Friday Freakout: Unstable Skydiver Gets Entangled With Parachute Bridle

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

In the submission that came with this video, this jumper was referred to both as a “newly graduated student” and a “student.” He was somewhat unstable and when he went to deploy his pilot chute he rolled over, entangling himself with his pilot chute. Fortunately, when his deployment bag finally left his container, the pilot chute cleared his limbs and didn’t result in an injury. The main was not flyable so the jumper followed his emergency procedures, cut away, and landed safely on his reserve.

Why did it happen

Body Position

Throughout this whole jump, this jumper was wobbling a little (not too badly) and was noticeably turning clockwise. When he finally deployed his main, that turn got worse, he de-arched and rolled over.

Pull Priorities

The three pull priorities are to pull, to pull at the right altitude, and to pull at the right altitude while stable. It looks like this jumper still had plenty of altitude but forgot about taking a moment to get stable before pulling.

How could it be prevented

Retraining

As previously noted, this jumper was having a pretty hard time maintaining stability and controlling heading. Based on the notes provided with this video submission, it sounds like he was cleared for solo and coach jumps but was not yet an A-license holder. If that was the case, this individual may have been allowed to progress a little too quickly given that “unassisted freefall with heading maintenance” is a learning and performance objective for AFF Category C jumps.

Jumpsuit

Newer skydivers often don’t realize how much a jumpsuit helps with body flight. While borrowing a jumpsuit from the DZ isn’t the most fashionable decision, it’s a really good option for students and folks who are still learning.

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