One of the skydivers who jumped with Army cadet Stephen Hilder as he fell to his death has told an inquest the 20-year-old was "excited" and "jubilant" on the way down.
David Mason told a coroner he held Mr Hilder's hand and looked him in the eye as they jumped from a plane and performed "display formations" with the third team member, Adrian Blair, at Hibaldstow airfield in north Lincolnshire.
He told the inquest in Scunthorpe that they produced a series of manoeuvres as they fell from 13,000ft to 4,000ft and, despite a difficult start, they were pleased with their "text book" performance.
Mr Mason, aged 21, said: "We started performing really well and the jubilation on his face while we were doing our formations seemed nothing unusual."
Mr Hilder, from Herefordshire, plunged to his death after the trio had performed a series of 19 formations on July 4, 2003.
Police discovered that the straps on both his main and reserve parachutes had been deliberately cut.
Mr Mason and Mr Blair were arrested during a lengthy police inquiry into the incident but later fully exonerated after forensic evidence led detectives to believed Mr Hilder killed himself.
The inquest has heard that scissors found in the cadet's car were the ones used to cut the straps and only had Mr Hilder's DNA on them.
All three of the skydivers in the team were students at the Royal Military College of Science, in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, where Mr Mason is still doing a software engineering course.
Coroner Stewart Atkinson asked Mr Mason directly if he had anything to with " damaging or sabotaging Steve's parachute".
Mr Mason replied: "I had nothing to with anything like that."
The coroner also asked Mr Mason about a humorous, draft obituary he wrote about Mr Hilder after his death which further aroused police suspicions after they found it on a computer.
Mr Mason insisted there was no animosity between himself and Mr Hilder but admitted he and Mr Blair were the closest in the team.
He also said he knew nothing of Mr Hilder's money difficulties or his relationship with his girlfriend which was drawing to an end.
Later, the chief instructor at Hibaldstow Airfield, Paul Hollow, said he was still baffled about the cause of Mr Hilder's death.
He said: "In my mind there's no doubt whatsoever this could not have been an accident. But I find it difficult to believe it was a deliberate act by somebody else.
"On the other hand I find it very difficult to believe it was suicide."
The inquest continues.