Age: 58 Sex: Male Time in Sport: Five months Total Number of Jumps: Nine Skydives Within the Last 12 Months: Nine Cause of Death: Impact without deployment of a main or reserve parachute Description:
This jumper was performing his ninth skydive, a freefall training jump with a USPA AFF Instructor. This was his seventh AFF training jump following two tandems. After an uneventful initial freefall, this jumper did not initiate his main deployment at the assigned deployment altitude of 5,500 feet. When his instructor gave him a pull sign, the student reached for his bottom-of-container-mounted throw-out pilot chute but grabbed the leg gripper of his jumpsuit instead. As the instructor moved to dock on him to assist with his deployment, the student reached across his own torso with his left hand in an apparent attempt to deploy using that hand. The student then flipped on his back and tumbled away from the instructor, who continued to chase the student to a reported altitude of 1,500 feet before deploying his own main canopy. The student remained in freefall, never deploying his main or reserve parachute. His AAD did deploy his reserve, but the reserve pilot chute and bridle entangled with his arm and stopped the reserve deployment.