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Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005

 

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Maxx  (D 9594)

Jul 1, 2005, 2:51 AM
Post #1 of 36 (4983 views)
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     Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005  

Dropzone: Fehrbellin, Germany
Jumps: ~800
Canopy: Katana 89

Jumper was doing a 3-day canopy course with Luigi Cani. She was preparing for the German swooping open which should take place in Fehrbellin this weekend. To qualify for the advanced class you needed to perform 3 different approaches: headwind, crosswind, downwind. But due to the strong wind at this day only headwind and crosswind was necessary for qualification. Ambitious as she was she wanted to complete the downwind qualifiying also. At the beginning of the course she started to wear lead.. At this jump she wore 14kg. She never took that much lead with her before. She was doing perfect and accurate swoops during the whole course and got better every time. At this time she came in too low. She initiated her 180 at approx. 80m and hit the ground still at a very steep angle. Jumper was immediately dead. The course and the swooping open were cancelled.

My condolences to her friends and family FrownFrown

BSBD

Max

Edit: She posted here regulary as blueshrew and more recently as Nadina (thanks dragon2!).
Edit2: jump numbers and canopy size.


(This post was edited by Maxx on Jul 1, 2005, 5:23 AM)


jerry81

Jul 1, 2005, 3:52 AM
Post #2 of 36 (4862 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

Damn...another reminder that training and a cautious approach doesn't score you any bonus points with the ground for that one screw-up. This sucks.

From what she wrote on the forums, I assume her wl with 14 kilos on a Katana 98 was between 1.6 and 1.7 and while my frame of reference is limited to a larger canopy at a similar loading that probably dives a bit less, 80 meters seems way low for a 180. Is it known what her usual altitude for starting the turn was, how much lead she was wearing on previous jumps and if she was familiar with downwinders and the different sight picture you get at different (wind direction) landings?

Blue ones...




achowe  (C 101536)

Jul 1, 2005, 3:53 AM
Post #3 of 36 (4859 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

how strong were the winds?


Maxx  (D 9594)

Jul 1, 2005, 4:21 AM
Post #4 of 36 (4823 views)
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     Re: [jerry81] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

Quote:
80 meters seems way low for a 180

As I wrote, she came in too low.. She usually initiated her 180 MUCH higher, but I don't know at what altitude.. She was wearing lead on the previous dives before, but I don't know how much she added this time. She was very familar with downwinders and did downwinders the other days with no problems.

Max


(This post was edited by Maxx on Jul 1, 2005, 9:50 AM)


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Jul 1, 2005, 6:55 AM
Post #5 of 36 (4552 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

I agree that 270 feet (80 meters) is much too low especially when wearing weights we're not familiar with. But it's not like she was an ultra low-timer. 800 jumps isn't ultra-experienced, but she had some experience. Or at least it appears that she had enough experience to be swooping. I was wearing weights for a little while when I was on my Velocity but I since have taken the weights off after I read an article in Parachutists from Kevin Gibson about only the very best of the best should be wearing them and that the rest of us really shouldn't be using them (I'm talking about wearing weights for swooping not for freefall).

Swooping rocks, but it's very unforgiving of the errors that we all can make. BSBD to the deceased. Frown


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Jul 1, 2005, 7:25 AM)


dragon2  (D 101989)

Jul 1, 2005, 7:05 AM
Post #6 of 36 (4523 views)
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     Re: [CanuckInUSA] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

I never saw her swoop myself, but she was the organiser of the German Swooping Open tour and was with a canopy flight school herself.

Long swoops, Nadine ...


EBSB52  (D License)

Jul 1, 2005, 3:16 PM
Post #7 of 36 (3957 views)
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     Re: [CanuckInUSA] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
I agree that 270 feet (80 meters) is much too low especially when wearing weights we're not familiar with. But it's not like she was an ultra low-timer. 800 jumps isn't ultra-experienced, but she had some experience. Or at least it appears that she had enough experience to be swooping. I was wearing weights for a little while when I was on my Velocity but I since have taken the weights off after I read an article in Parachutists from Kevin Gibson about only the very best of the best should be wearing them and that the rest of us really shouldn't be using them (I'm talking about wearing weights for swooping not for freefall).

Swooping rocks, but it's very unforgiving of the errors that we all can make. BSBD to the deceased. Frown

It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180. If the winds were 30 knots it meight be a bit much, but 270ft is pretty healthy. I reaize you lose inflation when you turn downwind, but usually 270ft is enough to regain it unless you have canopy collapse.


jerry81

Jul 1, 2005, 3:51 PM
Post #8 of 36 (3930 views)
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     Re: [EBSB52] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180. If the winds were 30 knots it meight be a bit much, but 270ft is pretty healthy. I reaize you lose inflation when you turn downwind, but usually 270ft is enough to regain it unless you have canopy collapse.
As I already said, my frame of reference doesn't directly compare, but on my canopy (Demon 130, wl around 1.6) 80 meters is a healthy altitude for a good 90 turn. It's possible that a non-optimal, snappy 180 would work as well, but why'd you want that if you're trying to get a nice swoop?

