Friday Freakout: Skydivers' Close Call Canopy Opening, No Separation

Zej Moczydlowski
ago
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What happened

This 5-way freefly jump had an uncomfortable amount of separation — both vertically and horizontally — between the jumpers, with only two of them flying close to each other. As those two jumpers broke off, another jumper appeared out of nowhere with their canopy in mid-deployment! No separation. No awareness. Not cool.

Why did it happen

Off-Level Jumper(s)

Approximately fifteen seconds into the video we see that one jumper is notably high above the rest of the group. We are assuming that’s the person who came down and deployed in close proximity at breakoff. When a jumper is off level with the rest of the group it makes it incredibly difficult for the rest of the group to remain aware of their position and, vice versa, it makes it harder for the jumper to know where everyone else in the group is.

How could it be prevented

Skill Level Awareness

The fact that this was at minimum a five-way vertical jump where only two people got together raises serious questions about whether this jump should have been attempted in the first place. When multiple jumpers who are not able to stay on level and in proximity to each other decide to skydive together, it can be a recipe for disaster. Keep groups small until you can jump safely with one another.

Get On Level

If you get off level from the other jumpers in your group, your only job until breakoff altitude is to get back on  level — either with the rest of the group or with whomever chose to be the "base" for the jump. As you do so, you also need to maintain awareness of where the group is so that you don’t come barreling into them like a meat missile.

Track Away!

The jumper whose perspective we are viewing did very little to track away after he and his partner in the white/red jumpsuit broke off. Unless planned, failing to track is a dangerous practice because others will not be expecting you to pitch in place.

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What happened

This 5-way freefly jump had an uncomfortable amount of separation — both vertically and horizontally — between the jumpers, with only two of them flying close to each other. As those two jumpers broke off, another jumper appeared out of nowhere with their canopy in mid-deployment! No separation. No awareness. Not cool.

Why did it happen

Off-Level Jumper(s)

Approximately fifteen seconds into the video we see that one jumper is notably high above the rest of the group. We are assuming that’s the person who came down and deployed in close proximity at breakoff. When a jumper is off level with the rest of the group it makes it incredibly difficult for the rest of the group to remain aware of their position and, vice versa, it makes it harder for the jumper to know where everyone else in the group is.

How could it be prevented

Skill Level Awareness

The fact that this was at minimum a five-way vertical jump where only two people got together raises serious questions about whether this jump should have been attempted in the first place. When multiple jumpers who are not able to stay on level and in proximity to each other decide to skydive together, it can be a recipe for disaster. Keep groups small until you can jump safely with one another.

Get On Level

If you get off level from the other jumpers in your group, your only job until breakoff altitude is to get back on  level — either with the rest of the group or with whomever chose to be the "base" for the jump. As you do so, you also need to maintain awareness of where the group is so that you don’t come barreling into them like a meat missile.

Track Away!

The jumper whose perspective we are viewing did very little to track away after he and his partner in the white/red jumpsuit broke off. Unless planned, failing to track is a dangerous practice because others will not be expecting you to pitch in place.

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

to join the conversation.

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