Friday Freakout: Wingsuiter’s Line Over Malfunction + Line Twists On Reserve Parachute

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

After an uneventful wingsuit flight this jumper deployed his main and found himself with a line over that sent him spinning. Unable to fly the canopy, he cutaway and – after dealing with some line twists – landed without further incident.

Why did it happen

The Line Over

It’s impossible to see what caused the line-over but they typically occur as a result of a rough deployment, bad body position, packing errors, and a few other culprits.

The Line Twists

Line twists are somewhat common for wingsuitters on the best of days and during a cutaway they’re that much more likely to occur.

How could it be prevented

Better Packing

If the line-over was the result of a packing error, the solution is obviously better packing! Take your time, don’t rush, don’t get complacent… and just because you’re jumping a wingsuit-friendly, docile, 7-cell canopy don’t think you can just shove it in the bag.

Better Deployments

If the line-over was the result of a bad deployment, the solution is ensuring that you’re in a good, stable, symmetric 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.

Additional Notes

Delayed Emergency Procedures

This jumper delayed cutting away his main quite a bit even though it was quickly obvious that this canopy was not flyable. Generally, jumpers should cutaway early in order to provide themselves as much time as possible to deal with other unexpected complications such as line twists or finding a safe place to land.

Nearly Simultaneous Emergency Procedures

In the video it appears that this individual pulled his reserve handle almost at the same exact time as his cutaway handle. Fortunately, this didn’t result in any further issues, but it’s a bad habit to develop because it creates the potential for an out-of-sequence deployment where the reserve deploys before the main has been fully detached.