Friday Freakout: Wingsuit Cutaway, Lands In Soccer Field & Gets Yellow Card

Zej Moczydlowski
ago
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What happened

This wingsuit pilot deployed into heavy line twists, which he tried fighting for a minute and a half before finally deciding to cutaway — losing quite a bit of altitude in the process. Unfortunately, at that point he was stuck over a populated urban area and his only safe landing option was a soccer field… with an active match! He put it down right near the center of the field, but he still got a yellow card for not standing up the landing.

Why did it happen

Asymmetric Opening

While flying a wingsuit, body symmetry during deployment is even more important than during a regular skydive because the extra fabric and drag are going to react very quickly to asymmetric conditions. It looks like this jumper may have had an asymmetric body position and it may have resulted in these line twists.

Fighting Line Twists For Too Long

Whether it was confidence that he could clear the line twists, a fear of embarrassment over cutting away, or any of a hundred other reasons; this jumper seemed to have really thought that he could clear these line twists. He kept fighting them but, as a result, he put himself in a spot where he had limited landing options.

How could it be prevented

Stable & Symmetrical Deployment

During a wingsuit deployment, 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 wingsuit pilot can drastically reduce the chance that their deployment will result in line twists.

Don’t Delay, Cut Away

This USPA slogan was intended to encourage folks with diving malfunctions to cutaway early but — arguably — it applies to this scenario as well. The jumper spent over a minute and a half thinking that — despite his upper body strength slowly getting drained through constant effort — he would be able to finally get out of these line twists. Had he chopped earlier he may have managed to make it to a non-emergency landing area.

Additional Notes

Why Chop Early?

Fortunately for this jumper, delaying his cutaway didn’t really result in any particularly devastating repercussions. He walked away embarrassed (and with a yellow card) but it should be reiterated that he was jumping over a highly populated urban area with very few outs. If he had a malfunction with his reserve, the lack of altitude resulting from his delayed cutaway could have been a recipe for disaster. Even some minor line twists with his reserve could have resulted in him landing in power lines or slamming into a building.

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What happened

This wingsuit pilot deployed into heavy line twists, which he tried fighting for a minute and a half before finally deciding to cutaway — losing quite a bit of altitude in the process. Unfortunately, at that point he was stuck over a populated urban area and his only safe landing option was a soccer field… with an active match! He put it down right near the center of the field, but he still got a yellow card for not standing up the landing.

Why did it happen

Asymmetric Opening

While flying a wingsuit, body symmetry during deployment is even more important than during a regular skydive because the extra fabric and drag are going to react very quickly to asymmetric conditions. It looks like this jumper may have had an asymmetric body position and it may have resulted in these line twists.

Fighting Line Twists For Too Long

Whether it was confidence that he could clear the line twists, a fear of embarrassment over cutting away, or any of a hundred other reasons; this jumper seemed to have really thought that he could clear these line twists. He kept fighting them but, as a result, he put himself in a spot where he had limited landing options.

How could it be prevented

Stable & Symmetrical Deployment

During a wingsuit deployment, 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 wingsuit pilot can drastically reduce the chance that their deployment will result in line twists.

Don’t Delay, Cut Away

This USPA slogan was intended to encourage folks with diving malfunctions to cutaway early but — arguably — it applies to this scenario as well. The jumper spent over a minute and a half thinking that — despite his upper body strength slowly getting drained through constant effort — he would be able to finally get out of these line twists. Had he chopped earlier he may have managed to make it to a non-emergency landing area.

Additional Notes

Why Chop Early?

Fortunately for this jumper, delaying his cutaway didn’t really result in any particularly devastating repercussions. He walked away embarrassed (and with a yellow card) but it should be reiterated that he was jumping over a highly populated urban area with very few outs. If he had a malfunction with his reserve, the lack of altitude resulting from his delayed cutaway could have been a recipe for disaster. Even some minor line twists with his reserve could have resulted in him landing in power lines or slamming into a building.

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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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