Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008

 

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swovelin  (D 3756)

Oct 11, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 Can't Post

I regret that I must post the news of a fatality in So Cal. This was, unfortunately, a very experienced, very well-known & well-loved long time So Cal jumper. (Of course, I won't mention the name at this time.)

I only know very basic facts. The initial rumors indicate he went in under spinning main and speculate about an extreme opening which both blew one brake line and also incapacitated our friend. That info is second-hand and it is all I know at this time.

Rest in peace.

Jerry


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Oct 11, 2008, 7:07 PM)


NoShitThereIWas  (D 25347)

Oct 11, 2008, 3:09 PM
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Re: [swovelin] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

Can you post which DZ it was?


GravityGirl  (D 18897)

Oct 11, 2008, 3:18 PM
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Re: [NoShitThereIWas] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had a few phone calls because of this post. We are all alive and well at Skydive San DIego.

Please at least post the dz.


swovelin  (D 3756)

Oct 11, 2008, 3:42 PM
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Re: [swovelin] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Again.

I'm sorry that I may have spread undue worry by being too vague

Actually, I was hoping that someone who was there would have chimed in by now with more details or at least first-hand reports. (But I've heard that "nobody really saw it happen." so we'll have to wait and see.)

Anyway, so far as I understand them, here are the basic facts. The fatality occurred (I'm almost certain) at Perris Valley Skydiving about mid-morning today, Saturday the 11th. It was a formation load of the group known as "the Fielding-Ways." Our friend was seen to track off apparently OK but he was soon found deceased on the ground. His main canopy had one brake line released and he had with trauma consistent with a violent landing.

That's really all I know. I hope that additional information will be forthcoming soon.

Blue skies,

Jerry


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:09 PM
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Re: [swovelin] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes at Perris. He spun in South of the canal this morning. One brake stowed and one unstowed. No attempt made to correct. No pulse at scene.
Until coroner's report cause of unresponsiveness under canopy unknown.
Was flying fine in formation and tracked away with no problems.
Canopy-Spectre. Size-? believe he was on a 190 at least? Anyone else please add size if known.
Yes his wife was there, but name is still going to be withheld.
This really sucks....
BSBD


jwynne  (D License)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:46 PM
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Re: [swovelin] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

I see no reason not to post his name.
Harry Leicher
39 years in the sport today, 60 years old
>6000 jumps, very safety concious
Spectre 190
Possibly unconcious under canopy, landed spiralling with one brake stowed
Tracked away fine from a 30 way
All I can imagine is either a violent incapacitating opening or some kind of incapacitating medical event


diablopilot  (D License)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:49 PM
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Re: [jwynne] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm speechless.


For those that might only have known him through DZ.com his user name is itllclear.


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Oct 11, 2008, 6:51 PM)


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm speechless.


For those that might only have known him through DZ.com his user name is itllclear.






If it could happen to Harry, it can happen to anyone.


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Oct 12, 2008, 5:01 PM)


tbrown  (D 6533)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:32 PM
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Re: [swovelin] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

I only know very basic facts. The initial rumors indicate he went in under spinning main and speculate about an extreme opening which both blew one brake line and also incapacitated our friend. That info is second-hand and it is all I know at this time.

_______________________________________________________________Regarding the violent opening theory, does anyone recall hearing a slammer opening ? Slammers will often sound like a cannon shot and get a lot of people's attention.


skywmn  (D 20907)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:56 PM
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Re: [tbrown] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

I was there. No... no one reported hearing anything unusual. He landed south of the canal so he might have been too far away to be heard. The uppers were blowing out of the west. I've spoken with the friend who landed with Harry; there were not enough visible details to make any good guesses about what actually happened. It seems we're just going to have to wait for the coroner's report and gear investigation.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Oct 12, 2008, 2:01 PM
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Re: [tbrown] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

FrownUnsure



spectre???
slammer???

we very seldom hear those two words
mentioned together....
was wingloading near 1 : 1 ?? or higher?


condolences to all

jt


danornan  (D 11308)

Oct 12, 2008, 3:06 PM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

You can get slammed by a Spectre as it happened to me for the first time this summer at Chester. First time in around 700 jumps and I saw stars......


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Oct 12, 2008, 3:25 PM
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Re: [danornan] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Spectre loaded about 1.4 that spanked me a time or two.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 3:43 PM
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had two different Spectres smack me, both loaded at less than 1.2.


jwynne  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 4:07 PM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

Spectre 190
Exit weight 210
I can't do math right now. Wing loading about 1.1?

We're waitin to see if the coroner's report tells us any more.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Oct 12, 2008, 7:56 PM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

>spectre? Slammer?

>we very seldom hear those two words mentioned together....

