Friday Freakout: Wingsuiter Has Heavy Line Twists, Accidentally Adds More Line Twists

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened?

A wingsuiter has an asymmetrical deployment that quickly spins up into nasty line twists (I counted 5-6 twists), then he accidentally puts another twist in before realizing he was kicking in the wrong direction. Ooops! Luckily he manages to kick out the line twists without a cutaway.

Why did it happen?

As the wingsuiter pitched, their body rotated significantly to the left and they lost the symmetry that is crucial to wingsuit deployments, resulting in line twists.

What could have prevented it?

Body position

In a wingsuit, maintaining body symmetry during a deployment is even more important than it is during a regular skydive — the extra fabric and drag are going to react very quickly to asymmetric conditions. Had they kept their body symmetric, the line twists may not have happened at all.

Altitude awareness

Altitude awareness wasn’t the cause of the line twists, but it should be noted that at no point does this jumper appear to check their altitude. It’s super easy to get caught up in something like line twists, get distracted, and not realize that you’re still fighting as you get dangerously close to your decision altitude for cutting away.

Other Thoughts

Ask five jumpers about how they would get out of line twists and you’ll get six answers. Some say to pull the risers apart and kick, some say bring the risers together and twist, some say just yell at it. (We definitely don’t endorse the third option.)

The most important part, that we should all agree on, is that altitude is king and that skydivers should never let dealing with line twists distract them to the point where they go below their cutaway decision altitude.

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