Similar to a touch ‘n’ go but a lot harder and against a vertical wall…
The jumper walked away from this strike with a bruised knee and a broken GoPro mainly because he :
- had good kneepads,
- had a helmet,
- was fast on toggles,
- was lucky!
He hit the cliff only once, stalling and turning the canopy on toggles. The kneepads (freeride knee-shinguard combination from Fox) for sure saved his knee, the helmet had no scratch but the GoPro attached to it got beaten up.
The packjob already turned nearly 180° before it reached linestrech. Because of this I’m pretty sure that body position was not an issue, winds were 0, packjob was nice. Watching the video over and over again, it seems like the PC is circling and is turning the canopy around on its way out. The pilotchute was properly attached to the bridle, but maybe it is spilling air on one side for some reason. I will update this as soon as I get my hands on it to check.
Or this is just another case of sometimes-the-shit-just-hits-the-fan thing that can happen when you throw a lot of fabric and a lot of lines into moving air…
On a closer look on the opening I would say that the brake setting could be set a bit deeper, so besides the obvious (like doing offheading drills, wearing good shoes, wearing a helmet)…
- Check out a proper deep brake setting for your setup, the factory ones are most likely ok on modern base canopies, but maybe not perfect for your wingloading. If you’re jumping stuff like this, 0.2 seconds more time to turn could make the difference.
- Wear body armor! It can save your ass! (… or knee, or whatever part of your body it covers …)
Canopy is a Troll DW MDV 245, PC is a 42″ZP AV from Morpheus, and a Gargoyle container. Surprisingly the canopy was not damaged at all.
Comments are welcome.
Thanks to the jumper and the cameraman for the footage.
I don’t believe that much in the turning or twisting PC theory. Exitpush could have been a little bit stronger, (jumper was leaving a bit stand-up) leading to the jumper being further away from the wall. Hand held next time as well? Anyway, quick reaction.
quick + exact reaction; well done
In my opinion the problem starts with a faulty pitching technique. The classic skydiver-type ‘flick-of-the -wrist’, you can see on the video how the pc makes a complete somersault after extraction. It might not explain the 180 entirely but certainly it played a major part, as the bridle starts yanking the pc while its upside down. I would try to get rid of this pitching style. Pull it straight out and try not to flick your wrist. Just my opinion.
I remember a manufacturer website that said something to the effect of “PC oscillation has been definitively associated with offheading openings” so Ronald is WRONG. Also, though it’s unnerving to watch a pilot chute do flips and shit on its way towards bridle stretch, (bridle knots would be scary)1184 is wrong that this would cause any part of the offheading. Because you throw to the side, maybe the pull from the inflating PC was still off to the jumpers right side as it began to extract the canopy, then as the PC carves around as the canopy moves towards line stretch it continues to turn the packjob. Good job to the jumper for getting it turned and being lucky.
Right before the PC extracted the packjob it turned to the left, pulling the center cell alongside. It caught the air already twisted to left and opened with 160deg. Assuming that the packjob was indeed well done and no gusts of wind on lower levels near the wall – the PC caused the offheading. Nothing ‘just happens’, there’s always an explanation.
Great website Hirshie!