On a clear, sunny afternoon over scenic hills outside San Diego, the paying passenger on an extreme aviation experience was having fun. After laughing and yelling through rolls, tumbles, tailslides, his expression suddenly changed. There was a problem. The pilot was going to open the canopy on the Extra 300 plane. Jumping out and using the parachute would be next.
He saw the canopy locking pins move. The big plexiglass bubble blew away, taking with it the GoPro camera. Six seconds later, still strapped in, they impacted rugged terrain in a high-energy, unsurvivable crash. Twenty seconds after that, the GoPro landed, where it lay undiscovered for two years. Once recovered, the video helped the National Transportation Safety Board understand more of what happened on Oct. 21, 2017, over the El Capitan Reservoir, California.