32 Matches (out of a total of 833 incidents)
  1. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    05/01/1997 Birdland, FL MAL 32 50 N/N    
    Description: After a Two-way with her fiancee (her second dive of the day), she was observed having difficulty with her throwout at 3500ft. She may have pulled the bridle and pin. Both she and the witness lost altitude awareness as she was working with the problem. Before impact, the horseshoe malfunction cleared, but the main openned into a streamer. There was no attempt to pull any emergency handles. Upon seeing the deceased impact, the witness deployed his main at 300-500ft. The rig was a Relative Workshop Wonderhog, which was inspected and found to be airworthy. It did, however, not have a spandex PC pouch, which are generally reguarded to prevent hard pulls, and make clearing horseshoes SOMEWHAT easier. She was on vacation in Florida, from Delaware, and had made many jumps in the previous few days.
    Lessons:An AAD would have been likely to help here. In addition, given that the witness nearly impacted himself, that AAD might have saved both of them had the situation been a little different. Horseshoe malfunctions are really intense -- you need to remember your Try-One-Try-Twice-Give-Up rule to avoid losing time/altitude awareness!
  2. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    12/01/1997 Elberta, AL CCOL 39 625 ?/N    
    Description: The collision was on the day's fourth attempt at an Alabama state record. The deceased was in the base of a planned 39 way (which did not complete). He collided with another jumper at an altitute of approximately 150 - 200'. Preliminary witness statements are the deceased was above and slightly behind the other jumper's right side. The deceased made a right turn to final approach and the left side of his canopy struck the right side of the other jumper's canopy. The left side of the deceased's canopy collapsed and he spun violently into the ground, suffering massive internal injuries. He was helicoptered to the trauma center, where he died during surgery. He was jumping a Jedei 136 loaded at roughly 1.7 lb/sqft. He was also wearing a full face helmet. The other jumper's canopy did not deflate and he landed without incident.
    Lessons:On larger RW skydives, it's terribly important to be vigilant for traffic. Far better to land out than to land with less than a whole canopy. Furthermore, perhaps jumping something larger would have given him more room for error. The other jumper was jumping a 160 Triathlon loaded at 1.1lb/ft^2. Very likely, these two jumpers had very different speeds on final approach, and the deceased was forced to turn and avoid. The lower jumper does, however, have right of way. A faster canopy gives less time to react correctly to problems.
  3. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    18/01/1997 Tuskegee, AL MAL,MED? 71 15 Y/Y    
    Description: This was his 15th or 16th jump, all are beleived to have been static lines. He rolled on his back on exit, which may have helped cause a line-over malfunction. A conflicting report indicates that no line-over was present. It is suspected he may have suffered a heart attack or stroke, as no handles were pulled after this point. He was found dead on the scene. There some indications that he was a "problem" student. Conflicting reports indicate he just liked to fly the canopy around, and had been offered an AFF Level I, but had refused. The DZ was likely using Pilot Chute Assist deployment, and an FXC 12000 AAD. It was a 340sq.ft. main parachute.
    Lessons:Older students are taking a higher risk than those who are younger. Line-overs on very large canopies do not always provide a rate of decent adequate to fire an AAD. Wether or not this is a good thing is perhaps open to debate.
  4. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    07/02/1997 Titusville, FL LOWT 25 410 Y/N    
    Description: The deceased made a low 180 degree toggle turn at about 75ft. above the ground, and was completely horizontal when he hit the tarmac in front of the hanger. He died 5 hours later.
    Lessons:Don't land in a turn! He was wearing a camera helmet, though it is not known if this was a factor. [Thanks to Skydiving Magazine for this info.]
  5. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    08/03/1997 Franklin, IN BIZ?,SUI? 56 ?/N    
    Description: After a solo freefall from 8200 ft. and the deployment of an apparently OK canopy, the deceased cutaway his main canopy 100-300ft.
