During a practice attempt for the 12-way nude skydiving world record, this group went through a cloud, forgot about their original plan for break-off, tracked poorly and came very close to a serious mid-air collision on opening.
Why did it happen
At one point on break-off. we see a jumper switch grips in order to slap another guy’s ass before they start tracking away. The move delayed the break-off and probably disoriented the jumpers as to the direction they should have been tracking in.
Going through two layers of clouds, and starting to track while in clouds, disoriented the jumpers and made it harder to track away from each another properly.
These jumpers all allegedly had around 400 jumps, but the jumper whose footage we’re watching did a terrible job tracking. He appears to have been barely moving, only tracked for about 4 seconds, and didn’t scan around to see the location of other jumpers.
How could it be prevented
Don’t punch clouds
A lot of inexperienced jumpers don’t understand why jumping through clouds can be so dangerous other than the obvious factor that you can’t check to ensure that there are no aircraft below you. This video serves to demonstrate how disorientating limited visibility can be and how the ensuing confusion can result in very dangerous situations.
Even naked jumps need to prioritize safety
Slapping your buddy’s ass in the middle of a naked jump is hilarious but when it screws up the agreed upon break-off plan, it stops being funny. Every jump, even fun ones, needs to be taken seriously.
Track as if everyone on your jump is going to try to kill you
It’s a cliché line but it’s true. Every jumper needs to be capable of properly tracking both in terms of covering distance well and remaining situationally aware regarding where the location of other jumpers in the group.
We don’t know if these guys had experience doing naked jumps but one thing that a lot of folks don’t realize is that the lack of a jumpsuit can make body flight, including tracking, a lot harder. Unless everyone on a jump like this is pretty experienced and knowledgeable about factors like that, it’s probably not a great idea to have this large of a group. It may have played a role in why the tracking was a bit weak.