Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012

 


yeyo  (D 32048)

Dec 26, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 Can't Post

http://www.eltiempo.com/...aracaidas_12476602-4

According to the news report, 34yr old firefighter and experienced chilean skydiver died dressed as Santa while doing a demo for some kids. The report only says the lines got tangled at about 150' and that he died on impact. Does not mention the malfuction, canopy type, number of jumps etc...

Frown




JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 29, 2012, 9:24 AM
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Re: [yeyo] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn.Unsure

Canopy collision? Sorry, but my Spanish is very limited.


wmw999  (D 6296)

Dec 29, 2012, 3:23 PM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

It just says his lines got tangled about 50m above ground; nothing about getting tangled with someone else.

Other stories make it sound like some sort of wind disturbance (like a dust devil). I suppose it could also be a low turn gone wrong, or something else even worse described, but based on previous demos, those sound less likely.

Wendy P.


SuFantasma  (D 26267)

Jan 3, 2013, 9:56 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZnyAW5UUno

1) Exit from 5,500 feet ;
2) Canopy appears to have opened properly;
3) At 50 meters from the ground the parachute collapsed
4) Skydiver went into a spin until impact.

Pilot interviewed didn't see the malfunction but appears to have seen the open canopy and the skydiver seemed under full control.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Jan 4, 2013, 11:59 AM
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Re: [yeyo] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
http://www.eltiempo.com/...aracaidas_12476602-4

According to the news report, 34yr old firefighter and experienced chilean skydiver died dressed as Santa while doing a demo for some kids. The report only says the lines got tangled at about 150' and that he died on impact. Does not mention the malfuction, canopy type, number of jumps etc...

Frown

Whether or not this was in fact a "Santa" jump or not, it does raise an important point:

"Santa" demos are different and real professionals need to factor the "trauma" factor into their planning in case Santa gets hurt or killed -- or just lands way out on the jump.

I wish I could recall who it was but years ago I had a conversation with a demo team operator who said he always always ALWAYS had a "backup Santa" standing by under wraps near the landing area in case Santa got hurt (or worse) on landing because you just can't explain to kids that Santa just bounced or got hurt.

IIRC, he said he'd had to use his backup Santa one time when skydiving Santa pranged an ankle on landing; the under-wraps backup Santa went to the landing spot, others in the ground crew shielded the scene briefly from view, the "wrap" was draped over injured Santa and backup Santa emerged from the scrum waving and smiling and then of course all the kids focused on waving walking Santa and nobody noticed grimacing injured Santa being carted off the landing area.

Certainly, a dead Santa is more tense, but even then true professionals need to keep their game faces on and follow this same procedure and pretend everything is fine so as not to ruin the feelings of the kids who came to see Santa.

This is important not only to protect the kids, but to protect the demo team and the sport from potential lawsuits by parents whose kids were freaked out because they saw Santa die.

Same situation except entirely different happened at the Royal Gorge in 2003 when a jumper dismembered himself on the bridge and his leg landed five feet from the railroad tracks. It was obviously a very intense scene, and a tourist train was due to pass through in five minutes, so the people onsite threw a blanket over the leg and then smiled and waved at the passengers as the train went by, actuing casual and cool until it passed. This simple "timeout" from the reality of jumper's death helped immeasurably in muting the consequences thereof because the train owner was totally opposed to jumping at the brdige and tried to stop the event before and after. The fact that he didn't have the additional "ammunition" of traumatized train customers to fire at the organizers was a big factor in the event continuing on after the fatality.

So, yes, it's wonderful to play Santa for the kids and skydive into an event and make them all happy, but it's at least as important to have a Santa-demo-specific backup plan to make sure that no kids ever see Santa bounce or get hurt.

Condolnces to this jumper's family. Bad way to end one year and begin the new one.

44
Frown


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 4, 2013, 3:01 PM
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Re: [robinheid] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I wish I could recall who it was but years ago I had a conversation with a demo team operator who said he always always ALWAYS had a "backup Santa"

Hell, Robin, that trick was in Bud Sellick's 1971 book on skydiving, in the part where he discussed Santa jumps gone bad. Tongue

(Aside: And there were photos of Santas flying in across wires into a city street or asphalt parking lot, under 7-TU rounds. Holy crap.)


(This post was edited by pchapman on Jan 4, 2013, 3:02 PM)


Abedy  (D 10153)

Jan 5, 2013, 6:40 AM
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Re: [robinheid] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...but to protect the demo team and the sport from potential lawsuits by parents whose kids were freaked out because they saw Santa die.

I do understand what you wrote about Backup Santa etc. (BTW: Brings a cartoon into mind, see attached. So the same should apply if "angels" or even "God" lands?)

But back to topic: A lawsuit because of "emotional damage done to my beloved child that saw Santa got hurt" that's - at least at to this day - something that could only happen in 'merica. Oh my... Crazy


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Jan 5, 2013, 5:34 PM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Jan 5, 2013, 1:03 PM
Post #9 of 11 (849 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Christmas Demo Fatality, Chile Dec.25, 2012 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I wish I could recall who it was but years ago I had a conversation with a demo team operator who said he always always ALWAYS had a "backup Santa"

Hell, Robin, that trick was in Bud Sellick's 1971 book on skydiving, in the part where he discussed Santa jumps gone bad. Tongue

(Aside: And there were photos of Santas flying in across wires into a city street or asphalt parking lot, under 7-TU rounds. Holy crap.)

Indeed, and some demo operators have applied his wisdom, though most do not.

44
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