Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
south australia fatality 08/02/13

 


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Feb 8, 2013, 3:01 AM
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south australia fatality 08/02/13 Can't Post

http://m.heraldsun.com.au/...do471r-1226573845027

AN experienced Adelaide skydiver died when his parachute failed to open.
Ambulance and police crews were called toSA Sky Diving

on Skeldon Rd and Flagstaff Rd, near Wellington, about 4.30pm when the man died after hitting the ground.
Police and representatives from the Australian Parachute Federation were investigating the man's death last night.
An SA Skydiving employee said the victim was a middle-aged man and experienced skydiver from Adelaide.
"I'm in shock," the employee said.
"Condolences go out to all involved."
The South Australian Parachute Council's Allan Gray said the man's death would be hard felt throughout the skydiving community.Read more


(This post was edited by hcsvader on Feb 8, 2013, 6:14 AM)


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Feb 10, 2013, 1:18 AM
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http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/...frea83-1226573845027


Quote:
SKYDIVER Jeff Lunt worked furiously to deploy his emergency parachute but simply ran out of time.

The Modbury Heights man had jumped from 3000 feet above Wellington, south-west of Tailem Bend, on Friday afternoon when he encountered problems with his parachute.

The father of two, aged 45, jettisoned the pack and activated his reserve.

But it was too late, with the experienced diver plunging to his death.

His fiancee, Marilyne McPaul, said yesterday his death had devastated his loved ones.

"He's been doing it for quite some time but it's come as a shock, it's just quite freakish," he said.

"It's every skydiver's worst nightmare, but I wouldn't have wanted him to go any other way if he was going to go.

"He loved it and I never would have stopped him."

Mr Lunt's family, including his 19-year-old son, Caleb, who also sky-dived, were trying to come to terms with his death.

"I think we're all just in shock," Ms McPaul said.

"He was such a big personality and a big man, so he's leaving a big hole in our lives."

She said Mr Lunt was an experienced skydiver, who knew the risks of the sport: "They train for every potential hazard; they pack their own chutes and check them before they jump," she said.

SA Skydiving owner Greg Smith said Mr Lunt was making a solo jump about 4.20pm when he experienced a problem with his main parachute.

"The main parachute opened immediately after exiting the aircraft," Mr Smith said. "During the canopy flight, a problem was experienced with the main parachute and he chose to jettison the main parachute.

"The reserve parachute was activated but, due to the low altitude, did not have time to open fully.

"It's 27 years since a fatality occurred in SA involving a parachutist.

"We're a very close-knit group. It does really shake up our fraternity."

The last skydiving fatality in SA was a Victorian jumper who died during a parachute display at Football Park in 1986. Mr Lunt's death follows the deaths of three skydivers in December - two in NSW and one in Victoria.

Mr Smith said the Australian Parachute Federation was still investigating the nature and cause of Mr Lunt's death.

He said he had shut down his skydiving operation, "until the investigation unit clears that there's no danger with our equipment.

"But at this stage, anything I say would be speculative," he said. Police and the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation are investigating the incident.


TriGirl  (B License)

Feb 10, 2013, 6:03 AM
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Re: [hcsvader] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post


That sucks, dude. Unsure However, I will say that this is the most considerate, well-written news story on this subject that I've ever read. Looks like the reporter got the terminology right (at least so readers would understand), and actually cared about trying to understand it by talking to the right people.

Condolences to the AUS skydiving community.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Feb 10, 2013, 6:24 AM
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Re: [hcsvader] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Assuming from the article that this was a cutaway, it would be helpful to know the cutaway altitude and whether his rig had an RSL.


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Feb 10, 2013, 7:01 AM
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Re: [Andy9o8] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Couldnt tell from the picture in the article if the rig had an rsl.
Will hopefully get some more info in the next few days. The APF are good at getting basic info out quickly.


LSD3rd  (A 11142)

Feb 10, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Re: [TriGirl] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Who's the silly person taking grips on a three ring assembly, and risers. Strange place to take grips.


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Feb 10, 2013, 8:15 PM
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Re: south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/...frg6nf-1226574928743

INVESTIGATORS expect to discover today why an experienced skydiver fell to his death at a South Australian skydiving centre last week, with the operator of the business ruling out equipment failure.

SA Skydiving owner Greg Smith said he had reopened the business yesterday as he had no doubt the death of Jeff Lunt, 45, at the centre on Friday afternoon was not caused by faulty equipment.

Mr Lunt died after deploying his main parachute while about 1000m over Wellington, 100km southeast of Adelaide, about 4.20pm.

He jettisoned the main parachute on the way down, and was too close to the ground for the reserve parachute he had deployed to save his life.

"We knew it wasn't equipment," Mr Smith said. "If we had any doubt about whether it was an equipment failure, we wouldn't operate until we knew what the equipment failure was.

