On a shallow beginner angle jump with 5 jumpers, one of the skydivers turns into a meat missile and causes a high speed collision with another jumper (the leader).
Why did it happen
(This video was submitted without any details… so we’re making some educated guesses.)
Forgetting the Basics
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a belly, freefly, tracking or angle jump; some variation of “Level. Slot. Dock” always applies. On an angle jump, you should typically get level on the outside and then slide over into your slot. This individual – who was probably getting last out on what doesn’t look like a tight exit – likely saw the group underneath him, tried to dive into his slot, and then flared out too late.
Improper Group Composition
Only three out of five jumpers were able to stay relatively tight with one another so this group may have had too many people in it and/or the skill levels may have been too low for this level of a jump.
How could it be prevented
Sometimes people get into the mentality that briefings (and even mockups) are only for bigways and formally organized jumps. However, almost every jump can be made safer by taking a few minutes on the ground to go over basic safety concerns.
Boogie jumpers are used to having organizers and it’s something that can – and should – happen on the average weekend of jumping. Having a single person lead the jump can ensure that everyone on a jump is prepared for what’s about to go down. It also gives the group a single person who can control the jump and make sure that the jump is flying to the level of the weakest flyer and not leaving them off in the distance in a situation that could turn dangerous.
This jumper could have easily been knocked unconscious or suffered a traumatic brain injury. If anyone has a friend who thinks AAD’s are dumb or that impact rated helmets are just a cash grab by companies who want to sell a more expensive product… show them this video.