Breaking The Accident Chain
Tales from free-fall fallout:
Most if not all injuries or incidents can be traced to not one but a series of things going wrong. We can prevent them by breaking the chain of events that might or might not cause (depending on choices) the problem. Here is what happened to me:
The last jump of the invasion boogie turned out to be a bit more exciting than I was planning. I was introduced to a low time jumper who wanted to join us. After talking to his coach we built a simple 5 way jump.
After the dirt dive we climbed into the otter. The plan was to break off at 5,000 feet. The new member would pull as we broke off. I told our new member that I would film his opening. He was OK with that. I stressed he needed to pull right at the break off. The jump was a bit of a zoo but everyone was close at break off. As planned our new member was pulling in place.
He missed his hacky. I felt we were still high enough, I made a poor choice and stayed in place so that I could film his opening as I had promised. He pulled, I got the money shot and I tracked off. Glancing at my altimeter, I was okay, I thought. It was then I noticed I had been tracking a bit too long. I never heard my audible. I checked my altimeter, it read 4k I looked down realized it was not 4K and tossed. I had a long, long snivel. It was a nice soft opening but I was in the basement.
We landed and laughed about the jump. A friend on the ground pulled me aside and asked if I had trouble. I said I knew I was a bit low and would check to see how low. After packing I pulled out my audible and saw I was much deeper in the basement than I thought. What I found out was my altimeter was still reading 1500 feet on the ground. Fortunately my experience and site picture realized I was low.
Breaking the Accident Chain:
What went wrong?
- Plan the jump and jump the plan.
- I should have gotten out of there when he missed.
- I should have just counted at track off and pulled.
- I should have not waved off and pulled but just pulled.
Somehow I did not hear my audible; perhaps my old brain was just busy.
Looking down and seeing I was below what my altimeter read broke the chain. We all make mistakes and looking at the cause can prevent future issues. I hope you can break the chain. Be Aware!