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dhracer33

TF incident

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I saw some video, and also was able to see the high resolution still photos taken from the exit point. The gear is currently drying on my back porch. I did not see the jump in person (I was packing at the top).

The jump was a 5 way. For incident analysis, the only important part is the center 3 jumper piece. The outer 2 jumpers were both doing TARD-overs and were open high and out of the picture.

The central piece was a 3 jumper Rollover to Double PCA Waterfall. The middle jumper rolled over his canopy while holding the PC's of the other 2 jumpers, with the intention to PCA them when he opened (an example of this type of jump can be viewed here). The 3 jumpers had made this jump successfully (although not ideally) on 2 previous occasions during the last 2 days.

Conditions were not ideal. There was a significant tailwind at the exit. There are several photos showing the rollover canopy at angles as high as 70 degrees in front of the jumpers, prior to the jump.

The center jumper had great difficulty rolling over his canopy, and apparently the canopy was blown forward strongly enough that he actually hit and passed through it while rolling over it, resulting in a small entanglement (which cleared immediately in freefall) and some minor scrapes from the risers.

The center jumper exited significantly before the outer 2 jumpers. As a result, he extracted them both in a downward direction (canopies deploying below the falling jumpers). He kept the PC's in hand until sometime late in the extraction sequence (one still photo shows a fully extended bridle in a downward direction and a canopy at perhaps half of line stretch below the jumper).

The right side jumper fell past his canopy on the outside (right of the 3 way piece), and the canopy cleared and opened (slider up) without further incident.

The left side jumper was pulled by bridle tension into a barrel roll, and entangled with his canopy. The PC appears to have been released at some point after line stretch, and the inflating PC appears to have travelled upward through the canopy and lines, resulting in an entanglement between the bridle and the canopy, which almost totally pinched off the canopy. At the same time, the canopy was snagged somewhere at or immediately above the line attachments, attached to the jumpers left elbow (he had rolled almost completely over onto his back at this point). The net result was a canopy streamering perhaps 4 feet above the jumpers left elbow, with almost zero inflation.

The jumper impacted fast approximately 15 feet offshore, most likely on his side, in a side first position.

The jumper sustained numerous minor contusions, fractured ribs, compression fractures of 2 vertebrae and collapsed and bruised lungs. At last report, he was on a ventilator at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, in stable condition, in the Intensive Care Unit. He is expected to recover. Spectators were certain that he must have died on impact, so this is very good news.

Life Flight put a helicopter down in the landing area to extract the jumper (the second time in 2 days the Life Flight helicopter had landed there).


Some subjective thoughts of mine:

1) Body Armor. The jumper was wearing a Dianese Safety Jacket, which I think greatly reduced his injuries from the impact, in particular protecting his spine from major trauma. The armor was also the likely snag point on his elbow (it was his outermost layer), so it may have been a mixed blessing (the bridle entanglement would probably have created a very serious incident even without the elbow snag, though).

2) Exit Timing. On waterfall jumps, exit timing is absolutely critical. Extracting a canopy below a falling jumper is a very bad situation. If you are the high jumper on one of these jumps and find yourself in a low position, I recommend immediately releasing the pilot chute(s) of jumpers above you, to prevent this downward extraction. Any resulting mis-staging of the openings is going to be much better than a major malfunction like this one.

3) Life Flight. This was the second time in 2 days that the Saint Alphonsus Life Flight helicopter stationed at Magic Valley Regional Medical Center (in Twin Falls) was called to the landing area. I encourage jumpers to make a donation to the Life Flight service that saves our lives (the MVRMC emergency response teams will be the beneficiaries of the charity event at Woodies tonight, as well, so be sure to give a donation there, or to Jamie Boutwell, who is collecting for that donation).


The injured jumper was Jason Cooper, of Calgary, Canada. He is an experienced (and usually quite conservative) jumper. His (twin) brother was the other packed jumper in the 3 way piece, and landed near him approximately 10 seconds after impact. His family has been notified, and his wife travelled to Boise last night and this morning.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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As I understand it, there were two trips to the hospital Friday, one significantly more serious than the other, one on land and the other in water.



