|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|23/09/2001||St. Thomas, Virgin Islands||LAND?, LOWT?, EXC||63||4000||?/?|| || |
|Description: Information is sparse, but it appears this jumper made a low turn without sufficient altitude to recover while making a demonstration jump into a festival.|
|Lessons:Demo skydives present additional hazards. It is unclear wether this low turn was done in order to make a high-performance landing, or if it was "accidental", such as when avoiding an obstacle.|
|USPA Description: This jumper was making a demonstration jump onto a crowded beach during a festival. He traveled downwind over the crowd at a reported 40 mph and was observed to make a turn at 50 feet in an apparent attempt to land into the wind. He reportedly struck the ground at the same time as the canopy and died in the hospital a few hours later as a result of the hard landing.|
|USPA Conclusions:There was very little reported about the specifics of this fatality. One eyewitness said he heard the jumper yelling for people to get out of the way prior to his final turn.
This jumper, although very experienced, did not hold a USPA PRO Rating. It appears as though there was a very small landing area established on the beach for this jump. There may have been inadequate ground crew to keep a clear area for the landing. And winds may have been too strong for a jump of this nature (the witnes reported the jumper was traveling 40 mph downwind).
With so little information reported, there can only be speculation, but it seems that there was a lack of landing options for this jump into a crowded area. The jumper may have been trying to land in the only area he had available, which may have been too far downwind for him to reach a safe altitude.
Demonstration jumps should be carefully planned and allow for different landing options to meet the circumstances that may unexpectedly arise. A fully trained ground crew, which has enough members to handle the crowd control, must be in place for demonstration jumps. Demonstration jumpers must be willing to cancel a jump if any safety measure is compromised.