Friday Freakout: Skydiver Entangled With Parachute Lines On Opening

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

After what appears to have been a head-down jump (no details were attached to the video submission), this jumper began tracking away from his buddy when he realized that his risers had come loose and he was entangled in some lines. He was able to – miraculously – clear his arm out of the lines and deploy his main without further incident.  (This jumper got pretty lucky that there were no line twists or that the related brake-fire didn’t result in a spinning mal.)

Why did it happen

The Gear

This incident most likely happened because the container’s riser covers came open in freefall. And, as was pointed out by one instructor who viewed this video, the fact that the steering line and toggle were also exposed and flopping around suggests that the risers had come loose earlier in the jump. The most likely cause was a rig that wasn’t freefly-friendly.

How could it be prevented

Dress for Success

A lot of newer jumpers, who are oh-so-excited to get away from the doldrums of belly flying (kidding, kidding), start trying to freefly while using student gear or older containers they bought cheap. A lot of those rigs are not safe for freeflying and their usage can result in incidents like this. (Or worse. We’ve seen videos where people have almost died because improper gear caused a premature opening while the jumper was head-down.) Just because equipment is deemed airworthy does not mean it’s safe to use in all body positions. If unsure, jumpers should check with their rigger or S&TA to ensure that the gear they’re using is safe and freefly-friendly.

More Videos