Intentional High-Performance Landings—4 Three of the four had little experience with High-performance landings. The fourth jumper attempted to swoop through a congested area that did not allow for any errors.
Unintentional—Trying to avoid an obstacle or face into the wind with a last-second turn. Intentional—Trying to make a high-performance landing and misjudging the turn. Intentional vs. Unintentional Low Turns
No/Low Pull—5 Neither an instructor or his student deployed and both had AAD activations. Both struck the ground before the reserves could fully inflate. A jumper exited a helicopter flying above a mountain range wearing a wingsuit. He was never found after an extensive search. A jumper exited an airplane at 28,000 feet and never deployed his parachute. He was not equipped with an AAD. A jumper slipped off the wing of a biplane aircraft at approximately 1,000 feet. He did not deploy a main or reserve parachute before he struck the ground.
Cutaway-No/Low Reserve Pull-5 All 5 fatalities were very experienced. Four were not equipped with a Reserve Static Line or Main Assisted Reserve Device which may have changed the outcome. A tandem cutaway was too low for the reserve to fully inflate. It could not be determined why the cutaway occurred at an apparently very low altitude.
Drowning-1 A tandem pair attempted to beat a fast-moving squall line producing high winds and rain. After opening the main canopy, the pair were blown out over a lake, and landed in the water. The tandem instructor disconnected the student, climbed out of the harness, and they both started swimming towards shore. Only the student made it.
Lessons Learned Skydivers must improve canopy skills at every level of experience, from student to expert. Regardless of wing-loading, a low turn can lead to a fatality. Spinning malfunctions can rapidly lose altitude and require a fast response. Skydivers need to learn more about their equipment, pack properly, maintain equipment properly and get gear checks before boarding and before exit. Use of AADs and RSLs can help to prevent fatalities. Similar mistakes are repeated almost every year. Skydivers need to learn where the mistakes are made and take steps to avoid repeating them.
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