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agentsmith413

This is why we track away

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWUSi9luLIA&feature=player_detailpage#t=86s

Very close call. I have no clue why this person didn't track away. Fortunately no one was hurt.

P.S. this isn't my video but i thought it might make an interesting discussion assuming this isn't a re-post.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, all used up, and loudly proclaiming: Wow, what a ride!

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From the video's description:

"The plan was for everyone to break off/backslide at 4500, and I was going to pull in place at 4 grand. That was the plan...lol"

This isn't the world's greatest plan, but it's not necessarily an awful plan if - and only if - everyone's in the formation as expected at breakoff time (well, except for the "backslide" part - whatever happened to a good solid track?).

Where it fails miserably is in the (not unlikely) scenario where everyone is not in the formation (or at least on level) at breakoff time.

It's hard for me to tell whether the guy in grey/black who is on level is the one who had planned to pull in place, or whether the guy in shorts who goes low is the one who had planned to pull in place, since BOTH of them appear to have pulled at or very near the center of the formation. :S

Either way, I think you need a Plan B that says if someone's low, the "pull in place" plan is scrapped and everyonetracks away at the assigned breakoff altitude.

And tracking > backsliding.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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From the video's description:

"The plan was for everyone to break off/backslide at 4500, and I was going to pull in place at 4 grand. That was the plan...lol"

This isn't the world's greatest plan, but it's not necessarily an awful plan if - and only if - everyone's in the formation as expected at breakoff time (well, except for the "backslide" part - whatever happened to a good solid track?).

Where it fails miserably is in the (not unlikely) scenario where everyone is not in the formation (or at least on level) at breakoff time.

It's hard for me to tell whether the guy in grey/black who is on level is the one who had planned to pull in place, or whether the guy in shorts who goes low is the one who had planned to pull in place, since BOTH of them appear to have pulled at or very near the center of the formation. :S

Either way, I think you need a Plan B that says if someone's low, the "pull in place" plan is scrapped and everyonetracks away at the assigned breakoff altitude.

And tracking > backsliding.



Absolutely! I always have a plan b when doing jumps because i'm a bigger guy and still don't have lots of experience and have a tendency to go low. I always make sure people i'm jumping with know this and plan accordingly.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, all used up, and loudly proclaiming: Wow, what a ride!

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It's hard for me to tell whether the guy in grey/black who is on level is the one who had planned to pull in place, or whether the guy in shorts who goes low is the one who had planned to pull in place, since BOTH of them appear to have pulled at or very near the center of the formation.



Can't say for sure, but my money would be on the 'star' of the video being the guy who was supposed to pull in place. That's the guy the camera flyer goes to, and the two-way that everyone tries to get in on, so I would figure that he's the guy that was supposed to pull in place (and have the deployment on video).

The 'offender' here went low, and I'm betting lost track of the formation. When he got to pull altitude, he just pulled. I'll also add that you might take note that the guy who went low was the only guy not wearing a baggy, freefly type jumpsuit, he was wearing shorts. Big surprise he went low.

There's a 'slight' chance that he tried to track, and just went in a circle, but in either case he was ill-preparred for the jump.

The plan to backslide at break off was a big mistake. Most jumpers are not able to backslide on-level and in a straight line. It's a skill in itself, and not something you can just 'put your legs up' and do.

Beyond that, the skill level of all the jumpers was suspect, either due to low time or lack of RW skills (remember all the freefly suits?). One thing people need to keep in mind is that your skills are your skills, no matter how bad you want to be on a jump. Often times a 'special' jump, like a milestone, or a sunset big-way will have all sorts of people wanting to participate, but the only ones who know the jump is 'special' are the jumpers. Gravity and the reaper don't know one jump from the other.

I was on a simialr jump when I had about 100 jumps. It was a 4 way with three guys who had about 40 or 50 jumps each. They were all cops who started jumping together, and the 4 of us were doing some weekday jumps early in the season.

Carbon copy of this jump, good three way with one guy going low. Right at break-off, we all backslid a few feet, and as we turned to track a canopy shot up between us. There was maybe an 8 ft space the canopy went through. The closest jumper went unstable for a second, then regained stability and continued to turn and track.

After opening, I looked to count canopies, and when I saw the 'low man' he was above us and spinning. As he spiraled lower, I could see he was limp in the harness and his canopy was damaged. He continued to spiral until impact and was saved by his 'old school' Bell motorcycle helmet and landing in a very soft, very wet field off the end of the runway. This was in early March just after the spring thaw and the ground was saturated, the same ground was rock hard a month later.

It turns out there was contact between the jumper across from me, and the opening canopy and the jumper himself, damaging the canopy and knocking the jumper out. The jumper across from me actually broke his arm, but didn't realize this until after we had landed, administered aid to the downed jumper, waited for EMS and the helo, and loaded his buddy up. Only then did the remaining EMS workers take a look at the arm and take him in for x-rays.

