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TomAiello

Fatality: Twin Falls, Idaho, April 10, 2007

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Press report here.

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BASE jumper dies
Man's chute didn't open before landing
By Cassidy Friedman
Times-News writer
TWIN FALLS - An unidentified man was killed BASE jumping off the Perrine Bridge on Tuesday afternoon when his parachute did not open and he landed on the southeast bank.

At 4:46 p.m., someone called Southern Idaho Regional Communications to report the accident.

The jumper had alerted dispatchers, according to protocol, that he would be BASE jumping from the bridge, according to Nancy Howell, spokeswoman for the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office. At that time, sustained 24 mph winds were clocked at Joslin Field, Magic Valley Regional Airport, with 30 mph gusts - the windiest day since Feb. 23.

No laws prohibit jumping from the Perrine Bridge when weather conditions are severe.

Twin Falls Sheriff deputies are leading the investigation.

Deputies examined the scene and an Audi station wagon bearing Massachusetts plates and a parachutists' association bumper sticker that was parked in the visitor center's parking lot.




The jumper's family and friends have been notified.

No jumper has yet examined the gear, but it appears that this was a closed container impact. The coroner told me that the pilot chute appeared to be fully extracted and unrestrained. Winds yesterday were both very high and turbulent (so much so that initially local jumpers refused to believe this was a BASE accident, because none of us could imagine that anyone would have been jumping in these conditions). My best speculation is that the strong, turbulent tailwind blew the PC or bridle into some kind of entanglement with the jumper when he pitched, but that is largely conjecture, based on my conversation with the coroner and reports from spectators (that the parachute never deployed), both of which sources lack any technical expertise or familiarity with parachute systems.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Well there goes the rather slim hopes for a fatality free 2007 in TF. I still can't believe that anyone would have jumped yesterday. The winds were beyond unjumpable; they were down right hazerdous. There were gusts yesterday as high as 50 mph, along with non stop 25+ gusty winds. I can't fathom why anyone would have jumped in those conditions. :(

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I'm not sure if how this represents actual conditions at the bridge since this report is for for the general township.



The bridge is usually one of the windiest places in town, especially out at the exit point, where the canyon can channel winds.

At my house, which is in a quite protected part of town (lots of other buildings and big trees), the windows were rattling all day yesterday.

Data from the Perrine Bridge NOAA station (which is located in the parking lot of the visitors' center) is available on-line here, and records winds of 17-23 mph at the time the 911 call was placed.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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From the weather station in the visitor's center parking lot:

Weather Conditions for ITD08
Current time: April 11, 2007 - 8:29 MDT
Most Recent Observations at April 11, 2007 - 7:45 MDT 7:45
Max since Midnight Min since Midnight 24 Hour Max 24 Hour Min
Temperature 31.3° F 34.7 at 0:25 28.2 at 6:45 46.9 at 16:45 28.2 at 6:45
Dew Point 23.6° F 23.6 at 7:45 20.2 at 0:25 31.0 at 8:45 18.3 at 18:45
Relative Humidity 73% 78 at 4:45 55 at 0:25 78 at 4:45 32 at 16:25
Wind Speed 1 mph from ESE 14 at 1:25 0 at 7:25 24 at 13:45 0 at 7:25
Wind Gust 2 mph 17 at 1:25 0 at 7:25 40 at 13:45 0 at 7:25
Weather conditions unknown prcp - - - -

40mph - Come on - WTF. And with all due respect to the decedent - Tree has every right to be frustrated.
- Harvey, BASE 1232
TAN-I, IAD-I, S&TA

BLiNC Magazine Team Member

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You might be the next, and there will be another jerkoff who will write this about you



The beauty of BASE: when you fuck up, everybody gets to piss on your grave and watch the video in slow-mo over and over again. Carnage tape is due for re-edit.

Don't fuck up!

bsbd!

Yuri.

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The List has been updated . . .

NickD
BASE 194





the other day a jumper asked me i i'd jumped "off" anything recently and i said "no" but i've walked down or away from a large handfull of things because of the wind.

and the other jumper with him said "smart, that's how you stay alive in BASE!" (the other jumper is an extremely famous skydiver/BASE jumper)

I learned the hard way through 3 "wind" experiences. i took the third to make me look at myself and really stop worrying about my jump numbers and worry more about what the wind does to your pilot chute/bridle set up!
and even if that works (PC set-up) you also have to make it to the right landing area.