In my experience Specters are prone to VERY occasional rouge openings that can be incredibly hard. Any canopy can open hard; I don't know if Spectres are unusually susceptible to them, or if those rouge openings are just more noteworthy because the canopy normally opens so softly.

Early reports are that there was a blown cell, which would tend to indicate a hard opening.


D2216  (D 2216)

Oct 12, 2008, 8:20 PM
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Re: [jwynne] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

Sooner or later, each one of us will have an extremely hard opening. Some of these are painful, others are fatal.

Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get... or when.

After 39 years in the sport, Harry reached age 60 in September and promptly joined Skydivers Over Sixty. He was excited about participating in the 2009 SOS world record event in Florida next January. Although Harry will not be there, we have a slot in the 6-way base saved for him.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
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Oct 12, 2008, 8:34 PM
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Re: [D2216] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if age is a factor. I've seen some older people break ankles/legs on trivially bad landings where a 20 year old would have stood it up. Bone density and such being an issue..

I wonder whether hard openings and such would be harder on older people than younger people - I've heard of people having ruptured aortas and such from hard openings - is there anything biological that would make older people more susceptible to injuries from such things than younger ones?


headoverheels  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 8:53 PM
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Re: [swovelin] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...an extreme opening which both blew one brake line...

Was the brake line broken, or just released?


pirana  (D 30661)

Oct 13, 2008, 5:54 AM
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Re: [faulknerwn] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I wonder if age is a factor. I've seen some older people break ankles/legs on trivially bad landings where a 20 year old would have stood it up. Bone density and such being an issue..

I wonder whether hard openings and such would be harder on older people than younger people - I've heard of people having ruptured aortas and such from hard openings - is there anything biological that would make older people more susceptible to injuries from such things than younger ones?

You must be a young man. Not dissing you or anything like that; but I don't think anybody 50-ish or older would have to ask that.

I'm 52, and have been jumping since 1995. Over just those 13 years of aging, there is a definite difference in the effects I experience from a hard opening. (And it is the reason I changed from a Sabre to a Stilleto).

But, in answer to the question; yes. Bone density, arthritis, scar tissues and other remnants from previous injuries (the older you get, especially if you've been very active, the more likely to have a lot of that), less voluntary range of motion, bone spurs. weaker heart, slower brain.


jwynne  (D License)

Oct 13, 2008, 6:55 AM
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Re: [headoverheels] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

Gear inspection still pending, although it sounds like Bill has heard more than I have. One brake line looked unstowed and intact, the other still stowed. I was not allowed to touch anything, just look.

Janna


ZigZagMarquis

Oct 13, 2008, 8:47 AM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
FrownUnsure



spectre???
slammer???

we very seldom hear those two words
mentioned together....
was wingloading near 1 : 1 ?? or higher?

Back in 04 there was (IMO) a similar fatality to Harry's.

Doc was under a Spectre too, 190 or 170 if I recall correctly; probably not loaded much over 1:1. Opened so hard it broke ALL OF the lines on the front right riser group and Doc spun in under a spinning bunch of trash with no apparent action to do anything about it.

ANY canpoy can open hard.

http://www.dropzone.com/...0Cal%20City;#1720126


(This post was edited by ZigZagMarquis on Oct 13, 2008, 8:50 AM)


pilot-one  (D 30000)

Oct 13, 2008, 9:25 AM
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Re: [pirana] So Cal Fatality [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You must be a young man. Not dissing you or anything like that; but I don't think anybody 50-ish or older would have to ask that.

I'm pretty sure Wendy is a woman. Tongue


upndownshop  (D 23924)

Oct 13, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

Ive only had one hard opening on a previous Spectre I owned and I asked for it because i was on 100+ ways and kept finding myself dumping around or under 2k and it usually took 600-800' to open. It was hard but not a slammer. Didn't do that again.

On my new spectre I have dacron lines and I cant say enough about how soft the openings are. I highly recommend them especially for "older" jumpers. Like someone said: it can happen to any canopy as we know, a blown cell, thats one hard opening. Makes me wonder about the condition such as age and jumps on it. Almost sounds like a slider issue as well.

condolences


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Oct 13, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Re: [ZigZagMarquis] Fatality - Perris, CA - 11 October 2008 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Back in 04 there was (IMO) a similar fatality to Harry's.

Just to cite another from that timeframe at Titusville FL. If I recall correctly, the jumper had a hard opening and a brake fire. It was determined that he was knocked unconscious and spun in, expiring from injuries.

This is certainly one "unconsciousness scenario" that an AAD can't help. Of course, a reserve deploying into a spiraling main may only increase your problems.

Condolences to Harry's friends and family. We never met, but I enjoyed reading his posts here.

Kevin K.


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