The jumper who opened low suffered severe brain damamge and will live the rest of his life with greatly diminshed mental capacity. He is unable to work or hold a job. He did return to the DZ about 5 years later for a visit, and he didn't recognize anyone and talking to him was like speaking to a mentally retarded person.

Be careful out there. Stick to break off plans, maintain eye contact with your group, and jump within your abilities, only pushing them when all others involved are qualified to so. Never go on a 'new-to-you' jump with anyone who is also 'new' to that type of jump.

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For the most part we keep the break off altitude as planned and if im the low guy i'll keep an eye on the group at all times. I'll usually stay to the outside so i can get a good view of where everyone is the whole time. I'm usually not so low that they'll lose site of me but just low enough to not be in the formation. I just make sure the group knows what i plan on doing should i go low.

Maybe it's not exactly a "Plan B" but we know what to expect and plan accordingly. That being said, to stay safe i never do a jump where someone pulls in place unless it's on a 2 way. Anything more can just cause problems IMHO
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, all used up, and loudly proclaiming: Wow, what a ride!

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It's hard for me to tell whether the guy in grey/black who is on level is the one who had planned to pull in place, or whether the guy in shorts who goes low is the one who had planned to pull in place, since BOTH of them appear to have pulled at or very near the center of the formation.



Can't say for sure, but my money would be on the 'star' of the video being the guy who was supposed to pull in place. That's the guy the camera flyer goes to, and the two-way that everyone tries to get in on, so I would figure that he's the guy that was supposed to pull in place (and have the deployment on video).


it was the featured jumpers 200th jump, there's a longer more complete video version out there. It's been posted here previous.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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Jump number 48 last year. Happens very quick and I didn't realize how bad it could have been till I saw the video. I'm the guy in red and black jumpsuit. Other Guy lost alti awareness and thought he was way low and pulled at 5500 feet right under me. Feet slid cross his canopy. I'm at 168 jumps now and thankful to still be able to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-2Ej5ZoLMU

edited to fix url

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Lots of mistakes, but when you are inexperienced and just getting started, you just don't know what you don't know and that can get you and your friends killed.

This can be a very unforgiving sport and it really pays to ask and seek out the advise of someone that you trust when advancing to something a little new and different. Little things that you wouldn't think are important can kill you. Too many rules and recommendations have been written in blood.
Dano

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That jump was all experienced jumpers except me and the guy that deployed under me. He (one that almost killed me) had more jumps than I did at the time and jump was organized by competent organizer. As you say a lowtimer like myself didn't know enough to keep an eye on the other guy. It's like riding my Harley your more likely to get killed by the other driver not just cruising around and not showboating.

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That jump was all experienced jumpers except me and the guy that deployed under me. He (one that almost killed me) had more jumps than I did at the time and jump was organized by competent organizer. As you say a lowtimer like myself didn't know enough to keep an eye on the other guy. It's like riding my Harley your more likely to get killed by the other driver not just cruising around and not showboating.



Riding a motorcycle is a great analogy. Pretend that you are invisible and everyone is out to get you. There is a big target on your back.
Dano

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That jump was all experienced jumpers except me and the guy that deployed under me. He (one that almost killed me) had more jumps than I did at the time and jump was organized by competent organizer. As you say a lowtimer like myself didn't know enough to keep an eye on the other guy. It's like riding my Harley your more likely to get killed by the other driver not just cruising around and not showboating.



One preventative thing that I like to do is to ask the organizer to discuss the "if you go low" plan. Many organizers bring it up, but if they don't, I'll try to prompt them to bring it up, particularly if it's a new group jumping together or if there are some lower-time jumpers in the group. It's a nice reminder for everyone of where you should and shouldn't be if you go low.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Down where I'm from (Texas) we do SCR jumps with low-timers. Some people, in order to get them done, will just tell the low-timer to pull in place. This is why I hate that -- EVERYONE should be able to track at least somewher, and it's your responsibility as part of a group jump.

If you can't track well enough to get away from other jumpers, then you should jump with only one jumper who can track away from you.

You don't have to be awesome to get away from three other jumpers, just minimally competent. You do have to be able to move across the sky in a single, predictable direction to jump with 7 other jumpers (SCR territory). Not great, but single direction, and actual movement.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Hah!

This sport is completely fucked.



.... and you have never been there!



Pulling under a formation at 5500 ft? No, I've never been there.

I'm not saying this is the most ridiculous/dangerous thing I've ever seen anyone do, or that it was the only data point that went into my outburst above, but I find it funny that someone with more than 50 jumps would have that little awareness of what's going on around him or her in the sky.

If you hand a fifth grader a pair of scissors and they take the scissors and jam them into the eye socket of another student you're allowed to say, "Sure you're only a fifth grader and all, but what the fuck is wrong with you?"

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I should have put a smiley face after my comment.

I was just pointing out that in our early days, we all make mistakes and look like bumbling fools as we get the hang of what becomes a passion. We all make mistakes and would be embarrassed if videos were made of all of the early jumps. I know I would and we learn and some of us get better.
Dano

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