|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|10/06/2001||Delmarva, DE||MAL||45||600||Y/?|| || |
|Description: This jumper was participating in 3 way headdown skydive from a Twin Otter which was uneventful until break off at 6,000 ft. At break off, as he tracked away, another jumper on the dive observed what is believed to be his main bridle flapping on his back. It appears that the bridle caused the main pin to be extracted, causing the main bag to come out from the pack tray, leading to a horseshoe malfunction occurred. It is believed that this jumper was unable to extract the pilot chute from its pouch and was left with no other option but to cutaway and deploy his reserve parachute. The main canopy was held in the D-bag by one rubber band stow that contained some of the lines from the group. The reserve freebag did not completely clear the reserve and the bulk of the reserve canopy remained held in the freebag by one rubber band stow. Partial inflation of the reserve canopy occurred pulling him into a vertical position. He was observed by others on the load and on the ground observers to be attempting to clear the problem until impact with the grass runway, which killed him instantly. He was wearing Mirage harness/container.|
|Lessons:A loose bridle in freefall is a serious situation. This is particularly true for freeflying, because the airflow can come more directly in contact with the bridle and pin. The correct solution for this problem is to deploy the main pilot chute, but it may be very difficult to find if the main is no longer in the tray. This is perhaps the most significant problem with BOC deployment systems. However, while switching to an ROL-mounted pilot chute makes finding the pilot chute easier in this type of malfunction, it makes the likelihood of this type of malfunction much higher in the first place. Perhaps a new type of deployment pouch which loosens when the main leaves the packtray could solve this type of problem? Until such a time, keep your bridles well-stowed, and your closing loops tight. Additionally, some methods of packing pilot chutes are purported to not "jam", and to allow the pilot chute to cleanly escape the pocket if the bridle comes under tension - you might ask around and find someone to show you such a method. A study examining this in a controlled setting would be very valuable...|
|USPA Description: After a 3-way head-dwon skydive, this jumper was observed at breakoff with what appeared to be the main bridle looping out from behind the container. He landed very hard under a partially inflated reserve parachute.|
|USPA Conclusions:Initial inspection of the equipment and witness accounts suggest that there was a horsesho malfunction, which resulted in the main and reserve parachutes entangling. The main bridle had wrapped around the main and reserve parachutes entangling. The main bridle had wrapped around the last locking stow of the reserve freebag (deployment bag), which prevented the reserve from completely inflating.
Horseshoe malfunctions, where part of the main is entangled with the jumper, are one of the most dificult malfunctions a skydiver can face. Every effort should be made to prevent this type of malfunction. This includes correct closing of the container and packing of the main pilot chute, correct stowing of the main bridle, proper length of the main closing loop to ensure the container is not easily opened, pin checks before exiting the aircraft and use of a proper container for the type of skydive planned.