Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
I can't understand this...

 


SpeedRacer  (B 26329)

Mar 29, 2001, 10:29 AM
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I can't understand this... Can't Post

There is an memorial poem/photo in the April 2001 Parachutist for the 26-year-old woman who died last fall when she fell out of her harness because her chest strap wasn't fastened. What I don't understand:
1) She had over 1,500 jumps!
2) She repeatedly had been seen previously on the plane ride to altitude with her chest strap off..She was in the habit of not buckling it until just before exit.
3) In one jump, she had exited WITHOUT attaching her chest strap, and survived! Luckily she was belly down when she pulled (she was filming a tandem) and the harness just happened to stay on! According to the incident report, on the jump that killed her, she was flying head down. While in freefall at 8K, the rig slipped off her back to her knees, at which point she disappeared from the video. But she must have struggled back in, because she managed to deploy her main, but she still fell out. Obviously, she never got that chest strap buckled.

How could someone with so many years and jumps not know the importance of attaching the chest strap before boarding??

Speed Racer
"Blue Skies, Red eyes, Sore thighs!"


SkySlut  (D License)

Mar 29, 2001, 10:36 AM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thats a very good question that I think everybody needs to ask themselves. I think that it would also be good to get in the habit of looking over the equipment of the people around you in the plane, not just your own. You dont have much else to do while you are on your ride up to altitude. We should take care of each other as well as ourselves.

"I'll jump anything!"


Geoff

Mar 29, 2001, 10:54 AM
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I think nowadays, skydiving is relatively safe, so there are lots of people getting complacent with safety, and most of them survive, which is good for them, but bad because it encourages others to be complacent too.

I remember getting to 5000ft on one lift, before I glanced over my own gear and found my chest strap was undone. Just that shook me up.



FallnAngel  (A 37726)

Mar 29, 2001, 11:38 AM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

I also struggled to understand the incident in Lodi. It was made all the more horrific because it was so preventable. It may have been that the strap was uncomfortable for her, so she routinely left it off until jumprun. The only thing I can say is that we all make mistakes, and that gal (& her family) paid a terrible price for hers. Her husband was on that load with her, and I can't begin to imagine his pain.

On a side note, but along the same lines - on a load I was on last weekend, someone got on the plane without his strap fastenedůhe sat down, put his seat belt on, and was all settled in when a JM saw his chest strap just dangling. The JM immediately pointed it out and asked him to "please fasten that *now*". I wondered why he didn't get a gear check before getting on the plane, and I wondered if he would have remembered to buckle it up before jumping. I sure hope so. I would also hope that by my getting 3 gear checks, by checking my 3 straps & 3 handles before I jump, and by being as safe as I can, I never pay for my mistakes with my life.

Blue Skies,
Karen



tigra  (C 27417)

Mar 29, 2001, 2:47 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

You know, it really gets me every time I see someone rush to make a load and jump on the plane with their gear half on, just as the plane is starting to taxi off. Used to be we wouldn't even let them on. What bothers me most is that these guys (and gals) think they are cool, and if there are students and newbies on the load, they think they are cool too. There is nothing cool about ignoring gear checks and basic safety. When you board a jump plane, you should be ready to jump.

Anyway, if everyone made a point of not allowing the plane to take off until people were properly geared up, then these "cool" people would be the toads that are holding up the load, and maybe accidents like this one won't happen again.

Just my .02!

Not to sound unsympathetic to this woman's family or anything, but this was totally preventable.


<FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by tigra on 3/29/01 02:49 PM.</EM></FONT>


lazerq3  (C -34113)

Mar 29, 2001, 3:10 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

I would think youd want to be all geared up and ready to jump at a seconds notice before entering the plane for the fact that what if at 3000 or so ft something happens to the plane and you have to make a decision to jump out. Th last thing I want to worry about is a chest strap or any undone gear. You have know time!!!! just my thoughts

jason



fruce  (D License)

Mar 29, 2001, 3:24 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

If we all believe that we are, indeed , one large family, then we have a collective responsibility to all of those that we love and care about (ok, so maybe some of them you have to try real hard) to insure that they are safe. By safe, it simply means looking around you; look around you before you get on the plane, look around you while in the boarding area and look around you on the ride up.

Look around at all of those people who, like you, share a love of life and passion for a sport that we call skydiving.

Most of all, look to make sure that they are safe.



fruce
http://www.fruce.com


tigra  (C 27417)

Mar 29, 2001, 3:54 PM
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That pretty much says it all, Fruce.



FallnAngel  (A 37726)

Mar 29, 2001, 4:22 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would think youd want to be all geared up and ready to jump at a seconds notice before entering the plane for the fact that what if
at 3000 or so ft something happens to the plane and you have to make a decision to jump out. Th last thing I want to worry about is
a chest strap or any undone gear. You have know time!!!! just my thoughts

jason
I absolutely agree with your thoughts on this, Jason. If we have an emergency below 2000', I feel confident of being able to get out & get something deployed *as long as I'm ready to go*. I can jump without a helmet on my head...everything else, gear-wise, is ready to go before I get on the plane.

