"Flying Elvis" Jim Fonnesbeck Dead After Parachute Failed to Open During Skydive

Two skydivers -- one of whom appeared as a "flying Elvis" alongside Nicholas Cage in the film Honeymoon in Vegas -- died yesterday when their parachute failed to open during a jump near the Arizona/Nevada border.

The two skydivers have been identified by the Clark County coroner's office as 60-year-old Jim Fonnesbeck of Weston, Idaho, a skydiving instructor at Skydive Mesquite, and his 75-year-old student Claudette Porter of North Las Vegas.

According to authorities in Mesquite, Nevada, Fonnesbeck and Porter were doing a tandem jump yesterday when their main parachute failed to open.

Fonnesbeck, police say, deployed a secondary chute, but it only partially opened before the pair hit the ground on a runway at the Mesquite Airport.

Fonnesbeck was killed on impact. Porter died later at a hospital.

In addition to his appearance in Honeymoon in Vegas, Fonnesbeck has completed more than 11,000 jumps, a Utah TV station reports.

Fonnesbeck, who is listed as "retired!" on his Facebook page, leaves behind his wife, Jean.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the deaths.

See Fonnesbeck and the "Flying Elvises" below.

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James King
Contact: James King