Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012

 


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Nov 13, 2012, 7:16 PM
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Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 Can't Post

I had someone send me a story about a near miss on the POPS ways at Deland where it sounded like a small group fell off the planes on a high altitude jump run and ended up deploying above 10,000 feet. The formation flight did a go around and dropped the entire POPS record right around the canopies that were still at altitude and someone in freefall ended up slightly hitting a canopy. I did not get a list of any injuries if any existed but since Deland is hosting multiple Bigway events right now I wanted to see if any additional details could be shared.


danornan  (D 11308)

Nov 14, 2012, 3:42 AM
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Re: [PhreeZone] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

I was on the formation load and heard about the near misses, but also heard at the debrief that there were no contacts. The people who fell off and opened high should have dropped down a few 1,000 feet before they opened! We were getting out around 18,000 feet. Like maybe 15,000 !!!!! The spots were very good all day.

I was rear floating and did not see the open canopies. The event organizers emphasized safety and landing patterns throughout the event.


(This post was edited by danornan on Nov 14, 2012, 3:43 AM)


aphid  (D 535)

Nov 14, 2012, 6:26 AM
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Re: [danornan] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The people who fell off and opened high should have dropped down a few 1,000 feet before they opened! We were getting out around 18,000 feet. Like maybe 15,000 !!!!!

Pardon?


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Nov 14, 2012, 7:02 AM
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Re: [aphid] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

Now why in the world would they simply not freefall down to normal opening altitude before opening? If they were far from home they could have tracked back toward the airport the whole time or opened high enough to get them to a safe landing spot on the airport. I can't imagine why they would dump so high.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Nov 14, 2012, 7:07 AM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

I also do not understand why the load was let out over where they were at with the canopies still in the air. I would have expected that when the jumpers that fell off it would have been communicated to the pilots that were in touch with the ground to verify that the jumpers had landed prior to putting another 100 way in the air with the whereabouts of those jumpers unknown.


skydivecat  (C License)

Nov 14, 2012, 7:14 AM
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Re: [aphid] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

If I understand this correctly, I think Dan is saying they should have dropped down an approx. 15000 feet before opening before deploying, not deployed at 15000 ft.

I could be wrong, but that is what made sense to me.


aphid  (D 535)

Nov 14, 2012, 7:28 AM
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Re: [skydivecat] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If I understand this correctly, I think Dan is saying they should have dropped down an approx. 15000 feet before opening before deploying, not deployed at 15000 ft.

I could be wrong, but that is what made sense to me.

Phew. I was hoping I had misinterpreted the post! Thanks...


fcajump  (D 15598)

Nov 14, 2012, 7:59 AM
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Re: [PhreeZone] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

(speaking in general, interested to see what more insights we get from those on hand)

I _assume_ that it was _assumed_ that, as its a large DZ, multiple aircraft is normal, that once a 360 was completed that they (those who fell off) could be considered the same as jumpers from a prior aircraft who would be below the freefall space and under canopy long enough to be a non-factor. "no sense in wasting fuel" Crazy

Unfortunately this situation results from such assumptions.

Even if they hadn't intentionally deployed early, a premature deployment (PC/bridle getting loose), AAD mis-fire, jumper with a problem who dumps high can always put canopies in the freefall zone.

I also know of DZ's where the planned openning altitudes range from 2k-14k... and they don't even have C-Dawgs... Its not like the old days when the "high-pullers" were at 3,500'.

I am sure that those at large, multi-plane DZ's will work out the process, but there are some things we can all do...

1. If you get shook loose (and have no other issue) take it down to at least the planned openning alt (if not a bit lower, but keep it safe).

2. If you're at the door when some go and you take a 360, WATCH!!! Get someone to tell the pilot what is going on, but get your F-ing head out the door and see whats below you.

