Mr. Bill exits can get a little spicy, and this one was no exception. On this Mr. Bill attempt, the pilot chute and bridle got caught under the other jumper’s leg and then wrapped around his foot. Fortunately, they were able to unwrap it and both jumpers landed safely.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a “Mr. Bill” is a skydive where one jumper holds onto another as the second person deploys their parachute. If the skydiver manages to hold on during the deployment process, they then hang around with their friend for a bit, then let go into freefall before opening their own parachute.
Mr. Bill exits are particularly tricky (read: potentially dangerous) and have a high chance of going awry. Some dropzones very specifically prohibit them from even being attempted because the reality is that many things can go wrong. This video demonstrates just one of them. Realistically, this jumper did a good job deploying their pilot chute quickly upon leaving the plane (a necessary action for a successful Mr. Bill) and the fact that it wrapped around the other jumper was probably just bad luck.
The number one thing that jumpers attempting a Mr. Bill should do as part of their preparation for the jump is to find more experienced jumpers who have done them before — successfully. Not only can this better prepare jumpers for a potentially sketchy skydive, it can give experienced folks at the dropzone a chance to intervene if the jumpers making the attempt are not ready for something like this.
We have no idea regarding the level of experience these jumpers had, but the individual who deployed their pilot chute did a beautiful job keeping calm and unwrapping the bridle from their buddy’s leg. They not only unwrapped it, but they had the sense to hold onto it to prevent it from deploying the main and potentially causing a “de-gloving” injury to their friend.