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A veteran New York skydiver apparently committed suicide at 8,000 feet, unhooking his parachute and plummeting to his death.

The Daily Mail reports that 60-year-old Robert Raecke, an instructor at Saratoga (N.Y.) Skydiving Adventures, jumped from the plane on Sunday over upstate New York.

"He took his helmet off once the canopy was up and then detached himself from his equipment," said fellow instructor James McNair. "It was willful and intentional." McNair watched helplessly as his friend fell to the ground.

Police confirmed that Raecke "intentionally unhooked his parachute.” They also said he left a suicide note. However, they did not reveal the contents of that note.

Friends say Raecke (above, jumping at an air show in 2001) had been skydiving for some forty years and "was an experienced jumper with more than 9,000 jumps."

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