Friday Freakout: Tandem Skydive’s Reserve Pops Open In Plane Door

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

Wow, this was so close to being a really bad day for this tandem. As the Tandem Instructor was moving towards the door, his reserve parachute deployed in the plane! Fortunately, the videographer saw it, grabbed it, and another TI helped control the situation. The door was immediately closed, the reserve was passed forward, and the plane landed with no further incident.

Why did it happen

Snag hazards

The submission details noted that they believe the TI snagged his reserve on the door track while he was moving forward from the bench.

How could it be prevented

Protect your container

Snag hazards are common on every aircraft and all jumpers should be aware of them. Every skydiver, from an AFF student to the most experienced examiner, needs to make sure that they aware of their surroundings and that their containers do not rub up against something that could dislodge a pin, snag a cable, or pull a handle.

Additional Notes

Good job guys

This could have been a very bad day. But instead, thanks to staff members who were heads-up and reacted quickly, it just resulted in a plane ride back to the ground. The videographer on that front float was paying attention to everything that was going on, saw the threat and reacted instantly. The second TI, an S&TA, quickly alerted everyone to the situation and directed them to get the TI back into the plane, close the door, and pass the reserve forward towards the nose of the plane.

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