noelle mason
Incident Report ("Scary")
2013
Age: 35
Sex: Male
Time in Sport: 13 years
Total Number of Jumps: 11,000-plus
Skydives Within the Last 12 Months: Not reported
Cause of Death: Hard impact following a low turn under canopy
Description:
After an uneventful exit and canopy deployment at approximately 5,000 feet while participating in a speed round during a canopy piloting competition, this jumper flew his initial descent and then made a right-hand 270-degree turn to final approach over a swoop pond. The report stated that the jumper’s height above the ground when he initiated the turn was “too low,” but the exact height was unknown. According to witnesses, after finishing the turn to his intended heading, the jumper grabbed his rear risers and pulled them down evenly to control the pitch of the canopy. This is a common control input used by high-performance canopy pilots. A second later, at approximately 50-75 feet above the ground, he pulled his toggles down to his chest in an attempt to slow the canopy’s descent rate. However, the canopy remained in a steep descent, and he struck the water hard, eventually coming to a stop while still in the pond.
First responders pulled the jumper, who was now unconscious, out of the water and administered first aid until paramedics arrived. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.