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GAjumper84

Why you check your pilot chute before you exit

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I just wanted to share my experience yesterday that has me laid up in bed right now so hopefully it doesn't happen to someone else.

So yesterday I did a solo (4th jump of the day) and decided to back fly the exit for a little bit. I always check my pilot chute among other things three times on the way up. This time I don't remember checking my pilot chute before exit. I believe it got dislodged towards the end of the flight by a wingsuiter sitting behind me, but it could've been anything. Regardless the end result was a premature on my back at 160mph. The riser/lines wrapped around my right arm and tore through my shirt and skin. My entire upper arm is swollen and black. Then the opening shock hit hard enough to stretch my risers and rip the stitching out of them. This resulted in major bruising and swelling at all harness points (legs and shoulders) along with major neck pain. I was almost knocked unconscious, and had a brake fire resulting in a spin from where the stitches for the toggle stow tore on one side. Fortunately I was not knocked out completely and fixed the brake fire after about three or four spins. And this was at 9k so I had time to recover, get back to the DZ and land safely.

Anyway, I always checked my pilot chute before I exit, but I didn't on that jump (for whatever reason) and it cost me big. I just want this experience to help someone else, as I am sure it could've been worse. Hopefully this saves someone some pain. Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way.

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Glad to hear your ok. I guess every jump is a learning process? My home drop zone is Skydive City-Zhills and the planes are always packed which will be slowing down for the summer. Heal up. I am from GA and will be up there in a few weeks. What DZ were you at?

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A talon 2 with full bridle protection, a tight BOC, and a modified wide stiff tuck tab for the main flap. I know it's not the best, but I've had three riggers say it was all good to freefly along with several very experienced jumpers.
Oh and the pilot chute has a freefly PUD.

I don't even really freefly, just when I purchased the rig I told my rigger I wanted any modification possible to increase safety or close anything better.

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Quote

I believe it got dislodged towards the end of the flight by a wingsuiter sitting behind me, but it could've been anything.



I was on the other end. If you poop your handle in my leg inlet, you PC is out or half way out. I'd rather put my hand on my PC handle if I move back and there is someone behind you close inside a wing suit.

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GAjumper84

A talon 2 with full bridle protection, a tight BOC, and a modified wide stiff tuck tab for the main flap. I know it's not the best, but I've had three riggers say it was all good to freefly along with several very experienced jumpers.
Oh and the pilot chute has a freefly PUD.

I don't even really freefly, just when I purchased the rig I told my rigger I wanted any modification possible to increase safety or close anything better.

I had a similar experience years ago, having to move around too much in a very cramped Twin Otter. Good advice from you. I make sure to not only check my handle, but will cover it with my hand as much as possible while moving around and lining up in the door. :)

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It is also possible to press one of those hard plastic handles up inside the pouch. No handle at pull time can get exciting as well. I got off easier than you did, but you're right....Check those handles.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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A late friend of mine used to yell '' have a good skydive ladies and gentlemen, check you handles please!'' just before the door was to be opened every time he was on a load. There should be one of him on every load.

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Update time for educational purposes on the consequences of overlooking something in skydiving.

So if you read the first post, there was a good deal of bruising and soreness. That all went away. Found a cracked rib that is starting to feel better. The only lasting injury was where the lines/riser tightened down around my arm. It severely toe my tricep, which they almost did surgery on it. I am currently rehabbing it, but they say the muscle will never be back to 100%.

Keep in mind that prematures in freefly from poor gear management or jumping gear that's not freefly friendly could result in similar injuries or worse. We always hear prematures hurt, but they can be life threatening.

Be safe everyone! And I'll be back in the sky in a few more weeks myself.

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Hang in there my Ga friend. I know it can happen to any of us. I have learned from your post to really pay attention. Last weekend I was checking my gear while a student behind me kept bumping and rubbing against my back. I guess I did it enough that another instructor that seen me keep checking leaned over checked my gear and assured me everything was fine. I didn't even have to say anything. I am not paranoid I am just aware and even more now. We do have to look out for one another.

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The same thing happened to me six months ago also on a solo Sitfly Jump. broke my Left femur, my right hip and three ribs......I also usually check my gear religiously as I am a paraplegic. Video Link below......you certainly don't want this happening to you
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QZV_KkVLdbA
all that is gold does not glitter
not all those who wander
are lost!

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