Melissa Porter: Australian Record-Holding Skydiver Tragically Plunges to Her Death in the US While Testing Out New Jumping Method

It remains unclear if she suffered a medical emergency or if the impact of the landing was the cause.

A champion Australian skydiver was killed in an accident in Texas while performing in the sport she loved the most. Melissa Porter, a world record-holding skydiver, was testing out a new jumping method in the United States, just weeks after she helped set a national record back home when she was tragically killed in a freak accident.

Porter, 29, from Port Kennedy in Western Australia, lost her life at the Skydive Spaceland Houston facility in Texas on June 24. She was working as an instructor at the time. Porter reportedly leaped out of the plane and the parachute deployed but horrified onlookers said they saw her making a hard landing.

Dead in No Time

Melissa Porter
Melissa Porter Twitter

Authorities are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of Porter's death during the dive. It remains unclear if she suffered a medical emergency or if the impact of the landing was the cause.

Local police confirmed her death after her body was identified, leading to an outpouring of tributes from those who knew her.

Prior to the incident, Melissa had been in Texas for a month, undergoing preparation for the jump. She had even shared footage of her training at iFLY El Paso, showcasing her dedication and passion for the sport.

"Finally sent some head down in the tunnel," Porter captioned the video.

Melissa Porter
Melissa Porter Twitter

In the wake of Melissa Porter's tragic death, fellow skydivers have turned to social media platforms to express their deep sorrow and offer their heartfelt tributes. They shared their grief and memories on social media, highlighting the impact that Melissa had on their lives and the skydiving community as a whole.

"We lost such a beautiful person. Rest peacefully Mel," one wrote.

As friends, fellow skydivers, and members of the community reflect on the life of Melissa Porter, many fondly remember her as an "exuberant" individual who brought energy and enthusiasm to every dive.

Melissa Porter
Melissa Porter Twitter

She served as an inspiration to other young female divers, demonstrating courage and determination in pursuing her passion.

"Skydiving was her life," coach Kristina Hicks told The West Australian.

"She was loving (living in Texas) and being part of the diving community over there where there were opportunities to progress and work with some of the best divers in the world."

Big Loss for the Fraternity

Porter was among 19 women who jumped at Skydive Ramblers in Toogoolawah to accomplish a "2-point 23 way," an Australian women's total-break sequence record, weeks before she took a flight to Texas.

Melissa Porter
Melissa Porter Twitter

In March, Melissa Porter and her skydiving partner won the gold medal in the two-way Inter Vertical Formation Skydiving category at the national championships held in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

Inspired by her grandmother's skydiving adventures, Melissa Porter developed a love for the adrenaline-filled sport and embarked on her first tandem skydive on her 14th birthday.

Over the past five years, she has explored various skydiving destinations around the world, engaging in thrilling experiences.

Melissa even acquired the skills to solo skydive during her time in Portugal. In March, she spoke about her passion to inspire more young women to embrace skydiving.

"For so long the sport has been male-dominated," she told the Sound Telegraph.

"There's this idea that women are too afraid or they're too small, or they're too light, all of these things and it's absolutely not true, they are 100 per cent capable.

Melissa Porter
Melissa Porter Twitter

"It's really cool for me to be able to be an instructor and to show other women it's doable.

"I want to continue doing that for years."

Porter devastated family is being provided consular assistance by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"We send our deepest condolences to the woman's family," a DFAT spokesperson added.

A fundraising campaign launched online has already generated over $13,000 in support for the loved ones of Melissa Porter.