Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Detailed Account Of My Accident

 


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Jun 3, 2013, 7:50 AM
Post #1 of 10 (5099 views)
Shortcut
Detailed Account Of My Accident Can't Post

In December of 2012 I purchased a Velocity 84 from dropzone.com classifieds, I should add, a rigger inspected it and I put a couple of jumps on it before I decided to buy it. Business is slow in winter and as Spring started coming around I was noticing some changes in my canopy flight. I didn't know if I was being super paranoid or if there was something wrong with my canopy. I simply put it down to a change in season, it was warming up and winds were kicking up.

During a very turbulent and windy day I did fuck up. I was over the pond and initiated my turn. At 650ft my canopy collapsed. I don't remember much, but I do remember it reinflated in linetwists and in a dive. Witnesses say I freefell the last 100-150ft and I struck a few meters from the bank in waist deep pond. I was unconscious and floating face down. I came to in the ambulance, long story short I had fractured my cheek bone, broken a rib, two teeth and had bleeding on the brain.

After recovery I was very timid as you can imagine, I was taking it easy getting back into the flow of things and working towards a clean 270 again. But in the back of my head I still had concerns about the canopy, even having some canopy pilots comment on the way it looked as I flew it and I was starting to offer other experienced canopy pilots to jump it and give me their input. That didn't happen before my accident though.

It was the final load of the day for me, winds were not bad but not great. I was landing in the exact same spot as tandems who were having no problems with the winds in that area. As it was just a little windy though I was being reserved and not swooping. I was in full flight on my base leg when my left side folded under, I tried to dig out on toggles but it didn't help.

Injuries sustained were fractured L4, right femur, right heel and also compounded my left tib/fib which destroyed my ankle. To try and explain the amount of pain I was in is impossible and not the point of this post. Lets just say I was fully conscious for the whole thing, including traction. I had 8 surgeries in 30 days.

The canopy was sent into PD while I was recovering and my DZO received the following email.

This Velo has been inspected, relined and tested. This canopy was given much consideration due to the nature of the accident. The leading edge was measured for shrinkage as well and discovered that it measures like a canopy that got wet and left to dry unsymmetrically. It did not test well as you can imagine.

This situation is one of those where we want to get this canopy off-line and out of the field, but the canopy was used and bought second hand, was jumped 200 times by the current owner before reporting any issues so we'd like to explore something that we can do to help out. Replacing it with a brand new at no charge isn't really an option on this one. What are your thoughts on this since you know your customer much better than we do. We would like to suggest perhaps replacing the canopy with a used one from one of our sources here at PD.again, we would appreciate your comments.

I will look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to ask me any questions as well in regards to this canopy.

As I type this my fiance is on her way to the dropzone to edit some video's and get an accurate jump number I have put on the wing, I actually believe its closer to 100.

I have since contacted the original owner who says the canopy has never been wet, he is the original owner and his DZ doesn't have a swoop pond and never jumped in rain even.

At this point I'm not about pointing fingers, all I will say is if you have any doubt in your equipment, don't do what I done and sit on the fence questioning such silly things as seasons, turbulence and heat. Just stop jumping it and get it inspected.

My procrastination almost cost me my life.


zxcvb  (C 22432)

Jun 3, 2013, 8:19 AM
Post #2 of 10 (4980 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy_Copland wrote:
I struck a few meters from the bank in waist deep pond. I was unconscious and floating face down... The leading edge was measured for shrinkage as well and discovered that it measures like a canopy that got wet and left to dry unsymmetrically.
Perhaps the shrinkage was due to you getting it wet?


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Jun 3, 2013, 9:00 AM
Post #3 of 10 (4944 views)
Shortcut
Re: [zxcvb] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

zxcvb wrote:
Andy_Copland wrote:
I struck a few meters from the bank in waist deep pond. I was unconscious and floating face down... The leading edge was measured for shrinkage as well and discovered that it measures like a canopy that got wet and left to dry unsymmetrically.
Perhaps the shrinkage was due to you getting it wet?

It was already flying more than questionable.


jakee  (C License)

Jun 4, 2013, 4:16 AM
Post #4 of 10 (4661 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
questioning such silly things as seasons, turbulence and heat.

Dude. Seriously?


raveninca  (B 6377)

Jun 4, 2013, 5:20 AM
Post #5 of 10 (4619 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

First off sorry to hear about your accident and hopefully you will make a full recover quickly. I will also heed your advise and immediately stop flying my wing if I feel something is out of whack with it. With that said your post actually makes me respect PD a great deal. It is great to see that they want this canopy off the market as they deem it unsafe (for whatever reason) and they are willing to work with you, or your DZO to get you on a different velo, even suggesting finding a used one using their connections. To me that is top notch customer service, going well above and beyond what they have to do and thinking of a jumpers safety over their bottom line. Sure you will have to pay for the used canopy but I'm sure it will be a lot less than buying a brand new one from them.

