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TomAiello

Fatality, Twin Falls, Idaho, 3 November 2006

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I'd like to recommend that we continue discussion about this fatality within this thread at this point. Perhaps there's still more we can learn from J.

The other thread should be allowed to drift down and off the board. The points have been made thoroughly, yet we still miss our friend. It's getting less than productive as the contentiousness continues.

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Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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Fair point. This thread is more appropriate for my question.

In the other thread i commented

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but the facts being revealed might mean the difference to someone else.



to which you replied


***I don't see why. The lesson that you keep track of all your tools is valid whether it was part of this 'specific' fatality or not. And that lesson has been stated a few times./***

It won't make a difference to the deceased, i agree, but whether it was an unintentional bridle wrap brought about by poor body position upon deployment, or a restrictive packing tool preventing pilot chute inflation,it will make a difference to a lot of others. Here's just two reasons which you fail to see.

1. Other jumpers (righly or wrongly) just notch this up as a stupid, utterly avoidable death OR are reminded of the fact that body position on deployment (even on a nice big bridge over water) is crucial to avoid entanglement and death. This is particularly pertinent as this bridge is probably the biggest practice ground for and biggest magnet for under-experienced jumpers doing aerials in the world.

2. Family get some answers as to why their loved one lost his life (believe it or not most grieving families want to know exactly why) so they can get "closure".


You may not see it, but it does make a difference.

In response to Tom who answered my question in the other thread and revealed that no pull-up was discovered by the sheriff/coroner on the deceased, which in itself indicates that he didn't remove it from the pilot chute and account for it, THANKS for a simple answer to a very simple and i think relevent question.

If a pull up was used at the exit point to stow the pilot chute, and it's not found in his pockets or jacket, or under the flap of his rig or in the rig stash bag, then it means it somehow managed to disappear between exit point and impact.

It is entirely feasible that the pull-up cord was bound around the cap but not knotted or secured, and restricted the pilot chute's effectiveness for long enough to prevent inflation prior to impact, before being dislodged by the building pressure/airspeed and then floating down wind.

This could explain the various accounts from various witnesses of whether the pilot chute inflated.

Whether the pull up was the cause of death or not, it is a technique which absolutely should not be used, PERIOD. BASE resides in an environment of stress, fear, fatigue, and distraction and we are not infallible beings. Factoring in our propensity to fuck up (regardless of age, experience and natural ability) in such an environment is crucial if we want to increase our chances of survival.

Counting tools is not the best solution here. Using techniques which render the counting of tools unnecessary is.

Besides, pull up cords or bungees are not like clamps. They're transient and nomadic.They drift around, they get lost, they accumulate for no real reason. You find ones in old jackets you forgot about. You find one in the landing area and pop it in your pocket. This could be the one you think you just removed as you get ready to climb over the rail.


ian

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I now understand your point that the specifics might matter to Joey's friends and family specifically - for me, it doesn't, a friend is gone

regardless of my point that the lessons learned are basic and clear and applicable for everyone and they should be paid attention with or without a recent applicable incident to 'hammer it home' (it's sad that some observers would blow off the lessons unless something dramatic happens to bring them to light)

nice summary thanks:

body position
keep track of your tools
body position
and
body position

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Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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Don't forget to add a good solid throw of the PC to your list.



yeah, I hate my computer



:D

one thing though, i just want to make sure i am getting this all, i dont feel like readin all the posts in this thread.

please confirm that cause of impact IS PC being tied up by pull up cord, failure to extract pins and canopy on time.

there was some bridal wrap talk earlier.

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You know, you should just read the thread and draw your own conclusions. At least for now. I think the pullup cord thing {edit} can't be explicitly decided based on what I've read here and what I know about J but some could draw some very good lessons learned from the potential regardless. It seems likely to me, but the perfect proof would be the thing wrapped on the bridle as the crash site still {end of edit}

The head low, wrapped bridle around feet thing, though, isn't getting any flak from both people on site or those that knew him.

