Re: [billvon] Video: knocked unconcious in freefall, minor injuries
>I now fully realize that tracking dives are prime for such incidents.
Yes. In another thread a poster was saying something along the lines of "on sunset tracking dives we'll have 15-20 people with fairly high jump numbers; those are fine." (And apparently "fairly high jump numbers" were numbers over 150; the jumper posting had 162.)
These dives are even more dangerous than the old tradition of "bigway at the end of the day." On a tracking dive there is no focal point; no base you can dock on or, failing that, at least keep in sight for breakoff. Everyone tracks in effectively a random direction at the end of the dive and hopes for clear air. In some cases they even barrel roll just to add some more randomness to their directions. To a newbie a tracking dive sounds lower pressure than a bigway; you don't have to dock, you just have to go in a similar direction as the leader. This tends to attract lower experienced jumpers, and those jumpers often shed the jumpsuit they are used to for a freefly suit or no suit at all - resulting in new and hard to predict fallrates/forward speeds.
All that being said they can certainly be done safely. But they are NOT a good way to get 15-20 low time jumpers in the air at the end of the day.
Lets not forget that, when tracking, your total speed (horizontal + vertical) is much higher than regular freefall, probably approaching freefly speeds. More speed, more people, less experience. Great recipe.
(This post was edited by Remster on Jul 16, 2013, 11:56 AM)
Post edited by Remster
() on Jul 16, 2013, 11:56 AM