Re: [jacketsdb23] Skydiver’s Near-Death Experience Points To Lax Industry Oversight
Clearly the jumper caused a lot of the problem himself. Less discussed so far is the role of the gear.
The FAA report shows the gear was inspected by Allen Silver, a very well known rigger in the emergency parachute market for pilots. I'm not sure if he's at all involved in skydiving now, but apparently he has 3200+ jumps.
[Edit: removed question about source of FAA report. There's a link in the news article I now see.]
I guess Allen has very high standards. One wonders what he'd think of a lot of older student & rental gear out there! On the video it appears the gear is an Eclipse, so it will be an older set of gear.
(In his published documents, he believes all reserve parachutes should not be packed beyond 20 years of age ... at least when talking about rounds for pilots.)
The report says the container was worn "beyond serviceable limits". Same for the harness. Those are fairly major accusations. Maybe the DZ could have maintained the gear better, but the accusation is absolute. The report is so short and without graphics that we unfortunately don't have any evidence to help us understand Allen's criticism.
The description of the worn velcro on the main flap is a little vague. The Eclipse uses tuck tabs on the main pin cover flap, but there is velcro on the bottom flap apparently tucked under the right flap, to help secure the bridle on its way to the BOC. Maybe it was this velcro that was worn out.
But then no mention is made of the BOC condition, although it acknowledges that there was inconclusive evidence about the packing and placement of the PC in its pouch.
The report also notes that lines were "tied (knotted) in place on cells 4 and 5". Interesting indeed, although not further explained?!
The jumper was faced with a premature opening after only brief non-belly exposure, something that shouldn't happen even if it was inadvertent loss of stability. (Even non freefly friendly gear for novices isn't supposed to do that.) Unfortunately we don't know to what degree it really was gear condition vs. pilot chute packing related etc. The jumper may well have been faced with an emergency that was not his fault, even if he made poor decisions before, during and after the flight.
As for going unconscious: I think new jumpers don't always get taught about how to make leg straps comfortable, as it is second nature to experienced jumpers. For students the emphasis tends to be on not having straps too loose, even if we might say to have them "tight but not so tight that they are cutting off circulation". That being said one doesn't know exactly why he lost consciousness.
Maybe I missed seeing an edit, but he opened at about 38s on the video, and his hand with the gopro dropped down at around 1:24 (very roughly). This might just be a convenient, unexplained edit point by the news station, but if it does represent him losing consciousness, that's only 45 or so seconds after opening. Then he'd be screwed even if he pulled at a normal altitude.
(This post was edited by pchapman on Feb 11, 2013, 5:07 PM)
Post edited by pchapman
() on Feb 11, 2013, 5:07 PM