WIND SUX! i'm really sorry that this poor soul died doin' somethin' he and we all luv.[:/]

please respect the wind. even on a bridge! i've had a really bad experiences on a couple of a diffenen't bridges. alot lower and lot's of stuff and "fangs" around.

later
NPS SUX ASS

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Just to set the record straight:

wind induced bridle entanglement is a pure speculation.

wind conditions recorded by the local station:

http://raws.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/roman/meso_base_past.cgi?stn=ITD08&unit=0&time=LOCAL&day1=10&month1=04&year1=2007&hour1=17

Tabular Listing: April 9, 2007 - 16:00 through April 10, 2007 - 17:00 MDT Time(MDT) Temperature Dew Relative Wind Wind Wind Quality Weather
Point Humidity Speed Gust Direction check conditions
╟ F ╟ F % mph mph
16:45 46.9 18.6 32 17 23 SSW OK unknown prcp
16:25 46.8 18.5 32 18 23 WSW OK unknown prcp


accident was called in at 16.46 - winds seem to be a perfect crosswind from jumper left to right gusting at 23 on the bridge ground level.

3 seconds of freefall yields 61mph of vertical speed
4 seconds yields 72 mph of vertical speed.

the wind was perfectly jumpable. Some may agrue that it was not "safely" landable. but this was not a landing accident.


RIP. we will miss you.

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>>wind induced bridle entanglement is a pure speculation.<<

Granted, but regardless, all five Perrine Bridge fatalities, including this one, involved pilot chute problems.

And that has "trend" written all over it.

So the real question is why?

NickD :)BASE 194

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Darwin has claimed another. :(



You might be the next, and there will be another jerkoff who will write this about you



that jerkoff will likely be me...

Why people are so senstve is totally beyond me, them basketball chicks did look like prostitutes!

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tly jumpable. Some may agrue that it was not "safely" landable. but this was not a landing accident.


RIP. we will miss you.



kinda. i would jump if it was a head/tailwind upriver or down, but not if the wind blows accross the canyon. i cant remember what way it faces, i think the bridge is staight at about, 030 degrees? i just remember the sun rising close to directly facing normal exit side.

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>>Why people are so senstve is totally beyond me<<

I notice it too.

Really, I'm not trying to be insensitive, but the way we dealt with these things in the past is nothing like nowadays. Maybe it's a defense mechanism, but now it's so many prayers and condolences, when it used to be we'd just sit and snicker, "better him than me . . ."

Two ways of doing the same thing, I suppose . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Yeah, guilty as charged. But it still sucks . . .

I'm just like everyone else now. More so when it's someone I knew.

It used to be, when the sport was smaller, I knew everyone. And those were the toughest days of doing the List.

Now it's impossible, but the distance (not personally knowing everyone) is somewhat of a saving grace, and the only thing that allows me to continue the List.

However, the best favor we could all do each other is just stop dying . . .

Sometimes I think when I finally turn the List over to someone else; maybe it shouldn't be a jumper at all. It will just ruin too many of their days . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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You get sensitive when you put a real face on the name in the accident report



some do. many do not.

people feeling sensitive may have witnessed the jump, may have known the jumper very well, or may not be prepared for the harsh realities of the sport...

amazingly simple things continue to kill. it matters not whom you are.

many jumpers use accidents to think through many scenarios and determine if they themselves are properly prepared. no one wants to be next on "The List."

unfortunately, this can interfere with grieving. as death is nothing new to this sport, the best advice to those in grief: avoid this forum. you can control your own behavior far easier than you can control that of others...

RIP
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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what way was the wind going? this pic is north-oriented from google earth.



It was pretty much a tailwind all day. The flags on Blue Lakes were all pegged straight out.

I don't think the conditions were decently landable. I do think that the exit and deployment would have been quite doable if you did a full floater, but I don't think a forward facing exit in these conditions would be a very good idea. I don't think anyone knows what sort of exit was performed by this jumper.

The real problem with the conditions yesterday was the massive turbulence. We had gusts rising and falling 15 mph from the average in a matter of seconds. It was not a good day to be flying a parachute, but since our best information is that this was a closed container at impact, that makes pretty much no difference to the outcome in this case.

Let me repeat that my speculation about bridle entanglement was just that--speculation. Hence my use of the words "speculation" and "conjecture" in that paragraph of my original post. Absent someone coming forward with video or photographs of the accident, which seems exceedingly unlikely at this point, we will never know exactly what happened. Bridle wrap, late pull, container lock, pilot chute constriction...the list of potential malfunctions that conform to the established fact pattern is quite long.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Wind was a tailwind, all day. I crossed the bridge 3 different times yesterday and the wind was the same all day long. 20+ all days, with gusts as high as 40 to 50. There is no "perfect" crosswind at this bridge, as a crosswind is the worst conditions that you can jump in at this object. Crosswind creates the absolute worst condition of a giant swiriling eddy of turbulent gusting winds in the canyon.

The freefall delay chart is meaningless since you don't know the delay taken, and I can count on 1 hand the number of 4 sec delays I've seen taken here. Is it more likely that a newer jumper took a shorter (1 or 2 sec) delay or a longer delay under the pressure of very bad conditions?

How can you call the wind perfectly jumpable when you were not here? There are a lot of very experienced jumpers who live right here, and I would be willing to bet that none of them would have called yesterday's conditions "perfectly jumpable". Sketchy at best is probably the best description you will here.

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