March 14th, 2013
07:05 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Skydiver's treacherous fall after parachute breaks

In grainy video, Craig Stapleton is seen turning wildly out of control as he plummets toward the ground. The parachute and backup chute failed the skydiver who lept out of a plane with Katie Hansen, his jump partner, in California. Stapleton and Hansen describe the frightening incident to Anderson Cooper on tonight's program.

The pair were trying a stunt with a flag, a factor that added to the confusion of what was happening when the chutes didn't open. “When I saw him spinning ... I started yelling ‘cut the flag away,’” says Hansen.

Stapleton was helplessly spinning for three minutes, but he tells Anderson it felt much longer. "In the air I knew I was going at a speed I was probably not going to survive," he says. Stapleton was especially fearful because he was heading toward rows of grape stakes at a speed of approximately 35 mph.

In this preview, he talks about those final moments before the crash landing. See more of the interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight.

Filed under: 360° Interview
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