While waiting in the loading area for the Caravan to land, I and a group of other jumpers witnessed a skydiver under a reserve canopy with his main pilot chute trailing. It was a high-wind day and the skydiver was at about 600 feet AGL. All of a sudden, the main started to inflate and it popped up next to the reserve. The skydiver was flying downwind and, to make matters worse, he made a 180-degree turn. The skydiver landed flying backward just outside the DZ property.
It is interesting how we all reacted to this event. After an interview with the skydiver, it turned out that the 180 was not his idea; it was the wind’s. He didn’t cut away the main as it began to inflate, not because he was below 1,000 feet, but because he didn’t even know what was happening behind him.
Any guess as to what the headline was in the “USPA Update” e-newsletter that came out the day before the incident? “Responding to a Pilot-Chute-In-Tow Malfunction”! Most of us were too busy to read it before the weekend. Regardless, email newsletters don’t always correspond to mishaps, and we need to keep up our skills and knowledge all the time. My two cents...
Majed Abouhatab | D-33004