|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|15/04/2001||Skydive Dallas, TX||LOWT||38||1||Y/Y|| || |
|Description: This student was making his first skydive (AFF Level I), and deployed his parachute at the correct altitude. The radio was on, as he responded to radio commands from the ground. At about 100ft from the ground, instead of raising his hands for full flight, he stayed in deep brakes. The wind was strong enough to back him up towards the hangar. People were motioning and yelling at him to raise his arms, and the same commands were given over the radio. He caught the hanger out of the corner of his eye, and turned his head to look it at, and thus turned the canopy towards the hanger. He struck one of the support beams of the hanger at high speed, killing him.|
|USPA Description: After an uneventfull freefall and initial canopy descent, this first-time jump student was on final approach near a hangar. The surface winds were reported at 16 mph. He flared at 50 feet and turned crosswind, which pushed him into the side of the hangar at a 45-degree angle. The impact with the hangar resulted in fatal injuries to his head and possibly neck.|
|USPA Conclusions:The student was reportedly responding slowly to radio commands, which put him further downwind than intended. Although he was close the hangar, he was clear of the obstacle. When he turned his head to look at the hangar, his canopy began a turn in that direction, sending him crosswind and into the side of the hangar. Apparently, the student initieated the turn into the direction he was looking, rather than steering straight ahead into the clear area.
This drop zone had filed a waiver to the USPA Basic Safety Requirements to jump in winds up to 16 mph. (The BSRs otherwise limit students to 14 mph.) The Skydiver's Information Manual, Section 4.19, states that "before the jump, the student should … have a flight plan established to guide the canopy without assistance. Ground-to-air radios and signals are commonly used but should only be considered as a back-up to good training.
In the USPA Integrated Student Program, students in Category A (first jump) are cautioned that "jumpers landing away from the planned landing area may have to make their own correct decisions to land in a safe area." The ISP also states that students making "jumps in Category A and B should be limited to calmer conditions.