    Lessons:There is some possibility that an RSL might have made a difference here. Given the level of experience of the jumper, a suicide is a possibility.
  6. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    30/03/1997 Skydive Arizona, AZ LAND 32 700 ?/?    
    Description: Current reports indicate she had a rough landing, impacting feet-knees-face under a 1.2 loaded Stilletto. She was airlifted from the scene with with head injuries. She died later at the hospital of these injuries. She was wearing a leather frap hat. This was on a 100-way skydive [130-way women's record], so there were many other jumpers in the air. Winds were light with little turbulence.
    Lessons:Frap hats can concentrate the force of any impact to a smaller area, quite the opposite of the function of a protective helmet. Some rough turbulance, downdrafts or wind shear is throught to have contributed to the rough landing. On every landing, no matter how many jumps you have, you should be prepared to PLF, and stand up only when things have gone right. It takes dicipline to do this every time, but it's worth cultivating the habit.
  7. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    06/04/1997 Wilmington, DE EXC,LAND 50 ?/?    
    Description: The jumper was a member of the National Guard's Special Forces Unit. As previously reported, the winds were not stronger than expected. The officer in charge and a jumper on that demo state that the wind and weather had absolutely nothing to do with the jumpers death. The winds were less that 12 mph for the entire time and were known prior to the jump. On a demo jump into a Wilmington Minor League baseball game, the jumper impacted a horizontal cable use to support the backstop behind first base. His cutaway cable was pulled during contact with the cable and he fell from his canopy 40 feet to the ground below. The impact to the cable and the fall combined to cause his death.
    Lessons:On all jumps, expecially demos, jumpers should observe the landing area and mentally picture their canopy landing pattern and review landing contingencies well above 1000 feet. They should constantly evaluate their progress and options throughout the landing pattern and take necessary actions if required. Contrary to previous implications, this jump was not a paid jump.
  8. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    06/04/1997 Lake Wales, FL LOWT 41 305 N/N    
    Description: This jumper went over to Lake Wales to check up on his new rig ordered through the gear store there. He was heard to say he was going to make a skydive there because it was too windy at Skydive Tampa. At Lake Wales, he borrowed a demo rig from the gear store which contained a Sabre 150. The conditions at the DZ were described as windy. He was used to jumping a larger F111 7-cell, a Pegasus (220sqft). He approached the ground in a cross-to-downwind configuration, and was doubtless surprised by the speed and decent rate of the canopy. His last words were "oh shit" just before impact.
    Lessons:Exceeding ones limits, at an unfamiliar DZ, in tricky wind conditions using borrowed gear and an unfamiliar canopy: this is a classic recipie for disaster, served cold.
  9. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    13/04/1997 Superior, WI MAL 45 26 ?/N    
    Description: On the deceased first jump of the year with new gear, either the pilot chute or lines from his main parachute wrapped around his arm during deployment. The reserve was deployed at treetop level, too low for inflation. It is not known if he switched from/to ROL/BOC/Ripcord on this jump, or if he had been jumping similar gear previously. The following was written by a jumper who was on the load - I have made only minor edits. The facts are he Bob had 26 jumps and indicated before the dive that he had just jumped in Chicago. The dive was not a relative work three way as had been reported. We were testing a new camera on the dz so the cameraman left first and t hen the three of us free flew the exit and laid in a line to geek for the camera. At 4000, the deceased waved the dive off as planned. It was also planned that the deceased would dump in place after the wave off and as I turned to track I saw him reach and pull his pilot chute out of its pouch. Prior to boarding, the exit was practiced and the dive was discussed and agreed upon.
    Lessons:New gear, uncurrent, inexperienced. Multiplicative risk factors again... I wonder if he had made a jump in the last 30 days? He should have been doing a clear and pull, a static line, or perhaps an AFF Level IV -- not a 3 way with video. Currency rules exist for a reason…
  10. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    13/04/1997 Reno, NV BIZ,SUI? 46 1 N/Y?    