Take the basics as the experienced guys above noted: good body position, definitive PC toss,

as far as tool tracking, that's good to know regardless of whether it applies here (as far as lessons learned are concerned)

Edit: Because people are really freakin' literal and need to draw inferential conclusions to sleep at night.

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Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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pullup cord thing is WAY premature based on what I've read here



The following was posted in the incidents forum:

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From viewing the photos, my conclusion is that there was a restrictive device of some kind tied around the pilot chute.

The PC is clearly in a fully extended position (at bridle stretch, with mesh fully extended) but with the ZP gathered in a tight bundle, and can be seen towing behind the jumper in this position in two photos shot in sequence, with around 100 feet of freefall between them. Under digital enhancement, a bit of orange color can be seen trailing beside the black ZP (the pull up cord that the jumper used repacking his PC at exit was orange).


The bums will never win Lebowski, the bums will never win!
Enfin j'ai trouvé:
Bieeeen

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I know, (but thanks) keep reading all three threads and you can draw your own conclusions. No one says we all have to agree on the causes, just so we take the lessons learned and do it better in our future.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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one thing though, i just want to make sure i am getting this all, i dont feel like readin all the posts in this thread.

please confirm that cause of impact IS PC being tied up by pull up cord, failure to extract pins and canopy on time.

there was some bridal wrap talk earlier.



In the incident forum Tom posts that he saw the still photos taken by a tourist on the overlook and can see a bit of orange on the pc with it restricted.

Joe was packing his pc with an orange pull-up cord.

I'd say that is reasonably conclusive.


eidt cause I clicked too fast

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I know, (but thanks) keep reading all three threads and you can draw your own conclusions. No one says we all have to agree on the causes, just so we take the lessons learned and do it better in our future.



What it basically boils down to is two conflicting positions from the eyewitnesses, one of which is supported by photographic evidence. To accept the other eyewitness position wuld be foolhardy IMO. Video/stills is always better than "This is what I saw."
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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Drawing conclusions is great if that's what it takes for you to deal with it. Learning lessons and applying them is what works for me, instead. And many of these fatalities it still ends up with the basics. So practice the basics.

a good thing to spin off of this is the bad practices thread -

pissing over this specific comment is pointless - if it makes about 3 people feel better, I'll go back and delete the word WAY from in front of premature.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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pissing over this specific comment is pointless - if it makes about 3 people feel better, I'll go back and delete the word WAY from in front of premature.



Its not about that. It sometimes see to me that the people who pick and choose what to believe about an incident (whether because of 'he wouldn't do that' or any other reason) are less likely to really examine the issues that lead to the incident. I feel that being clear on what happened is usually a solid first step in learning from it.
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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people who pick and choose what to believe about an incident (whether because of 'he wouldn't do that' or any other reason)



everybody 'picks and chooses' and most have good reasons. That they disagree with you doesn't automatically put their observations and reasonings in question. Nor does it mean they don't learn from it. There's two types of data - direct and inferential. Both can be learned from. People have a disturbing habit of claiming 'fact' from inferential. This is my only issue. I have no clue as to Joey's packing habits and am infering nothing from it. Only the video clues reported 2nd hand, that they need zoom and video edit to see the "bit of orange", the missing cord, etc are very suspect but not direct. So they have more risk involved in actually making a direct claim of causality. (Frankly, it sounds to me that the cord is an issue, but the original poster in this bit of string asked if it was the "Cause of impact" in effect - he glossed over the bridal wrapup - and that he had no time to draw his own conclusion - that was lazy, oversimplified, and I see a lot more going on than just a single packing error)

What happens if someone fesses up they borrowed the cord right before the jump and have it in hand - then you'd choose not to learn about PC packing techniques better? Now I'd think that's goofy.

Just because someone applies a different standard of risk based on the directness of the evidence from you doesn't mean their logic is based on emotion or lack of reason. I'll stop with this one, we're making little progress here.

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Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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Naaaah
I was prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt but I think you're just stirring here. I had been following the threads from the beginning when you told me to go back and read the rest.

