Friday Freakout: Skydiver Makes Bad Decision, Skims Power Lines & Lands In Forest

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

This jumper says he made a bad decision with his landing pattern, placed himself in a bad spot over some trees, got no forward penetration, and was stuck in a position where the only out was a trail with power lines running parallel to it.

Why did it happen

Late Decisions?

We don’t have the full video of this jump prior to him being in a spot with no good options. But — based on the HUGE swatches of grass on either side of this strip of forest — we can assume he failed to make the correct decisions at the correct altitude.

How could it be prevented

Earlier Decisions!

This one is pretty simple: when you’re jumping in an area with trees, buildings, parking lots, power lines, rivers, lakes or just about any other obstacle you wouldn’t want to land on, make the decision to land away from it early so that you can set up your landing pattern accordingly. If you’re at 1,000 feet and finally realize your intended pattern isn’t going to work, you might be too late! The moment you get under canopy you need to start checking whether you’re getting the penetration needed to get you to your intended holding area. If you’re not? Start making decisions to find other viable landing areas.

Additional Note

It looks like this jumper didn’t really flare. Just for propriety’s sake, let’s note that regardless of whether you’re landing off, in a tree, on a building, in water, on the top of a car, in power lines, etc., you should always FLARE!