REEDSVILLE - When the plane doors opened, it was too loud to hear anything.
A thumbs-up sufficed.
And that was the last image Tyler Henderson, a film major at Penn State, had of Chris Brown before Brown made the last jump of his skydiving career on Saturday.
The Mifflin County Coroner's Office reported that Brown, 53, of State College, was skydiving with two other individuals near the Mifflin County Airport in Reedsville, when for an unknown reason, his emergency chute did not open, according to the coroner. Brown fell from a height of 4,000 feet to his death in a farm field.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the coroner.
The inherent risk of skydiving did not deter Brown, Director of Network Operations and Data Systems and Information Technology Manager, and Henderson from plummeting back down to earth from a plane.
Henderson said he met Brown when he was filming a documentary on a friend's first sky dive at Sky Dive Happy Valley where Brown worked.
It was not long after that Henderson pursued his certification in skydiving.
As a beginner, Henderson was scheduled for an Instructor Assisted Deployment on Saturday morning. The first load was Henderson, another student, their instructor, the pilot and one empty slot.
According to Henderson, Brown eagerly took the open slot.
"On our way up, Chris and I talked about how expensive summer session was at Penn State and how beautiful and clear the day was," Henderson said.
It was the last conversation they shared.
"Before I jumped, Chris gave me a big thumbs-up. I can't get that image out of my head," Henderson said.
Henderson was the second to deploy from the aircraft.
Brown was next to jump. Everything had gone smoothly for flight, Henderson said.
But, as he walked back to the hangar after reaching the ground, he scanned the skies, looking for Brown's bright orange canopy.
He never spotted it. The other student who jumped before Henderson ran to tell him what had happened to Brown during his flight.
Brown had crashed before Henderson landed.
What happened to Brown's parachute is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
From what Henderson did know of the chute malfunction, Brown experienced a "linetwist," where his chute lines got tangled.
Witnesses said he was spinning around very fast all the way to the ground, and never pulled his reserve parachute for instances such as this, Henderson said.
Sky Dive Happy Valley ads are currently posted on Centre Area Transportation Authority buses serving the State College area.
Jackie Sheader, marketing manager for CATA, said there were no plans to remove the ads despite the accident.
In light of Brown's tragic accident, Henderson said he is taking safety precautions more to heart, but it hasn't changed his love for skydiving.
"To some people, skydiving is all about the adrenaline, like heavy metal music with a sudden rush type of thing, but it also has this other side which is very peaceful," Henderson said. "It's the only instance where you can truly live and think in that moment, and to me that quiet, self-reflecting, weightlessness is my favorite part.
"I like to think that that is something Chris and I shared."