Despite having occurred late last year, a recently uploaded Youtube video showing an extremely close encounter between a tandem instructor, passenger and the jumpship they just exited from, has gone viral. The 4 minute long video (including editing) was shot in October 2014 and shows a tandem instructor, from what has been determined as a Thailand based skydiving operation at an estimated 13 000 feet (a typical exit altitude for tandem jumps).
Twelve seconds after the TI and passenger exit the plane, the plane comes into view of the camera and can be seen diving quickly in their direction. The camera speed is then slowed down and shows the plane moving closer, with one frame showing the bridle and drogue of the TI wrapped around the wing of the plane.
It appears as though the drogue bridle was cut when it wrapped over the wing and can be seen waving behind the TI in some of the frames. He then deploys the reserve shortly afterwards.
The passenger appears for the most part, unaware of exactly how close the pair came to death during the incident, with the video later cutting to text on screen suggesting that the TI had just explained what had happened, while they were under canopy.
There has been quite a bit of conversation around just how this happened, whether it was purely pilot negligence - or whether perhaps a close fly-by is something that is pre-arranged with the TI and pilot, in order to give the passengers a more thrilling experience. While there is no clear evidence to lead one to make such a damning assumption, several individuals have noted the TI's apparent eagerness to get the passenger to look in the direction of the descending aircraft, even before it has entered the frame of the video. Others are calling the TI a hero for the professional way in which he handled the incident, staying calm and getting both himself and the tandem passenger safely on the ground.
Regardless of the details behind the incident, it's clear that those involved are lucky to still be alive.
A discussion about the event is currently taking place in the forums in an incidents thread.