Army Suspends Using Square-Shaped Parachute After Fatal Jump

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The Army is suspending use of its first new parachute since the 1950s after a paratrooper was killed in a training exercise while using the updated model, which features a square-shaped canopy that resembles a huge fitted bedsheet.

The T-11 parachute has been gradually replacing an older, mushroom-shaped model that has remained largely unchanged for more than five decades.

The new parachute is supposed to be safer and more reliable than the traditional T-10 model, using a larger canopy to slow a soldier's rate of descent and reducing injuries from hard landings.

The suspension announced Friday came roughly two weeks after 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Jamal Clay, of Elida, Ohio, died at Fort Bragg following an apparent parachute malfunction during a routine training jump from 800 feet, a typical altitude simulating combat conditions.

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