    Description: Details sketchy, but it appears after an okay jump from 4500 ft, the main parachute was cut away from the harness at about 100 ft, too low for the reserve to open. He had performed normally during his canopy flight, until 1000 ft when he turned downwind and ran away from the DZ. The cutaway handle was pulled, and found apart from the body. No equipment problems were found. There was no AAD on this rig, but this was not a direct contributing factor. However, almost every single DZ in the country uses AAD's on their rigs. This does not make this look like a good operation. The student was not given an alitimeter.
    Lessons:A mystery, however, not giving a student an altimeter isn't the greatest idea. Perhaps this was out of confusion, or was a suicide.
  11. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    20/04/1997 Greensburg, IN MAL 28 400 N/N    
    Description: The deceased was videoing a Level I AFF, reached back to deploy and grabbed bridle instead of handle. She waited the requisite 3 seconds for the openning shock, felt nothing, reached back and pulled more bridle, this time dislodging the pin, letting the bag out, inducing a horseshoe malfunction. Insead of throwing out her pilotchute, or cutting away, she instead fired her reserve into the main, whereupon they entangled.. The result was fatal. She had jumped 3 different rigs during the day, with both ROL and BOC pilot chutes. This was also her first jump on a new jumpsuit. In addition, it had been a rough AFF dive which had gone low to start with, she was wearing thick gloves, and she was initially trained on an SOS systems.
    Lessons:Camera jumps are not your everyday skydive. Handles can be harder to see. Practice finding and grabbing your handles in a harness with your helmet ON! Using different gear and different deployment methods is a ticket to getting yourself into exactly THIS sort of trouble. This is another textbook example of multiple factors contributing to a fatality. Concerning the SOS (single point cutaway-reserve system), perhaps in time of stress she reverted to orginal training?
  12. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    11/05/1997 Perris, CA SUI 37 3000 N/Y    
    Description: The deceased was calm in the airplane, and exitted at 4500 to do a hop and pop, following a CRW team. He told the people on the plane "there's a letter in my van" as he bailed. He was observed to be head down after exit, and flat and stable from 1500ft to the ground. All handles were in place. What was beleived to be a suicide note was found in his van. His CYPRES was turned off.
    Lessons:Please don't kill yourself skydiving -- we don't need the bad press. If you must end it all, please do it some other way. Sheesh.
  13. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    24/05/1997 Vandalia, IL MAL 23 100 Y/Y?    
    Description: During a 3-way, at about 8000, the other jumpers on the dive noticed he had his bridle out, and started pointing. Bridle may have entanged with something, and main container was probably open. No reserve pulled, but did pull easily on the ground. The rental gear was equipped with a Sentinel AAD which did not activate.
    Lessons:If you've got a problem, you've gotta do them emergency procedures! There is some indication that he did not jump frequently, definitely a SIGNIFICANT additional risk.
  14. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    30/05/1997 Cross Keys, NJ CRW 32 2000 ?/?    
    Description: While videoing a 2-way CRW jump, a wrap occured at about 4000' between the camera flyer and another dive participant. The deceased cutaway, but the slider stowed behind his head became caught on part of his camera helmet and thus his main failed to seperate. The reserve became entangled with the main and he hit the ground hard. He was alert and concious that evening, but died of internal injuries the next morning while in surgery. The deceased was taking part in as well as or videoing the CRW dive. He was likely jumping a Jedei, which is not a canopy designed for CRW. He indicated he had to deploy the reserve because lines were around his neck and he was starting to pass out.
    Lessons:While it may appear the deceased did "everything right", a slider stowed behind the head both obscures vision and can hamper a clean cutaway in the event of a canopy collision (CRW related or not.) If a camera helmet has exposed surfaces on which a line, riser, bridle or other canopy component could become snagged, it is helpful if the helmet may be cutaway. Flying a camera, particularly in CRW formations, always presents some additional hazards.
