At around 200 jumps, this jumper started learning to freefly. The jumper filming video had done a few three-ways with the “student” and realized he was corking a lot, so he invited him on some two-ways instead (good call!). The newer jumper was having a lot of problems staying on level and their friend was having a hard time getting up to him. When the newer jumper lost sight on their buddy, they thought they were super high and decided to go into a stand… and went straight down into their friend, impacting their thigh for some full-contact skydiving.
Why did it happen
The newer jumper was still learning but the more experienced jumper, who knew going into the jump that their friend corked a lot, wasn’t able to get up to the other jumper on stay on level with them.
Poor decision making
The newer jumper didn’t know where the other jumper was, so he just decided to turn himself into a meat missile to get lower.
How could it be prevented
As previously noted, the newer jumper’s issues with corking were already known. The more experienced jumper should have talked him through what to do if he went high and lost sight of his buddy. That conversation should have included something along the lines of, “Don’t go into a stand if you don’t know where I am.”
Stronger coaching skills
As previously noted, the more experienced jumper did the right thing pulling this person aside from larger groups and wanting him to fly one-on-one. However, it appears that he didn’t have the range to be able to stay with the “student” when he went high. If you know that you can’t get floaty enough to stay with someone that needs some help, then you should probably refer them to someone who can.
Good follow up
One final note that was included in this video submission was that, after viewing this video, the newer jumper hired some freefly coaches for some one-on-one time. That’s a mature and humble move and we absolutely loved reading that this jumper made that call.