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Skydiver Suffers Seizure During AFF Jump

By adminon - Read 17824 times

Christopher Jones, a 22 year old from Perth, Australia - has found himself in the spotlight of news agencies over the past 24 hours. On 1 March 2015, Christopher uploaded a video to Youtube of him suffering a seizure during his 5th level of AFF training at WA Skydiving Academy. According to him, the video was originally recorded about 3 months ago but due to travelling, he only got around to uploading it now. Within 24 hours of uploading the video had received over 2.5 Million views and been picked up by news centers around the world.

In the video, you can see Christopher Jones being assisted by his instructor, Sheldon McFarlane - as he gets his foot placing in the right position for his exit. After exiting the aircraft, he is seen establishing his body position and things seem to be going well, but soon Mr Jones, who was described by the Dropzone Chief Instructor as "The perfect student" up until this point, begins to lose control of his body position.

Instructor Heroics Gets Main Deployed at 4000 feet

McFarlane, who while unaware of the fact that the problem was a siezure, could see that Mr Jones was in trouble, and began an attempt to get close enough to him so that he could help in the release of his parachute. After a failed first attempt, Mr Jones is seen gaining speed, plummeting towards earth. Despite the difficulty in catching up with the student's speed, McFarlane then managed to grab a hold of him and release his [parachute, at around 4000 feet.

When interviewed about the incident, McFarlane stated that even though he knew that the AAD would deploy, he wanted to ensure that the student had as much time under parachute as possible. This proved to be a wise choice and Mr Jones regained consciousness at 3000 feet, allowing for him to gain control and in turn safely land his canopy.

While AADs deploy vast majority of the time, there have been incidents where the AAD has failed, and getting the chute deployed manually will almost always take preference over relying on the automatic activation device.

Questionable Medical Clearance

Mr Jones has had a history of seizures in the past. Originally wanting to become a pilot, Jones had to put that dream aside due to his epilepsy.

A doctor-issued medical statement is required before one is able to begin AFF training. Mr Jones' specialist gave him the all clear for his training, with Jones not having suffered any seizures for four years prior to this incident, a subject that has caused some debate of its own, with many doctors feeling as though skydiving would be an activity that no epilepsy sufferer should partake in, due to the risks.

Unfortunately with the occurrence of this incident, he will no longer be able to continue his skydiving career, for obvious reasons.

While seizures can be unpredictable and occur at any time, stress is thought to play a role in many cases. Naturally undergoing a skydiving program where not only are you aware of the safety risks, but also have the added pressure of passing or failing your level progression, stress will almost always be heightened.

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BIGUN
Almost 4,000,000 his on YouTube in 24 hours and is at the top of the YouTube homepage.

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lum_dum
holy freaking bajesus.

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djbillyd
That's crazy! I know people enjoy this "sport", and many who were Paratroopers in the military do it as well. But I see no value in jumping from a perfectly good airplane, that's going to land.
I really would have been amenable to skydiving when I was 22. I'm glad he's OK.

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DrDom
Someone owes a LOT of Beer. a lot. DJBillyD... why are you here if you could not see the value of jumping from a plane? go enjoy your bowling or golf.

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hawyniron11
My heart goes out to Mr Jones, he looked to be having a good time. What an AWESOME instructor!!

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pateverson
Alright, maybe I'm crazy here, but I could have sworn I saw this video quite awhile ago. Anyone else think this is an old video suddenly getting prominence or have an idea of what similar video I'm thinking of?

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CygnusX-1
This is just sad. Here we complain about how the media can't get skydiving reports correct and yet in our own community we have people writing articles who can't get the story correct. "Instructor Heroics Gets Main Deployed at 4000 feet". Watch the video again. It is the reserve, not the main. Your credibility has been completely destroyed if you don't know the difference between the main "handle" and the reserve.

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file
CygnusX-1- you're wrong!
It is main with spring loaded pilot chute. You can even see Kap-3 AAD mounted on the container(it surprises me, I must say).
On that container one preforms cut away and reserve procedure with the same handle.

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MikeJD
Cygnus-X1: also, the instructor reaches across to pull the handle on the right side of the student's harness. Albeit this is an unusual configuration for main deployment these days, it'd be odd if that were the position of the reserve handle.
Plus, if you watch the video more carefully you can see it's a main canopy that's deployed.

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MrSnipes
Hats off to this instructor. Remaining calm and flying down to pull his main for him - bravo.

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