This tracking group was led by the jumper whose point of view we’re looking at. They got out of the plane, started moving, and lost… track… of their direction (see what I did there?). They traveled up jump run and into the air space of a solo head down skydiver who exited after them. As you can see in the video, the differences in vertical speed between these two groups was significant and – had there been a mid-air collision – it could have been fatal.
Why did it happen
Lack of attention
Simply put, this jumper wasn’t paying attention to where he was going. As the leader on a movement group that’s the most important part of your job because – if you track into another group’s airspace – you’re creating potentially dangerous situations during freefall, deployment, and under canopy.
How could it be prevented
Before leading this type of a jump, an individual really needs to take a moment and be honest about their capabilities. It’s not just a question of whether or not you have the skills to fly well but also if you’re able to stay aware of your surroundings, the direction of jump run, and where everyone else is on the jump.
A lot of jumpers hate that skydiving seems to keep adding rules and regulations but many, especially the ones made by DZO’s and S&TA’s, are there for a reason. A lot of dropzones require anyone leading a movement group to be an organizer, staff member, and/or to have been approved by the S&TA. This video explains why.