This wingsuiter forgot to disconnect his seatbelt before exiting the plane, which left him stuck hanging under the plane on jump run! Luckily there was another skydiver still in the plane who quickly whipped out his trusty hook knife and saved the day, but unfortunately the second jumper also had to deal with heavy line twists on opening. A very eventful jump to say the least.
Why did it happen
According to the video submission, there was a last second change in exit order that may have led to an undue level of confusion. Potentially that may have contributed to the jumper being preoccupied with the exit and forgetting to do something basic like ensuring that his seatbelt was undone.
Forgetting the basics
Undoing your seatbelt and making sure it is clear of your gear is a basic concept. But, generally speaking, anyone sitting near anything that could potentially snag their gear needs to be aware of that danger and proactively ensure that it is not hooked to any of their gear before the door opens. Let alone before they exit.
How could it be prevented
Maintain situational awareness
There’s really no excuse for this incident because, not only should you remember to undo your seatbelt, but any experienced jumper should be checking to make sure all seatbelts are tucked away before the door opens.
Jump the plan
We’ve touched on this quite a few times in recent posts: when you’ve established an exit plan and dive flow on the ground, don’t change it up in the plane. There will always be another jump, so changing the plan while in a loud plane where you can’t really discuss things in a calm and discernable fashion is not the right answer.
Seriously, the second jumper is owed a bottle of liquor and not just beer. They immediately comprehended what was going on, knew where their hook knife was, whipped it out, and cut the wingsuiter loose. This was an epic save.
One of our good friends has previously assisted in reviewing Friday Freakout videos and has harped on the fact that every jumper should have a hook knife and have it as part of their gear checks and emergency procedures. This video demonstrates why that individual, while a hippie of sorts, is absolutely correct in his opinion on this matter.