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Skydiving Fatalities : 2004 : Pacific : Impact under mulfunctioning Tandem

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2004-08-10
United States
Guam
Malfunction
Gear Issues
Tandem
Sigma Tandem Vector
300
Cypres
Yes
Male
43
5300 (3200+ tandems)
Gose Campos
The jumper was a Brazilian tandem master. Eye-witnesses reports indicate that the pair may have impacted under a malfunctioning main canopy. Investigators say it is still unclear whether the parachute had deployed at all. They said that witnesses may have seen the tandem drogue parachute. No further information is available at this time.


UPDATE - in Skydiving Volume 24, Number 4, Issue #280

The pair was jumping a Relative Workshop Sigma tandem rig. According to company president Bill Booth, the main canopy was found outside of its deployment bag, but one bight of lines was still stowed in a Tube Stoe on the side of the bag.
The reserve canopy was still in its bag and some of its lines were still in the stow pouch. The bagged canopy was "jammed" into the main canopy, Booth said. The suspension lines of both canopies were twisted around each other many times, he added.
Both the drogue-release ripcord and the reserve ripcord had been pulled; both ripcords were found at the scene close enough to the bodies to be bloodstained. The drogue's bridle wasn't entangled with anything, and its canopy was collapsed by its kill-line.

This tandem master was wearing a handcam on his left hand.
FAA Report on this incident:

The tandem pair exited the aircraft and a clean drogue deployment is seen on the recovered video. The remainder of the video was severely damaged and no other information was recoverable from the tape. At some point the drogue release handle was pulled. The main parachute deployment resulted in a bag-lock malfunction with one outerline stow still intact with its stow band holding it to the deployment bag. The reserve handle was pulled before Cypres firing altitude and the 3ring risers had released. The reserve static line was still connected in its normal position on the right shoulder and wsa still connected to the main riser. Evidence indicates that the cutaway handle was pulled after reserve deployment ; the 3ring release had been activated. The reserve deployed into the trailing malfunction and the reserve suspension lines above and below the reserve deployment bag. The right riser was close to its normal position on the shoulder area. The left main riser was heavily involved in the main reserve entaglement. At some point the main canopy came out of its deployment bag however the single outer line stow never released and there were too many line twists for the main to deploy.


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