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dhracer33

TF incident

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To all,

I won't repeat myself over and over again.

Tom and I are in disagreement about the technicality of the jump. I think there are "safer" variations to ensure the same launch-momentum (already discussed).

Sam, I have already posted all the answers to your questions, please don't get silly on this.

Ian, again you are not adding anything to the discussion.

I won't add any more posts , please PM me if you so desire.
Memento Audere Semper

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Jason made a mistake (he placed his life in the hands of another jumper, possibly over estimating their and his own abilities) and he is lucky to be alive and i genuinely wish him all the best for a full recovery.



I would have no problem at all putting my pilot chute in Nick's hands again.

We had done the jump once previously, had noticed that there were exit timing issues, and incorrectly assumed this was the root cause of the freefall problems. We did the jump a second time in order to sort out the exit timing issues. It turned out they weren't the only problem on the first jump.

All three jumpers would have been more than capable of matching momentum for the launch if we had realized the problems on the first jump went beyond exit timing. I want to make this very clear. I think it's important to realize this jump went badly not because of a mistake made during the jump, but because of a mistake made before the jump, namely, in our analysis of the preceding jump.

I've seen a lot of post-jump analysis in the forums degenerate into a mess of minute details and finger-pointing which I will never recall at the exit point. I have learned three things from this jump which will probably be foremost on my mind in any jump I plan in the future. They are:

1. The importance of stability at pull time.
2. The importance of an in-sequence deployment.
3. The importance of matching timing and momentum on linked multi-ways.

They say last learned is first remembered. I'd hate for this incident to be chalked up in someone's mind to insufficient skill or some personal grudge, rather than three simple and objective errors.

Thanks guys,

Michael

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Hi all,

Jason is doing well. He's been transfered back to Calgary. They've removed the second chest tube, so he's just got the cannula with a minimal amount of oxygen flowing. They're restricting him to bed for the moment, while the neurosurgeons at home have a look at a second round of scans to double-check that things are okay. His breathing is doing very well, and it looks like he'll be released from hospital in the next few days.

I finally had a chance to look at video of the incident. That's been difficult for me, and has brought back to the surface a lot of hard questions I was asking myself the night of the incident. It's difficult to make sense of it all, but it's important to me that I not look away from the questions, and somehow find honest answers that I can live with.

Along these lines, I'm going to add something to the points raised above. Looking at the video, it's easy to see that the conditions certainly aren't ideal. I imagine this is why so many people have brought that point up in this thread. However, it seems to me that the admittedly marginal conditions, and indeed probably the other three points I have raised, while very good lessons to take away from the jump, are not actually the root cause of this incident, but are rather symptoms of the root cause.

A few of you have pointed out that the jump seemed rushed and poorly planned. That's a hard one for me to recconcile. Certainly I had some reservations about the jump, but I chalked these up to the technical difficulty of the jump. Perhaps, in reality, these were warning signs that we were moving too quickly. At the time I did not see that. I still believe all three jumpers involved were up to the technical challenge, but had we allowed more time for the plan to develop, we might have recognized the importance of matching exit velocity as well as timing.

The scary part about this particular lesson is that I'm not sure I could have learned it any other way. I could post until my fingers bleed about the importance of slowing down, but it's unlikely to deter the adventurous jumper who thinks that feeling in the pit of his stomach is the result of technical challenge, and not poor planning. After all, he's not rushing things, it's just that the jump is demanding.

There are, of course, well-planned technically challenging jumps. How can we explain the difference to jumpers who have not experienced it first hand?

I can't begin to express how fortunate I feel that Jason survived the jump. That he will walk away from it with so few and slight permanent injuries is more than it would be reasonable to ask for.

Take care,

Michael

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