Blues,
Karen



Albatross  (D 32026)

Mar 29, 2001, 7:27 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the Skydive U instructors at my DZ has started the habbit of tugging on the straps of anyone whos chest strap seems even a little odd. It usually gives them a start and they fix it. My friends and I were so shocked by the Lodi incident that we have taken this habbit to the point of a game. we make sure to not only visually check but to tug on each other's straps to be sure that they are fastened.

Blue Skys and Safe Landings
Albatross


jbnote  (C 36083)

Apr 4, 2001, 12:11 AM
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Wrong ad [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure what ad you are all referring to. The ad for Roo Ritchie, is for her death due to a rare blood disorder. The incident in regards to the skydiver that didn't fasten her chest strap properly/at all is a different person completely. Roo was a very loved skydiver and please make sure you know the cause of death before making assumptions based on date of passing and age/sex of the jumper.
As for safety and gear checks (specifically the check of threes) I'm a crusader for them. Make sure you always check your gear and the gear of all your jumpers before you get on the plane. Even the "skygods" that get on the load without gear will appreciate it. They just won't let you know it because they're too cool to let on.
Be safe,
Jeremy



Freeflylizard  (A 101254)

Apr 5, 2001, 9:07 AM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

"I think that it would also be good to get in the habit of looking over the equipment of the people around you in the plane, not just your own"

In the UK, we have a system called Flight Line Checking. This is mandatory at all UK dropzones, and it involves every jumper getting a check on their entire equipment before every skydive. To carry out these checks you must have acheived your B licence which involves learning exactly how to check another person's equipment for problems such as the chest strap being undone for example!
I know that in other countries the flightline check is not mandatory, but when my friend Wil and I go freeflying at Empuriabrava in Spain (great DZ!) we still check each others equipment before every single jump we make, even when making 10 jumps in a day.
Definitely a good idea, as however careful you are about checking your equipment you can still slip up, as was sadly demonstrated by the accident which sparked this debate.
Just my two cents,
Blue Skies and safe landings!
Tom Arnold.



MC208B  (A 35654)

Apr 5, 2001, 7:27 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

It was her time to leave this Earth. Fate.



SpeedRacer  (B 26329)

Apr 6, 2001, 6:54 AM
Post #14 of 19 (1431 views)
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

no, MC I think it was the chest strap.

Speed Racer
"Blue Skies, Red eyes, Sore thighs!"


MC208B  (A 35654)

Apr 6, 2001, 12:45 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

well directly, it was the chest strap of course. Why that woman with all that experience didn't have it secure was fate



Donna  (A 37295)

Apr 6, 2001, 2:43 PM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

No, it was a fatal mistake.



Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 6, 2001, 4:29 PM
Post #17 of 19 (1394 views)
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

about six months ago i was at perris, doing the 120 way sequential thing. we were on jump run and i happened to look across the aisle at a woman who had her chest strap just looped through the fitting, not threaded at all. i asked her if she knew this. she turned white, and threaded it correctly. that made _me_ worry, and i spent the next five minutes checking my gear a dozen times.

after the jump she came over and thanked me. now, this is a woman with 4000+ jumps, current AFF I, and a world record holder. it can happen to anyone.

-bill von


miked10270  (D 10270)

Apr 6, 2001, 4:57 PM
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Hi there,

this whole "Chest Strap" issue strikes me as a compelling argument for USPA to follow the BPA practice of "formalising" manifest & some form of "buddy checks".

In effect, everyone manifested on a lift is checked by another jumper (students must be checed by an instructor, a "qualified" parachutist can check other qualified parachutists) and the persn who does the checking "signs off" on manifest against the name of the person they checked.

the argument is that after numerous jumps, if you're distracted or in a hurry, it's easy to make a small but fundamental mistake, so getting a check by another person should pick up on this. It literally takes less than a minute to check another jumper out - 2 minutes & they've returned the favour.

Mike D01270.



BarrettJ99  (D 24173)

Apr 8, 2001, 1:30 AM
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Re: I can't understand this... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe I have a different point of view on this one Miked, but I don't think that the solution to this is to "formalize" yet another procedure for us to follow. I'm not against gear checks, quite the opposite really, but making more regulation requirements in this sport should not be necessary. As Bill was saying, I would hope that you're taking a look at those you're jumping with before you get into and during the ride to altitude to prevent these tragedies from ocurring. First it starts with mandatory gear checks, then onto mandatory shoelace checks, where does it end? It's the responsibility of the jumper to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of their own jump, and that includes observing those around you. If you're not paying attention each and every jump then you are taking your own life in your hands. We all enjoy a great deal of freedom in this sport, but the last thing we need is more regulation. Maybe I'm way off on this one, but not in MHO...

-T1
C-30757



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