This skydiver deployed into a line over malfunction that definitely wasn’t flyable… but he couldn’t tell because his visor was fogged up! Once he opened his helmet and realized the serious malfunction above his head, he cut away.
Why did it happen?
The Line Over
This jumper said it was “shitty packing” — he’s pretty sure a worn out stow band created a messy opening that resulted in a malfunction Doctor Who would have been proud of: “Bow Ties are cool!”
Foggy Visor & Delayed Reaction
The jumper said they hadn’t cleaned their visor in a while and, consequently, it wound up fogging up to the point where they thought a blatantly obvious line-over was just line twists.
What could have prevented it?
There are a few ways for a line-over to occur but, as the jumper said, this was probably a packing error compounded by not replacing a worn stow band. To prevent this, it’s all about the basics: don’t get complacent and don’t rush. Take your time every time you pack, walk your lines, check to see if stows or closing loops need to be replaced, and do it right. The same thing goes for the visor; all your gear should be checked on every jump to ensure it’s going to function the way you need it to.
This jumper said they were NOT chasing their cutaway, it just looks close. That being said: don’t chase your cutaways to the point where it looks like you’re about to collide with them! Wrapping yourself up in the main you just cut away could make a bad day even worse. And, while this jump was in the desert, in an environment without good outs, chasing down a main could leave you in a tight spot. Get down safely and worry about the main once you’re on the ground.