  15. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    01/06/1997 Hemet, CA LAND? 38 4794 ?/?    
    Description: The deceased was on a sunset load at around 7:00 PM, they were doing a three way out of a King Air. The rest of the load was Tandems. Everything went fine, and he had a good canopy over his head at proper altitude. At about 700' he got into severe line twists and impacted the ground around 50-70 mph. He was air-lifted out, but died on 6/6/97. He had approximately 15 jumps on this canopy, a Stilleto 150, having jumped a PD190 and PD210 for a long time. He was a test jumper in the Navy, with multiple tours of duty, and 30 days until his 20 years. . He was probably loading it somewhere between 1.35 and 1.45 lb/ft^2, a *significant* wing loading. It is not known if the line twists were self-induced or the result of rotors/turbulence/etc. He was a very experienced skydiver, tandem instructor, videographer, etc. who gave much more to the sport than he took.
    Lessons:It is possible to put heavily loaded ellipticals into line twists with extreme control inputs. Once begun, they may be impossible to resolve. (This can also happen at openning.) This is an addition risk once accepts when jumping a heavily (1.2+?) loaded elliptical, and requires extra attention to avoid. One person suggested perhaps dumping one's reserve in this situation - if you're too low to cutaway, and you're going to hit really hard anyways, more nylon will either slow you down, or collapse the remaindered of your canopy. Tough call.
  16. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    12/06/1997 Skydive Chicago, IL LOWT 44 3000 ?/?    
    Description: Witnesses said the deceased appeared to be groping for his right toggle shortly after making a 90 degree turn to final. Review of video footage from his camera shows him searching for the toggle, and slow motion review shows his hand without a toggle in it just prior to landing. After he struck the ground, he was awake and apologizing, saying he lost a toggle. It was obvious to those on the scene that he was injured badly. He passed away a few hours later in the hospital from internal injuries. This jumper was well known for bringing his dog, Pud, along on over 60 skydives. Pud was not on this load, and is being taken care of by friends and will be going home to Texas with family.
    Lessons:If you *do* lose a toggle, grabbing rear risers is perhaps a better choice of action than searching for a toggle, but either way, prepare for a pretty bad landing if you've turned to build up speed!
  17. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    22/06/1997 Greene County, OH MED 53 5 Y/Y    
    Description: This student was making a level 2 AFF skydive. He was concious at the beginning of the skydive, but during the dive stopped being responsive and had "physical problems." The JM pulled for him at 4k. He took no actions under canopy, appeared limp in the harness, and landed with the brakes still stowed. CPR was attempted, but the individual died later at a local hospital. Coroner reports the cause of death as being a massive heart attack.
    Lessons:Skydiving is stressful, if you're older, you may be taking an additional risk.
  18. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    22/06/1997 Umatilla, FL MAL? 42 7500 Y?/Y    
    Description: At the end of a normal tandem skydiver, the student pulled the ripcord at about 5500 feet. The left main riser broke, which in turn activated the reserve static line lanyard (RSL). The RSL immediately pulled the reserve ripcord cables while the right-hand main riser was still attached. The reserve pilot chute and free-bag cleared, but the reserve canopy entangled with the spinning main. The main was then cut away, but failed to clear the reserve. The student survived the landing, the JM did not. The Master 425 main was equipped Dacron with suspension lines. The type VII risers were manufactured in May 1996 and had the new heavy duty 3-rings. The rings were properly positioned during drogue fall, and appeared normal. The type VII webbing broke about 1" above the lower end; the type IV holding the small ring broke just below the grommet. Neither of the two rings from the left riser were recovered, nor was the cutaway handle or the reserve ripcord. All equipment was less than three years old and in good condition. Instructor and student total weight was about 380 pounds.
    Lessons:Perhaps a defective riser?
