Friday Freakout: Skydive Collision, Hit From Behind On Tracking Jump

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened?

This was reportedly a “large” tracking jump. Only two jumpers were flying together in the group when suddenly a third skydiver flies in like a meat missile and hits one of the jumpers from behind.

Why did this happen?

Based on the speed with which the third jumper enters into the first view, it would appear that they weren’t in control. Maybe they were inexperienced and didn’t know how to slow down their approach, maybe they lost control, maybe it was something else.

A bigger picture consideration: this was allegedly a “large” jump but we only see four people, one of whom is just a tiny little speck off on the horizon. If this was indeed a “large” tracking group, then a lot of people didn’t make it in. That suggests the varying skill levels on this jump may not have been safe for jumping in a “large” group… alternatively the definition of “large” has changed and some guys can now go around making claims about size that would have previously been lies 😉

What could have been done differently?

Level. Slot. Dock.

The third jumper obviously came in way too fast and didn’t adequately control their approach. Their impact could have caused serious injury. Regardless of the reason for this, jumpers need to always remember the three steps to approaching any formation: “Level. Slot. Dock.” Always approach other skydivers in control of speed and direction.

Jump in groups with similar skill level

It’s important that skydivers be honest with themselves and with organizers about what they’re capable of doing safely. Like we said, this was supposedly a large tracking group but only three jumpers were in the formation and only two were flying together safely. We all want to do gnarly cool stuff in the sky but we should never sacrifice safety to do it, and we should always be honest with organizers and ourselves about our skill level.

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