As this group of skydivers was setting up in the door for a sit train exit, one of the jumpers had their pilot chute dislodged and it caught wind! Luckily the jumper at the front of the group instinctively grabbed the pilot chute whizzing by his head and they all got back in the plane without a premature opening. Nice catch!
Why did it happen?
Due to some miscommunication, these skydivers exited in the wrong order to get set up in the door. The jumper in the front/prop position consequently had to squeeze by the jumper in the center of the door.
Lack of body awareness
The third jumper getting out rubs their whole body against the other jumper’s BOC. (If you want to get that intimate, get a room!) It almost looks like they’re trying to get the center jumper to move towards the prop. They snagged the BOC and pilot chute: no bueno.
What could have prevented it?
A few relatively simple things could have prevented this scary-ass situation from happening:
- Better communication concerning the plan would have ensured that everyone got out in the correct order: rear float and front float, and THEN the person in the center.
- If you get out in the wrong order and someone takes your spot, accept it, don’t try to climb around them. That’s not a big deal, but a premature opening IS a big deal.
- Proper situational awareness would have worked too. That third jumper shouldn’t be rubbing themselves all up on that rig. Skydivers need to remain aware of handles, pins, and flaps when moving around in a plane.
This is actually a super scary situation because had that pilot chute kept going it could have easily yanked the jumper out, slammed them into the other jumpers, wrapped on the rear stabilizer of the plane, and led to a REALLY bad day with jumpers breaking themselves on planes, planes crashing, and other catastrophic scenarios. Did I already say “no bueno?”