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skysurfNJ

Bridge Day 2006 Fatality

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early on in this post we were politely asked to refrain from posting details and we were asked to allow Jason to prepare a statement and analysis.
can we please let this rest and allow some time to pass before we continue to post on the topic.
yes, we all want to learn and speculate ... very few of us will ever be the first man to jump from el cap ... several of us in line had the pleasure to watch brian and mike give interviews prior to jumping ... very few of us will be this famous ... brian stated he was happy to be making this jump 40 years after jumping el cap ... very few of us have 40 years of happy base jumping experiences.
please, can we wait for the appropriate individuals to release thier statements and allow a wonderful man to rest peacefully.
blaine

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The bridge is one of the very few legal sites available (even if only for 24 hours). This incident is all the more tragic because of the media frenzy that predictability ensued.

I have not (yet!) been, but two thing surpise me about the information providd on the site -

1) The currency/experience requirements seem low. Yeah, it's a nice 'beginner' object and the boats are there. But as shown here, even going handheld can be dangerous. It hardly seems like the ideal 'stress free' first jump environment either. I was sh*tting it enough with just a handful of hikers on my first one. A crowd of thousands might encourage people jump at a time when they're not 'ready' (in any sense of the word).

2) Why is goddamn skydiving gear still allowed at BD? Is there not already enough to go wrong without inducing 'improper gear' worries?!!?!! Not sure if this is relevant to this incident, but it's such a public event...

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Ex-University of Bristol Skydiving Club
www.skydivebristoluni.com

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The bridge is one of the very few legal sites available (even if only for 24 hours).



Not true, only "legal" for just 6 hours.

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The currency/experience requirements seem low



Are the 100-150 jumps required to enroll in one of the FJCs really that high?

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Why is goddamn skydiving gear still allowed at BD?



There is absolutely NOTHING wrong using PROPERLY rigged SD gear off that object.

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Not sure if this is relevant to this incident



No it is not. He was jumping a "safe" base rig, FYI.
You know you have a problem when maggot is the voice of reason at the exit points

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very few of us have 40 years of happy base jumping experiences
__________________________________________________

My impression was that after his jump of El Cap he never made another BASE jump until this one. So he didn't have '40 years of happy base jumping experiences'.

In fact the impression I got from following Mike and Brian's 're-discovery' over the last year and half or so in these forums was that he hadn't done much skydiving for decades either.

I'd much rather think of him having jumped El Cap in '66 and die of old age than go out this way....
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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whatever... I guess we will all learn from it one way or another, can someone post a video of it, so we can all make our own analisis of it?? i hope this is not rude, but if i ever go in a will totally be ok with every one in the whole wide world to see it...

so life goes on, we all know this is a fkin dangerous sht to do, so just like any other sport you got to learn the new trick or just step off to the side and watch the other cool kids play.

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Anyone that doensn't know him, or know for a fact that he wasn't current shouldn't speculate at all. This is a public forum and the news might start saying things about his currency (that might not even be true) just because people were saying it on here.

I encourage anyone who said anything about him being uncurrent delete their post ASAP.

For all I know he's made 10k skydives and 2000 base jumps and is more current than anyone there.

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I haven't read all the way to the end of this thread, so please forgive me if this is a repeat...

Regarding the Wingsuit pilot -

He is alive and "well". He has a fractured L7 that is in 5 pieces. He has no spinal damage or internal injuries.

-S
_____________
I'm not conceited...I'm just realistic about my awesomeness...

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He was going hand held so that eliminates a hard pull or a not finding the hackey. My only other guess it that he had a Pilot Chut In Tow or a Bridal Wrap. But I did see his parachute opening when he hit the water.


I hate to spectulate but after watching that video clip, he didn't exit very well so that leads me to agree with a lot of other people's posts about currency. He exited totally unstable and flailing.


If you haven't ridden a bicycle for 20 years I bet it would be kind of hard to do it again the first few times you tried doing it again.....



I am glad to hear the WS Jumper is not died and is doing ok.... Tell him the local news made it look he was the one that went in when they were taling about Brian.



As for videos of people going in, I think we should show more of them! I mean it might make someone considering BASE to stop and think about it more before trying to do it. I know this event made me reconsider BASE some. Still yet I think BASE can be somewhat safe if you take ALL of the right precautions. Nick originally said his list was to stop people making the same mistakes. Everyone needs to stop for a minute and rethink things. There has been too many fatailties in the last few years that could have been avoided.


DBR

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Still yet I think BASE can be somewhat safe if you take ALL of the right precautions.



I don't agree. You can minimize the possibility to die because of Material-, Rigging- and these kind of errors but there are still a lot of things that you can not controll that can go wrong like "shit happens 180's with linetwists, line overs, pc hesitation, bidel wraps, you name it...
BASE is never, never, never going to be somewhat safe. You can do everthing perfectly wright and still die any day.
I like a lot the bucket theorie of Dwain (I think), this explains BASE Jumping pretty well.
Michi (#1068)
hsbc/gba/sba
www.swissbaseassociation.ch
www.michibase.ch

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I was going to disagree baserigger, but I hesitated because i'm clearly a lot less experienced and dindn't fancy starting a somewhat tangential discussion. But f*ckit, i'm having a slow day at work and disagree with you.

