While attempting to approach the leader on an angle jump, this skydiver went head down to close the gap but lost control and ended up flying back against the direction of travel, narrowly passing between the leader and the rest of the group. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: This skydiver went full meat missile. Never go full meat missile.
Why did it happen
This jumper – unknown whether it was due to inexperience, excitement, or something else – decided that his priority was to get down to the leader come hell or high water. In pursuit of that goal he forgot that safety (his own and that of other jumpers) always needs to be the foremost concern on a skydiver’s mind.
How could it be prevented
L.S.D. (Level. Slot. Dock… What did you think we meant?!)
This jumper bombed down to the exact spot he wanted to be in. What he should have done was come down – in a controlled manner – to the outside of the others. Once on level, he could have then made minor adjustments to slide into his slot and get closer to the leader. “Level. Slot. Dock.” is NOT just a belly thing: it applies to every skydiving orientation and discipline.
Especially on angle jumps, newer jumpers need to be kept in small groups where the leader can keep everyone safe. That requires some maturity and honesty on behalf of everyone involved. Skydivers need to be candid about their skill levels and anyone leading a jump needs to be willing to tell someone they’re not skilled enough to be on it. We don’t know the experience level of this jumper, so we’re not saying this was necessarily the case, but given their inability to get on level safely, it certainly could have been.