Beware of the (experts!) I witnessed an incident last weekend and commented on it in the incidents thread Along with two other jumpers who saw it firsthand. Unfortunately there was also a (newspaper) article which claimed to quote a highly experienced and respected jumper. Which led more experienced jumpers to make comments such as. I’ll believe what Dan said over a novice etc. What happened was that during a wing suit big way (around 100 including video) two jumpers had a collision right after deployment. One cut away and deployed their reserve right away. While the other one fell straight down under a collapsed canopy which was entangled with the cut away canopy. Until finally at an extremely low altitude they managed to cut away and get an open reserve at approximately 100 to 200 feet. The newspaper article claimed that the jumper had a good canopy above their head. But that the deflated canopy was wrapped around their body. Streamering behind them like a banner. And here’s the scary part. It then said that their choices were to try and land like that. Or jettison their parachute and use the emergency chute! I did not see the collision. Nor its immediate aftermath. So thought maybe I was confused as to what I had seen her streamering. Was it her canopy? Or had she cut away by the time I saw her and was still entangled with his? Or was his canopy entangled with hers? But even as a novice realized that the idea of cutting away a good canopy with a deflated cut away canopy wrapped around your body. And then going back into freefall while still wrapped and trying to deploy your reserve through the mess. Just so you could (hopefully) get a clean deployment. And once again have a good canopy above your head. While still wrapped in another. At a much lower altitude. With nothing left to put out. Was an extremely bad idea! So I said so. Several times. But not one single (experienced) jumper said that they agreed with that. Instead I was told why someone might do such a thing. Disorientated etc. I also said that as I watched her get lower and lower my thoughts changed from her needing to cut away. To her needing to just get her reserve out. At which point more (experts) explained to me that the idea of not cutting away below 1000 feet was basically an aff minamum for amateurs such as myself. Basically what it came down to was that because a newspaper article claimed to quote such an experienced jumper. I was not qualified to comment. And what me and two others claimed to have seen was suspect. Even though not one single jumper claimed to have seen anything else! Well here’s a video of the incident. You can watch it for yourself. And ask yourself if you think fighting a malfunction that long without deploying your reserve is a good idea? Yes she did get lucky and get an open reserve before impact. But not by much! And she did do one hell of a job of fighting her way out of a nightmare situation and getting her reserve out. But she did not get control of her canopy before landing. And is now in a coma with a severe brain injury. So please THINK for yourself. Do you think cutting away a good canopy while your body is wrapped with a deflated cut away is a good idea? Because if you listen to (the experts) in this sport you can easily kill yourself! Yes novices should ask questions of more experienced jumpers and take advice from them. But that does not mean you should not think for yourself! Because you are the one who will die if you listen to the wrong EXPERT! So here’s my non expert advice.
Do not cut away a good canopy in any emergency. Especially if you are wrapped with another!
Do not fight a malfunction until impact without at least trying to deploy your reserve. Set a hard deck and get a reserve out at that point!
Do not believe what you read in the damn newspaper. No matter how experienced someone is which it (claims) to qoute.
You can take that advice or ignore it. But please think think think for yourself about what you would do in various emergencies now before they happen. And don’t (just rely) on what (the experts) say! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nVF1IvKqLc
(This post was edited by airborne47 on Sep 30, 2012, 1:50 PM)