"It's a shellshock for all in our sport because we haven't had a fatality in this state since 1986.

"It makes everyone worried, but, at the end of the day, it is an adventure sport like motor-racing and snow-skiing -- there are risks involved."

The Australian Parachute Federation said an initial report on its investigations should be completed today. "We're hoping to have some fairly definite reporting by early morning," APF chief executive Brad Turner said.

Mr Smith said investigators had been waiting for police to release the equipment used by Mr Lunt. "The gear has got computers on it," Mr Smith said.

"We're trying to get them off police to get them read. Once we get that, we'll know exactly what did happen."

The computers, which Mr Smith said were like a plane's black box, measured speeds and the height that parachutes were deployed.

Mr Lunt's fiancee, Marilyne McPaul, told Adelaide's The Sunday Mail newspaper he died doing something he and his 19-year-old son loved. "He's been doing it for quite some time, but it's come as a shock," Ms McPaul said. "It's just quite freakish."


JohnSherman  (D 2105)

Feb 11, 2013, 7:58 AM
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Re: [johnmatrix] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Mr Smith said investigators had been waiting for police to release the equipment used by Mr Lunt. "The gear has got computers on it," Mr Smith said.

That sound like an AAD.
Is this another "slow reserve" deployment?
The AAD info will tell us.


devildog  (C 40302)

Feb 11, 2013, 9:33 AM
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Re: [JohnSherman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

My initial gut wondering after reading and lurking around here was, "Wonder if he fought the main too long and then cutaway too low."


nigel99  (D 1)

Feb 14, 2013, 10:36 PM
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Re: [JohnSherman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Mr Smith said investigators had been waiting for police to release the equipment used by Mr Lunt. "The gear has got computers on it," Mr Smith said.

That sound like an AAD.
Is this another "slow reserve" deployment?
The AAD info will tell us.

John, cutaway was between 700 and 800 feet with no RSL. Vigil fired at 490ft and cut the loop, reserve handle was pulled.

Canopy was open at 2400 and slider stowed and brakes released.

There were line twists above the slider, does that imply a radical manouver induced the twists?


Squeak  (E 1313)

Feb 15, 2013, 1:31 AM
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Re: [nigel99] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Quote:
Mr Smith said investigators had been waiting for police to release the equipment used by Mr Lunt. "The gear has got computers on it," Mr Smith said.

That sound like an AAD.
Is this another "slow reserve" deployment?
The AAD info will tell us.

John, cutaway was between 700 and 800 feet with no RSL. Vigil fired at 490ft and cut the loop, reserve handle was pulled.

Canopy was open at 2400 and slider stowed and brakes released.

There were line twists above the slider, does that imply a radical manouver induced the twists?


There is a copy of the APF's "Statement Of Fact" here. http://www.skysurfer.com.au/...atality-08-feb-2013/


gregpso  (Student)

Feb 15, 2013, 1:33 AM
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Re: [nigel99] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

What can we learn? RSLs MARDs save lives. simple truth.


(This post was edited by gregpso on Feb 15, 2013, 1:35 AM)


swoopgaz  (E 1964)

Feb 15, 2013, 3:40 AM
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Re: [gregpso] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Also don't worry about trying to trying to get stable when cutting away so low. Also no radical toggle inputs at a low altitude on a canopy known for being able to induce line twists on.

And I'm sorry John but I can't see how your "speed bag" would have made any difference so don't go implying anything when you don't know all the facts.


nigel99  (D 1)

Feb 15, 2013, 4:20 AM
Post #14 of 21 (1409 views)
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Re: [swoopgaz] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Also don't worry about trying to trying to get stable when cutting away so low. Also no radical toggle inputs at a low altitude on a canopy known for being able to induce line twists on.

And I'm sorry John but I can't see how your "speed bag" would have made any difference so don't go implying anything when you don't know all the facts.

It seems there are a few things to consider and learn from this.

firstly take care not to induce line twists at low altitude (assuming that was the initial cause). His wing loading was towards the upper edges of acceptable for jump numbers.

Secondly, we are taught not to cutaway below 1000ft as a general rule.

Thirdly, RSL's 'might' have made a difference, but there are no guarantee's.

Lastly, it is interesting to note that the reserve took substantially more than 300ft AND at those speeds 3 seconds to fully inflate. This implies that the reserve inflation was at the very least on the outer edges of the TSO specs. It is for this reason I get really scared of people believing that with a MARD they can 'safely' chop at 300ft as per the advertising implications.

Very sad fatality, and unfortunate.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Feb 15, 2013, 4:43 AM
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Re: [Squeak] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There is a copy of the APF's "Statement Of Fact" here. http://www.skysurfer.com.au/...atality-08-feb-2013/

Requires login, so:

Rig: Vortex 2, Sabre 2 170 (WL 1.55), Smart 220, Vigil 2.
Jump ~236, 3yrs in sport, no RSL, no helmet, no audible.

