The details submitted with this video were a little inaccurate and the "meat missile" jumper in this video reached out to clarify the details. Here's what they had to say:
"I am an AFF instructor and D license skydiver with 715 jumps.. nearly 600 belly skydives. I was not trying to sit fly to the formation. I hadn’t done a belly jump in about a month and am not used to chasing formations without a jumpsuit. I tried to slow down from a dive and overrated and lost control. I’m definitely embarrassed about it, but it happened. Just wanted to give you my side of the story!"
These skydivers launched a linked 3-way belly formation and the fourth jumper was meant to chase the group and break into the formation, with the goal of transitioning the belly round to a (sit) campfire. Unfortunately, the chaser — apparently worried that too much vertical distance had opened up between themselves and the rest of the group — allegedly decided go into a sit-fly to get there faster! As you might expect with an inexperience group, the chaser turned into a plant-based meat missile and just barely missed hitting the group very hard.
The jury is still out on whether plant-based meat missiles are better or worse than regular meat missiles, but one thing is for sure... this one was spicy!
Much like not crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, skydivers — and especially inexperienced jumpers — should typically not cross disciplines in a situation like this one. By going into a vertical orientation (fast fall rate) while the rest of the group was in a horizontal orientation (slower fall rate), the chaser made the speed difference between themselves and the group pretty significant. If a belly group is falling at 120mph, and a freeflyer is falling at 150mph or more, that's still 200lbs of skydiver slamming into someone at 30mph. That's more than enough to leave someone unconscious... or worse.
We've all been there before. You get out, realize you're much higher than the group, and REALLY want to get down to the group. The urge to pick up speed and get down is going to be there. You don't want to miss out on the jump. You don't want to ruin everyone else's jump because you were part of the dive flow. It sucks, but for your safety, and for the safety of everyone else on the jump, you need to get down there in a safe and controlled manner, then level-slot-and-dock. LEVEL. SLOT. DOCK.
The submission for this video stated that the jumper made a conscious decision to go into sit-fly in order to get down to the group. We have a sneaking suspicion that this may have actually just been a bad exit. Only ten seconds into a jump, barely off the hill, it seems unlikely that the jumper would have had time to have gotten stable on their belly, seen the distance between them and the group, and decided to go into a sit. This suspicion is supported by how the jumper doesn't appear in a stable sit at all and is tumbling onto their back as they pass the group. We weren't there so we don't know, but if that was the case, then this jump also demonstrates why, when jumping together, inexperienced jumpers should keep the groups small and, if they're going to jump together, may want to consider a linked exit.