By my count, we had 5 trips to the hospital on Thursday and Friday. 2 jumpers were actually admitted. One had surgery here at Magic Valley, the other was flown to Saint Alphonsus, in Boise.

Be careful out there, people, just because it's a bridge doesn't mean reality is suspended.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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So what your saying is BASE jumping is dangerous.
i had no idea.



I think Tom is the wrong person to make such a sarcastic remark to, since I believe he well-knows how dangerous BASE is.
Coreece: "You sound like some skinheads I know, but your prejudice is with Christians, not niggers..."

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2) Exit Timing. On waterfall jumps, exit timing is absolutely critical. Extracting a canopy below a falling jumper is a very bad situation. If you are the high jumper on one of these jumps and find yourself in a low position, I recommend immediately releasing the pilot chute(s) of jumpers above you, to prevent this downward extraction. Any resulting mis-staging of the openings is going to be much better than a major malfunction like this one.



I don't want to second guess people like Tom whom I know are dealing with a heap of *^%% already. I also know that they are doing their best to educate a bunch of trigger happy adrenalin junkies. But I have to open my big mouth and say: this is exactly the type of stunt that is going to exponentially add to "The List". The more complexity that people add to their jumps and the more precision that is required, the lower the margin for error and the higher the chance of an incident.

This is NOT a hindsight comment either. It is a foresight comment - inevitably, it will continue to happen. From my own personal experience I know that people like Tom A are doing their best to educate the troops, but I think it is better to say that this type of jump has bad idea written all over it. As I said, failing the option of convincing people not to do it, giving them technical advice is the "least worst option of two bad alternatives".

Hope everyone learns from the experience.

I hope J recovers 100% to tell the tale. Sounds like a great horror story with interesting video!!!!!!!! ;)

Tom A suggested an alternative in this shit happened scenario. I wonder if the jumping group considered this? I also wonder if the people involved were capable of assessing the situation during the jump and then acting out the plan B if it arose? This is the type of thinking and action/reaction that allows people to do high degree of difficulty jumps successfully.

Plan the jump. Think of ALL possible stuff ups. Have an action plan for the stuff ups. Practice them until they are ingrained. Make sure you have the skill and experience to do the jump. Then execute.

Just a thought.
Stay Safe - Have Fun - Good Luck

The above could be crap, thought provoking, useful, or . . But not personal. You decide.

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BASE jumper in critical condition after parachute malfunctions
By Bob Kirkpatrick
Times-News writer

TWIN FALLS -- A Canadian man was airlifted to a Boise hospital with serious injuries Friday evening after his parachute malfunctioned during a BASE jump off the Perrine Bridge, the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office reported Saturday.

Jason Cooper, 29, remained in critical condition at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise after he landed in what witnesses reported as approximately 4 feet of water near the south bank of the Snake River.

"The call came into the sheriff's office around 7:15 Friday night," said Nancy Howell, public information officer with the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office. "The victim was airlifted out of the canyon by Life Flight and transported to Magic Valley Regional Medical Center in Twin Falls. He was then taken to Boise where he remains in the care of physicians."

Howell said eyewitnesses on the scene noticed that Cooper's canopy didn't inflate properly, which sent him spiraling into the river.

"Fortunately he wears a full body armor suite when jumps," said Jamie Boutwell, local BASE-jumping enthusiast and co-coordinator of a weekend fundraiser. "Landing in the mud near the shoreline probably helped to cushion the impact."

Boutwell said he didn't think the accident would deter other jumpers from participating in the weekend events.

"I was here Friday evening and saw him being airlifted out of the canyon," said Tracey Kaiser, a BASE jumper from Colorado Springs, Colo. "We weren't allowed to continue jumping after the accident, but I did jump this morning (Saturday)."

Kaiser wasn't the only person that decided to tempt fate once again.