  19. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    29/06/1997 Pepperell, MA CCOL 28 500 N/N    
    Description: On Sunday 29 June 1997, a jumper died after he cutaway from a canopy collision which resulted in a wrap. He was obseved in a "flat and stable" body position (face to earth) until impact, failing to activate his reserve after the cutaway. We can only speculate as to WHY he did not pull his reserve, although severaly witness statements show evidence that he was not unconscious just before hitting the ground. One rumor indicates he was heard to be yelling "C'mon! C'mon!" as he went behind the trees, indicating the may have thought he had pulled all his handes. The accident happened after a 16-way RW jump from a Twin Otter exit at 13,500ft. The formation breakoff was at 4,500ft. The deceased collided with another parachute at around 2,500ft and cutaway by 2,000ft. The other jumper managed to clear the deceased's canopy, in order to find both cutaway and reserve handles, and landed the reserve without futher incident at the DZ. The deceased continued in freefall until impact in a wooded area across the river from the DZ. He did not have an AAD and his RSL was found disconnected and tucked inside the "mud flap" of his rig. After inspection of the equipment the reserve handle was found accessable, in the pocket (velcro stowed), pulled freely and the reserve activated properly.
    Lessons:If an RSL was connected, it is unclear if it would have hurt or helped -- a reserve entanglement is possible with an RSL after a canopy collision. An AAD would have likely prevented this incident. If things are going badly, always check to be SURE you've pulled everything... maybe you just tugged on your altimeter for a while... Finally, it never hurts to get DAMNED good at tracking. Good seperation after RW is the best defense to canopy collisions...
  20. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    03/07/1997 Livingston, MT LOWT,EXC 31 500 ?/?    
    Description: During a demo skydive into a Rodeo event, the deceased experienced an unsurvivable landing after executing a radical turn too close to the ground. Two other jumpers had already landed sucessfully.
    Lessons:Demos are higher stress situations, at it's harder to avoid making a mistake during a high speed approach.
  21. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    31/07/1997 Jean, NV DMAL 44 780 ?/?    
    Description: Newspaper reports indicate the deceased had some malfunction after videoing a tandem skydive, and failed to put his cutaway before his reserve. The two canopies entangled. One rumor indicates the reserve may not have openned until impact.
    Lessons:It is not known if he spent too long trying to fix the malfunction and then had no time to cutaway, if he simply failed to cutaway at all, or if there was any entanglement with the camera equipment. As mentioned before, camera dives do add stress and workload to the jumper.
  22. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    02/08/1997 Quincy, IL LAND 27 417 ?/?    
    Description: The deceased was apparently was attempting to avoid power lines during an off-dz landing when he landed on a steep, grass-covered incline on the southeast side of a pond. He broke both legs. He was helicoptered to a nearby hospital, alert and concious, but died the next morning.
    Lessons:Select your off-DZ landing site carefully. Deciding to land near a pond is a bad idea to begin with, and giving yourself fewer options can only cause trouble once you get down low and realize there's a hill, powerlines, and other obstacles in the area. Pick the widest, "opennest" area you can find, and don't sweat the walk.
  23. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    02/08/1997 Quincy, IL LOWT 58 240 ?/?    
    Description: Low turn into the side of a mobile home. Died later at hospital. From an eye witness: "I was 150 feet away packing my rig when the guy hit the camper. He was facing the wind getting ready to land at the wide open area by the end of the runway on the east side of the airport, near tent city and the RV park. At about 100 feet or a little less, he made a hard turn the other way, for some unknown reason, then tried to make a last second adjustment before slamming into the camper. We'll never understand why he did what he did, he had a huge flat stretch of field to land on ( I landed there a bunch of times), and he hooks it downwind while over the taxiway into the congested camping area." One theory says he was worried about landing on tarmac instead of grass, and this induced the panic turn.
    Lessons:Tight landing area, crowded landing area, unfamiliar landing area. Extra pressures can cause mistakes.
  24. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    06/09/1997 Skydive Rio Vista, OK MAL 41 ?/?    
