1 Matches (out of a total of 833 incidents)
  1. Date Location Category Age # Jumps AAD?/RSL? Dropzone.com Report Dropzone.com Discussion
    10/07/2004 Atlanta Skydiving Center, GA CCOL,MAL,BIZ 27 6700 Y/N 36 #1150793
    Description: This very experience freeflyer and canopy pilot caught a cutaway main in mid-air whilst under canopy with his left leg. He caught the lines of a cutaway main with his left leg. The cutaway main spun up, locking the lines around his leg. He was trying to get the lines off his leg. His main and the cutaway main began spinning/diving violently with Nate on his back. At approximately 100-200 feet he cutaway his own main which had entangled with the cutaway main he had caught. He landed with the lines/risers of both canopies around his left leg. His reserve handle was still in the pocket. He did not have a hook knife or a visual altimeter on this jump. He did have a turned-on Cypres, audible altimeters and a camera helmet on this jump.
    USPA Description: After an uneventful freefall and canopy deployment, this jumper intentionally caught the cutaway main canopy from another jumper at approximately 1,700 feet. Some of the lines from the cutaway canopy wrapped around the jumper's left foot, causing the cutaway canopy to partially inflate and entangle with his own main canopy. An uncontrollable spin resulted. The jumper then pulled his cutaway handle to release his own main parachute at a very low altitude. He struck the ground while still entangled with the two parachutes around his ankle. Investigators found the reserve ripcord still in its pocket and the cutaway handle 20 feet away. The jumper died the next day.
    USPA Conclusions:The USPA Skydiver's Information Manual section on equipment emergencies (Section 5-1.E) states, "At some point during descent under a partial malfunction, it becomes too low for a safe cutaway, and you must deploy the reserve without cutting away." The jumper was not wearing a visual altimeter. After the entanglement, he may not have known he was at a very low altitude when he pulled his cutaway handle. A visual altimeter could have provided the jumper valuable information regarding his altitude before deciding on a course of action.

    Although USPA recommends RSLs, this jumper did not use one.

    An RSL could have favorably influenced the outcome of this incident. Experience has shown that trying to retrieve another jumper's cutaway canopy, freebag or other items is not a sound idea, regardless of skill level. Attempting it with a high-performance canopy, such as this highly experienced swoop competitor was using, makes the results even less predictable and potentially hazardous.

    Name Nathan L. Gilbert