Ren Huschle, of Lake Tahoe, Calif., said Cooper's accident wouldn't deter him from jumping off the bridge, which is considered by many jumpers as one of the country's best BASE-jumping locations.

Huschle said although he seldom worries about something going wrong, there are extra precautions a person can take to lessons the possibility of a problem.

"You need to double-check to make sure your parachute is packed properly, which decreases the chance of a malfunction," Huschle said. "Wind and body positioning is something else you need to be very aware of."

BASE jumpers need to make sure their shoot opens on heading, Huschle said. That means the parachute should open in the direction the jumper is facing to avoid being put into a "line twist with the canopy."

"BASE jumpers examine death differently from the average person," Huschle said. "I think we are more accepting of death than most people."

Times-News business writer Bob Kirkpatrick can be reached 735-3376 or bkirkpatrick@magicvalley.com


-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I was at the exit and assisted in handling PCs for the jumpers in the waterfall. Tom's description of the jump is dead on. THe jump seemed disorganized and poorly planned. After the hanging canopy fully inflated it was apparent that conditions were not appropriate for the jump. THe count was rushed and the exit very uneven. THe rollover jumper amped the exit and launched straight out in an failed attempt to clear the canopy (his head went through it). The streamer never expanded even a little, with a serious bridle wrap induced by pulling the canopy out under thejumper and releasing his pc into it. I would estimate that Jason impacted less than 5 feet from shore, probably 3'. From watching it live I would have guessed a fatality. It is a miracle that he lived, and we are thankful that he dikd survice.

Be careful with jumps were your pc is held by another. They truly hold your life in their hand.

Cy

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Be careful with jumps where your pc is held by another. They truly hold your life in their hand.



First off these comments are NOT directed at TreeJumps ...

At the risk of alienating myself from some in the BASE community ... WTF people? Are some of you getting so bored with your jumps that you've decided the only way to have fun is the push the envelope to the point where people are dying and/or seriously getting messed up? After watching the video of the successful jump from last year, it's clear that this is the case. What's next? Oh and don't forget, whatever crazy jump some of you guys feel you need to do because you're bored and/or need to make a name for yourself, don't forget to get video. :S

BASE jumping is not safe to begin with and it sure is as dangerous as you want to make it and the trend is obviously towards how dangerous can we make this.

Here's hoping that Jason can make a full recovery, but it's time people start waking up.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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>>Dude, Canuck I understand your sentiment. It's plenty windy here and I've got nothing better to do, so here's my thoughts: Nothing you're going to say or do or post is going to stop people from doing anything. You can't really, and in it's own way it's what makes BASE-jumping what it is. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn't do, what's a good idea and what isn't, or what's appropraite and what isn't. You just figure it out for yourself, or it figures itself out for you...
It Is What IT IS...
And it's just always been that way

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I don't know how alienating it is, but it might be better placed in the Incidents forum. Then again, maybe not. But you might want to wait until he's well again to give him shit for it. Timing is everything. It's one thing to report what happened, but quite another to go all judgmental--ranting never made anything better.

I keep hoping for a report from someone who actually knows exactly how Jason is doing. He's a great guy, and it's hard to sit here wondering how he is.

One of the great comforts when Matt got hurt is that there were folks who went out of their way to let everyone know his progress.

The above is intended to be a whole lot more blatant than a mere hint.

Heal fast, Jason.

rl
If you don't know where you're going, you should know where you came from. Gullah Proverb

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But you might want to wait until he's well again to give him shit for it



My comments aren't directed at Jason. They are directed at anyone showing up at a site like this bridge and saying, "Aghh that's just boring, let's do this way instead because it will look way cooler".

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He's a great guy



Yes I know this, I have met him and his brother.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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I am at the Hospital with Jason and his family.

I was taking Tom's First jump course at the time and Jason and his brother drove down with me to do some jumping.

Jason is currently in surgery to fuse and stabilize the worst of his broken vertebrae. He has remained on the ventilator today but is doing phenomenal all things considered. Jason also has numerous rib fractures, a broken scapula, lung contusions, a broken tailbone, and tons of bruising. He has remained lucid and has been communicating quite effectively with sign language and through pen and paper.