    Description: He was part of a 2-way from approx. 9,500', uneventful breakoff, nothing further seen from his 2-way partner or from the ground. It appears he spent far too long trying to clear a bag lock malfunction, and initiated reserve deployment at too low an altitude to result in reserve inflation.
    Lessons:Clearing a baglock is extremely unlikely. You also are still falling at full terminal velocity. You do not have time to fix this problem. Cutaway instantly and use your reserve. You are still likely to saddle out under a grand if you pulled your main at 2k.
  25. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    28/09/1997 Taylorville, IL LOWT?,LAND? 42 4000 ?/?    
    Description: Two reports indicate a lost toggle on landing, though there is conflict as to wether a low turn (intentional or not) was involved. More firm info appreciated - particularly concerning currency, canopy, and windloading.
    Lessons:Constant vigilance. I recommend mentally drilling yourself on lost-toggle-just-before landing procedures. This is a serious, potentially fatal scenario, just as much as a malfunction up high. Perhaps drilling up high as well would be prudent, until you can quickly switch from toggles to risers and not totally stall the canopy. Though even this might be preferable to landing in a dive.
  26. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    04/10/1997 Greene County, OH NOP 45 1000 N/N    
    Description: After a 2-way he failed to pull either the main or the reserve parachute. He went in with only the cut-away pulled, all other handles still in place. (Leaving a 1 foot crater) He had a brand new rig with BOC-deployment, and no AAD. All handles were easily pulled on the ground. It seems likely he was quite uncurrent. His reserve was quite out of date (though he registered with an indate rig, he grabbed an out-of-date one for this jump). The ground imprint indicates both hands were on or very near the reserve handle at impact. A first hand report follows: "[The deceased] was never a poster child for safety, and was jumping a rig that he had 10 jumps on, probably last February in Zepherhills. I know he'd never packed it himself and was asking me if I'd help him close it after this jump. There's some confusion over the last time he jumped, and his logbook was locked in his trunk afterwards. The new rig had a BOC, and he had a new jump suit that he'd ordered extra baggy. We were going up to do some nice easy two way fun jump stuff. He had a lot of trouble getting the step in rig on and had the leg strap twisted once. On the way to altitude he asked if his helmet was ok. He had ran the strap through one hole in the buckle and velcroed it. I rerouted it and we talked about the two way. Then, on jump run, he said he wanted to break high and watch another jumper open. The other guy was going to open at 4500, and Mike wanted to see how their canopies flew. He invited me along, but I let him know I didn't think it was a good idea and passed. He was really stiff in freefall, and I had trouble pinning him. We did the planned two way, backloop by him, then another two way, three times, but you could tell he wasn't current. At 5 he was looking around frantically, like he was trying to find the other person, so I broke, flew off, took it on down to about 3 and opened. I was packing when they called head count. Those of us who have known him for a long time. are kind of surprised he lasted this long. He's had more equipment problems than everyone else I know put together. We were talking about gear and checking things out before the jump. He said, "Hell Bob, it's just like Gary Westmoreland always said, either your number's up and you're gonna die, or it isn't, so fuck it". That's a quote. I'm not ragging on the guy, [the deceased] was proud of his attitude, and he always figured one day it would get him killed."
    Lessons:An AAD would have almost certainly helped here. Sounds like the usual scenario - lack of currency, unfamiliar gear, and a lackidazical attitude. The new baggy jumpsuit probably didn't help either. Additionally, planning to "open high" and do some extra stuff on the skydive is only a ticket for trouble, adding significant workload to a simple recurrency dive. Next time you think about fussing with a problem for a "few more seconds", stop yourself and deploy, dammit!
  27. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    08/11/1997 Emerald Coast, AL AIR 30 300 ?/?    
