Friday Freakout: Skydiver Has Heavy Line Twists on Reserve Parachute

Zej Moczydlowski
ago
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What happened

This jumper deployed his main canopy, but it inflated with some pretty messy twists that were, initially, far up the lines. They came down closer to the jumper and he attempted to clear them for approximately ten seconds but, as his canopy began diving rather aggressively, he decided to cut away his main. His reserve deployed but it also opened into some heavy line twists but, fortunately, he was able to get out of them and land his reserve canopy safely.

Why did it happen

Body Position

The 360-degree camera angle may be slightly misleading, but it appears that this jumper’s body position was slightly asymmetric. It’s particularly visible when he throws his pilot chute forward aggressively. This likely created those line twists. His risers consequently being asymmetric was likely also the cause of his canopy going into a diving spin.

How could it be prevented

Stable & Symmetric Deployment

During deployment, especially with smaller and more aggressive canopies, a small degree of body rotation can result in deployment issues. By taking just a half second and ensuring that their body remains in a neutral and symmetric position, a jumper can drastically reduce the chance that their deployment will result in line twists.

Additional Notes

Why We Do Handle Checks

When this jumper went to pull his cutaway handle, he initially reached way too far down his torso. He had to run his hands down from near his belly button all the way back up to where the handle was seated. This is an excellent example of why it’s important to do handle checks to create muscle memory regarding where you should reach. (Admittedly, during this type of spin the harness has likely shifted a bit away from where it is on the ground!) This is also a great explanation of why instructors often harp on looking down and seeing the handle as you’re reaching for it.

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What happened

This jumper deployed his main canopy, but it inflated with some pretty messy twists that were, initially, far up the lines. They came down closer to the jumper and he attempted to clear them for approximately ten seconds but, as his canopy began diving rather aggressively, he decided to cut away his main. His reserve deployed but it also opened into some heavy line twists but, fortunately, he was able to get out of them and land his reserve canopy safely.

Why did it happen

Body Position

The 360-degree camera angle may be slightly misleading, but it appears that this jumper’s body position was slightly asymmetric. It’s particularly visible when he throws his pilot chute forward aggressively. This likely created those line twists. His risers consequently being asymmetric was likely also the cause of his canopy going into a diving spin.

How could it be prevented

Stable & Symmetric Deployment

During deployment, especially with smaller and more aggressive canopies, a small degree of body rotation can result in deployment issues. By taking just a half second and ensuring that their body remains in a neutral and symmetric position, a jumper can drastically reduce the chance that their deployment will result in line twists.

Additional Notes

Why We Do Handle Checks

When this jumper went to pull his cutaway handle, he initially reached way too far down his torso. He had to run his hands down from near his belly button all the way back up to where the handle was seated. This is an excellent example of why it’s important to do handle checks to create muscle memory regarding where you should reach. (Admittedly, during this type of spin the harness has likely shifted a bit away from where it is on the ground!) This is also a great explanation of why instructors often harp on looking down and seeing the handle as you’re reaching for it.

Coming Soon

Hang tight, our new comments system and community features will be live soon.

to join the conversation.

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