3. When uncertain, get on the radio (via the pilot, see #2) and talk to ground. Maybe there was a medical issue, maybe a reserve, maybe a high-pull, maybe the early exiters will be landing out... TALK. Often the ground can track canopies better than those in the aircraft.

Glad everyone is only shaken...

Blue Skies to all,
J


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 14, 2012, 8:22 AM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Now why in the world would they simply not freefall down to normal opening altitude before opening?

One potential reason (we've seen something like this on the bigger records) -

Guy gets ready to get out; someone kicks his O2 hose out. He tries to reconnect it. Green light comes on and he climbs out to rear float. He's hanging there, hanging there, and he starts to gray out. Finally he falls off. His vision is going; he can't see color and he is starting to tunnel out.

What does he do? Wait to see if he blacks out completely, then hopes his cypres works? Opens as soon as he can so if he passes out he's at least under a canopy?

We had several people on the 300-way have similar experiences. No one opened high but a few people were either unconscious or so out of it they couldn't skydive. Fortunately they all "came to" but not something I'd want to rely on if it was me.

One particularly scary story - talked to a woman afterwards who was pale as a ghost. I asked her what was wrong. She said "I don't remember any of that skydive. What happened?"

All that being said, 18,000 feet is not that high from an O2 perspective. But combine hypoxia, cold, dehydration and smoking (for example) and you could have a problem like that.

=======

Edited to add:

Another possibility is that they weren't quite that bad, but were hypoxic enough to be really stupid - and thus just opened without thinking. I've seen people do amazingly stupid things while hypoxic; most people have seen the video of the jumper who rolled an incapacitated jumper out the door due to hypoxia.


(This post was edited by billvon on Nov 14, 2012, 8:24 AM)


jrouse  (B 38781)

Nov 14, 2012, 4:33 PM
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Re: [billvon] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Another possibility is that they weren't quite that bad, but were hypoxic enough to be really stupid - and thus just opened without thinking. I've seen people do amazingly stupid things while hypoxic; most people have seen the video of the jumper who rolled an incapacitated jumper out the door due to hypoxia.

What video is that? Someone actually rolled somebody else out of the plane when they were unconscious?


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 14, 2012, 4:54 PM
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Re: [jrouse] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What video is that? Someone actually rolled somebody else out of the plane when they were unconscious?

Not usefully conscious let's say.
This is the vid I think?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXa4w4aYKEk
It all makes perfect sense if you are hypoxic -- "dude, it's jump run, we gotta get out, let me help you".

Back to the original topic.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 14, 2012, 5:00 PM
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Re: [jrouse] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Someone actually rolled somebody else out of the plane when they were unconscious?

He wasn't unconscious; he collapses on the floor and starts rolling around waving his arms and legs spastically. At one point it looks like he thought he was in freefall while still inside the airplane.

The person "helping" him out isn't really coordinated enough to roll him bodily out the door so he stands there trying to push them out with his hands and feet. Doesn't work well since the guy is lying on the floor (and the helper is profoundly hypoxic as well) but between his help and the guy flailing around he eventually gets out the door. It takes him about a minute to get the guy into freefall.

Video is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXa4w4aYKEk

Things to keep in mind while watching this:

This was a plane full of otherwise-competent skydivers. This did not happen because these people were idiots.

Presumably the plane had a pilot, and if it's like most skydiving aircraft, the pilot and jumpers shared the same (nonfunctional) O2 system.

You lose your higher functions during hypoxia and thus will tend to revert to your previous experience - which is to get out of the plane on jump run.

Per the video comments, several people jumped and did not remember the jump.

Please note that this may NOT be directly related to this jump; there is no direct evidence that hypoxia played a role here. But it is a potential issue on any high altitude jump, and it can be very insidious, because most people don't know they are hypoxic at the time.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Nov 15, 2012, 6:43 AM
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Re: [billvon] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

All of which, for those reading this thread, that this course is valuable.

http://www.faa.gov/...media/physiologc.pdf

Didn't know they'd moved it from military chambers to OK City. It's been over 20 years since I did it.