But at the very least you can't get a f*cking baglock with a base rig, no chance of a 2 out entanglement, less chance of losing the brake lines on opening and a better canopy (possibly vented - god knows, maybe a fractionally faster opening might save someone one day). You could say that a freepacked canopy negates the baglock possibility, but there's still a 'surplus to requirements' reserve and you're using gear that is NOT made for the job. Chances are that people also take much better care of their base gear than that sh*tty old rig and canopy they brought to BD because they anticipate a swim. That shouldn't be the case, but probably is.

Jump whatever you want, but if there is base specific gear available, it should f*cking well be used on super high profile jumps like this.

---------------------------------------
Ex-University of Bristol Skydiving Club
www.skydivebristoluni.com

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I acknowledge that, I'm not disputing the fact and i agree it has nothing to do with this incident.

However, I do not agree with the comment further up (base rigger's one) that there is absolutely nothing wrong with using skydiving gear on this object, properly rigged or not - especially on high profile jumps (obviouly not in reference to this particular jump, but to bridge day in general).

Sorry, it should really have been in a seperate thread. I was simply commenting on the lax (imho) gear requirements - following on from other's comments on the currency requirements.

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Ex-University of Bristol Skydiving Club
www.skydivebristoluni.com

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Mikki, I said "somewhat" safe. I agree with you though. At BD, I saw a lot of people having off headings, going head down, and a bunch of line twists. Those all make BASE Very very dangerous especially when not jumping nice high bridges.

I guess that propper body positioning really does effect openings and heading direction.


I agree with the list and video idea. I bet if half of the people who ever made a BASE Jump were shown a video of someone all busted up or had to listen to someone talk about how BASE Jumping made them physically impared in some manner, they might second think things.

As far as gear, I really wouldn't want to jump sky diving gear at DB unless it was a BASE canopy with the tail pocket, line mod, and mesh slider free packed into the container. They do mandate the longer bridal and larger pilot chutes at BD.

But I did see a lot of people jumping sky diving gear and old gear at that. I saw this older guy jumping what looked like an old canvas back pack compared to modern gear.

As far as not being a BASE Jumper, I am not one either but... I have spent the past three years learning about BASE because once I am done with college I plan to complete my AFF and focus on BASE skills that will be needed. So is my two cents irrevelant? I feel not since I am far more educated about some of these issuse then the Wuffo who has never made sky dive that was just standing on the bridge spectating. I am getting two engineering degrees and hope to land a job with one of the major gear or equipment manufactures.

So you can take my posts as you wish.


DBR

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From watching the WOWK-TV footage, and reading the witnesses reports, there doesn't seem to be much speculation about pilotchute in tows, hard pulls etc.......

He exits at 18.5s on the video.......
The announcer first calls "PITCH!" at 23.5s, then again at 24, 25 and 26s.......and the crowd has a universal intake of breath at 27.5s.......if he hadn't thrown out by the last call of "pitch", which was 7.5s after exit (which I think was close to what Bill Legg did, but he lucked out) then he had little hope.

I do agree that a certain level of currency and/or training for this type of high profile jump as well as skydive numbers should be considered, but how do you tell a man who did one of the first ever BASE jumps that he can't participate in this kind of event?? I read that JB gave this man some training before this jump - if this is the case, then I think as much was done as was necessary - he knew the risks involved and knew he was on his own when he stepped up.

Full props to him for coming back after being one of the first to ever realise the possibilities of parachuting from things not airborne, and having the drive to come back and re-live that moment of his history.......

Fly on........


Hobbes: "How come we play 'War' and not 'Peace'?"
Calvin: "Too few role models."

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I was at the top in the jumpers area, and saw the entire incident from exit to impact. I have also reviewed video from several angles, shot by both jumpers and bystanders.

The following is my personal analysis of the accident, and should not be construed as an official statement of any kind, by any person or group.

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Jumper had his pilot chute in his right hand at launch. The launch was unstable and in a standing position. He rotated backward from launch. He brought both of his hands together and transfered the pilot chute into his left hand. He tumbled in this position for approximately 8 seconds, completing approximately 1 full backward rotation, after which the pilot chute deployed and inflated. It is unclear if he threw the pilot chute, or if it was extracted from his hands by relative wind. The container opened, and the canopy reached line stretch but did not achieve inflation. High speed impact occured at 8.5 seconds.


-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I keep seeing this reference to L-7.
The Lumbar "L" vertebrae only go up to "5."
"T" go to 12, and "C" go to 7.

FJ

>>Physicians use a code to number each of the 24 vertebrae in the spine. The low back officially begins with the lumbar region of the spine directly below the cervical and thoracic regions and directly above the sacrum. The lumbar vertebrae, L1-L5, are most frequently involved in back pain because these vertebrae carry the most amount of body weight and are subject to the largest forces and stresses along the spine. <<

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