Spc. Nicholas Roberts must have known his weapons case didn't feel quite right.
The 27-year-old paratrooper asked the soldier jumping before him if his weapons case was positioned too low. The paratrooper told him to ask a jumpmaster, who is responsible for inspecting equipment before a jump.
The jumpmaster looked at Roberts' weapons case and said it was correct.
Roberts, of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, died during a training jump over Sicily Drop Zone on April 28. Army investigators said improper rigging of his weapons case may have contributed to his death.
An investigation would later show that the jumpmaster team in place that night wasn't properly trained to rig and inspect the weapons case.
Roberts was the 16th jumper on the right door for the second pass of a C-17 during the training jump at Fort Bragg. It was the first time he was jumping at night with all of his equipment.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/military/improper-rigging-may-have-contributed-to-paratrooper-s-death-at/article_341e1b36-78e2-5549-96cd-3d75b4db1617.html
Behind the byline
Here's an inside look at how some of my favorite stories came together.