Also, in a constant wind, inflation should stay exactly the same regardless of where you turn.




Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 1, 2005, 4:15 PM
Post #9 of 36 (3915 views)
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     Re: [EBSB52] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

>It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180.

That's like saying 50 feet should be enough to stop your car. There are great many variables, and any simple rule such as the above is bound to fail because of them.


Zenister  (A 42)

Jul 1, 2005, 10:27 PM
Post #10 of 36 (3780 views)
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     Re: [EBSB52] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180. If the winds were 30 knots it meight be a bit much, but 270ft is pretty healthy. I reaize you lose inflation when you turn downwind, but usually 270ft is enough to regain it unless you have canopy collapse.

On a Katana at > 1.6???

admittedly i've never flown one, but i certainly wouldnt think so... 270 ft is a bit low for a smooth efficient 90 deg carve on my stilleto at 1.4 (vs a short snappy turn that doenst build much speed at all)

Given that the Stilleto has a MUCH shorter recover arc than a Katana 270 feet would seem to be scary low for a 'good' 180...


livenletfly  (D 28096)

Jul 1, 2005, 10:44 PM
Post #11 of 36 (3772 views)
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     Re: [EBSB52] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

no way in hell. the katana dives as long or longer than the velo. 270 feet is far from "healthy" altitude for a katana loaded over 1.8!!! please dont comment on something your obviuosly not that familiar with. it can be dangerous to other less experienced people.
very sad. very sad.
blue skies sister.
j


(This post was edited by livenletfly on Jul 1, 2005, 10:47 PM)


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Jul 2, 2005, 1:38 AM
Post #12 of 36 (3724 views)
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     Re: [EBSB52] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180.

Please seek some canopy coaching because if you think doing a high performance turn on a highly loaded high performance canopy (with weight) at 270 feet AGL on a hot summer day is okay, you don't know very much about high performance canopy flight and you too will die if you make the same mistake. Last year I showed up to Perris Valley on a similar canopy to Nadine's for some professional canopy control coaching thinking that 400 feet was a good setup altitude and I was pushed up to 600 feet by my coach. And now that I'm on a cross-braced canopy you can add another 200 feet on top of that. I don't mean to sound the wrong way here, but a super nice woman who I did get the pleasure of meeting and jumping with a couple of years ago in Eloy is now dead because of this sort of action. Crazy

BSBD Nadine


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Jul 2, 2005, 1:51 AM)


mikelewis  (D 100278)

Jul 2, 2005, 3:58 AM
Post #13 of 36 (3664 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

Sad, sad, news!

BSBD

Mikey


dragon2  (D 101989)

Jul 2, 2005, 5:44 AM
Post #14 of 36 (3623 views)
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     Re: [dragon2] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

From the German forum:
http://www.bild.t-online.de/...chirm__maedchen.html


hkf  (D 102986)

Jul 2, 2005, 12:10 PM
Post #15 of 36 (3494 views)
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     Re: [CanuckInUSA] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

For referrence, I load my katana at about 1.75 and a carvy 180 can take 600ft.
if I wip it round I still wouldn't fancy starting it below 450ft


EBSB52  (D License)

Jul 2, 2005, 3:30 PM
Post #16 of 36 (3420 views)
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     Re: [billvon] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
>It seems that 270 ft should be enough to initiate a 180.

That's like saying 50 feet should be enough to stop your car. There are great many variables, and any simple rule such as the above is bound to fail because of them.

True enough, I watch hook turners start their 180's what seems like lower than that, and they fly semi-elipticals and radical, small squares. Again, no wind speed was posted, so sure, there isn't enough info to make an accurate account of alti requirements.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 2, 2005, 7:12 PM
Post #17 of 36 (3323 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

I have deleted several posts from this thread. Some of it contained advice so wrong it was dangerous, and others were turning into a "you can't tell me what to do" sort of thing.

I usually do not delete well-intentioned but somewhat incorrect advice, but many people read this forum in an attempt to learn from incidents, and seriously wrong advice can injure or kill people. As several people have pointed out, 270 feet is far too low to initiate a 180 degree high performance landing on an ultra high performance canopy loaded at 1.6-1.8 loading. A jumper who does that is very likely to be injured or killed.

Also, please remember that this forum is intended to discuss fatal and serious non-fatal incidents with an eye towards learning from other's mistakes. It is not intended as a place to argue about other poster's abilities, or to defend oneself against such posts.


rainman  (D License)

Jul 4, 2005, 1:22 AM
Post #18 of 36 (3047 views)
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     Re: [dragon2] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

Saskia, I'm replying to your post because you posted the link.

