Prominent real estate investor David Winoker, 49, of Chappaqua was killed in a skydiving accident along with his instructor in Ulster County on Friday.
Winoker and 25-year-old instructor Alexander Chulsky of Brooklyn were doing a tandem jump when, according to eyewitnesses, their parachute appeared to malfunction, the New York Daily News reported.
The jump was organized by Skydive the Ranch, located in Gardiner, where Winoker was celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday party.
The pair of jumpers, who were harnessed together, ended up coming to the ground near Hurds Farm in Modena around 4 p.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the accident.
Joe Richards, president and owner of Skydive the Ranch, disputed the account of some witnesses, saying one witness told him the main parachute appeared to have opened normally. He said the pair was flying straight but went into a turn, continued to turn and hit the ground.
Richards said that Chulsky appeared to have become incapacitated, so once the medical examiner has conducted the autopsy, he hopes the real story will come to light.
"We certainly give our condolences to both families,” he said. "It’s been a terrible day for all of us."
Winoker is survived by his wife Jillian Spitalnik Winoker and his three children Jared, Hillary and Allyson.
He was president of Winoker Realty, a Manhattan real estate company his father Sidney started in the 80s. The company owns several office buildings in Manhattan, many of them in the Garment District.
Funeral services for Winoker will be held Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Temple Sharaay Tefila in Bedford Corners.