You wrote
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Only the video clues reported 2nd hand, that they need zoom and video edit to see the "bit of orange", the missing cord, etc are very suspect but not direct.



Tom wrote
Quote

I helped the Sheriff's office with the gear and accident analysis today, and had a chance to look at some 35mm photos shot by a tourist on the overlook.



While I do feel we should wait a little before jumping to any conclusions I am just struggling to understand what you are on about. You are even cracking jokes in a thread discussing the death of a friend of yours. What is your agenda, Bill?
The bums will never win Lebowski, the bums will never win!
Enfin j'ai trouvé:
Bieeeen

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Some very cropped photos (pretty much just the jumper and PC), as well as my analysis of the (full) photos and my report on the gear, are attached.

Apologies for the low quality of these images. I had to reduce them quite a bit to size them for attachment on these forums.

If anyone wants better quality images, feel free to email or PM me with an address where you can receive approximately 5mb worth of attachments. The electronic versions I have are still not full quality (they are scans made from the prints the sheriff investigator had, rather than the very large and detailed files that were created from the 35mm negatives, and which I do not have in my possession).
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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They say a picture paints a thousand words. That pilot chute is clearly restricted from the offset.

I see this jumper was in the habit of reaching up in anticpation of his risers extending, which i know is very popular and has it's pros and cons. Does anyone feel that returning to box after pitching might counter the tendency to go head down in such an event and therefore lesson the chance of a bridle entanglement with the legs.


ian

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I find reaching for risers causes me to start to move head high, but I also start to transition into a standing position when doing so. It's a habit from acrobatic training that I don't see any reason to change. However before I started training, the same thing happened to a lesser degree. If the opposite is true for you it just might be a dependent upon the individual.
A waddling elephant seal is the cutest thing in the entire world.
-TJ

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The head high attitude is something i have observed too. However, in this instance, the deploying canopy didn't happen and so the jumper would then have experienced something quite unusual and unique - a prolonged moment in this inherently unstable position with no extended arms to create drag on the upper half of his torso. Combined with perhaps the slightest resistance from the pilot chute pulling at the bottom of the container, is it unreasonable to assume he would then naturally have been pitched head down and then had a leg wrap with the bridle.

Of course this is supposition but the purpose of this is to try to learn from this incident. I'm starting to think that the hands to the deploying risers is all well and good when the canopy deploys as anticipated, BUT should you experience a serious hesitation or an in tow, you're prone to serious instability when compared to returning to the boxman.

Of course we will never know whether the drag created by the un-inflated PC was ever going to be enough to pop the pins (or peel the velcro) but one thing is for sure. Once that bridle became entangled with a limb, those chances were seriously reduced.

No disrespect intended to anyone here. I just wonder if it's something you riser gropers might ponder? Consider and dismiss by all means, but i think it's at least worth considering.

ian

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...a prolonged moment in this inherently unstable position with no extended arms to create drag on the upper half of his torso.



I've experienced a noticeable (3/4 second, perhaps) PC hesitation with my hands reaching for the risers, without my body position suffering unduly (when I then reached back and got my hand on the bottom of the shrivel flap, my body position was pretty much shot, but there you go...)
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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What is your agenda, Bill?



It was a fair discussion until you crossed that line, this is unwarranted and not productive. I'm done.

Tom - thanks for posting the analysis and pictures. No surprises there, I hope people learn from it.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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If anyone wants better quality images, feel free to email or PM me with an address where you can receive approximately 5mb worth of attachments. The electronic versions I have are still not full quality (they are scans made from the prints the sheriff investigator had, rather than the very large and detailed files that were created from the 35mm negatives, and which I do not have in my possession).


Here are the higher resolution images Tom mentioned...

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/MikeAR303/Miscellaneous/TF_Fatality/01.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/MikeAR303/Miscellaneous/TF_Fatality/02.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/MikeAR303/Miscellaneous/TF_Fatality/03.jpg

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