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Real Estate Company Head Killed While Skydiving

He was in Ulster County for a friend's 50th birthday celebration, according to media reports.

David Winoker, a Chappaqua area resident, died in a skydiving accident on Friday in Ulster County, according to published reports.

Winoker was one of two people who died. According to reports, the other was Alexander Chulsky, a 25-year-old instructor for the program, which was organized by Skydive the Ranch.

Winoker had a prominent role in New York City's commercial real estate landscape. He was president of Winoker Realty, his family name sake, according to media reports. His biography states that he had a personal role in leasing more than a million square feet of commercial space.

Winoker, 49, was in Ulster County for the 50th birthday of a friend, The Daily News reported.

The cause of the accident has been disputed. Media reports describe a witness account of a parachute malfunction. Joseph Richards, co-owner of Skydive the Ranch, disputes the account. He explained to Patch that the parachute correctly deployed but that then made an incorrect turn. He believes the reason for this was that Chulsky was incapacitated, although the area's medical examiner has not determined a cause of death yet.

"It was a bad day for all of us," Richards said, noting the deaths of the two impacting both sides.

The accident occured around the border of Gardiner and Modena, two Ulster County communities, according to Richards.

Winoker is survived by his wife, Jillian, and his children, Allyson, Jared and Hillary, according to his obituary.

Winoker and his family were part of the greater Chappaqua area. Public records show that he lived in the Town of Mount Pleasant, in a section that is part of the Chappaqua school district and zip code.

His funeral was slated for Sunday at in Bedford Corners, the News reported.

Tom Auchterlonie (Editor) June 17, 2012 at 05:47 PM
The Chappaqua school community has been affected. Bell Middle School Principal Martin Fitzgerald sent out (via the Bell PTA) this message below: Dear Parents, It is with a heavy heart that I write this message. One of our grade 7 students, Hilary Winoker, lost her father on Friday in a tragic accident. The tragedy impacts many students in the grade. As a result, and in discussion with their social studies teachers, we have decided to cancel the grade 7 social studies local exam that was scheduled for this Monday. We will provide counsel for any students in need, and the grade 7 teachers will coordinate some classroom activities for the students from 8:00 a.m. until our dismissal at 10:30a.m. Our sympathy and our condolences to the family. Martin Fitzgerald
I'mTheChucker June 18, 2012 at 04:59 AM
part of the thrill, that's sky diving for you. it's why you can't compare it to bowling.
NoSoupForYou June 18, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Have you seen "There Will Be Blood?" Bowling has its dangers too.
Karen June 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM
How sad! So close to Father's Day.
Bruce B June 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
My wife and I have personally skydived at this facility, and am dismayed that this happened regardless of what the cause is. I know firsthand that every precaution you can imagine is taken before one gets into the plane. All chutes, ropes, rings and clips are inspected right down to loose threads. Anything that does not appear to be perfect is not used. Upon entering the plane and during your ascent, everything is checked again. The instructors are very serious about what they do, for they also have a vested interest in a successful jump. I will be very surprised if there is any negligence found. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families. Bruce B, Newburgh NY
Susan June 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
This comment about 'part of the thrill' is totally inappropriate. Whoever left this should examine him/herself and why s/he feels it necessary to gloat over the misfortune of another person and family.
IT'SNOTALIEIFYOUBELIEVEIT June 18, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Bruce, do you really believe what you wrote? You're not guaranteed anything, I don't care how many ropes you checked. You jump out of a plane and this is part of the equation. I know a guy who wanted his fiance to jump, he watched from the ground her maiden solo voyage , she joined him a little sooner and a little more abruptly than had been planed. News flash: it's sky diving, if it were perfectly safe Brucie, the "thrill" of jumping out of planes would be cut in half. P.S. there's no such as PERFECT.
NAO June 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
This is so sad and tragic. What a horrible way to go. My condolences to the family. The television mentioned that it was his first jump and that he was tethered to the instructor.
Bruce B June 19, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Yes, I really do believe what I wrote. I did not mean to insinuate in any way that it is safe, or that a safe landing is "guaranteed." I did however, learn from news reports that the instructor lost consciousness shortly after the jump. It's freely a matter of choice whether to jump or not to. I also am smart enough to see by your tone that you like to argue. Find someone else to play. You're not in my league.
IsThatATitleist June 19, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Why then did you infer otherwise Bruce B? Why not just say you saw something on the news, and skip the whole near perfect sales pitch for sky diving. "Anything that does not appear to be perfect is not used?" Not only is nothing perfect, to anyone with a modicum of common sense, to those not in your league ('the little league'), there is nothing, that appears perfect. To children, I'm sure. To fools such as yourself, certainly. Keep jumping out of planes, it's good for you. You'll get that perfect jump you're after one day.
IT'SNOTALIEIFYOUBELIEVEIT June 19, 2012 at 04:13 AM
I don't enjoy arguing. Neither do I enjoy reading a bunch of very foolish comments promoting this particular sky diving facility. Comments, given the tragedy, that are not only self centered and terribly naive, but ring promotional in nature. As for your league? I thank God I've set the bar miles higher. Now run along, you haven't a leg to stand on. Your retorts are not even close to 'appearing perfect.' Best of luck with your next chute.
whinerline June 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM
So pathetic that any of you feel the need to argue. A fathers life has ended and all you can do is bitch and argue with each other, completely explains the state of this country at this time. Argue on babies!!!!
Nolikecabbies June 23, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I once was a Skydiver. I really enjoyed it. Most Skydiving organizations are very serious about safety. I felt safer jumping out of a plane than taking a cab ride in New York City . This was an accident and a tragedy. My thoughts are for his family.

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