Jason is still bright as ever; while having detailed conversations in his room about some pretty technical stuff, he has been the one many times to fill in the blanks for us.

Jason will be back in ICU much later tonight following surgery and tomorrow we will have a better idea about what's what.

We are all positive and optimistic about Jason making a good recovery from this. It will certainly be a long road.

Andrew

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My comments aren't directed at Jason. They are directed at anyone showing up at a site like this bridge and saying, "Aghh that's just boring, let's do this way instead because it will look way cooler".



>>Absolutely right on the money.

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Jason is currently in surgery to fuse and stabilize the worst of his broken vertebrae. He has remained on the ventilator today but is doing phenomenal all things considered.



>>Right on! My advice is to do your best to infuse him with a positive attitude. It will pay off in the long run.
:)

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Dear Andrew,

Thank you.

It's good to get the important news, especially when it's good news, relatively speaking.

I had to laugh when I read:

"...has been communicating quite effectively..."

and

"...while having detailed conversations in his room about some pretty technical stuff..."

He has given me some of the best debates I've had in the time I've been on dz.com, and it is very reassuring to hear that the analytical part of his personality isn't taking a break even in this situation.

Is there anything he or his wife needs? Please let me know.

Thank you again for your post.

rl
If you don't know where you're going, you should know where you came from. Gullah Proverb

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Hey Andrew,

I attended my first course with Marta and Jimmy last week and had the good fortune to meet the 'Canadians' - was shoked to hear about Jason's accident and the circumstances. If you head back to the hospital, please pass on my best to Jason - hope to see him out there again soon. Thanks

Mick

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Are some of you getting so bored with your jumps that you've decided the only way to have fun is the push the envelope to the point where people are dying and/or seriously getting messed up?


dude,People in this sport need to risk mannegement their jumps. is it worth it what could happen.Most people does so.calculating risk and be honest to yourself if you should do that jump.

Dont go judge any one for a jump you wouldnt do.In the first place most people wouldnt skydive,neither BASE,thouse who does so are getting somthing from their lifestyles that is in higher value than the risk of dying or get injuryed.

You do BASe as safe and legal as you want to,dont blame thouse who´s going longer or harder than you,their margin is bigger than yours.

whith out thouse daring to do somthing extra you wouldnt have neither skydive or BASE today..

That said.. please be careful out there guys/gals,people does get killed and injuryed out there,make sure to know your own and jumpers limits,and be sure that you can acsept the risk your about to take,is it worth it?

Heal fast Jason

Stay safe
Stefan Faber

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I was the jumper holding the Coopers PCs and I do take full responsibility for “killing” Jason, I said killing because no human should have survived such impact.

Jason, Michael, and I were in TF for the whole week. We had not met before but we bounded like it happens few times in a life time. Very rarely in my time I am able to BS to the very end of the human intellect. With the Coopers, such a BS was the very reason of the bound. We made one of those rare-life-long connections that I can count just using the digits of a single hand.

We made few jumps together, hybrid jumps with me going unpacked and the twins going packed. The non-ideal jumps (as per Tom A.) were nonetheless fun and I unsuccessfully did not manage to kill the brothers. Even the devil himself at times does fuck up.

We did plan the jump for a few days. It was supposed to be a jump to celebrate the birthday and the 100th jump of another jumper on the load who I was jumping for the whole week and having a good time with.

We were hoping for very high wind for that jump, yes you read right. The first idea was for me to kite the canopy while holding the Coopers’ PCs and two tards on the side (not tard-overs). I would then tell the Coopers to go, jump myself after ½ sec and PCA them. We all agreed on the jump.

The evening of the jumps we had some tail winds but not strong enough for a successful kite-under.

While we were setting up, my tarp was getting inflated and I almost called up the jump. Then the winds died out and my canopy although not straight below me was hanging down far enough for me to clear it with a strong launch. Even if I did hit it in FF I know it would have not been a big deal at least not to the other four jumpers for sure.