Even though neither German nor English is my native language I took the liberty to translate part of the first paragraph of this article and to post the associated picture here.

'A young man sits crying in the grass. His hand is resting on a white sheet, which covers the body of his friend. It is a dramatic farewell after a horrible accident.'

I did not know Nadine and do not know what happened, but reading this article made me realise once again the unbelievable grief our actions can cause our loved ones.

What I am trying to say is: PLEASE BE SAFE PEOPLE!!! If not for yourself, then for the sake of your loved ones.

Blue skies Nadine.


Ramon


DutchSkyCam  (D 22224)

Jul 4, 2005, 9:00 AM
Post #19 of 36 (2762 views)
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     Re: [rainman] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

In reply to:
I did not know Nadine and do not know what happened, but reading this article made me realise once again the unbelievable grief our actions can cause our loved ones.

What I am trying to say is: PLEASE BE SAFE PEOPLE!!! If not for yourself, then for the sake of your loved ones.

The same article also mentions 450 jumps of experience.
A Katana 98 loaded between 1.6 and 1.7 may have been be a litte to much for her experience. On the other hand there was an extremely experienced coach on-site (Luigi Cani), and I must assume she showed good (safe) landings before the accident.

Maybe the pressure of the upcomming competition and qualification prompted her to take more risks?
Doing things different from the way she was used to land?

Edited to add:
When making a downwind swoop landing you have to make a reversed "circuit"...
what is normal a downwind leg is now upwind...
If you make your upwind leg too long (to get to the point you want to start your final turn) you may need more time -and altitide- to get there (and that point is also further away from the target than a normal upwind landing)...
Resulting in a low last turn...

Just speculating,

Barry


(This post was edited by DutchSkyCam on Jul 4, 2005, 9:09 AM)


Waldschrat

Jul 4, 2005, 12:22 PM
Post #20 of 36 (2637 views)
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     Re: [DutchSkyCam] Low turn fatality in Germany 06/30/05 [In reply to]  

Quote:
The same article also mentions 450 jumps of experience.

This is wrong. The experience from the jumperin was ~700 jumps.
The "Bildzeitung" in Germany is like "The Sun" in GB, not serious....


giaidda

Jul 4, 2005, 6:19 PM
Post #21 of 36 (2501 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

ciao nadine. have good time on paradise.
gianni.


lucia  (C 2318298)

Jul 5, 2005, 12:50 AM
Post #22 of 36 (2368 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

miss ya Nadine.
I dont know if there is something that could have been done but that picture should have never been published I think. It was painfull enough to receive the bad news.


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Jul 5, 2005, 6:02 AM
Post #23 of 36 (2213 views)
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     Re: [Maxx] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

Hi Max,

I am sincerely sorry for all of your loss.

I would like to know if the jumper had ever been low before on a lesser degree turn?

The reason I ask is that I am wondering if she'd ever been so low and was normally able to identify it, or if this was the first time she found herself excessively low? I often have my students continue on 90 degree turns until they've been low one or two times and show me that they're able to identify the situation early enough before progressing them to higher degree turns.

Also, did the jumper use any digital altimeters? If so was the device still functioning? Also, if so, was the jumper known to depend on the device?

On a sidenote to some the other posters....270 feet for a 180 degree riser turn on a Katana 89 is NOT nearly enough altitude (obviously). Wearing the weights she did put her in the 2.0 category (I think) which requires a turn around 500 or higher in my experience on that canopy at that loading. So, if you've never jumped a Katana especially at that size, please don't post stupid stuff (like 270 feet should be fine).

Once again, sorry for your loss. Clearly one of the lessons is to load up SLOWLY. Other than that I hope there is something we can all learn from this.

Blues,
Ian


sneaky

Jul 5, 2005, 6:11 AM
Post #24 of 36 (2196 views)
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     Re: [lucia] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

Nadine had all the knowledge on the correct procedures for swooping, she was the partner of Brian and knew more than most self proclaimed experts about swooping. i feel even though she had low number of jumps, she was an expert on the theory and dynamics of safe clean swoops. She just needed to implement all the information through practice and time.

I am very suprised this has happened, I would never have believed it would happen to Nadine.

My feeling is the pressure of competition is too blame here.

I jump professionally and my mind was with nadine & Brian all weekend, for the first time in years, I was shitting it before exiting with a Tandem, I have decided to take a step back, review my future plans about competing, my own personal limits, and my whole approach to the making the sport safer through my own contact with people.


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Jul 5, 2005, 9:49 AM
Post #25 of 36 (2007 views)
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     Re: [sneaky] Low turn fatality in Germany - 30 June 2005 [In reply to]  

Quote:
I am very suprised this has happened, I would never have believed it would happen to Nadine.

It can happen to any of us at any time. We all need to remember that. Frown


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