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August 05, 2022

Paraglider's Chute Fail to Open and Wraps Around Him Like a Shroud; He Plummets to Earth Helplessly, Bound By His Own Parachute Cords

Kevin Phillipp was attempting a trick in high turbulence over Spain. Personally I never attempt a paragliding trick in high turbulence over Spain. It's one of my main rules.

It's got me this far. Knock wood.

His brake line got stuck. I think a brake line is just one of the main lines that holds the parachute to you; but you need it to extend fully, because if it doesn't, the parachute doesn't open. One of his got caught and only advanced a few feet, resulting in a parachute canopy that didn't blossom open.

And if the parachute doesn't open, you don't have a parachute. You have some useless silk that will flutter and maybe wrap around your body.

He struggled and fought to yank the brake line free to get the chute to open but the more he fought the more the cords of the chute just coiled around him.

Mikethemoose says this is wrong: He says the chute opened properly, but because he jumped in turbulence, he got blown back up into his chute and then got tangled in it:

Incorrect analysis. His primary did extend and did open and was doing it's effing job. Genius boy decided to jump into high turbulence which did what turbulence does which is bump you around, and in this case physically kicked him into his open and operating chute turning it into a useless pancho.

Well, either way, he got tangled up in a chute which was not opened and providing no slowing of his fall.

Why didn't he pull the reserve chute? I don't know, but I think the problem was that he was all tangled up with his main chute and could not get the main chute to either actually deploy, and, because the cords were tightly wrapped around his body, he also could not not get the main chute to release and just float away.

It was stuck to him and strangling him -- and also wrapped tightly around his reserve chute.

I think he feared that if he pulled the reserve chute with this -- ahem -- with this Shroud of Grim Death wrapped around his body, the main chute would just stop the reserve chute from opening as well.

And then he'd just hit the ground at near-terminal velocity.

He never did manage to cut the main chute free or be rid of it.

With literally one second to go before hitting the earth at 180 miles per hour, he decided he had no choice but to gamble on the reserve chute. Either it was going to open or it wasn't going to open, but he had no time left, if he waited another second he was just going to slam into the ground and die.

So he pulled it, just maybe 100 feet from the ground, and prayed it would open.

By the way, here's how another parachuter dealt with his own non-opening canopy, using the universally-recognized hand signals of parachuting and aviation.

Here's another parachuting vid. Not as scary.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:12 PM

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