Friday Freakout: Scary Premature Reserve Parachute Opening In Plane, Skydiver Saved By Cat-Like Reflexes

Posted by Andrew R.

Watching the pilot chute on a reserve parachute pop open as you’re about to climb out of the plane is a skydiver’s worst nightmare.

Thanks to the cat-like reflexes and awareness by Woody and Jay, they were able to contain the premature opening, pull Raymond back into the plane and close the plane door (the sliding door was stuck, so Jay had to climb out so he could pull down harder to dislodge it).

What caused the reserve premature opening?

As Raymond passed through the tight door in “the hole” at the back of the plane, the reserve cable got snagged on the left side of the door, which popped his reserve open.

I felt something rub on the right side of the door, so I immediately put my hand on my main handle to make sure my pilot chute wasn’t pulled out.

What I didn’t realize was that one inch of my reserve cable was exposed and got snagged on something.

After reviewing the incident with the manufacturer (it was a Glide container by Peregrine, but this is not isolated to that container/manufacturer), it was determined that the chest strap fastened tightly is what caused an inch of the reserve cable to be exposed.

This is a scary yet helpful reminder to be conscious and careful about rubbing your gear in the plane.

Thanks to Jay Aven for sharing his video so others can learn from this incident.