Well, starting with the obvious — you're not crazy — this jumper only has one leg! (He had about 100 jumps before losing his leg, 150 after, so this jump was right around jump number 250.) Because he can't control his prosthetic limp, he opts to jump without it. He was doing a hop and pop on a CRW rig, getting ready to do CRW drills by himself. However, as he exits, he attempts to pitch out the door but misses his handle. He then reaches back again, successfully grabs it and pulls it out of the BOC, but doesn't immediately release it. The bridle starts wrapping under his arm and when he realizes it, he tries to get it undone, and finally releases his pilot chute. However, when his canopy finally opens he has a line-over with line twists that starts spinning him up. He finally cuts away and deploys his reserve, but lets go of his reserve handle — and the cable initially tangles up in the deploying reserve lines! Fortunately, it comes out of the lines as the twists start coming undone and he goes on to land safely.
On his second attempt to deploy his main, halfway through doing so, the jumper began to worry about his body position and orientation not being ideal. So, after pulling his pilot chute out, he held onto it instead of immediately tossing it to deploy his main. Doing so released so much of his bridle that it was able to start wrapping under his arm. When he finally lets go all of that mess, his main doesn't deploy cleanly.
We've seen this before (particularly with one badass blonde we dearly love... you know who you are!) where a jumper pulls out their pilot chute, and then rather than give it a strong toss into the air, they hold onto it for a second. When you're a badass with thousands of jumps, know what you're doing, have perfect body position, and have a reason for doing it, that's one thing.
However, when you're a newer jumper whose body position is a hot mess, don't screw around — once that pilot chute is out of the BOC, give it a nice strong toss. We've seen that bridle wrap around a jumper's neck and we've seen it almost deglove someone's arm (deglove = rip all the flesh off and just leave the bone). Just toss it.
This jumper knew almost immediately that his main was not flyable, but he took almost 20 seconds from the time he deployed to the time he chopped. As the USPA pointed out in its "Don't Delay; Cutaway!" campaign a few years back, when you have a spinning malfunction, you're losing altitude a lot faster than you think and every foot of altitude is going to be precious because you need time for your reserve to deploy, need time to deal with any issues with your reserve, and may need time to find a safe place to land if the DZ is no longer an option.
Did anyone else notice that as this jumper's reserve canopy deploys, he lets go of his handles, and the reserve handle and wire fly into his deploying lines?!? We don't think we've ever seen that in a Friday Freakout video and we're very happy that it didn't lead to a much scarier video. However, that could have been a lot worse because that metal wire could have done some damage to the lines, or potentially gotten entangled to the point where it prevented a clean or total deployment of the reserve. Normally we just make fun of people for losing style points when they let go of their handles on a cutaway because the important part is that they did what they had to do to live... but this may seriously present a reason to teach folks to hold onto their handles as part of their emergency procedures.
We went to see how much altitude this jumper lost in the 20 seconds it took him to chop, and to see if he looked at his altimeter to remain aware of his altitude... but then we realized that his altimeter was busted! As he finally gets his pilot chute away from his body, it says he's at 1,000 feet and as he extends his arm to deploy his reserve it very clearly is at ZERO feet. Especially with older analog altimeters, make sure they're set on the ground, tap them to make sure the needle doesn't get stuck on the way to altitude, check them on the climb to altitude to make sure that they're working properly.