Quote:
Background:
The deceased was an experienced jumper with an APF Certificate C. He had made 30 jumps in the past five months & had made four previous hop n pop jumps on the day of the incident.
The APF has no previous history of malfunctions by the deceased.

The Jump:
The jump was a hop n pop from a planned height of 3,000 feet & the 5th of the day for the deceased. The deceased was first to exit & deployed his main parachute immediately after exiting the aircraft. It appeared to have opened normally. He was later observed to be spinning & trying to deal with line twists. He cutaway at a low altitude & impacted the ground as the reserve canopy began to inflate.
He had been observed after cutaway to be on his back, pulling the reserve handle whilst in this position. The reserve pilot-chute and freebags trajectory upon activation was angling towards the ground.

Preliminary Equipment Inspection:
The deceased was found with his shirt still tucked in both front and back of his body.
Inspection of the equipment revealed that the slider was down at the connector links & had been collapsed. The main canopy revealed a number of line twists above the slider.
The brakes had also been released. The cutaway and reserve handles had been pulled & the AAD had activated cutting the reserve closing loop.

The following information was obtained from the Alti track worn by the deceased:
Exit Height: 3320 Feet
Fully open Canopy: 2430 Feet
Speeds increase & decrease until 1010 Feet with the lowest recorded speed after this point being 46 mph at 760 Feet, where cutaway occurs.
AAD activation speed is reached at 490 Feet.
Impact occurred approximately 60 seconds after exit.
The Reserve packing card indicated the equipment was compliant with manufacturer Service Bulletins and APF repack requirements.
All other equipment was found to be serviceable and in good condition.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Feb 15, 2013, 4:44 AM)


danornan  (D 11308)

Feb 15, 2013, 5:50 AM
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Re: [pchapman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

There are VERY FEW reasons to not have an RSL. I just don't understand why skydivers do not have them. It seem like we would not be reading about this incident if the deceased had one.

If you don't have an RSL and are not doing CREW or shoot video, in my opinion, you are in denial. It sounds like this did not have to happen!


normiss  (D 28356)

Feb 15, 2013, 6:26 AM
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Re: [danornan] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

A rigger at Z-hills laughed at my rig once for having an RSL.
I showed him my middle finger.


Dan is right.


JohnSherman  (D 2105)

Feb 15, 2013, 9:18 PM
Post #18 of 21 (1056 views)
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Re: [pchapman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Fully open Canopy: 2430 Feet
Speeds increase & decrease until 1010 Feet with the lowest recorded speed after this point being 46 mph at 760 Feet, where cutaway occurs.
AAD activation speed is reached at 490 Feet.

At 67.546FPS (46MPH) you accelerate away at an additional 32 fps^2 from 760 feet and it takes until 490 feet to reach AAD firing speed. What is the AAD firing speed? Someone else do the math, I'm confused.Shocked

I will be interested to compare the Vigil data to the Alt trac data. Line twists are caused by as little as dropping a shoulded during bag lift off. Not unusual.


potatoman  (Student)

Feb 16, 2013, 6:52 AM
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Re: [JohnSherman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there a way to determine if the cutter fired when the closing loop was tight, or not? Thinking that the reserve might have even taken longer to open then the 490Ft. Would there be visible difference on the closing loop?

Anoter question, why would they report on his shirt being tuckedd in.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Feb 16, 2013, 8:03 AM
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Re: [potatoman] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...Another question, why would they report on his shirt being tuckedd in.

Maybe because he was jumping in just a T-shirt and jeans. No jumpsuit.
There have been incidents in the past where an untucked shirt has blown up and covered handles.
I think they were ruling out that possibility.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Feb 16, 2013, 10:31 AM
Post #21 of 21 (874 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] south australia fatality 08/02/13 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
...Another question, why would they report on his shirt being tuckedd in.

Maybe because he was jumping in just a T-shirt and jeans. No jumpsuit.
There have been incidents in the past where an untucked shirt has blown up and covered handles.
I think they were ruling out that possibility.

Thats exactly the trivial (seemingly) detail that a good investigator will consider during his investigation. You always have to start with all possibilities, no matter how unlikely they may be.

Its one reason why a good investigation can take some time, as information can sometimes take a while to become evident, and the focus of the investigator alters to consider new implications.

Fatalities are rarely open and shut cases....

Being able to rule out certain scenarios narrows down the focus of the investigation.

A lot of investigations end up inconclusive, but if we can definitely rule out certain events, it doesn't mean we can't still learn a lot and take away valuable information.

All these details go in to the store of information an investigator accumulates over time, and can help in future incidents.



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