Friday Freakout: Skydivers Collide Parachutes On Opening (No Separation)

Zej Moczydlowski
ago
39 Shares

What happened

After a relatively uneventful two-way, these skydivers turned away from each other without tracking away and… deployed their canopies!? They seem to have skipped the whole “track away” part of the jump; consequently, they opened up next to each other and had a canopy collision. Fortunately, they didn't get wrapped up or entangled in their lines, and both of them landed safely.

Why did it happen

No Tracking = No Horizontal Separation

The jumper whose video we're viewing turned away from his buddy and deployed his canopy less than three seconds later without ever tracking away. As his canopy deploys, we see that his buddy did the same thing -- neither one of them tracked away.

Off-Heading Opening

Ancillary to the fact that these guys didn’t create any horizontal separation between themselves before opening, is the fact that this jumper’s canopy opened severely off-heading and sent him towards his buddy who deployed behind him.

How could it be prevented

Track like everyone in the sky is trying to kill you

This line gets thrown around a lot when it comes to big ways where you’re trying to get dozens if not hundreds of people away from each other to give each jumper enough room to open their canopy safely. However, proper tracking technique – the kind that creates horizontal separation between you and others – is just as important on your two- or three-way jumps.

React!

This jumper knew he was heading towards his buddy, and he did… well… nothing. His hands briefly go up to his front right riser, but he never put any input into his canopy to turn away from the canopy he was heading towards. Had he reached up and grabbed a riser and tried to get away, there’s at least a chance the collision could have been avoided.

Proper Deployment

The fact that this jumper’s canopy turned upon deployment could have been due to a wide variety of issues: packing error, unstable deployment, asymmetric deployment, body position, etc. However, as noted earlier, this is a tangential issue because the main problem on this jump was the lack of tracking and separation.

Additional Notes

Be cautious with other inexperienced jumpers

This video didn’t come with a written submission but based on their belly skills, we’re guessing these were relatively newer jumpers. There’s nothing wrong with jumping with a friend who just graduated AFF with you, but if you’re going to do so, it’s important to remember the basics.

Also, some folks may be thinking, “But they had cameras!” However, based on some of the equipment seen in the full cut of the video and the plane being flown, it was almost certainly not in the U.S.. Camera rules around the world may be looser compared to USPA guidelines and recommendations, so we are not taking the existence of cameras on this jump to mean these jumpers had at least 200 jumps.

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What happened

After a relatively uneventful two-way, these skydivers turned away from each other without tracking away and… deployed their canopies!? They seem to have skipped the whole “track away” part of the jump; consequently, they opened up next to each other and had a canopy collision. Fortunately, they didn't get wrapped up or entangled in their lines, and both of them landed safely.

Why did it happen

No Tracking = No Horizontal Separation

The jumper whose video we're viewing turned away from his buddy and deployed his canopy less than three seconds later without ever tracking away. As his canopy deploys, we see that his buddy did the same thing -- neither one of them tracked away.

Off-Heading Opening

Ancillary to the fact that these guys didn’t create any horizontal separation between themselves before opening, is the fact that this jumper’s canopy opened severely off-heading and sent him towards his buddy who deployed behind him.

How could it be prevented

Track like everyone in the sky is trying to kill you

This line gets thrown around a lot when it comes to big ways where you’re trying to get dozens if not hundreds of people away from each other to give each jumper enough room to open their canopy safely. However, proper tracking technique – the kind that creates horizontal separation between you and others – is just as important on your two- or three-way jumps.

React!

This jumper knew he was heading towards his buddy, and he did… well… nothing. His hands briefly go up to his front right riser, but he never put any input into his canopy to turn away from the canopy he was heading towards. Had he reached up and grabbed a riser and tried to get away, there’s at least a chance the collision could have been avoided.

Proper Deployment

The fact that this jumper’s canopy turned upon deployment could have been due to a wide variety of issues: packing error, unstable deployment, asymmetric deployment, body position, etc. However, as noted earlier, this is a tangential issue because the main problem on this jump was the lack of tracking and separation.

Additional Notes

Be cautious with other inexperienced jumpers

This video didn’t come with a written submission but based on their belly skills, we’re guessing these were relatively newer jumpers. There’s nothing wrong with jumping with a friend who just graduated AFF with you, but if you’re going to do so, it’s important to remember the basics.

Also, some folks may be thinking, “But they had cameras!” However, based on some of the equipment seen in the full cut of the video and the plane being flown, it was almost certainly not in the U.S.. Camera rules around the world may be looser compared to USPA guidelines and recommendations, so we are not taking the existence of cameras on this jump to mean these jumpers had at least 200 jumps.

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to join the conversation.

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