One of the last photographs taken by the father of Alexandra Rosa as she boarded the C-295 for her fatal jump

Parachute horror claims life of Portugal’s first female military instructor

Alexandra Rosa’s death leaves Armed Forces “in shock”

Portugal’s first female military parachute instructor died yesterday when her chute failed to open during a routine jump with colleagues over Chamusca (Santarém district). 

52-year-old Alexandra Rosa was not ‘just the Portuguese Air Force’s first female military parachute instructor’, she was the daughter of the service’s parachuting legend sergeant-major Serrano Rosa.

Much worse, her father witnessed the horror – having only just photographed his daughter boarding the C-295 plane (see image).

According to reports, the jump was designed to “maintain” (her) parachute licence.

“A father should not have to suffer this kind of pain”, Mr Rosa has written over social media, saying his daughter had given him a kiss before boarding. “I took the last photographs of my daughter. I cannot say anymore, I am crying too much”.

Says Correio da Manhã this morning, Alexandra Rosa’s death has left the Armed Forces in shock. 

President Marcelo and the government have sent condolences. 

The episode will now be the subject of an investigation. 

For the time being the only obvious factor is that the “parachute system did not work properly”.

Says CM, Alexandra Rosa “jumped from 1500 metres, the parachute failed to open” and she “suffered a direct fall”.

A similar horror took place only a few years ago in Beja: parachutist Manuel Gonçalves, part of the elite ‘precursor’ jumpers died in 2019. An inquiry into the incident has since been archived, says CM.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com