It's amazing how STUPID you can get. I had full intent to turn my oxygen back on in my mind but couldn't raise my hand to do it. It's also amazing how fast you recover. A couple of breaths and your back. Which is why the folks in the video and others get away with this. It doesn't take long to recover once you fall lower.

It's a pain to schedule, travel etc. but very valuable knowledge and experience.


linebckr83  (D 30571)

Nov 15, 2012, 8:11 AM
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Re: [councilman24] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
All of which, for those reading this thread, that this course is valuable.

http://www.faa.gov/...media/physiologc.pdf

Didn't know they'd moved it from military chambers to OK City. It's been over 20 years since I did it.

It's amazing how STUPID you can get. I had full intent to turn my oxygen back on in my mind but couldn't raise my hand to do it. It's also amazing how fast you recover. A couple of breaths and your back. Which is why the folks in the video and others get away with this. It doesn't take long to recover once you fall lower.

It's a pain to schedule, travel etc. but very valuable knowledge and experience.

I just went to CAMI (Civil Aviation Medical Institute) in Oklahoma City last week for this training. What an experience! And best of all...its free! Just need to schedule it and bring an FAA medical.

After a training class, they put you in the chamber and do a rapid depressurization from 8k to 18k feet so you can detect what that feels like. Then they take it to 25k feet. Half of the group removes O2 masks and begins working on a worksheet of math problems, maize, crossword, etc. Every minute you are asked to record what symptoms you are feeling. You learn in the class that at this altitude you have 3-5 minutes of useful consciousness, so they limit the experience to 5 minutes. The other half of the group remains on oxygen and records signs of the other guys getting hypoxic. Then you trade places.

I can tell you without a doubt, I wouldn't want to be behind a yoke in that environment. I immediately had trouble focusing my eyes. Within a minute a felt slightly numb. At the two minute mark I had trouble concentrating and gave up on the worksheet. I very vaguely remember hearing "3 minutes" and looking at the list of symptoms I could choose from. I couldn't even comprehend enough to realize how I felt. It was a strange experience. I lasted the whole 5 minutes but have no recollection of the other 2 minutes at all. I also could have sworn I put my mask back on myself. Nope. Watched the video and the guy is saying "5 minutes. Put your masks on guys. You're gonna die! Put your mask on!" He was obviously just trying to get our attention, but I was gone. Blank stare around the room. The instructor in the chamber put it on for me. I immediately grabbed it and adjusted it to my face. I think this is why I thought I put it on myself. Very much an eye-opening experience.

If you don't catch the symptoms quick, its not long before you're at the point that you wont even put on the mask yourself. Then you're in for a world of trouble especially as a pilot.

They then decend to 18k feet and dim the lights. Basically like a night flight in an unpressurized cabin. You have a good 30 minutes of useful consciousness here so that wasn't the issue, but it was interesting to see how much it affects your night vision and color acuity.

It's a great experience to any one who wants to try it. They also cover a couple other items like spatial awareness.

Has anybody heard the Kalitta 66 transcript? Here it is. Pretty scary how messed up he is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IqWal_EmBg


flyingmontana  (D 31509)

Nov 16, 2012, 1:35 PM
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Re: [linebckr83] Near miss? - Deland, FL - 13 November 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

To bring this thread back to this specific incident at Deland, I was in the group watching from the ground while this happened. We saw the planes start to do a go-around and then one after another, we noticed the canopies out, SO high up that we couldn't believe it. There was plenty of time for manifest to communicate with the planes and let them know about the 3 canopies that were flying around in the area, and I know lots of people were calling out for them to do so, but I don't know whether they actually did communicate. We were horrified to see the big-way get dropped right above these guys, especially the one who was right in the way of the trackers at about 4-5K. We didn't see anyone actually hit him, but it was extremely close.



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