Parachute accident, Australia

The procedure he listed, however, is usually for a student that was being towed by the static line, and not by a chute.
Broomstick covered the other part pretty well - usually in an ‘escaped chute’ accident, the skydiver is either badly injured, or killed outright. It’s rare for a skydiver to get out of the plane fast enough to NOT get hung up in the door/slammed into the doorframe/pulled THROUGH the doorframe/side of plane.

Most of the ‘escaped chute’ accidents are due to an escaped RESERVE chute. There’s no cutaway devices on the reserve, it is attaced directly to the harness. Most skydivers carry a ‘hook knife’ to cut themselves out of a parachute or lines wrapped around themself. I think it would be possible, in that instance, to cut the lines going to the fouled chute and deploy the good main chute. The downside is that the skydiver is going to be very disoriented due to being banged against the aircraft and spun around and around from being towed. Couple this with the fact that parachutist emergency procedures concern a malfunctioning MAIN parachute, and it’s entirely possible that a groggy skydiver could conceivably either pull the ripcord of the reserve chute that was just cut away, or do an emergency procedure that would cut away the main chute.

trying to imagine an airplane attached to a parachute


There is a short 1" long pin that goes thru a loop of cord. When the pin is pulled out, the loop is released, flaps open and the bag holding your parachute is freed. I am making things simple here. An improperly packed parachute may not have the pin all the way thru the loop. Slight movement can cause the bag to come out in the plane where the slipstream pulls it out the door. I have seen pictures of this during my training period. You will probably take out the side of the plane on your way out. A packing error is the skydivers fault. I still ask for a “pin check” while waiting to board the plane. This confirms your main and reserve pins are in place and things are generally routed properly. Most people do not.

If people are really packed inside the plane, your pin can work out if you are leaning against something. Most skydiving planes do not have seats. Things get very crowded. It would help if someone would post what type of plane it was. This is hard to avoid sometimes, but on the few occations when I felt it happening I asked for a quick pin check before exiting. On one occation I saw someone’s flap open and the pin about to come out. It was an easy fix to push it back in.

People will move outside the door while hanging on in order to launch a large group. Skydivers will hold on to chest and shoulder straps sometimes while doing this. It is possible that the reserve ripcord handle can be dislodged while doing this.

Sounds like the pilot stayed with the plane as long as he could. If he knew what was going on, this took a lot of courage. If planes go in to a spin it is next to impossible to get out after centrifugal force builds up. It can happen in a couple of seconds. Perhaps he had some control over the aircraft and was trying to give the skydiver as much time as he could. Opening at about 600 feet is very very low. Maybe 2-3 seconds from impact.

Like most fatalities, this will be argued and debated in the community. Usually something close to the truth comes out.

Maybe skydyver can post a follow up. BTW, where do you jump?