The man who killed himself Saturday by jumping out of an airplane without a parachute was described as a quiet resident who never had an issue at the Schenectady YMCA since moving there last August.
Sloan Carafello, 29, of State Street, committed suicide by jumping out of a small single-engine Cessna plane that flew from the Duanesburg Skydiving Club. He landed on a house at nearby 7951 Duanesburg Road.
Carafello was one of the 182 men who stay on the fourth floor of the YMCA at 13 State St., according to YMCA Residence Director Louis Magliocca.
Residents must have had a previous Schenectady County address to qualify to stay at the YMCA. Magliocca said Carafello did not come to the YMCA because of a substance abuse problem.
“Real quiet. . . . His name never came across my desk as an issue there,” Magliocca said.
He said that he was not at work Friday but touched base with his staff, who reported no issues involving Carafello.
Magliocca said state police told him they searched Carafello’s room and did not find a suicide note. He also said that the man never missed a rent payment since his arrival at the YMCA.
“It was shocking for me. I was kind of taken aback,” Magliocca said. “We have never had a situation like this in my 10 years there.”
At the Duanesburg Road house where Carafello landed, a blue tarp could be seen covering a portion of the roof that was damaged.
Zoraida Allende, who lives at the house, said the family was not making any comments about the incident.
At the Duanesburg Skydiving Club, owner Bob Rawlins was still recovering from the shock. “I’m traumatized,” he said.
Rawlins said Carafello had called a couple of times requesting to take a ride in an airplane so he could take pictures at a high altitude for a school project.
Carafello was aboard the plane at about 2 p.m. with a skydiving customer, instructor, and a videographer, who were all preparing to jump. The plane had reached an altitude of about 10,000 feet. The three skydivers then jumped. Rawlins said he then immediately rocked the plane in an effort to shut the door. Then, Carafello unfastened his belt and left his seat and leapt forward before the door could be latched.
“At first, I thought he was lunging to take a picture of the jumpers,” Rawlins said.
Carafello got on his knees and then went out of the plane, according to Rawlins.
The videographer captured Carafello’s jump in his camera’s frame as he was attempting to get another shot of the plane. The video, which has been turned over to state police, shows Carafello taking pictures of himself with a camera while in the air. Rawlins said the videographer told him that Carafello laid still on his back while falling.
Rawlins said he had talked to Carafello’s former landlord who said he was a loner and did not have any friends. He believed he had family in the Troy area.
“My condolences go out to his family,” he said.
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