Patrick's surgery on Sunday went well. He will be in the hospital through the end of the week. His injuries included a broken femur, fractured pelvis, and dislocated shoulder. Unfortunately the hospital will only give information to the student's immediate family, so there is no update on her condition. She received head trauma during the accident and is currently being treated for those injuries...
Please keep her in your thoughts.
(This post was edited by TheMonkey on May 10, 2005, 12:14 PM)
I was not there but did visit Patrick at the hospital yesterday and got his version (as he hit the happy button repeatedly).
He said that the winds were out of the North (worst direction for turbulance at this DZ) but were not that bad. I did not even go out that day because the winds were high at my house a 1/2 hour away, I checked METAR reports a couple time in the AM and decided to go mountain biking. He said he was on final at full flight and the canopy colapsed - next thing he remembers was waking up on the tarmac. The tandem canopy was a Hop. No idea of the wingloading or other details.
There are a couple regulars on DZ.com that were there at the time, they can elaborate further.
Instructor Age ~55 ... Time in Sport: 25 Years.... Number of jumps: 3000+.... Number of Tandem jumps: 1000+..…Extremely Current..... Harness: Strong..... Main: HOPs 330 ..... Reserve: Unknown.....AAD: Cypres On..... Location: Skydive Virginia, Louisa Virginia….. Surface winds: 11-15mph NNW (AWOS)….. Temp: low 60s……
Following an uneventful skydive tandem instructor Patrick McNamara flew the tandem pair back to the dropzone, flew his landing pattern, and set-up on final approach. Ground winds at the time the load took off were reported 11-15mph. After the load exited the aircraft and was under canopy, AWOS reported ground winds gusts around 20mph. At reportedly 20 feet off the ground, one side of the main canopy deflated and “rolled” under on itself. The canopy and tandem pair were sent into a diving spin and impacted the ground on their sides, in proximity to the pea gravel pit in the landing area. Both Patrick's and the students heads reportedly landed on the runway. The student was wearing a frap hat while Patrick was wearing a Bonehead open-faced helmet.
Patrick sustained a broken femur, fractured pelvis, fractured clavicle, dislocated shoulder, and a laceration to his face. Both instructor and student were knocked unconscious upon impact. The student had not regained consciousness when she was life-flighted to the hospital. A second helicopter airlifted Patrick shortly after. At this time, there is no further information on the status of the student. We are praying for her full recovery.
Patrick and student were the second pair to exit the Cessna 182. The first tandem pair was “spotted” slightly short and landed just off-field uneventfully. The first tandem instructor commented after the fact that the conditions were jumpable and had jump operations not been shut-down that he would not be hesitant to continue to jump.
At this time the gear has not been inspected by a rigger. I am not sure as to the exact number of jumps on the canopy but it is new. I did not see the actual canopy collapse so can not comment beyond what is relayed above from those who actually witnessed the incident.
I don't know what day the injury was but it was NASTY all weekend here in Ocean City. We jumped and had semi clean air on landing, but had the WORST tubulence in the aircraft climb I have ever experiencd. Several bumps lifted all of us off of our butts. And it lasted all the way to altitude.
This was at approximately 9:30-10AM. The weather station was reading a little closer to 20 and steady. We were getting ready to put up load #2 in the 2nd Cessna and some nasty gusts started coming through (over 20 kts). Someone either was about to or was in the process of sending word to the plane via radio but we already had open canopies overhead. So, we just went out to the landing area to catch.
Edit: And to anyone who doesn't understand the jargon, "catching" or "shagging" is when someone grabs the toggles from the tandem when they land and pull them out to deflate the canopy.
(This post was edited by DJL on May 12, 2005, 3:00 PM)
I was up on a load at that time over at Orange... not too far away. TRUST ME... the winds sucked! And it shifted to sucky pretty quick. I'm very conservative about jumping in winds, and I got caught landing in the same stuff. It managed to scare me into sitting on the ground most of the day.
Really sorry to hear about this accident. Heal quick.
In regards to you all who have took time to go visit my Dad or call him. I really apprecieate that. He is doing alot better. It is still under a week and they already have him in a Rehabilatation Hospital. I thank you all for your concerns and prayers. Please keep praying for him. I have updated info on him. So if you would like that please e-mail me here at DZ.com and I would be glad to give it to you. I probably wont get it until late Sunday or Monday morning due to no computer at the DZ. I hope to see all of the regulars out at the DZ. Well Blue Skies and May God be with you all.
Nothing really went wrong after the incident (except that of course of injuries from the incident itself), it was just that her condition did not improve. We were not informed about exact details regarding her hospitalization other than snippets here and there through word of mouth from her close friends. Essentialy word was that the trauma suffered left her pretty much brain dead and the condition never improved and at certain points slwoly deteriorated. I am not sure what i am and am not alowed to say about anything and wish to not spread false information so thats all i can really provide about specifics.
Oct 3, 2005, 3:41 PM
Post #22 of 29
Re: [wstcoaster07] Louisa, Va Tandem Mishap
[In reply to]
Thank you for that explanation. There is no need for you to elaborate. You provided enough info to realize what was going on all those months. I've seen that kind of thing first-hand myself, and I'm very sorry to hear of the unfortunate outcome.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Oct 3, 2005, 3:42 PM)
head traumas always seem to be weird. i had a friend die in a car wreck a little over a year ago and he got thrown from a car that was rolling down the freeway and at first he was actually conscience but then passed out i guess and for about 2 days they said his brain activity was fine and it was just as if he was sleeping and then on the 2nd or 3rd night it just dropped to nothing and he was brain dead. was the girl in a coma the whole time? did she ever wake up after the accident?
Oct 4, 2005, 1:38 PM
Post #24 of 29
Re: [anewempire] Louisa, Va Tandem Mishap
[In reply to]
In reply to:
head traumas always seem to be weird.
Even "normal" injuries can turn fatal. We had a case here of a low hook turn with broken bones. Recovery was going fine, with several surgeries for stabilization, etc. After a week in the hospital, a blood clot broke loose, migrated to the brain and killed her. So even ordinary broken bones scare the hell out of me...
Oct 12, 2005, 3:44 AM
Post #25 of 29
Re: [anewempire] Louisa, Va Tandem Mishap
[In reply to]
No, the student did not regain conciousness. The accident caused serious and irreversable brain damage to over 70% of her brain. Her family and staff at the hospitals worked hard to give her every chance and to make her comfortable. May she rest in peace.