This skydiver, an AFF-I with around 1,000 jumps, deployed her main but wound up with a spinning mal that required her to cutaway. When she cutaway, the main didn’t release completely due to the tuck tab on the right riser never opening, and she had to fight to keep her main and her reserve from entangling. Fortunately, the tuck tab eventually released and she was able to get rid of her main and land on reserve. Kudos to this jumper for how well she handled this situation!
Why did it happen
The video submission noted that “the tuck tab of the right riser never opened, so that made the risers ‘uneven’.” Tuck tabs – and the way we set them – can be a bit finnicky at times and it’s really important that jumpers take the time to set them properly.
How could it be prevented
Attention to Detail
Based on the write up that came with the submission, the biggest factor in this incident was a relatively unpredictable issue with how the tuck tab didn’t release; resulting in an uneven deployment that required a cutaway. The best way to prevent this type of issue is to ensure diligence during packing.
Props go out to this jumper for their situational awareness and their fantastic efforts at remaining aware of their altitude. At multiple times you can see her glance at her altimeter. This may sound silly, but it’s actually rare to see someone this cognizant of their altitude during a malfunction.
This jumper was fortunate that her main and reserve finally separated but – had that not been the case – she would have potentially wanted to use a hook knife to dump the main that did not want to leave. That leaves us begging you the question: Do you practice EP’s with your hook knife? And is your hook knife part of your gear checks?