As a business owner I know that PD doesn't have to do anything to help you out. You bought a used canopy from someone other than PD or a dealer that has problems and unfortunately that is on you. I know you said the original owner told you this and that but no offense to him/her but people lie all the time, especially when they are trying to sell something. I'm not saying that this person is out right lying about the history of the canopy but something happened to that canopy after it left the factory when it was originally built, that is pretty obvious.

The email that you posted I will assume was meant to be keep private between PD and your DZO but I am glad that you posted it as it shows true concern from the manufacturer and a willingness to work with you to get you under another wing that is safe (well at least safe from a manufacturing point, I mean how safe can a velo 84 actually be lol ). This story along with the fact that they are restricting the new Peregrine to invite only, shows that they actually care about the people under their wings and not about maximizing profits. That goes along way in my books...unlike other manufacturers actually sponsoring low time jumpers, high hour tunnel rats to fly their high performance wings at 100-400 jumps, if you missed that story there is a fatality in the incidents section currently about it.


(This post was edited by raveninca on Jun 4, 2013, 5:28 AM)


Ron

Jun 4, 2013, 5:37 AM
Post #6 of 10 (4591 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
It was already flying more than questionable

Sigh....

1. An 84 with 1300 jumps. Unless you have an exit weight around 120# you are on an extreme wing at an extreme loading. Even if none of these accidents are your fault (and I am not going to get into that), when you strap on an 84 it is more a stunt than a regular jump.... Especially at your experience level. And I know, I had an FX 88 in 1996 and put some jumps on the 69.

2. You suspected that your canopy had a problem, even had a collapse and didn't send it back before the second accident.

Things to learn from this:
a. Experience counts. Even if all it does is tell us that the conditions are not right, or to quit jumping something that we think has an issue.

b. When buying something super ridiculous high performance... Buy new or get a really good pre buy inspection. Sending it back to the factory is a really good idea.

c. PD has amazing customer service.

I hope you heal well.... I also hope you reconsider your canopy selection.


JeffCa  (C License)

Jun 4, 2013, 6:07 AM
Post #7 of 10 (4569 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks so much for this, Andy. I know it's tough to admit your mistake(s) publicly. It would have been easier and less embarrassing to keep quiet, especially considering the earful (screenful?) you're going to get about your choice of canopy. But this story will likely have a benefit to somebody, sometime. They won't even realise that your confession is what saved them from serious injury or death, but it will have done just that.

I wish you a speedy and complete recovery.


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Jun 5, 2013, 9:59 AM
Post #8 of 10 (4310 views)
Shortcut
Re: [raveninca] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

raveninca wrote:
First off sorry to hear about your accident and hopefully you will make a full recover quickly. I will also heed your advise and immediately stop flying my wing if I feel something is out of whack with it. With that said your post actually makes me respect PD a great deal. It is great to see that they want this canopy off the market as they deem it unsafe (for whatever reason) and they are willing to work with you, or your DZO to get you on a different velo, even suggesting finding a used one using their connections. To me that is top notch customer service, going well above and beyond what they have to do and thinking of a jumpers safety over their bottom line. Sure you will have to pay for the used canopy but I'm sure it will be a lot less than buying a brand new one from them.

As a business owner I know that PD doesn't have to do anything to help you out. You bought a used canopy from someone other than PD or a dealer that has problems and unfortunately that is on you. I know you said the original owner told you this and that but no offense to him/her but people lie all the time, especially when they are trying to sell something. I'm not saying that this person is out right lying about the history of the canopy but something happened to that canopy after it left the factory when it was originally built, that is pretty obvious.

The email that you posted I will assume was meant to be keep private between PD and your DZO but I am glad that you posted it as it shows true concern from the manufacturer and a willingness to work with you to get you under another wing that is safe (well at least safe from a manufacturing point, I mean how safe can a velo 84 actually be lol ). This story along with the fact that they are restricting the new Peregrine to invite only, shows that they actually care about the people under their wings and not about maximizing profits. That goes along way in my books...unlike other manufacturers actually sponsoring low time jumpers, high hour tunnel rats to fly their high performance wings at 100-400 jumps, if you missed that story there is a fatality in the incidents section currently about it.

This canopy was manufactured in 05 and I didn't even purchase from PD. I think what they are doing is incredible. There is a multitude of things that can happen to a canopy in that time,


(This post was edited by Andy_Copland on Jun 5, 2013, 10:01 AM)


TracyS  (C 41941)

Jun 5, 2013, 3:49 PM
Post #9 of 10 (4188 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Andy_Copland] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy,

Glad to hear that you're home now. Hope to see you at The Farm soon.

Really nice to read that PD is going above and beyond in their efforts to get you another canopy.

Heal up and get back in the air.


(This post was edited by TracyS on Jun 5, 2013, 4:51 PM)


Premier airdvr  (D 10977)

Jun 6, 2013, 1:58 PM
Post #10 of 10 (4024 views)
Shortcut
Re: [TracyS] Detailed Account Of My Accident [In reply to] Can't Post

I had something similar happen with a Tri-190 I bought used. Explosive openings. Nothing anyone did would change it. Sent it back to Aerodyne and they determined that it was a flaw in the manufacturing. Gave me a credit towards a new Pilot.



Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)