The set up looked good. I asked for everybody if there were ready and started the count. According to the video we all exited at the same time unlike what Tom reported. Yet with me jumping down and forward and the twins jumping up and forward the vertical separation was not ideal. At the end of my roll-over I felt both PC leaving my hands at the same time. I looked around for other canopies, saw good separation, and saw what it looked to me a sniveling canopy. Michel was slider up and his vented (no valves) Fox with large-hole mesh slider at times strangely snivels for a long time. So I thought that it was Michael (the Coopers have very similar canopy colors).

Then I heard the laud impact and I knew something terribly wrong had happened. I crash-landed, removed my harness and started running towards the area of the impact. I was approached by another jumper who said “sorry mate, he’s dead”. If he was dead I had to see it with my own eyes. When I approached, Michael was holding Jason to my surprised because I thought that Michael went in. I jumped into the water and hugged both of them. To my surprise Jason was still breathing. I thought that he was going to die shortly and the least I could do was to embrace the moment making sure Jason died surrounded with the good stuff in life. Then another surprise came. Jason was coherent in his speech, too coherent for someone about to die despite his extraordinary intellect. Then yet another surprise came, Jason could feel his legs and arms and move his toes and fingers. I was shocked. I then realized that he had good chances of making it.

Everyone loves to point fingers so please get it off your chest and crucify me. Honestly I am the happiest camper knowing Jason has good chances of surviving and most likely BASE jump again.

So what did go wrong? It’s BASE jumping that’s want went wrong. We do stupid shit to be in the moment. BASE is not perfect no matter how hard one tries and when your 3-way launch does not go as planned the result is not a funnel and a laugh. We all knew that. The five of us on the load are not bunch of yahoo-BASE-wonna-be-big-ego-maniacs, trust me on that. We thought the jump, we planned it, we tried it, we all agreed to go for it.

Now the more physical part on what went wrong. An accident is always a chain of events. Despite the exit Jason’s Velcro rig was part of the problem. As the twins were above me, the out-of-sequence-deployment started. The suggestion of Tom A. of releasing the PCs is as wrong as it gets, and no Tom I won’t fucking elaborate. If you are so dumb not to realize what could happen when you prematurely release the PCs despite the position of the PCAers then pretty please keep erroneous suggestions for yourself.

Michael’s pin rig started to open because pins gets pulled out despite the position of the force applied to them. Jason on the other hand started to be barrel-rolled on the side more violently than Michael because Velcro does not do a great job releasing sideway. When the shrivel flap finally opened, Jason was on his side and the canopy (most likely the multi) entangled with his elbow armor. Jason had very little out. No part of the canopy was inflated. He hit probably just of a few miles per hour below than someone would hit jumping without a rig.

If Jason did not have several sharp snagging points on his arm, there were good chances the canopy would have freed itself. If Jason did not have a back protector he would have probably died on impact.

I for one would give everything I have to be in Jason’s position, there is no doubt in my mind. I sustained injuries in the past almost as severe as Jason’s and I know I can tough them out; I also know Jason will but I just wish it was me being all fucked up not him. I do feel responsible about the accident being the “load organizer” and the fact that I was responsible for the successful deployment of the canopies. I will keep BASE and do stupid human tricks because I am scared of not living. I hope one day the Coopers and I will re-perform the same jump with a better outcome.

I have met some incredible human beings on this trip and also got to know the true nature of some not-so-incredible ones who all they care is their super-inflated egos.

Jason and Michael, I fucking loved you since the moment that magic word enabled us to meta-BS.
As for the other two jumpers on the load, I will keep trying killing you because I love you too.

I have set up a found for Jason so we could get him a new rig (we had to cut the MLF and Jason wanted to get a pin rig anyway!). If interested paypal me (nicknitro71@yahoo.com) any amount you wish making sure you put “For Jason” on the header. The list will appear on my rigging website with updates on Jason’s conditions.
Memento Audere Semper

903

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