|Date||Location||Category||Age||# Jumps||AAD?/RSL?||Dropzone.com Report||Dropzone.com Discussion|
|14/09/2003||Finger Lakes Skydiving, NY||LOWT||36||1000||Y/N|| ||#660887|
|Description: The jumper was demoing a canopy well within his capabilties (according to those who knew him well - normally jumped a Crossfire 109 and had experience of Velocity 103 and Crossfire 99), He initiated his final turn too low, and planed out his canopy too late. He struck a driveway with great force. Emergency personel initiated CPR but the jumper died. The jumper was not wearing a helmet but it is unlikely it wqould have made any difference.|
|USPA Description: After an uneventful solo freefall and initial canopy descent, this jumper initiated a 180-degree turn at approximately 250 feet above the ground. He completed the turn before reaching the ground but reportedly made little or no attempt to flare the canopy before he struck the ground at a high rate of speed. He died at the scene from his injuries.|
|USPA Conclusions:This was the jumper's third jump on a 96-square foot cross-braced canopy. His wing loading, estimated at 1.72:1, is considered advanced by the manufacturer. Surface winds were roprted between two and four mph but 30mph at 3,000 feet. The jumperlanded on the downwind side of a row of trees, which may have affected the flight of the canopy.
This jumper's regular canopy was reported to be 108 square feet and of a conventional rib design typically associated with more docile performance characteristics and quicker recovery from a turn. Cross-braced canopies are known to require hundreds of feet to recover from performance turns for safe landings. Expert cross-braced canopy pilots routinely start such maneuvers above 500 feet.
Section 6-10 of the 2004 Skydiver's Information Manual recommends that a jumper advancing to a higher-performance wing does so at the same square footage as a familiar canopy. A jumper should land any new design or smaller canopy conservatively until learning that canopy's flight characteristics in the entire range of control inputs and weather conditions.
On any canopy, jumpers must complete all turns with enough altitude for the canopy to reurn to straight an level flight for the landing flare.
|Name||Thomas D. Colaneri|