|Description: This jumper was heading crosswind in light winds, and made a ~90 degree toggle turn to get back into the wind at approximately 75ft or so. (Reports from witnesses vary, indicating how hard it is to get good information. Some have claimed a 180+ turn from a downwind direction at 75 ft, but in any case, the result was the same.) He impacted while still in a turn. An ER nurse and others were on the scene in seconds, an ambulance arrived within 10 minutes, and a CareFlight helicopter about 20 minutes later. He died later that evening at the hospital. He suffered head trauma and a severely broken femur; he never regained consciousness. He was wearing a helmet of unknown type. This was probably not an intentional low turn to build up speed for landing. The turn was low enough that altitude effects (the DZ is at ~5000ft MSL) was probably irrelevant; the same turn made at sea level would have had similar repercussions. [I was a witness to this accident; that's two in one year for me.]
|Lessons:It is almost always preferable to land downwind, rather than land in a turn. Keep your awareness about you under canopy; you have to adjust your flight plan (okay, I'll go over that hangar, do downwind to about the runway, then a quick crosswind, and land by the windsock) as things change (whoa, not making much progress into the wind, better turn around earlier).