    Description: It was mid-day and 21 jumpers were filling the aircraft for its second load of the day. A 4-way was to exit first so they were boarding last. The deceased plans were to video a solo jumper that just boarded in front of the 4-way. As they waited to board, he and the drop zone owner were carrying on a casual conversation. Apparently the DZ owner needed to tell the pilot something about refueling , the DZ owner walks from the rear of the aircraft between the fuselage and the spinning props (very dangerous). For some unknown reason as if he forgot to tell the DZ owner something , the deceaced turned and started strolled toward him. Tthere's not a lot of space between the backdoor and props on a Twin Otter, so by the time it took someone to react and yell his name it was too late. He did not walk straight into the center of the props but to the left hand side. The props struck the right side of his head and threw him forward onto the ground killing him instantly.
    Lessons:Always intentionally and conciously give an the prop of an aircraft a very, very wide birth. By conciously deciding to take this action *every* time you approach an airplane, you greatly reduce the likelyhood of carelessness. Additionally, skydiving is dangerous. You cannot let eagerness, excitement, etc. get the better of you and cause you to make errors. You don't get a second chance with props.
  28. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    20/11/1997 Pahokee, FL FFCOL 26 250 N/?    
    Description: Freefall collision, body found in a sugar cane field about 10 days after the accident. The collision was between a sitflyer and a headdown jumper.
    Lessons:An AAD would have very likely prevented this fatality. The ability rapidly and significantly make fallrate changes is something which makes Sit/Free flying fun. It also adds some risk. Be careful.
  29. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    23/11/1997 Quincy, FL FFCOL 40 3500 N/?    
    Description: It was a rough and tumble AFF jump with two jumpmasters. THe deceased was flung off of the formation, which continued to funnel. The other JM decided to dump the student out. Unfortuantely, the deceased collided with the PC, Bag or canopy and broke his neck. He went in with no handles pulled.The student, though he should have had a canopy of some sort over his head, was found dead many days after the incident.
    Lessons:Never *ever* get above a tumbling student in FF, no matter what the altitude. We all know this, this serves as a reminder of how important it is.
  30. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    27/11/1997 Pahokee, FL MED? 44 Y/?    
    Description: After a long layoff from jumping due to previous accidents (Cypres fire with main deployment, slight tangle, main cutaway,followed by a really bad landing, also a broken back 5 years ago due to a hard opening), this jumper was gettng back into the sport, making only a jump a day. He expereienced a malfunction of his main during a skysurf jump, sucessfully cutaway, but did not deploy his reserve. His CYPRES deployed his reserve at the expected alitute, and he landed softly in Lake Okechobee. When fished from the lake a few seconds later by some boaters, he was already dead. All indications point to some event in the air which killed him, rather than drowning or a hard landing. A heart attack is suspect.
    Lessons:Repeated accidents are perhaps a good sign that skydiving might not be advisable. Never rush back to jump after na injury. You have a long life, make the best of it and don't take the chance of cutting it short when a few months can make a big, big difference.
  31. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    28/11/1997 Key West, FL LOWT 37 630 ?/?    
    Description: A non-us jumper was visiting Florida and jumping at the small DZ located on the Keys. This DZ is known to have a small landing area. Apparently, he turned low to avoid power lines and impacted hard. He died a day or two later of the injuries sustained.
    Lessons:Basically, if you don't land a canopy while it is flying straight, you are going to get badly hurt. Jumping at small, unfamiliar DZ's is an additional risk.
  32. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    13/12/1997 Monterey Bay, CA MAL? 61 500 Y/N    
    Description: Before his second jump of the day, he was given a pin check by an AFF I before exiting at 15,000 to make a solo skysurf jump. He was later seen under canopy between 3000 and 4000 ft. Others later saw only a cutaway main. The skysurf board was found seperate from the body, indicating it had been jettisoned at some point. Further investigations indicate that the board was likely jettisoned before the main. The board therefore was not a factor in the lack of a reserve pull (i.e. he was not knocked out.)
    Lessons:Hard to reach any conclusions concerning this jump. An RSL might have helped here, though their use with surf boards may be imprudent in general.