please don’t forget him! It is through other people’s memories of him that he will continue to hold a place in this world. Thank you all”
Nearly 50 people left comments under the post, remembering the adventurous Frank Kancso and leaving heartwarming messages of love and support for the family. “There are no words but I am a better person because I was lucky enough to have a friend like Frank,” one commenter wrote. “I will always hold his friendship closest to my heart. And I am thinking of you guys.”
Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center promotes itself as a family-friendly skydiving facility that “goes out of its way to make your tandem skydiving adventure or fun jump the best it can possibly be.” Jumps are limited to those ages 18 and up, and the website claims that there is no maximum age to enjoy a jump. “If you are active and in good health, it is likely that you can skydive with us,” the website explains, “in fact, tandem skydives have been safely made by people in their 90s.”