This wingsuiter said they were demoing a docile canopy to practice a new deployment technique, which resulted in serious line twists that they were still fighting as they hit their hard deck. However, instead of chopping at their hard deck, they kept fighting the line twists down to 600 feet above the ground! They then decided to land very close to the road and some powerlines rather than aim for one of the huge open areas. Overall, just a series of bad decisions that could’ve ended much worse.
Why did it happen
Terrible reasoning: “It’s a demo.”
This jumper says they didn’t want to chop because it was a demo canopy and didn’t want to lose it. That’s a horrible argument. Regardless of whether it’s a demo or not, if you lose a canopy, you’re going to wind up having to buy a new one if you can’t find it. Heck, if you lose a demo, at least you’re assured some people will help you look for it – the rep for the manufacturer might even get out there with you.
Terrible reasoning: “I can totally get out of this.”
As they hit their hard deck, they said “I was confident I could spin out of the line twist in approximately 500 feet as I was now spinning and could grab the lines.” It’s called a hard deck for a reason. If you hit your hard deck, you don’t roll the dice and hope you’re going to fix the issue before it’s too late. Just chop it.
The jumper was attempting a deployment technique which creates a larger burble – “being head high during deployment, not allowing for clean airflow over the top of the wingsuit and generating a larger burble.” The jumper said they didn’t have a weak pitch, but given the result, it’s likely that it may not have been quite as strong as they thought. Either way, as they pointed out themselves, “the extra burble caught the pilot chute and d-bag, spinning me up for 6-8 twists” before the canopy even opened.
How could it be prevented
Respect Your Hard Deck
The most dangerous issue with this jump, the fact that this jumper ignored their hard deck, is easily dealt with by simply using common sense and following your training. It’s that simple.
Firstly, wingsuits create a large burble. If you’re going to – intentionally – do something that makes said burble even bigger you better be ready to have a nice confident pitch and get that pilot chute out of the burble. Additionally, a professional wingsuit pilot consulted on this video noted that a slightly asymmetrical deployment may have also contributed to exacerbating the issue.
Terrible Landing Choices
This jumper decided to land near a road, a fence, and some trees. Why? Because they didn’t want to walk too far. (Remember that terrible reasoning comment?) They had massive fields to land in safely but, instead, they put themselves in a corner. This could have easily ended badly.